- PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Co. now offers gluten-free oatmeal for its one-minute standard oats and instant single-serve pouches, available in original and maple and brown sugar flavors.
- Oats are naturally gluten-free, but the product can pick up stray wheat, rye, barley, or spelt while making its way through the supply chain. Researchers have developed a cleaning system to remove stray grains to ensure the oats meet the FDA’s standards.
- The new line was in response to consumer demands, where gluten-free oats were among the top inquiries during the past several years.
With the new product line, the company addresses the free-from food products consumers are looking for, particularly those with food-related allergies. After moving through the new cleaning system, the oats also go through multiple quality checks to ensure they remain gluten-free.
The numbers back up the consumer tonal shift: In the U.S., gluten-free food sales rose 136% from 2013 to 2015, reaching an estimated $11.6 billion in sales, according to Mintel.
Quaker Oats no doubt wants to avoid undeclared wheat showing up in its gluten-free products to avoid consumers' mistrust. General Mills faced this issue last fall, having to recall 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios when its gluten-free oat flour was contaminated at a plant in California.