The global market for foods developed for those with food allergies and intolerances is expected to grow to more than $26.5bn over the next five years, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA).
In its new report, “Food Allergy and Intolerance Products: A Global Strategic Business Report”, the market researcher said the growth in demand for these products has been driven by an increasing number of food allergies and sensitivities, particularly in the United States, where the incidence of food allergy is estimated to have grown by about 18.5% over the past decade.
“Additionally growth in the marketplace is also expected to stem from the increasing preference for wheat-free and gluten-free diets, advancements in diagnosis of allergies, improved labeling regulations, and also through the launch of innovative and appetizing products,” it said.
The report highlights lactose-free products as one area of particular growth, as about 35m to 50m Americans are thought to be lactose intolerant. Large portions of the African American and Native American populations cannot tolerate lactose, but the highest prevalence is in the Asian American population, in which as many as nine in ten are lactose intolerant.
“The huge rise in demand for lactose-free products has led several companies to focus on formulation of dairy-free products, through modification of the processing techniques and dosages,” GIA said.
Apart from the growing market for lactose-free products, the researcher said that the US marketplace has become flooded with gluten-free foods, and manufacturers have made strides to improve their taste and texture.
“The quality and taste of gluten-free products has improved drastically over the years, taking away from the dry crumbly cardboard textured rice bread and rice cakes available then. Consumers now have a variety of options to choose in the baked products category, including baking mixes, ready-to-eat, or flours and starches. Today, the market is flooded with an assortment of gluten-free bakery products, such as breads, bagels, muffins, entrees, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, baking mixes, pastas, pizza, side dishes, cereals, snack foods, and soups.”