May 2, 2011

Gluten-Free is the Next Big Thing in Kosher Food

New York…Crowding Kosher for Passover shelves in supermarkets around the country, gluten-free products where almost as ubiquitous this year as matzah, marror (biter herbs), and macaroons. Due to rising diagnosis of Celiac disease (also referred to as non-tropical sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy), a genetically determined intolerance for gluten, as well as following the growing trend for health conscious foods (gluten free food was recently named in the top 20 restaurant trends of 2011), gluten-free has become an increasingly growing market. Indeed, with an estimated $3 billion in sales this year alone and a predicted $6 billion in sales by 2015, gluten-free boasts a robust 30% compound growth rate over the past 7 years, making gluten-free one of the fastest growing specialty food categories in the world (Source: Packaged Facts – Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the US, 3rd Edition).
With the prohibition of eating leavened grain for eight straight days, Kosher for Passover food makes heavy usage of alternative substances such as potato starch and almond paste, to produce traditionally gluten based products like noodles and cookies. For this reason, individuals with celiac disease are known to stock up on kosher for Passover foods, as kosher-only companies proffer a variety of gluten free products during this time period, much more so than are available year round. Indeed, as one supermarket chain executive told KosherToday, “For Celiac sufferers, regardless of their religious beliefs, the weeks leading up to Passover and immediately following Passover have become a holiday of sorts.” Kedem foods, a large distributor and manufacture of kosher food, as well as the famed producer of Kedem grape juice, recently launched a pro gluten-free foods twitter campaign. To read more and see some new and innovative gluten free products check out their tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/KedemFoods. And, for more information about gluten-free living as well as celiac disease please see http://www.celiaccentral.org.