Special Report: Gluten-free enters the mainstream

by Donna Berry
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Siete Family Foods recently launched grain-free tortilla chips made with almond, coconut and cassava flours.
 

Going grain-free

The added-value nutrition is attractive to label-reading consumers and is contributing to the growth in gluten-free claims. Consumers are looking at the whole package, what the entire food provides and lacks at the same time.

In some instances, gluten-free is evolving into grain-free formulating.

Bob's Red Mill paleo baking flour mix
Bob’s Red Mill introduced paleo baking flour mix in early 2017.
 
“A grain-free claim caters to those on paleo and ketogenic diets, and to consumers with allergies or intolerances to all kinds of grain,” Ms. Nielsen said. “There’s a whole new generation of cereals, wraps, snack bars and baking mixes rolling out, where almond flour, coconut flour, other nuts and seeds of all kinds take the place of grains.”

New product launches in North America with a grain-free claim doubled in 2016 from the number in 2014. Bob’s Red Mill, Milwaukie, Ore., introduced paleo baking flour mix in early 2017. Siete Family Foods, Austin, Texas, launched grain-free tortillas and tortilla chips made with almond, coconut and cassava flours.

Simple Mills, Chicago, is another leader in grain-free mixes, crackers and most recently, cookies.

Simple Mills cookies, gluten-free
Simple Mills cookies are made with coconut sugar, coconut oil and a flour blend of almonds, coconuts and tigernuts, a high-fiber prebiotic root vegetable.
 

The company’s new cookies claim to be 25% to 40% less sugar than other cookie brands, another selling point to label-reading consumers. They are made with coconut sugar, coconut oil and a flour blend of almonds, coconuts and tigernuts, a high-fiber prebiotic root vegetable. Each cookie contains 40 calories. Flavors include chocolate chip, cinnamon, double chocolate and toasted pecan. Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers contain a blend of sunflower, flax and chia seeds that have been sprouted for better nutrient absorption. With 3 grams of protein per serving, flavors include original, everything, jalapeño, and garlic and herb.

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