TORONTO -- As awareness of celiac disease continues to increase, the demand for gluten-free foods is expected to dramatically rise, according to a new report released by The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and the Allergen Control Group (ACG). The 2016 Gluten-Free Stakeholder Update & Planning Session Report contains key findings, observations and future plans, as discussed by stakeholders from across the food value chain during a two-day session last September.
Also read, Cheerios Goes Gluten-free.
The aim of the session and subsequent report is to continue the advancement of safe and reliable gluten-free foods for the consumer marketplace as demand continues to grow. Though one per cent of Americans are thought to have celiac disease, nearly 83 per cent go undiagnosed.¹ It is expected methods of accurate diagnosis will increase and, combined with increasing awareness spurred by marketing and activist consumer groups, will create new avenues of growth in the market.
Further observations include:
The report further discusses options designed to strengthen the entire gluten-free food value chain. Stakeholders brainstormed possibilities and identified three key initiatives:
Stakeholders will participate in working groups to lead each of these initiatives and will develop and submit a proposal for funding to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for consideration.
"Updates to labeling regulations and food production techniques have significantly improved the variety of food available for someone with a medical need for gluten-free food, but there are still too many products where the gluten status is not clear," says Anne Wraggett, president of the CCA. "Manufacturers need better tools and cleaner source grains in order to produce these safe foods, and we are pleased to work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Allergen Control Group to fill the knowledge gaps."
The 2016 Gluten-Free Stakeholder Update & Planning Session was led and facilitated by the CCA, ACG and Agri-Food Canada. Key stakeholders included consumers, food service and retailers, processors, laboratories, test kit manufacturers, auditors, grain and pulse producers, and government regulatory bodies. For a full copy of the final report, please click HERE.
"Since our first Stakeholder Session back in 2010, we have all worked hard to ensure the value of the gluten-free food market is recognized through proactive initiatives, such as the establishment of the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP)," says Paul Valder, president and CEO at ACG. "The formation of the GFCP has resulted in strict adherence to food management programs by participants, and significantly built consumer trust. But this is only the beginning. By continuing to share challenges, lessons learned and successes, ACG and our fellow stakeholders will continue to strengthen and expand safe, trustworthy options for all within the value chain."
SOURCE Allergen Control Group Inc.
News & Updates
Stay informed with the latest news around foodservice, agriculture and other related food news.