By Frank Massong
The term “gluten-free” is an urgent food safety concern to the 1% of the population suffering from celiac disease and the 6% with gluten sensitivity, but it is also a concern for regulators, as evidenced by the number of gluten-related Class 1 and 2 recalls and regulatory initiatives we see.
If your food business seeks to serve this market segment, please remember that making a gluten-free claim falls into a highly regulated and scrutinized product category for consumers with special dietary needs. Failure to consider the sensitivity of the gluten-free market in brand communications and advertising can alienate an important segment of the market, and erode brand credibility and value. Consumers of gluten-free products are very savvy, use social media effectively and can be very critical of manufacturers who fail to deliver on their expectations. They also genuinely seek out recognizable point-of-purchase trademarks on packaging that effectively communicate that due diligence has been applied to the product they are purchasing.