Joe Bogue and Douglas Sorenson, Department of Food Business and Development, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
The Science of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages
Consumer demand for gluten-free cereal products and beverages is rising steadily with the increase in coeliac disease and other allergic reactions to gluten from wheat-, rye-, or barley-based foods. These products represent a growing market opportunity within the global health and wellness market for food manufacturers that develop consumer-led new products that gain consumer acceptance. This chapter examines the marketing of gluten-free cereal products and beverages and highlights some of the strategic issues relevant to the successful marketing of such products. The increasingly competitive nature of the health and wellness market highlights the importance of involving the consumer in the development and strategic marketing of gluten-free products and beverages. The gluten-free market should be viewed more as a long-term strategy for future growth in the health and wellness market and less as a short-term strategy for high profitability, owing to the niche nature of the gluten-free market presently. The target market for gluten-free cereal products and beverages will expand in the future to include not just coeliacs, but also those who desire products without allergens or other ingredients that may negatively influence their health. The identification of key extrinsic (marketing) and intrinsic (sensory) product attributes that influence consumer acceptance will need to be identified and incorporated into the development of new gluten-free foods. The development and marketing of gluten-free cereal products and beverages will therefore need to change in the future to reflect changing consumer lifestyles, and ensure that they are designed with the consumer in mind.