Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), an independent, third-party gluten-free certification program, certified 9,300 products from more than 800 brands worldwide in 2022, marking a dramatic increase from the previous year. The number of GFCO’s new certifications increased by 7,255 products from 2021 to 2022. This rise underscores unprecedented consumer demand for the most stringent certification possible.
The recognizable GFCO mark has become a standard for consumers by verifying that a product contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of gluten or less, which is twice as strict as FDA standards. The process for certification is rigorous and includes ingredient analysis, plant audits, and frequent off-the-shelf testing to ensure a product meets GFCO’s high standards.
GFCO’s recent round of gluten-free certifications spanned 21 product categories, ranging from food items to personal care products. Flour-based foods continue to be the dominant category, with products that include baking mixes, bread, cereal, granola, and baked goods. Other common categories include pastas; chips, pretzels, snacks, and candy; sauces, dressings, and spreads; meats and meat alternatives; frozen foods including entrees, pizza, and desserts; dairy and dairy alternatives; and personal care items including supplements, nutrition, and skincare products.
“We’re here to protect the consumer and help them make safe choices. As the gluten-free market has expanded, consumers are increasingly savvy. They reward companies that rise to the challenge of a higher standard and are transparent in labeling,” says Jeanne Reid, GIG marketing manager. “Our GFCO mark stands for unmatched reliability for meeting the strictest of gluten-free standards from an independent and credible source.”
GFCO was launched in 2005 by the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group, which has been empowering the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy, and education for nearly five decades. To date, GFCO has certified 60,000+ products worldwide from more than 2,500 brands globally. GFCO also keeps consumers apprised of important safety alerts and current research.
GFCO is exhibiting at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA, March 7-11. In Booth 444, GIG will share details on the advantage brands gain when products are certified by GFCO and answer questions about the certification process. GIG will also present “Consumer Trends & Growth Opportunities: What’s Next in Gluten Free” on Thursday, March 9 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Consumers and food professionals can search the GFCO Product Directory to identify the products and brands that have completed GFCO’s detailed testing and auditing to receive their certification marks.