For now, it seems we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we didn’t tumble over the edge of the fiscal cliff. But while some investors may still be hemming and hawing over where to allocate funds this year, the market for gluten-free foods and beverages continues to grow faster than expected. According to an August 2012 Packaged Facts report, the U.S. gluten-free market reached $4.2 billion in 2012, had a compound annual growth rate of 28% during the 2008-2012 period and is expected to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017. That’s a lot of gluten-free crackers flying off the shelves.
The bake-it-and-they-will-come theory is clearly working here: the Package Facts report also found that “18% of adults are buying or consuming food products tagged as gluten-free, up from 15% in October 2010…and the share of total shoppers who are buying more gluten-free foods has doubled.” Not surprising, snack and granola bars were the leading category, owning 15% of market sales.
With the product market expanding and consumer demand gobbling them up, publicly traded companies have started to add gluten-free product lines of their own and acquire brands that offer gluten-free products. Starting back in mid-2011, food giants including General Mills, Kellogg's, and Post Foods jumped on the sans-gluten wagon, leaving many of us pleasantly surprised to see mainstream TV commercials that paraded gluten-free cereals.
Meanwhile, The Values Institute at DGWB, a social science research institute in Santa Ana, identified the five top health and wellness trends for 2013. The study, released in late December 2012, placed gluten-free eating in the top five, among meatless mainstreaming, and wellness in the workplace. With numbers and trends like this, it seems the upward trends of the gluten-free product market has some staying power. Might be worth a call to your stockbroker, hmmm?