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07 August 2015

Making gluten-free dough 

Gluten, found in wheat and in 70% of agri-food products, is one of the most eaten proteins in the world. But for some time it has been accused of every ill and has given rise to the gluten-free diet which is winning more and more fans.

Although those suffering from coeliac disease (1% of the population) have to banish gluten from their diet, for many people it’s a question of lifestyle rather than health.

Fans of a healthier life who are not wheat-intolerant maintain that this diet promotes comfortable digestion, better health, weight loss and even improved sporting performance. Placebo effect ? It has not been proved.

Today the gluten-free trend is on the rise in the USA, the world’s leading market:  one American in three has cut gluten out of their diet and Pizza Hut has even launched a range of gluten-free pizzas. In 2013, more than 200 million gluten-free dishes were served.

If big companies are getting in the mix, it is because this market attracts a clientele which is not limited just to those with allergies or intolerances. On average these items sell at five times the price of wheat-based products and the gluten-free market should reach 15 billion dollars by next year, twice what it was in 2011.

With five years of double-digit growth, everyone wants their slice of the cake.  A recent gluten-free fair was attended by a specialist travel agency, wedding caterer and a supplier of gluten-free dog food.

Whether gluten free is a fad or a deep-rooted trend, non-medical clients remain volatile says the head of marketing for a well-known range of dietary products.

This is why big brands, used to importing faddy diets, are now preparing to flood markets with the “stone age diet” or how to eat like a caveman. You can be sure that when it comes to new dietary trends, the big companies are never going to run out of ingredients.