The gluten-free market is cementing its staying power as more than a mere dietary fad and continues to make national headlines, including a recent announcement by popular foodservice chain Pizza Hut that it will begin offering gluten-free pizza. In the retail sector, sales of gluten-free foods posted an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% over the five-year period ended in 2014, when market sales reached $973 million, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts in the recently released report Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition. 


“Retailers have embraced the gluten-free trend by stocking more gluten-free items, featuring them in store, and launching their own private label brands. In addition, retail chains have been courting the gluten-free consumer with a variety of festivals and events,” says Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle.

Packaged Facts’ July/August 2014 survey data reveals that more than a third of consumers claim gluten-free/wheat-free is an important factor when they are shopping for food. In addition, a quarter of survey respondents had purchased or used food products labeled gluten-free in the three months prior to the survey.

Looking ahead, the gluten-free market’s momentum isn’t expected to wane anytime soon. Packaged Facts projects sales will exceed $2 billion in 2019. Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition highlights several key factors favoring continued growth in the market, including:

• Consumer trends, including use of, interest in, and opinions about gluten-free foods

• Growth in demographic groups showing a strong propensity to purchase gluten-free foods

• The escalating prevalence of health problems associated with diet

• More and better-quality gluten-free food products that are readily available in mainstream retail channels

• The growing presence of large marketers in the segment

• A ruling by the Food and Drug Administration on the definition of “gluten free” that will level the playing field among manufacturers.

In Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition, Packaged Facts’ analysis focuses on traditionally grain-based products in the following categories: Salty Snacks, Crackers, Pasta, Bread, Cold (ready-to-eat) Cereal, Cookies, Baking Mixes, Frozen Bread/Dough, and Flour.