Gluten-Free Menu Options Are Here to Stay
Today’s consumers are more engaged with what they eat, from sustainability to a restaurant’s values to what goes into the food. One of the more talked about “trends” in the foodservice industry in recent years is gluten. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in cereal grains, particularly wheat, that gives dough its elasticity. People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance may experience illness when they consume gluten.
Approximately 1 percent of the population has celiac disease while 6 percent are classified as gluten intolerant. While the numbers of people with a medical necessity to avoid gluten is low, the number of people following a gluten-free diet is quite high. In fact, one recent estimate says that the gluten-free business could reach over $6 billion by 2017. With such a booming industry, it’s easy to see why the National Restaurant Association reported that more than three-quarters of chefs they surveyed in 2014 indicated they planned to do more in the gluten-free niche.
The gluten-free explosion goes beyond packaged foods. Restaurants are working harder to craft new, high-scale items such as gluten-free pasta made from buckwheat or chickpeas, and they are doing more to swap out wheat flour with “supergrains” such as quinoa.
Over 43,000 restaurants in CHD Expert’s Easy2FIND foodservice database offer gluten-free options. Of these, 81% are classified as Limited Service Restaurants.
Some chain restaurants that offer gluten-free menus or menu options include Applebee’s, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday, Red Robin, Uno’s Chicago Grill, Olive Garden, Chipotle, Outback Steakhouse, and Subway.
Much like these restaurants, “gluten” has become a household name.
Are you interested in learning more about restaurants with gluten-free options in the United States?
CHD Expert is an industry leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing foodservice data. We have all kinds of foodservice data available, including gluten-free menu options, and our database features 40+ filters you can use to segment data.
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