Gluten-free packaging: Labeling and new formats educate and differentiate

by Staff
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San Diego — As the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness estimates 30% of Americans are eliminating or decreasing the amount of gluten in their diet, the gluten-free sections of many supermarkets continue to expand. Larger mainstream manufacturers are joining niche and startup companies to offer a variety of gluten-free products, including baked goods.

Almost as important as what’s not in gluten-free products — namely, the protein in wheat, rye, barley and other similar grains — is what is on a gluten-free package. Labeling is especially important in free-from products, given the fact that consumers on restricted diets want or need to know what they’re eating. In mid-2014, the Food and Drug Administration required that products labeled as gluten-free must be in compliance with federal standards, a move that spurred new and updated labels for gluten-free packages, including labels heralding third-party certification of products.

Beyond information on the label, gluten-free companies are using packaging materials and formats to distinguish their products. Recently, Aleia’s Gluten-Free Products in Branford, Conn., teamed up with the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based design firm Rook to redesign its cookie and other baked goods packages, merchandised in a stand-up brown bag with minimal color and clear, large graphics communicating the gluten-free benefits of the products. Another company trying to signal its free-from profile is The Good Scone Baking Co., San Diego, which offers a line of gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free cake mixes. The Good Scone worked with design firm Elevate Creative in San Diego to create a stand-up pouch that spotlights the health benefits of the mixes.

Meanwhile, gluten-free products and packaging are likely to continue to garner attention and spark innovation. The market research firm Mintel projected the gluten-free market to grow to $15.6 billion by 2016, at current prices.
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READER COMMENTS (1)

By Diane Arzate 7/22/2015 3:48:54 PM
Hello, We are a very small bagel company. We want to start labeling by hand or simple way some of our products that doesn't contain any gluten. We don't want to get in trouble with anybody. Do I need to get a third party to just help us label 3 - 5 products that we have, that in reality doesn't give us that much of a profit? Is it worth to go trough the whole process for only few products, but we still want to label them as a Gluten Free with a sign that this facility use the same equipment for products with gluten? Also, any good recipe for gluten free bagel without xanthan gum? Thank you for your time?