With nearly one in five U.S. adult consumers now purchasing or consuming products tagged as gluten-free, sales of gluten-free foods and beverages are expected to reach $4.2 billion in 2012, according to a new report from Packaged Facts. The report indicates that the gluten-free category has enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent over the past four year period, and while Packaged Facts expects growth to moderate over the next five years, the market research firm has pegged the segment to reach $6.6 billion in sales by 2017.
The report ties the rise of gluten-free foods and beverages to growing research that links grain-based diets to a variety of health ailments including celiac disease and food allergies. And as consumers increasingly shift toward healthier lifestyles and become more aware of gluten-free offerings, David Sprinkle, the research director at Packaged Facts, states that “the conviction that gluten-free products are generally healthier is the top motivation for purchase of these products.”
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