Trend watch: Going gaga for gluten free products

  • News
  • October 7, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Trend watch: Going gaga for gluten free products

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in foods that have wheat, oats, barley, rye or any of their derivatives. It helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together.

However, the pesky proteins have been banished from a lot of diets - for lifestyle choices or health concerns.

For a product to qualify as gluten free, it must not contain no more than three gluten parts per million.

The boom is so intense for gluten free foods that New Zealand’s largest privately owned testing lab, Hill Laboratories, has rolled out a gluten testing service with the fastest turnaround-time in the country.

Lab technologist Sam Marengo says more and more consumers are avoiding the ingredient due to an intolerance or dietary preference.

“As a result of more Kiwis going gluten free, manufacturers and retailers across the country are feeling the pressure to respond with gluten free products,” she says.

“Supermarkets now dedicate whole aisles to gluten free products and more cafes and restaurants offer gluten free food.”

One of these stores adapting to changing consumer tastes is Farro Fresh.

Co-founder Janene Draper says the company has seen both an increase in the demand for gluten free products and an increasing variety of products available.

“In each of our stores we have a dedicated gluten free section which includes flours, cereal and pasta to name a few,” Draper says. 

“Our suppliers are striving to produce delicious gluten free alternatives and there is a great range of tasty options on the market.”

She says a new supplier Farro Fresh has brought on, Made That Way, makes such delicious gluten free treats, you wouldn’t know they were gluten free.

“It is great for people who suffer from gluten intolerance to have a number of options on the market.”

Countdown supermarkets has even gone to the extent of creating its own range of products that are free from gluten.

A quick Google shows that several shops, like the Gluten free Grocer, have also popped up specialising in catering to this demand.

Owner Kim Horsnell says she got on board with the company after witnessing the pain and frustration of family members who had intolerances and allergies.

There’s even such thing as gluten free gift boxes available from Gluten Free Living.

The trend is also taking off in the US, where about a third of American adults are trying to cut gluten out.

Retail sales of gluten free products in the US from 2011 to 2016 (in millions)

Source: Statistica

But the trend hasn’t been without its critics.

People choosing to eat gluten free is both a blessing and a curse to those with coeliac disease.

There are now more gluten free products than ever available for their picking, but some are miffed that those choosing to cut gluten out detract from the seriousness of their health condition.

"The biggest problem I experience is that restaurant servers don't understand the difference between being coeliac and going gluten free as a lifestyle choice," coeliac sufferer Kristen Deschamps told NPR.

"You can see the reaction where they think I'm just trying to lose weight or on a fad diet. I see eye-rolling."

Bangerrito's sign spotted at the Laneway festival earlier this year.

Much to the disappointment of people like Deschamps, judging by the numbers increasing year-by-year, the gluten free trend is here to stay.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Trust the process: Is there still a place for liquor licensing trusts?

Liquor licensing trusts are a unique corner of the retail market, but is the model still relevant in our fast-changing business environment? Sarah Dunn weighs ...

Sponsored content

Recruitment with a fresh frame of mind

Frame Retail is the recruitment agency with an eye for fashion retail.


Kathmandu becomes Australia and New Zealand’s largest B Corp business

  • News
  • September 11, 2019
  • The Register
Kathmandu becomes Australia and New Zealand’s largest B Corp business

Listed outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu has secured B Corp accreditation, making it the largest business of its kind to have done so in Australia and New Zealand.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Chinese ecommerce retailer Aomaijia shows it’s serious about Australasia

  • News
  • September 11, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
 Chinese ecommerce retailer Aomaijia shows it’s serious about Australasia

One of China’s fastest-growing ecommerce businesses, Aomaijia, has launched its first Australasian offices in Sydney. This will enable it to source products from Australia and New Zealand to sell to its 30 million Chinese shoppers.

Read more

Retail giant Nido has launched stage one

  • News
  • September 10, 2019
  • The Register
Retail giant Nido has launched stage one

Currently under construction in Henderson is Nido: A $60 million homegrown furniture and homewares concept store that’s expected to span 27,000 square metres. While the main store is still approximately three months from opening, Nido has launched its commercial furniture interiors division, which is named Nido@work.

Read more

A journey to bricks and mortar: Two years on with Nisa

  • News
  • September 10, 2019
  • Hemma Vara
A journey to bricks and mortar: Two years on with Nisa

We talk to Elisha Watson, founder of social enterprise Nisa, about Nisa’s growth from online to an established store in Wellington. Nisa’s mission is to employ and empower women from refugee backgrounds.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit