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What Foods Are Considered Part Of The "gluten Free Market"?
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Hey fellow Celiacs,

For my economics class I am doing a paper on the rise in demand in gluten free foods. There are multiple websites that discuss the rise in gluten free goods. This is an example http://www.celiac.com/articles/23103/1/Gluten-free-Market-to-Top-66-Billion-by-2017/Page1.html . What foods are apart of the gluten free market though? Fruits and veggies I would guess are not but they are technically gluten free. Where does something go from being gluten free and not in the market to being gluten free and in the market? Thanks for your help.

Alex

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Hi Alex.

I would interpret the gluten free food market to be those foods which are specifically manufactured by food processors to be safe to eat for those who must be gluten free. This entails foods that, as part of a normal diet, usually contain gluten. So recipes are devised using non-gluten products to take the place of these gluten-containing foods so that celiacs and gluten intolerants do not feel so deprived. This can range from bread, waffles, gluten-free flours and pastas, to things like gluten-free soy sauces, candies, beers, etc., etc.

And you are right that those foods that are inherently gluten free should not be included in this market. Fortunately for us, the basics of nutrition are almost entirely gluten free. That doesn't stop food manufacturers and processors from adding gluten to things like meat, chicken and beef stock, ham, bacon -- the list is almost endless of foods that should not contain gluten, but do.

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You could also divide it in two - there are those brands that are created based on the gluten-free concept - Glutino, Udi's, Kinnikinnik, etc. - and then there are those other main stream brands that are jumping on the band wagon or now offering some gluten-free items - Campbells soup now has some soups that say gluten free on the label, though most of their soups are not. Safeway and other stores have gluten-free lists on their websites that list 'safe' products that are not labelled gluten free.

Ok, I guess that's three categories - certified gluten free companies that only do gluten-free, companies that have some gluten-free offerings, and companies that are not certified gluten-free but offer a list of gluten-free options.

The last one can cause issues for celiacs (vs. the gluten sensitive)....worth noting.

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Don't forget the group that I'd call bandwagon companies. Offering things that may have always been gluten free, don't need to be labeled gluten free, but they're slapping that label on it as if we're all morons and need to know that WATER doesn't contain gluten. That or they just want to seem hip and on top of things. I'm not sure where they fit in, but they are clearly attempting to be part of the gluten free market. It isn't just water, but all sorts of things that don't need a gluten-free label, and for which the label proudly displayed on the front is positively absurd.

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Also, many grocery stores have a separate shelf for gluten-free foods. And a separate freezer area for frozen gluten-free foods like breads etc. Many stores mark gluten-free items with a green "gluten-free" sticker or some other gluten-free label, beyond the marking on the product packaging itself. And restraunts have separate gluten-free menus sometimes.

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And you might want to mention places like Dominoes Pizza, whick claims to have a gluten-free pizza, but it is made in the same room, in the same pans, with the same utensils that they make their regular pizza, thus rendering them gluten FULL. There are many other companies claiming to have gluten-free options that are so cross-contaminated that no celiac can safely eat them. :angry:

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Thanks for the responses. Do you think that foods must specifically mention that they are gluten free for it to be in the market? There are some products that are gluten free but they are not advertised as such on the actual food item. You have to go online or email/call them to get an answer. Would these be included?

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To know for sure you would likely need to get a copy of the original report that is cited in the article.

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