Gluten-free gluttony? Industry inspiring and pushing hard

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Big brands are heading online in the gluten-free push
Big brands are heading online in the gluten-free push
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.

Related topics: Gluten-free & Allergens, Bread, Markets

Related news

Show more

2 comments

Mintel data

Posted by Kacey Culliney,

Thanks for the feedback - the full data report says:

● Some 3.1 million Americans have celiac disease. Another 31.1 million are gluten intolerant, and 300,000 are allergic to wheat. This means there is a built-in market for gluten-free food products—a fact that suggests a bullish future for category sales.

Report abuse

US gluten intolerance market value

Posted by Catherine Maerten,

previous articles mentioned 0.75% to 1% of the US population being sensitive to gluten which is line with most western countries... 30 millions seem high... could it be 3 millions instead?

Report abuse