Celiac.com 04/17/2013 - As the market for gluten-free foods and products continues to grow, more and more non-food products are being formulated without gluten. Soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics are just a few products that are now touting their lack of gluten.
That list now now appears to include children's toys. Take Hasbro's clay-like product, Play-Doh, for example. Wheat flour is a major ingredient in Play-Doh, and in several other similar products.
Hasbro has been slow to launch a gluten-free version of Play-Doh, and that has led to a scramble to fill the void left by the elimination of gluten-containing products.
A number of companies have stepped up to offer hypo-allergenic alternatives. One such company, Soy-Yer Dough, makes a gluten-free product intended to replace Play-Doh. Last year, the company says it sold 50,000 containers of Soy-Yer Dough. That's 25 to 40 times what the company sold when it first began five years ago.
Another company, Great White Bottling, also makes a Play-Doh-like product, called Gluten-Free Wonder Dough. That company says that sales have increased 67% in 2012, with the majority of orders coming from schools and day-care centers. In fact, the gluten-free version of Wonder Dough was so popular, the company has stopped making the original version, which contained wheat flour.
Yet another gluten-free version off sculpting clay is Max’s Mud, a gluten-free sculpting dough sold at Whole Foods and independent toy stores in the Pacific Northwest. Max's Mud is the first crafts product certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group, an organization that certifies gluten-free products.
Other children's arts and crafts products that are now appearing without gluten include finger paints and stickers.
With the market for gluten-free foods alone growing 18% from 2011 to hit $12 billion in 2012, it's not surprising that non-food and children's toy products are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon. Look for more companies to offer gluten-free formulations of familiar children's products as the gluten-free market continues to grow.