Canadian retailer Loblaw has launched a line of gluten-free Private Brand baked goods in its iconic brand Presidents Choice. An estimated 1% of the population suffers from Celiac disease and cannot process gluten, leading to intestinal damage and symptoms such as pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
But it seems many more people are trying to go without gluten, an ingredient found in wheat, barley and rye, because they believe they might have sensitivity to it.
The market for gluten-free foods and beverages has skyrocketed in recent years and will reach an estimated US$4.2-billion in 2012, according to an August report from market research firm Packaged Facts.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 28% between 2008 and 2012, the firm said 18% of adults are buying or eating food labeled gluten-free, up from 15% in October 2010. Snack and granola bars account for 15% of mass-market sales.
The President’ Choice line includes brownies, cakes, muffins, cookies and bread. Loblaw will begin adding PC grocery items to the category, in addition to the baked goods.