NPD sheds light on gluten-freeGlobal information company NPD Group report one in four US consumers believe gluten-free is good for everyone, though the high cost and taste of gluten-free products outweigh these potential health benefits.

The finding is a result of a recent NPD’s study “Understanding the Gluten-Free Trend.”

According to the report, 11 percent of America’s households follow a gluten-free diet. However, only 25 percent of those who follow this diet say celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is the main reason for their decision. Other respondents who choose a gluten-free lifestyle said they do so for digestive health and to eliminate toxins from the body.

But consumers on a gluten-free lifestyle said poor taste and expensive products were reasons they have chosen to not purchase a gluten-free product.

“There is clearly a segment of the population who avoids gluten for reasons other than gluten sensitivity or disease, providing a greater opportunity for food manufacturers and retailers,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Food marketers should pay close to attention to all of the reasons for a gluten-free diet and connect the reasons with appropriate messages in order to better target your audiences.”