DALLAS — The gluten-free products market will reach $6.2 billion by 2018, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.

Gluten-free bakery and confectionery products represent 46% of total gluten-free products volume share, followed by gluten-free snacks at 20%.

North America had about 59% share in the global market, according to the report. The highest consumption of gluten-free products in the global market was through conventional sales channels.

Hain Celestial, Inc., General Mills, Inc., Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. and Boulder Brands are some of the top players in the market.

“The most important factor behind buying more gluten-free food products is that they are considered healthier than conventional products,” MarketsandMarkets said. “Other important factors are the growing retail presence and continual improvements in new gluten-free product developments. To tap this opportunity, many gluten-free manufacturers such as Glutino and Pamela’s Products are working on becoming dedicated suppliers of reliable gluten-free foods. Increased diagnosis of celiac disease and other food allergies; increasing awareness of such ailments among patients, health care practitioners, and the general public; wider assortment of product range; and a healthy eating trend are among the factors that stimulate continuing growth in the global gluten-free food market.”

Chain stores are the preferred channel for such products.