Gluten-free product sales are outpacing other category sales in the natural and better-for-you food space, according to speakers at Natural Products Expo West 2023.
In a presentation titled Consumer Trends & Growth Opportunities: What’s Next in Gluten-Free, experts detailed the state of gluten-free products, with several new product opportunities emerging within the category, giving private brands an opportunity to expand their offerings.
“Gluten-free has been a core attribute to the natural and specialty space really for the past couple decades, really leading the way in a lot of the allergen-friendly paths that we’ve seen,” Scott Dicker, market insights director at SPINS.
The market for gluten-free products, defined as products made without wheat proteins, was approximately $2.5 billion in 2010, growing to $5.9 billion in 2021. By 2032, the market is expected to reach roughly $14 billion, signaling strong, continued growth.
When it comes to price increases, gluten-free products are increasing at a lower rate of inflation than other better-for-you categories.
“All products are rising at a higher rate than the labeled gluten-free products,” said Dicker. “In the short-term, this still means that they are more expensive, and we’ve seen some people switching to larger sizes or private brands. But in the long-term impact, the ‘premium’ of gluten-free and some of these other natural products are really shrinking that price gap.”
Outside of the gluten-free staple categories like shelf-stable grains, breads and cereals, gluten-free products are expanding into categories such as alcohol, supplements, pet treats and more, as consumers continue to seek items that promote health and wellness. In several categories, gluten-free products are outpacing their unlabeled counterparts.