If it seems like “gluten free” is the new dieting catchphrase, you’re not imagining it. The vast majority of consumers responding to a new survey by Vitacost.com, Inc., a online retailer of health and wellness products, said they choose to eat gluten-free foods. Close to half of the 1,484 individuals who responded said they follow an exclusively gluten-free diet, while 38% choose “some” gluten-free products. Those who don’t eat gluten-free foods say the products are too expensive.
The nationwide survey asked individuals about their efforts to follow a gluten-free diet and delved into reasons why consumers avoid gluten. Forty percent said they choose gluten-free foods because they tend to have an upset stomach after eating foods containing this protein, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Meanwhile, 31% choose gluten-free foods because they see them as the “healthier” option. Only 13% of those taking the survey said they had celiac disease, a condition diagnosed with a blood test.
“We have seen increased interest in our gluten-free products and conducted this survey to better understand consumer needs and concerns around this specialty diet,” stated David Zucker, Ph.D., Chief Marketing Officer.