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    Snack Foods Account for Majority of Gluten-free Food Sales—Is That a Problem?


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 10/01/2014 - News that snack foods, like cookies, crackers, salty snacks and snack bars now account for more than half of new gluten-free product sales has some leading analysts and industry representatives sounding the alarm.


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    Photo: CC--Michael CoghlanSpeaking at a webinar hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists, Ardent Mills’ director of commercial insights, David Sheluga PhD, announced that the market is starting to get a bit saturated with gluten-free snack products, and that he’d like to see "a little bit more distribution of other types of product categories."

    The top-selling gluten-free categories break down as follows: Crackers ($156m), salty snacks ($125m), bread and rolls ($120m), pasta ($78m), cookies ($60m), baking mixes ($55m), RTE cereal ($49m), ancient grains ($47m), snack bars ($45m), flour ($43m), and frozen pizza ($35m).

    Currently, market research company Mintel reckons the US gluten-free retail market topped $10 billion in 2013. This figure includes anything with a gluten-free label, including naturally-gluten-free products.

    When the category is limited to products specifically formulated to replace wheat and where gluten-free is "not just a minor claim among a bundle of others," Dr. Sheluga says the market is likely closer to $1.2 billion. 70% of these sales were driven by heavy buyers, who account for just 3.8% of US households.

    Still, he says that Ardent Mills remains 'pretty bullish' about gluten-free category growth overall. Sheluga points out that almost three-quarters of gluten-free products on the market in 2009 are still available today, whereas 85% of new products disappear from grocery market shelves after just two years.

    Still, Sheluga notes that the market for actual celiac disease patients is limited, and that we may be reaching a point where we can’t push consumers to eat more gluten-free snack.

    So, while he notes that there’s likely still plenty of room for the gluten-free food market to grow, he is among a growing chorus to wonder out loud if we reaching a breaking point where we can’t eat any more snacks?

    The entire webinar may be accessed for a fee at: IFT

     

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    This is an interesting article. It makes sense that at some point the gluten-free snacks market might become somewhat saturated. However, there will likely always be room for improvement on current gluten-free products and room for competitors with superior products. More and more I find myself looking for items marked "certified gluten free" not just "gluten free". Knowing the certified gluten-free products undergo testing for gluten and are certified adds a level of confidence. Also, some products that are labeled only "gluten free" have cross-contamination issues and even say in the fine print that they were manufactured in facilities where wheat is handled. I also imagine that I'm not the only one who in addition to looking for "certified gluten free" is also looking for "GMO-free". Knowing what a sensitive thing the gut can be, I don't want to take chances with GMO foods since we are definitely in the human beings as guinea pigs stage with GMOs and understanding their long-term safety/health risks.

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    People buy gluten free snacks for their friends that can't eat gluten and then when that friend is over they eat gluten free too because the crackers, cakes and pretzels taste great. The gluten free market is not limited to just the households where someone has celiac or an intolerance to gluten.

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    Guest Barbara Kirch

    Posted

    I am disgusted when I go to local markets and even so called "health food" stores and find that most of the gluten free products that are carried are mostly what I consider "junk food" and nutritionally empty calories. Most are snack foods. Yes, we celiacs want treats too, but it would be nice once in a while to find something gluten free that tastes good and is good for you.

    I wish more attention would be paid to finding "real" (read as Artisan) breads, bagels that look and taste like bagels, and entrees and snacks that were not just expensive empty calories.

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    Guest C sugg

    Posted

    I thought the introduction was a bit misleading or perhaps it was me. I interpreted it to ask if gluten-free snacks were a problem for buyers not sellers. I think it could be a problem for buyers (the public) because there is rarely any nutritional value in many of the gluten-free snacks.

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    I think this was a bit misleading also.

    I think that the snack foods being the majority of gluten-free sales makes a lot of sense.

     

    I think gluten-free folks are more likely to make a lot of our food from scratch. We've learned how to, its what we are used to and what we know and trust. The majority of my meals I make are from whole foods, so I'm not out there buying a lot of gluten-free packaged anything.

     

    When I do buy a product that is packaged, and labelled "CGF" its because its something that I can't do easily or simply don't have time to do or any given day at home. Yes, it could be cookies or crackers, etc. My parents also keep these snacks around at their home too, as someone else mentioned, its just easier to serve everyone the same snack, and often the gluten-free version is very good.

