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Over the past 20 years, there has been an increase in the number of people who suffer from food allergies. The increasing number of individuals with food allergies is one of the top reasons why most people develop specialized diets with preference to clean eating and non-GMO foods.
With consumers suffering from food allergies, more people want access to allergy free foods. In the 2004 passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, all food manufacturers in the United States are required to label their products with ingredients that may contain top allergens such as dairy, soy, gluten, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. This is the reason why you will see these ingredients in the label list in plain language. Thus, if the product contains “soy lecithin,” it should still indicate “Soy” on the package.
Allergy Free Food is on the Rise
Katherine Allmandinger, manager of strategic insight for Nielsen’s health and wellness practice, noted that there is a growth of allergy free foods in the market today. About 46% of consumers say that the allergy free claims of food manufacturers influence their purchase decisions.
In fact, there are two types of consumers who buy allergy free products–the worriers and wonderers. While worriers have medical bases to avoid a particular kind of ingredient due to adverse reactions, this only reflects a low percentage of the actual consumers who want allergy-free foods.
It is essential to take note that average consumers are not necessarily looking for allergy-friendly foods because they suffer from specific allergic reactions. Instead, they look for these foods because they want to cut out on too much dairy or they want to jump in on the bandwagon of eating healthy.
How Food Manufacturers Make Allergy-Free Products
Before the popularity of allergy-free foods, people only ate naturally allergy-free food. For instance, Enjoy Life, a food company in the United States, has been making allergen-free products for over a decade. Their factories were some of the first to have no cross-contamination with other products.
On the other hand, other food manufacturers are developing products that use alternative yet non-allergen ingredients. For instance, snack company Quinn uses sorghum instead of other gluten-containing grains to create their products. They also tested other ancient grains to be able to develop allergy-free products for their customers.
Allergy-Free Foods are a Trendy Niche in the Market
As food allergies continue to rise all over the world, the allergy-free food trend will likely flourish as more and more people want food products that are healthier. In fact, there are many noticeable booths and shops that showcase allergen-free options. Moreover, many food manufacturers are innovating their products so that they are not only healthy but that they also pass the taste test.
Inspired by www.fooddive.com