August marked the completion of the gluten-free labeling rule development process. Published in August 2013 by FDA, the final rule put parameters around the voluntary use of the terms “gluten-free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten” and “without gluten” on food labels.
The long-awaited final rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on gluten-free labeling was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 5. This voluntary rule became effective on Sept. 4, with the compliance date set for Aug. 5, 2014.
I recently conducted an online survey, asking gluten-free consumers whether breads, rolls, sweet goods and other baked products on the market today meet their expectations for taste, texture and nutritional quality.
In my first column in February, I highlighted the rapid growth of the gluten-free market and provided an overview of conditions that require a gluten-free diet for treatment, as well as other reasons why consumers may be following it.
Nearly unheard of a decade ago, the gluten-free market has grown exponentially in recent years. According to the Packaged Facts report, “Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the U.S.,” this product group showed a 30% compound annual growth rate between 2006 and 2010, and the category is expected to balloon to more than $5 billion by 2015. These increases are a reflection of the development of new gluten-free products as well as the conversion of existing gluten-containing products to meet consumer demand.