According to research carried out by Bord Bia one in five (20%) Irish people are now shopping for gluten free food regularly, despite only 1% of the Irish population having been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease.
According to the research carried out by Kantar Worldpanel, the gluten free market in Ireland is estimated to be worth some €66 million, experiencing a 36% increase since last year.
Paula Donoghue, Bord Bia’s Consumer Insight Manager said, “Traditionally, gluten free offerings were only available in pharmacies or health food stores, whereas now there is proliferation right across the retail chain. The market has experienced an increase in the number of available products as well as double digit growth in supermarkets. There is a lot of noise around the topic, whether it is from celebrity advocates such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Novak Djokovic, or chefs, nutritionists and bloggers.”
The desire for a healthy lifestyle is the key driver according to the research, with Paula noting, “As a nation, we’re increasingly conscious of our diet with 87% believing we have a healthy diet. Some 78% of Irish people who follow a gluten free diet are not diagnosed as coeliac. Nearly half of these (38%) do not have any intolerance to wheat or sensitivities, but perceive gluten free to be a healthier lifestyle choice.”
Bord Bia delivered the research results at an insight session in Bord Bia’s new research centre, the Thinking House, to over 35 businesses. Presentations by Bord Bia, Kantar Worldpanel and Alternis, a Swiss company, also explored export opportunities in the fast growing market.
They believe a huge opportunity exists for the Irish food industry in the gluten free sector.
For more information, visit www.bordbia.ie