Eating out, social gatherings and travel are the Top 3 areas impacted by gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles, according to a survey funded and sponsored by Gluten Free Media Group, Downers Grove, Ill., and Gluten Free Passport, the global food and travel education company.
The study, “Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Lifestyles: Past, Present and Future,” surveyed over 16,000 consumers impacted by celiac/coeliac disease, gluten-free diets and food allergies representing all 50 states and 35-plus countries. The study focuses on quality of life and overall progress and future change pertaining to gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles.
Other key points of the study are as follows:
- Over the past 10 years, taste remains the No. 1 priority for consumers when buying gluten-free and allergy friendly products.
- Over one-half of consumers managing gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles eat out more now in restaurants on a weekly basis than in 2007.
- 3 out of 4 consumers managing gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles prefer the availability of gluten-free menus and/or allergy menu charts when deciding on their restaurant destination.
- Top travel concerns for consumers managing gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles continue to be the availability of special meals and snacks as well as eating out in restaurants.
- Consumers managing gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles continue to be extremely loyal and discerning customers. Providing safe meals the first time equals loyal repeat customers and increased revenues.
- Although progress has been made in public awareness, during the past 10 years, there are still additional areas for improvement across the global community. Increased training for restaurants, foodservice and travel providers as well as wider selection and more food choices are the Top 2 priorities in the next 1–2 years for consumers managing gluten-free and allergy friendly lifestyles.