1 in 10 people in the UK are now on a gluten-free diet, but why is it so popular, and how can you harness this ever-present trend? Find out, here...
These days, it’s pretty common to hear the refusal of a slice of bread or a bowl of pasta. But why is that? Well, it’s all down to gluten.
Over recent decades, many myths have emerged surrounding gluten. So, with every bloated belly, acne spot, bout of sleepiness, or pounding headache, the blame has been put on gluten. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that so many people are now following the gluten free diet trend.
At the Leisure F&B Expo, we want to open your eyes to the masses of consumer trends that companies need to adhere to to stay ahead of the game. Get your FREE tickets to the show to hear how companies are making the most of changing consumer trends to draw in visitors. In particular, we’ll be talking about the gluten free trend, so stick around for more...
Which Foods Contain Gluten?
Gluten is the binding agent in flour, which you’ll find in baked goods and processed carbohydrates. This prevents baked goods from crumbling too much. It’s also the protein found in natural products, like wheat, barley, and rye. This means it’s present in a number of foods, including:
- Seasoning and spice mixes
- Wheat products
- Barley and malt
- Certain sauces and salad dressings, like soy sauce
- Some types of vegetarian meat alternatives, like vegetable burgers and seitan
- Beers and ales made from barley
- Barley squashes
Some more surprising products that contain gluten are:
- Envelope labels
Why Do People Go Gluten-Free?
Gluten free market trends have plateaued in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that the market isn’t still worth billions. In fact, statistics have shown that, between 2016 and 2019, the gluten-free market was worth £3.48 billion!
20 to 39 year olds are the main consumers of a gluten free diet, and most of these are self-diagnosed individuals. What’s more, 41 percent of world-class athletes have said that they followed a gluten-free diet around half the time. So, the gluten free food trend is definitely worth sticking around for, but why is the gluten trend so popular? Well, it’s down to a number of reasons; health and otherwise...
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition, which affects one percent of the population. It’s an unfortunate disease, which means that your body treats gluten as an infection so, when you consume it, your immune system attacks these substances. Due to this violent reaction, your small intestines become extremely inflamed, which affects your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients it requires from food.
When this reaction occurs, it can cause an array of symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and bloating. In severe cases, it can actually be life-threatening, which is why those with the condition must swear off all gluten.
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a branch of coeliac disease, which affects the skin. The main symptom is that some areas of your skin become covered in watery blisters, which are intensely itchy. Similarly, the best way to stop this from happening is by swearing off of gluten completely.
Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, or NCGS, is one of the most common reasons for people to choose a gluten free diet. This generates similar symptoms to coeliac disease, without the intestinal inflammation which comes with it. With NCGS, the body struggles to break down proteins in gluten.
That said, this is a bit of a controversial choice for going gluten-free, as many people will swear off gluten if they experience some of the more minor symptoms of coeliac disease. In fact, only 1 in 4 of self-diagnosed NCGS sufferers actual have an intolerance (see more in this clinical research article). Nevertheless, because of this, the diet proves to be pretty popular!
A lot of the individuals who choose a gluten-free diet do so for a number of reasons. These include:
- Reducing inflammation and bloating;
- The belief that gluten-free products are healthier;
- Seeking less artificial, and more natural, ingredients;
- Perceived weight loss purposes;
- To improve athletic performance;
- Improving skin conditions;
- And for stabilising your mood, especially with ADHD.
This shows that the hype over gluten free foods is down to the perceived benefits of it. Of course, there are certainly some real benefits to consuming a gluten-free diet, but there are also disadvantages too, including a deficiency of B-vitamins. Either way, the gluten-free trend isn’t stopping any time soon, which makes it a great trend to harness.
The Gluten-Free Trend: is it Here to Stay?
The Leisure F&B Expo’s main focus is to educate you on the potentials of your refreshment offerings. Whether it be keeping up with consumer trends, like the gluten free diet, or introducing you to new products and services, the opportunities are endless.
We’ll be welcoming gluten-free products from exhibitors such as Cawston Press, Colcombe House Ciders, Cottage Delight, Northern Bloc, Yorvale, and so many more! To experience everything we have to offer on 6th & 7th November at the NEC, Birmingham, pick up your FREE tickets now. Don’t miss out on the event of the year, so you can bring more customers through your door by giving them what they WANT.