- Israel-based Carmit Candy Industries is introducing a new line of gluten-free clusters in chocolate and yogurt varieties to be available in international markets at Natural Products Expo West, in Anaheim, March 7 through the 9.
- The gluten-free clusters line, which can be custom packed in different sizes and shapes for private labels, includes many combinations of gluten-free cereals and dried fruits or nuts covered in milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, or yogurt.
- The clusters appeal to the growing gluten-free market that is made up of people who have Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance, as well as those without such a condition who choose to eliminate gluten from their diet.
Global confectionery launches with a "gluten-free" angle increased by 46% in 2013, according to Innova Database. As it still makes up only 7% of confectionery product launches tracked in 2013 though, it can still be considered a niche market. For Carmit, the development of this niche is an outgrowth of another one.
Last year, Carmit’s CEO Steve Grun explained that chocolates free of grain products and, therefore, free of gluten, were first developed for the kosher consumer, as were dairy-free products: "Carmit’s gluten-free confectionery is a spinoff of products we developed for the kosher-for-Passover market, where the use of wheat flour is expressly prohibited. Our non-dairy products are a spinoff from the kosher need for parve [vegan]." Carmit products are still sold to the kosher market, though now the company positions itself as "a supplier to leading brands around the world.”