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The global gluten free food market size was USD 5.25 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 5.72 billion in 2021 to USD 9.99 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.29% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth of 8.89% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to the market’s growth and demand returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Gluten-free food is primarily designed for people who have celiac disease and gluten allergies, as consuming gluten can lead to several damages, such as swelling in the intestine. However, its popularity is significantly rising even among people not suffering from gluten allergies due to the health benefits offered by a gluten-free diet. It is mostly found in baked items, as it gives texture and shape to the products, but the protein offers no nutritional benefit. Hence, consumers are looking to avoid gluten in their diets as it helps in promoting healthy weight loss, improves digestion, and increases energy. Additionally, increasing consumer demand for functional foods and rising product innovation in “free-from” food segments are projected to fuel the gluten-free food market growth over the forecast period.
Rise in Clean Snacking Trends amid COVID-19 to Fuel Market Growth
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably affected the global economy and industries. The socioeconomic situation due to the pandemic led to changes in the food consumption pattern of consumers as well. Restrictions in public mobility and government lockdown forced people to stay at home. This factor led to an increase in snacking trends among consumers. However, their growing health consciousness spiked the demand for guilt-free snacks. Sales of food products with “free-from” claims increased as they replaced meals with snacking options. According to a survey by Mondelez International in 2020, nearly 64% of the consumers in the U.S. preferred consuming snacks as nourishment food while 56% of them seek healthful snacking options. Furthermore, the snacking trend has grown widely popular, especially among the millennials, as they seek for convenient, safe, and nutritionally-enriched products, which positively aids in driving the gluten-free products market.
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Increasing Consumer Inclination Toward “Free-from” Foods to Aid Market Performance
The global “free-from” food category is witnessing a robust increase in demand across the globe. In recent years, the growing consumers’ knowledge about eating healthy has transformed the clean-label and “free-from” categories from niche to mainstream. Consumers turn toward food that helps them manage and maintain their overall health. They seek alternative food and beverage formulations that aid in avoiding food allergies and align with their diets. Manufacturers are also adapting to the shifting consumer preferences by introducing products to cater to the rising demand. For instance, in January 2021, Partake Foods launched a multipurpose baking mix in the United States, free from dairy, gluten, and 8 major allergens. Furthermore, the growing research and technological advances allow the scope of improvement in the “free-from” foods category, which is expected to augment the market growth in the following years.
Rising Incidences of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Intolerance to Spur Product Demand
The global prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance has observed a significant increase, which has propelled the demand for these type of food products. According to a research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal, approximately 1.4% of the global population is diagnosed with celiac disease. Improvement in diagnostic systems and development in medical science have allowed techniques for easier diagnosis of the disease among people from different regions. Since avoiding gluten is currently the only way to avoid gluten allergies and celiac disease, it helps in boosting the demand for gluten-free food. Researchers have found that celiac disease incidence is higher among children and women, with 21 children out of 100,000 and 17 women per 100,000 being detected with celiac disease. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation report 2020, the rate of celiac disease is increasing by 7.5% per year over the last decades. Furthermore, various government initiatives to increase awareness regarding gluten sensitivity and the growing promotion of free from foods among people in developing countries are anticipated to increase market sales.
Growing Consumer Reliability on Convenience Foods to Augment Growth
Consumers’ demonstrating surge in demand for convenience and ready-to-eat meals due to their ease of consumption and preparation has positively impacted the product demand. They seek ready meals that have high nutritional value, are natural, and align with their dietary requirements without compromising the taste and flavor. The most important aspect of consumers’ reliability on this type of food is the ability to help maintain their overall health amidst the fast-paced lifestyle. The rise in the working women population has increased their dependency on such ready-to-cook & eat meals as they save time and offer the required nutrition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the working women population in the country in 2019 increased to 57.4% from 57.1% in 2018. Furthermore, the rise in health on-the-go trend, especially among the millennials, has influenced convenience food manufacturers to come up with premium convenience foods such as deli-style snacks and ready meals inspired by world cuisines. This factor indicates consumers’ willingness to experiment with various foods, which offers ample opportunities for market growth in the forthcoming years.
Higher Price of Products Along with Low Market Penetration to Lead to Sluggish Growth
Though gluten-free products are widely becoming popular, awareness about the product is still low among various developing countries. Along with this, low availability of this type of food, inefficient value chain, and formulation challenges inhibit market performance. Another hurdle in the growth of the gluten-free market is the high price of gluten-free items, such as bread, cookies, and pasta, which are mainly attributed to the complex production techniques of these food products. In price-sensitive economies, such as Malaysia, gluten-free bread loaves range between USD 2.83 to USD 4.25, whereas regular bread costs around USD 1.65 to USD 2.12.
