Natural Products Expo West

Gluten-free category expands with breakfast options, cauliflower-crust pizzas

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Ryan Daily
Image Credit: Ryan Daily

Related tags Natural products expo Expo west Gluten-free Gluten-free foods

Feel Good Foods, Schär, Brazi Bites, and other gluten-free brands showcased breakfast items, pizzas, breads, and other products at Natural Products Expo West last week, as companies lean on innovation to grow the category.

The US gluten-free market was estimated to be worth $2.56bn in 2022 and is expected to grow to $4.12bn by 2028 at an 8.25% CAGR, according to a February 2023 Research and Markets report​. Market growth in the category has been spurred by health and wellness trends and awareness of gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the report added.

Over the last several decades, gluten-free brands have leaned on product innovation to mimic the taste and texture of products with gluten, allowing the category to expand into a variety of different categories, Vanessa Phillips, co-founder and CEO at Feel Good Foods, told FoodNavigator-USA at Expo West. 

"It's not enough for it to just be gluten-free. We have had enough time now to really do research and really do the proper amount of R&D to make it where it's gluten-free, but you would not know it's gluten-free. When I was first diagnosed [with celiac] 20 years ago, I used to have to order all my food online, and everything tasted like sawdust, and it's just nothing that I ever [felt] I could share with my friends or family, and it made me feel even more restricted in how I lived my life." 

Feel Good Foods: 'More breakfast innovation is coming'

At Expo West, Feel Good Foods demoed a range of its gluten-free products​, including its pancake bites. The brand is expanding its portfolio with a new line of soup dumplings, set to launch this May, and a line of burritos, which are launching nationwide in Whole Foods in May.  

"Our sweet spot is frozen snacks and apps — that is what we launched in, and that is where we really excel. We are always expanding innovation in that category. We did, recently, expand ... with burritos because we saw there was a void in the market, especially for food with meat in them." 

Feel Goods Foods is also planning to expand its breakfast offering in the future, as the brand continues to expand its footprint, Phillips said. 

"More breakfast innovation is coming. Breakfast is a newer category for us, and it is really dominated by waffles. So, coming out with something that is not another waffle is exciting. There is so much on the horizon for us, and [we are] getting the word out there and continuing to grow our distribution, so more people can enjoy Feel Good Foods."  

Feel Good Foods also rebranded with a simpler design at the beginning of the year, Phillips said. The rebrand was “a year in the making,” and the response so far has “been overwhelming,” she said. 

"We really were not hitting the mark before with the packaging. It's so important that your packaging speaks to your brand promise,” Phillips said. “I have been so taken aback by how people have been so excited. They [say,] 'I have seen you before and did not buy you until now.'"  

Expo West show floor trends: Breakfast options expand, cauliflower crust pizza rises


Other brands also demoed their latest breakfast innovations and bread products. These include: 

  • Schär​: Gluten-free snack, bread, and dessert company Schär shared its latest innovation in sweet baked goods with a portfolio of muffins in Classic, Chocolate, and Chocolate Chip flavors and its Marble Cake. The brand also shared samples of its gluten-free pizza crusts and bagels with various toppings.  
  • Brazi Bites​: Latin-inspired gluten-free brand Brazi Bites showcased its waffle line, which launched last fall in Sprouts, and comes available in Cheesy, Blueberry, and Homestyle varieties.
  • Pacha​: Sprouted buckwheat brand Pacha shared its line of gluten-free breads, which include Cheesy Herb, Garlic Rye, and Original flavors, during the Realigning the Wheel of Funding in CPG event presented by One Step Closer. The company is currently raising money on the community fund-raising platform Wefunder​ and has raised $132,660 in early-bird fundraising at the time of publication. 

Other gluten-free brands showcased their innovation in the pizza category. Caulipower provided​ samples of its cauliflower crust pizza, available in its original and Over the Top lines, including Spicy Chicken Sausage, Dream Supreme, and Trufflicious Mushroom options. Baked goods brand and frozen pizza brand Milton's also featured​ its range of cauliflower crust pizzas, which include Supreme, Meat Lover's Trio, Uncured Pepperoni, Roasted Vegetable, Margherita Four Cheese, and regular Four Cheese. 

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