What gluten free consumers want
With the market for gluten free food still growing and currently worth an estimated £835 million per year, we are always keen to talk to companies interested in producing and selling safe, high quality products for this market. The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten free diet, and because it is a condition for life, people diagnosed will be a core customer base for you over many years.
We can help you with information on the market, on legislation and labelling, quality control and gluten testing, and refer you to other agencies for further guidance.
About coeliac disease
Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) is an autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten. When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten their body attacks its own tissue, causing damage to the lining of the gut.
Around 1 in 100 people have coeliac disease, but many other conditions including non-coeliac gluten sensitivity also need a gluten free diet and it is now estimated that at least 10% of UK consumers are following this diet.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Some people with coeliac disease are also sensitive to oats due a protein similar to gluten, called avenin. Oats can sometimes be cross contaminated with gluten during harvesting or production. Gluten free oats exist where special care has been taken to avoid this cross contamination.
Availability of gluten free foods
Many people who follow a gluten free diet source suitable products from the Free From aisles in major supermarkets, as well as other independent stores, health food shops and online outlets. They also look to mainstream foods using allergen labelling and the ingredients list to help them make safe choices.
Many everyday foods are naturally gluten free and these are also vital components for people following a gluten free diet.
Some people who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease can also access some gluten free products on prescription.
Find out more about gluten free products on prescription here.