Gluten Allergy Not Real, But Gluten-Free Industry Profiting In The Billions

Gluten allergy is not real, according to some doctors, but the gluten-free industry profit reaches into the billions anyways.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, being gluten intolerant has become increasingly popular and it’s being marketed as good for everyone.

As of January of this year, 30 percent of American adults stated the wanted to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diet, according to NPD’s Dieting Monitor. An restaurant industry analyst for NPD discusses how the trend has lead to food providers adjusting accordingly:

“The number of U.S. adults who say they are cutting down on or avoiding gluten is too large for restaurant operators to ignore. Restaurant operators and marketers can find opportunities to address consumer needs when it comes to their growing interest in cutting down on or avoiding gluten.”

NPD’s market research division also tracks how consumers use restaurants and the incidence of consumers ordering gluten free is now double what it was four years ago, which totals over 200 million restaurant visits in one year.

Beckee Moreland, director of gluten-free industry initiatives for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), admits there is a large potential for a profit motive in the gluten free industry:

“There’s definitely money to be made in the gluten-free market.”

Already a $4.2 billion market, the sales numbers for gluten free are set to reach $6.6 billion by 2017. And the heavy hitters want their pieces of gluten-free pie too. General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Post have hit the gluten free market with a vengeance, marketing gluten free versions of their products. No longer chained to the health food isle, deglutenized Bisquick, Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles, Rice Krispies, Betty Crocker brownies, and more have hit shelves, and consumer’s pocket books. What is the price difference between regular Betty Crocker brownies and their gluten-free version? Regular rings up at $3.19, whiles it’s gluten-free incarnation is $4.69. Now times that by a million…cha-ching!

While Post has kept the price differences down between versions, it makes no claims that it won’t be upping the prices in the future. Senior brand manager Michael Krishnan chalks it up to the “competitive environment”:

“The pricing sensitivity is less driven around the single benefit of gluten-free and more driven around the competitive environment. I would say the priority has ramped up over the last two years. For us [Pebbles] felt like lower hanging fruit. But I think as we are looking at other opportunities, the priority here has escalated.”

So what do you think, is this whole gluten free things just another way to make a buck?