Bakery Segment to Account for the Major Share Owing to its Rising Popularity
Based on type, the market is segmented into baby food, pastas & pizzas, snacks & RTE products, bakery products, and condiments & dressings. Bakery products emerged as the leading segment in the market due to growing popularity. They offered health benefits of gluten-free baked goods such as cookies, pastries, breads, baking mixes, and others. As bakery products are among the staple foods in Europe and North America, their demand has spurred among the gluten-intolerant population and health-conscious people. Further, the growing innovation in the bakery sector in developing economies such as India, China, and others is likely to aid the segment growth.
The gluten-free snacks and ready-to-eat meals segment is witnessing significant traction among consumers due to their convenience and nutritional benefits. Due to the constrained time limit, people turn toward these convenience food as they save food preparation and clean-up time. The introduction of various innovative and attractive foods by companies to suit hectic consumer lifestyles may contribute to drive the segment’s growth in the coming years.
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Convenience Stores to be the Leading Sales Channel due to their Wide Range of Offerings
On the basis of distribution channel, the convenience stores segment accounted for a major share. Retail sales channel offers products of various brands and price ranges for consumers to choose from. Additionally, convenience stores offer most of the essential household and grocery products, which allow the consumers ease of purchase. Further, easier accessibility and presence of numerous convenience stores are likely to propel the segment’s performance.
Supermarkets/hypermarkets are gaining popularity due to their one-stop shopping benefits. These mass merchandisers offer various lucrative schemes to draw consumer's attention such as a discount on product prices, bulk purchasing schemes, and others. Mass merchandisers stock up their shelves with free-from foods and dedicated product aisles, thereby driving the market growth.
North America Gluten free Food Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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North America to Dominate Market Owing to High Awareness of Gluten-free Products
North America accounts for lion’s share in the global marketplace and was valued at USD 2.72 billion in 2020. The comparatively higher awareness about celiac disease among consumers in the region and their growing inclination toward maintaining a healthier diet have positively impacted the regional market. According to Beyond Celiac, a research-driven celiac disease organization’s report in 2020, approximately 1% of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with celiac disease. This factor has influenced people to switch to alternatives of gluten-based foods to avoid gluten-related health complications. As bread is one of the majorly consumed products in the region, consumers are shifting toward baking their bread using gluten-free flours such as amaranth, tapioca, sorghum, and others. Further, the gluten-free bakery category transiting into a mainstream segment and evolving consumers’ sentiments regarding the free-from category are projected to benefit the regional market growth.
Europe accounted for a significant share in the market, attributable to the increase in demand for free-from foods. The U.K., Italy, and Germany have emerged as potential markets for gluten-free products as the consumers seek healthy nutrition. Various food manufacturers are coming up with products such as gluten-free pasta. They are also investing in technologies to mass-produce these products quickly. Further, the fast-paced lifestyle of consumers along with the rise in the meal snacking trend is likely to boost the regional market growth.
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Asia Pacific will witness substantial market growth due to rapid adoption of westernized culture and increasing digitalization trends. An increase in incidences of celiac disease in the region is also a major factor in driving the market growth. India and Australia are among the potential markets in the region due to the rise in health consciousness and awareness about the disease. Furthermore, the growth in the artisanal bakery sector and manufacturers pondering upon delivering innovative and affordable gluten-free food products augment the market growth.
Focus on Innovative Product Development and Launches by Prominent Players to Aid Market Growth
Earlier, the availability of gluten-free food was scarce and could be found only in selective retail stores. However, changing time and increasing demand have nudged the manufacturers to ponder upon product innovations. The consortium of various large and small regional key players results in a fragmented market structure. Kellogg’s Company, Kraft Heinz Company, Conagra Brands, Inc., and others are capitalizing on expanding their product portfolio along with expanding their geographical outreach. For instance, in July 2021, Kellogg’s Company launched a new Coco Pop gluten-free cereal in Australia to address the rising demand for gluten-free cereal among consumers.
An Infographic Representation of Gluten Free Food Market
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The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of its types distribution channels, market size, and growth rate for all possible segments in the market.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, research methodology, and recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the value of the market was at USD 5.25 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 9.99 billion by 2028.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.29% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The bakery products segment is expected to be the leading segment among types in the global market during the forecast period.
Growing incidences of celiac disease and gluten intolerance are expected to propel market growth.
Kelloggs Company, Kraft Heinz Company, and Conagra Brands, Inc. are a few of the key players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share.
The convenience stores segment is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period.
The rising inclination of consumers toward clean snacking is a prominent trend.
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