The Willis Report: Before you buy gluten free products - Fox 2 News Headlines

The Willis Report: Before you buy gluten free products

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network


You can't go anywhere these days without running into gluten-free products. Whether you're at the grocery store or in a restaurant, the gluten-free option is everywhere. Heck, even the Girl Scouts this year are offering gluten-free cookies. The question is do you need to buy them?

Gluten-free, according to the federal government means getting rid of the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. People with severe gluten allergies, a condition called celiac disease, obviously try to stay away from gluten. But those folks make up only one percent of the population. What's going on now is that food manufacturers are promoting these foods to everyone as healthier.

And, it's working. The business of gluten-free products is expected to grow 50 percent in the next few years to $15 billion in sales by 2016. Today's gluten-free products are purchased by 11 percent of customers – more than ten times the number with celiac. At the same time, wheat flour consumption has fallen to a 22-year low, according to the U.S.D.A. So these non-wheat products are popular with loads of health-conscious consumers who believe in its benefits. Experts say as many as 18 million people or 6 percent of the population may have a sensitivity to gluten.

But here's the rub: These products are more expensive than their more common counterparts – way more. Consumer Reports estimates that gluten-free products can cost two to three times more than regular non-gluten free products. What's more, you don't have to pay the premium price to stay away from wheat in some categories. Plenty of foods are naturally gluten-free, like polenta, rice-crackers and nuts.  

Even so, food makers are on the bandwagon. General Mills, whose brands include Bisquick and Pillsbury, has begun reformulating products to remove gluten. It's already reformulated Chex and plans to introduce gluten-free brownies, cookies and cakes next year. Likewise, the grocery store chain, Wegman's, is now the country's largest seller of gluten-free products. New brands , like Udi's and Glutino, are taking advantage of the trend.

Just keep in mind as you shop the supermarket aisles that cheaper options may be available.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • In Gaza, 7 more alleged Israel informants killed

    In Gaza, 7 more alleged Israel informants killed

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:27 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:27:17 GMT
    A Gaza health official says two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli airstrike as fighting continued for a third day after the collapse of Egyptian-led cease-fire talks.
    A witness and Hamas media say that masked gunmen have killed seven suspected informants for Israel near a Gaza City mosque as worshippers were ending midday prayers.
  • Yellen speech awaited for any hint on rate timing

    Yellen speech awaited for any hint on rate timing

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:26 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:26:47 GMT
    Two days after the Federal Reserve revealed an intensifying internal debate over interest rates, Chair Janet Yellen will address the annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with investors seeking any clear...
    Two days after the Federal Reserve revealed an intensifying internal debate over interest rates, Chair Janet Yellen will address the annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with investors seeking any clear hints of...
  • Asia stocks rise, Europe flat ahead of Yellen talk

    Asia stocks rise, Europe flat ahead of Yellen talk

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:04 AM EDT2014-08-22 09:04:18 GMT
    Most Asian stock markets inched higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors...
    Most Asian stock markets pushed higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that added to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. European shares were flat as investors...
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices