Amid a mushrooming US gluten-free market, manufacturers are upping investments in media-savvy marketing pushes as they battle for sector space and cash returns in the increasingly lucrative sector.
Snack titan Frito-Lay has launched a gluten-free recipe section incorporating products from its own portfolio and organic bakery Rudi’s has taken to the social media arena with a Facebook competition campaign to promote its new line of gluten-free tortillas.
A recent Mintel report into the US gluten-free market suggests that investing in social media and web information about gluten-free as well as providing recipe ideas will drive business, especially “as gluten-free food is a relatively new phenomenon, consumers do not seem to be excessively brand loyal. Consumers seem willing to experiment.”
BakeryandSnacks.com recently reported on a Frost & Sullivan report that suggested the industry has room for innovation and education with investments in marketing activities to do this needed. (See HERE .)
Online investments and pushes
Danielle Dalheim, registered dietician and principle nutrition scientist at Frito-Lay North America, said: “We’re offering fans a variety of gluten-free recipes and letting them know many of their favourite Frito-Lay snacks can still be a part of a gluten-free lifestyle.”
“We know gluten-free eaters often feel their options are limited,” Dalheim added.
The recipe section on the firm’s corporate website has been developed in partnership with Recipe ReDux, a network of registered dieticians and healthy food bloggers.
Rudi’s Facebook campaign is offering $2 reduction coupons for its new line of gluten-free tortilla when users ‘Like’ the Rudi’s Gluten-Free page and also includes a competition to guess what gadget is hidden under pictures of the tortillas for a chance of winning it.
The Facebook page also includes a daily recipe using the new tortillas. Doug Radi, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Rudi’s Organic Bakery, said: “Our new campaign is meant to inspire gluten-free fans with cheerful prizes and delectable tortilla recipes.”
US gluten-free giant
The US represents the largest gluten-free market globally and Mintel data suggests that innovation and new product development (NPD) in the space is soaring in the market with the number of new gluten-free products increasing from 633 in 2007 to 1,559 as of December 2011.
With approximately 30m Americans either gluten intolerant/sensitive or celiac disease, there is a “bullish future for category sales”, Mintel said.
Frost & Sullivan data shows that the US gluten-free market has grown threefold over the past five years alone.
The snapshot takeaway
Mintel data shows sales of gluten-free crisps, pretzels and snacks soared from $225m in 2009 to $388m in 2011 and gluten-free bread and baked goods more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, up from $56m to $119m.
Gluten-free cold cereal sales outsold traditional cereals and pulled in $178m in 2011, up $47m from 2009.