- Sales of gluten-free products continue to rise, with the market expected to reach $4.89 billion by 2021, compared to $2.84 billion in 2014, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research.
- Annual revenue growth in the sector from 2015 to 2021 is projected to hover around 7.7%.
- North America is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market for gluten-free products by 2021, but as of 2014, Europe was still the dominant regional market with a 52.5% share.
The gluten-free market is growing because of increased consumer awareness of potential health benefits of gluten-free products; more cases of celiac disease and other gluten sensitivity; use of gluten-free products as a weight management tool; and high demand for gluten-free bakery products, which is the largest category in the gluten-free market.
While the gluten-free foods trend was sharply growing, scientists have debunked its effectiveness for years. A review article last year said that no evidence existed for health benefits of gluten-free products for people who did not suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
TMR's report supports assumptions by manufacturers that more consumers are looking for gluten-free products. This has led companies ranging from PepsiCo's Quaker division and Snyder's-Lance to General Mills' cereal brands to transition some of their products to gluten-free or offer gluten-free varieties.
Manufacturers may be right to expand their gluten-free offerings. Even as more consumers suggest that gluten-free is a fad — 47% in 2015 versus 31% in 2013, according to Mintel — 25% of consumers said they consumed gluten-free products last year, up 67% from 2013.