The number of individuals being diagnosed with coeliac disease and general gluten sensitivity is growing by the day. Furthermore, numerous individuals who haven’t received such a diagnosis actively avoid eating gluten too, feeling it makes them healthier or allows them to avoid certain unsavoury side effects.
Whether or not there are any real health benefits for those without intolerances when avoiding these proteins is still up for debate, and for caterers predominantly a moot point. Instead, what is important is the fact that more and more people are turning to gluten-free foods and in turn those that fail to cater for this trend are going to be missing out.
HOW GLUTEN-FREE FOODS ATTRACT GREATER CUSTOM
On most menus, there will indeed be the odd dish that does not contain gluten. In turn, it is likely that any group can be catered for. However, with very little choice, those avoiding gluten will often struggle to fully enjoy their meals out, and in turn will look for restaurants, cafés or other establishments that offer a range of gluten-free foods instead.
This doesn’t just mean that those offering few or no options for individuals avoiding gluten will lose out on one paying customer. Instead, any party with a coeliac sufferer will head elsewhere, potentially leading an establishment to lose a significant amount of money. As the number of people avoiding these proteins grows, it may not be all that long before the majority of parties heading to a restaurant contain at least one individuals looking for a gluten-free menu, and in turn offering such an alternative menu may actually be vital for a business’s survival in the long term.
You only need to look at the huge range of gluten-free foods now available in supermarkets to understand that this relatively new phenomenon is big business. Such ranges are often so popular that even those without any need to eat these specialist foods will happily buy them simply for the taste.
Being an early adopter of gluten-free foods will also be important. The number of eating establishments and catering firms offering menus that cater to such intolerances are growing all the time and, whilst still relatively limited, it will be these few that attract the most long-term loyalty from coeliac sufferers as well as their friends and family. In turn, being one of the first businesses to offer alternative gluten-free menus may be a great way to encourage huge amounts of future custom, as opposed to simply improving the take on a given day.
For food establishments and caterers alike it has never been easier to find ranges of food to suit all tastes and all dietary needs. With gluten-avoidance on the rise, it will be vital for businesses in the food industry to find suppliers that offer a wide range of gluten-free foods if they want to maximise their potential today, as well as in the future. In the majority of cases, desserts, starters and even certain mains can all be offered as gluten-free without any detriment to taste and in turn you may even find that you don’t have to order in extra food to cater for coeliacs, just the right food.
About the Author – Adam Howes is a freelance writer and blogger. He regularly writes articles about the food service industry, using websites such as www.3663.co.uk to stay up to date with all the latest industry news.