Limiting or Avoiding Gluten Consumption Reaches New High

Filed under: Bites & Bits , Author: Caron Golden , April 4, 2013

About a third of U.S. adults say they want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets, the highest percentage making this claim since The NPD Group, a leading global information company, began asking the question in 2009. NPD’s Dieting Monitor reports that 30% of adults—or roughly one in every three—claimed to cut down on or avoid gluten completely in January 2013.

This apple/cranberry cobbler created by Chef Rocco DiSpirito is completely gluten free. The naturally sweet fruit pairs perfectly with a golden-brown biscuit topping made with Udi's Gluten Free blueberry muffins. This and additional recipes are available at www.udisglutenfree.com.

This apple/cranberry cobbler created by Chef Rocco DiSpirito is completely gluten free. The naturally sweet fruit pairs perfectly with a golden-brown biscuit topping made with Udi’s Gluten Free blueberry muffins. This and additional recipes are available at www.udisglutenfree.com.

“For as long as NPD has been tracking the eating habits of Americans, which is since 1976, they have been expressing a desire to eat healthier foods and beverages,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst. “It’s not that we want health and wellness more, but that we are constantly changing how we address health and wellness. A generation ago health was about avoiding fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium in our diet. While those desires still exist for many, they no longer are growing concerns. Today, increasingly more of us want to avoid gluten in our diet, and right now it is nearly 30% of the adult population … and it’s growing. This is the health issue of the day.”

Balzer points out that as recently as 2011, it appeared that this “health” trend might have run its course, but then more Americans started to say they would like to cut back or avoid gluten in their diets. With the latest information collected from NPD’s Dieting Monitor, a greater portion of the adult population is interested in cutting back on or avoiding gluten in their diets than ever before reported.

Interest in gluten-free menu items at restaurants is also growing. In NPD’s CREST® foodservice market research, which tracks daily how consumers use restaurants, consumers are asked if they ordered something off the menu that was listed as high protein, whole grain, sugar free or described in another way. The incidence of consumers ordering food described on the menu as gluten free or wheat free has grown over time and is now more than double what it was four years ago—accounting for more than 200 million restaurant visits in the past year.

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Caron Golden

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Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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