Celiac Disease & Gluten-free Diet Information at Celiac.com - http://www.celiac.com
The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! Marks 10th Anniversary
http://www.celiac.com/articles/21804/1/The-Gluten-Free-Mall-Your-Special-Diet-Superstore-Marks-10th-Anniversary/Page1.html
Jefferson Adams

Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.

He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.

 
By Jefferson Adams
Published on 04/16/2009
 
The Gluten-Free Mall began in 1998 with the simple goal of providing people with gluten free and food allergy needs the highest quality, and widest range of foods free of wheat, rye and barley gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, and other common allergens. At that time, doctors thought gluten intolerance and gluten allergy were rare, and that celiac disease affected just 40,000 people. The National Institutes of Health now estimates that about 3 million people (1 in 133) suffer from celiac disease, and that only a small fraction (3%) of celiac cases have been diagnosed, while 97% of celiac cases remain undiagnosed.

Celiac.com 04/17/2009 - Scott Adams is on a mission to make the world a better place for people on gluten-free diets due to celiac disease or food allergies. In 1995, after a string of well-meaning, but under-informed doctors had failed to explain the range of symptoms he was experiencing, Scott read something about celiac disease which finally led to his diagnosis. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder triggered by the proteins in wheat, barley, and rye, and treatment for it is a life-long gluten free diet.

In an effort to better understand celiac disease, and to help provide accurate, up-to-date information for others who may face it, Scott Adams founded Celiac.com, which became the first online resource dedicated solely to providing the latest, most reliable information on celiac disease and gluten-free living.

In 1998, dissatisfied with the selection and availability of gluten free food to support his diet, Scott founded The Gluten-Free Mall, with the simple goal of providing people with gluten free and food allergy needs the highest quality, and widest range of foods free of wheat, rye and barley gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, and other common allergens.

At that time, doctors thought food allergies and gluten intolerance were rare, and that celiac disease affected just 40,000 people. In the last decade, the number of Americans diagnosed with celiac disease has nearly tripled, to at least 110,000 today, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The National Institutes of Health now estimates that about 3 million people (1 in 133) suffer from celiac disease, and that only a small fraction (3%) of celiac cases have been diagnosed, while 97% of cases remain undiagnosed.

With awareness and diagnosis on the upswing, food manufacturers and retailers are scrambling to increase the number of gluten free food options. Since 2004, food retailers have added nearly 2500 new gluten free products to their shelves. In 2008 alone, retailers added more than 728 new gluten free products. Nielsen Co., reports that the gluten-free products sector increased 20% in the 12-month period ending June 14, to $1.75 billion from $1.46 billion the year before.

The market for food-allergy and intolerance products is projected to reach $3.9 billion this year according to New York research firm Packaged Facts. The market research company Mintel projects the market for gluten free food to maintain 15% to 25% annual growth through 2012.

It's not just people with food allergy, celiac disease and gluten intolerance hitting the checkout stand. Mintel estimates that nearly 10% of shoppers currently purchase gluten free foods, and Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the non-profit Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (gluten.net) says that 15% to 25% of shoppers are interested in purchasing gluten free foods--numbers far greater than the 1% of shoppers with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

The Gluten-Free Mall now stocks nearly a thousand products designed specifically for people who need to eat gluten-free foods to treat celiac disease, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD, ADHD) or other health challenges. The Gluten-Free Mall offers products only from those gluten-free food manufacturers that demonstrate total commitment to producing the highest quality, best tasting gluten free products.

For more than 10 years The Gluten-Free Mall has offered the best prices and selection of gluten-free, wheat-free, casein-free and other allergy-related health foods and special dietary products on the Internet!