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Growing Frequency Of Food Allergies, Plus Health Concerns, Drive “Free-From” Market

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
There is a growing list of foods and food ingredients that people deem unhealthy or, for some, are actually allergenic. The food industry has responded by marketing packaged food products that are “free from” these ingredients, which include grain (especially wheat), dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, fish, and shellfish. These eight account for 90 percent of allergic reactions to food, which have been on the rise. The CDC says food allergies now affect approximately one in 13 children. The free-from trend has grown into a $190 million market, with sales in the year ending January 24 surging 26.5 percent in the combined conventional and natural channels. Gluten-free, meanwhile, by itself is a $25 billion market. Allergies don’t account for all these sales. Healthy people who buy free-from products account for a sizeable chunk.
Jenna Blumenfeld, "Free-from foods rise to the occasion", New Hope Network, June 06, 2016, © Penton
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