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    I thought the introduction was a bit misleading or perhaps it was me. I interpreted it to ask if gluten-free snacks were a problem for buyers not sellers. I think it could be a problem for buyers (the public) because there is rarely any nutritional value in many of the gluten-free snacks.

    There isn't much nutritional value in the non-gluten-free snacks either!

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    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    This article appeared in the Autumn 2007 edition of Celiac.com's Scott-Free Newsletter.
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    Scott Adams
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    Jefferson Adams
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    Source:

    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 261–269, July 2010

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/16/2013 - As more Americans then ever are looking to either reduce the amount of gluten in their diets or to eliminate it entirely, many nutritionists are saying that cutting gluten carelessly can be unnecessary and unhealthy, while others are pointing out that it is likely a waste of money for those who do not suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
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    Source:
    http://business.time.com/2013/03/13/why-were-wasting-billions-on-gluten-free-food/

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    Bakery On Main started in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Founder Michael Smulders listened when his customers with Celiac Disease would mention the lack of good tasting, gluten-free options available to them. Upon learning this, he believed that nobody should have to suffer due to any kind of food allergy or dietary need. From then on, his mission became creating delicious and fearlessly unique gluten-free products that were clean and great tasting, while still being safe for his Celiac customers!
    Premium ingredients, bakeshop delicious recipes, and happy customers were our inspiration from the beginning— and are still the cornerstones of Bakery On Main today. We are a fiercely ethical company that believes in integrity and feels that happiness and wholesome, great tasting food should be harmonious. We strive for that in everything we bake in our dedicated gluten-free facility that is GFCO Certified and SQF Level 3 Certified. We use only natural, NON-GMO Project Verified ingredients and all of our products are certified Kosher Parve, dairy and casein free, and we have recently introduced certified Organic items as well! 
    Our passion is to bake the very best products while bringing happiness to our customers, each other, and all those we meet!
    We are available during normal business hours at: 1-888-533-8118 EST.
    To learn more about us at: visit our site.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/20/2018 - Currently, the only way to manage celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from the diet. That could be set to change as clinical trials begin in Australia for a new vaccine that aims to switch off the immune response to gluten. 
    The trials are set to begin at Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre. The vaccine is designed to allow people with celiac disease to consume gluten with no adverse effects. A successful vaccine could be the beginning of the end for the gluten-free diet as the only currently viable treatment for celiac disease. That could be a massive breakthrough for people with celiac disease.
    USC’s Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said trial participants would receive an injection of the vaccine twice a week for seven weeks. The trials will be conducted alongside gastroenterologist Dr. James Daveson, who called the vaccine “a very exciting potential new therapy that has been undergoing clinical trials for several years now.”
    Dr. Daveson said the investigational vaccine might potentially restore gluten tolerance to people with celiac disease.The trial is open to adults between the ages of 18 and 70 who have clinically diagnosed celiac disease, and have followed a strict gluten-free diet for at least 12 months. Anyone interested in participating can go to www.joinourtrials.com.
    Read more at the website for Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre.

    Source:
    FoodProcessing.com.au

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/19/2018 - Could baking soda help reduce the inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease? Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University say that a daily dose of baking soda may in fact help reduce inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
    Those scientists recently gathered some of the first evidence to show that cheap, over-the-counter antacids can prompt the spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be helpful in combating inflammatory disease.
    A type of cell called mesothelial cells line our body cavities, like the digestive tract. They have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment, and warn the organs they cover that there is an invader and an immune response is needed.
    The team’s data shows that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda, the stomach makes more acid, which causes mesothelial cells on the outside of the spleen to tell the spleen to go easy on the immune response.  "It's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection," is basically the message, says Dr. Paul O'Connor, renal physiologist in the MCG Department of Physiology at Augusta University and the study's corresponding author.
    That message, which is transmitted with help from a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, seems to encourage the gut to shift against inflammation, say the scientists.
    In patients who drank water with baking soda for two weeks, immune cells called macrophages, shifted from primarily those that promote inflammation, called M1, to those that reduce it, called M2. "The shift from inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile is happening everywhere," O'Connor says. "We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood."
    O'Connor hopes drinking baking soda can one day produce similar results for people with autoimmune disease. "You are not really turning anything off or on, you are just pushing it toward one side by giving an anti-inflammatory stimulus," he says, in this case, away from harmful inflammation. "It's potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease."
    The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
    Read more at: Sciencedaily.com