Monday, June 28, 2010

Is This What Gluten-Free Consumers Want?

Natural Products Insider just posted an interesting article, "Special Needs of the Gluten-Free Consumer".  They identify eight things that gluten-free consumers want.  Some are accurate and identify key needs, like cheaper products, clear labels, and certified gluten-free products.  However, based on things I encounter in the gluten-free social media world, some statements seem inaccurate.

"Surprisingly, nutrient awareness was not strong among gluten-free consumers. Some concede a need for more fiber, but most are largely unconcerned about the need for more whole grains in their gluten-free diet."

It seems that gluten-free consumers are indeed very concerned about nutrition.  The article mentions that consumers are looking for convenience items, but what I seem to encounter the most is the request for healthy convenience.

The below statement seems outdated. Perhaps when the interviews began one year ago, this was the case. I think the response would be different today, especially if they utilized social media to conduct the interviews.

"But consumers still want higher quality products. Consumers would love to have moister, more flavorful, softer baked goods. Some gluten-free breads are beginning to satisfy these needs. But consumers concede they would rather not eat bread than eat most gluten-free breads."

Thanks to Udi's and Rudi's, there are now good gluten-free breads in addition to the ones that many bake themselves.  Joan's and Udi's make great bagels. I could continue to name good products. One thing is clear - there are many yummy soft-baked goods.  I would say that gluten-free consumers are looking for nutritious and unique products. Combine that with convenience, great taste, safe manufacturing, and a cheap price, and you may have a hit!

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