Gluten-free food products to see demand surge in GCC region; Study

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Trainee Reporter
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Gluten Free Food Products
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India-based global market research and consulting company TechSci Research has revealed that the gluten-free food market in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is expected to expand at a rate of more than 9 percent per year until 2025.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. It’s commonly found in baked goods, baby food, noodles, and ready-to-eat meals. Gluten has no essential nutrients, and it causes harmful conditions such as celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

So, there has been a huge demand for gluten-free food products by the millennial due to the rapidly shifting preferences towards a healthy lifestyle, which will drive GCC gluten-free food products market during the forecast period.

The gluten-free food market in the six GCC countries was valued at around $140 million in 2019, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 45 percent of the total, according to the TechSci study.

According to the study, “GCC gluten-free food products market is categorized into By Product Type (Pasta & Ready Meals, Bakery Product, Baby Food), By Distribution Channel (Hypermarket or Supermarket, Grocery Store, Online & Others (Independent Food Store, Specialty Retailers and so on), By Country (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain) and By Company.”

In terms of product type segmentation, Pasta & Ready Meals segment holds the largest market share because of its large demand and multiple varieties available in the market. The Bakery Product segment has the second-largest market share, while the Baby Food segment has the smallest but fastest-growing market share in the GCC gluten-free food products market.

Shehim Muhammed
Shehim Muhammed
Director
LuLu Hypermarket – Saudi Arabia

“The gluten-free category had major sales for Lulu in the specialty category in the year 2020. We have grown around 40 percent on the same in the year 2020. Especially in the bakery category and grocery, we are seeing more acceptance from customers. In the year 2021, we are expecting more variety products in this category and 20 percent growth is expected in 2021.”

In Saudi Arabia, about 0.64 percent of the population suffers from celiac disease, which is predominantly caused by the consumption of gluten, as per the reports. So, people are becoming more aware of the disease, creating higher demand for gluten-free food products.

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