In 2014, the gluten-free market was worth $2.84 billion and by 2021 it is expected to be worth $4.89 billion.
These figures are staggering but the interesting thing is that only a percentage of this money is spent by people with a gluten intolerance. Only 1% of percent of the population has been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, but up to 30% of consumers are opting for gluten-free foods. Europe leads the way in the gluten-free market but North America is catching up quickly and is expected to lead the way of growth into the future.
People remove gluten from their diet for a variety of reasons and gluten intolerance is only one of the reasons. For example, 39% of people remove gluten to improve their digestive health and 25% do it to lose weight. The evidence that it helps in either of these areas is a bit blurry yet the majority of people cut gluten out of their diet for these reasons. Evidence has shown that gluten-free foods are 242% more expensive than regular products. It really is a big commitment to go gluten-free if you don’t have evidence of a gluten intolerance.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you are removing gluten from your diet you need to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced diet. While gluten itself isn’t very nutritional, the food that contains it can be. Make sure you’re getting everything you need.
I think an important point is to check with your doctor if you have a gluten intolerance because so many people are unsure if they have a gluten intolerance or not. Check out this infographic from Lakeshore Convention Centre for more information and the rising popularity of the gluten-free diet. Hopefully, it will help you make some decisions on whether a gluten-free diet is right for you.