Gluten Free Food Trends Report

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ConAgra Mills® Executive Briefing May 2011 Feeling Good about Gluten-Free: Meeting Celiac Needs for Taste and Nutrition The Gluten-free Specialty Market By Jennifer Wulf, ConAgra Mills® Consumer Insights Abstract With diagnoses of celiac disease on the rise, going gluten-free isn’t just a dietary fad; it’s a genuine lifestyle. Food manufacturers and restaurateurs have responded with a bumper crop of products and dishes formulated expressly to satisfy consumers without gluten. But meeting celiac needs requires being more than just gluten-free. Product developers can now deliver gluten-free with convenience, flavor and the high-quality nutrition that these foods often lack. Read below for more information and research about developing foods for the gluten-free market. What is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder for which there currently is no cure. Celiac disease is currently considered the most under-diagnosed “common” disease in the United States. Diagnosis can be made through a simple blood test, but symptoms are so varied they often mask themselves as other disorders and end up misdiagnosed. An estimated 2.1 million adults are afflicted with celiac disease; approximately 1 in 133 people, an incidence of 0.9% of the total U.S. population. The Celiac Sprue Association estimates only 300,000 adults have been diagnosed as of early 2010. This constitutes approximately 14% of the total number of adults with the disease. This suggests that there are over 1.8 million undiagnosed adults with celiac disease in the United States. Celiac disease causes intestinal problems, which can permanently damage the small intestine, cause inflammation, and damage the intestinal villi. When any gluten is eaten and absorbed into the body, it sets off an immediate immune response, causing the body to attack the small intestine.

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