Entries in Gluten-Free (2)


Frito-Lay Jumps into Gluten-Free Craze with New Labels

Alicia Hansen/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Junk food giant Frito-Lay is poised to roll out new labeling this week on a host of snacks -- including Lay's, Doritos, Ruffles, Tostitos and Cheetos -- all of which will be promoted as "gluten-free."

The company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, said in a news release from its corporate offices in Plano, Texas, that it has developed a validation program that meets Food and Drug Administration standards of 20 parts per million of gluten.

But some think Frito-Lay's move is a "marketing ploy."

"The majority of their junk food is gluten-free except for a few strange ones like Sun Chips and Pringles," Melanie Montemurno, a 29-year-old architect's assistant who follows a gluten-free diet, said.

Last year, Americans spent $2.64 billion on foods and beverages without gluten, up from $210 million in 2001, according to Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Md.-based market research firm.  The number of food and beverage packages with gluten-free package claims or tags rose from fewer than 1,000 at the end of 2006 to 2,600 by 2010.

Sixty million gluten-free products are consumed in the U.S. each day, according to Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

He said a growing number of people have a type of gluten intolerance called nonceliac gluten sensitivity, which isn't quite as serious as celiac disease -- an autoimmune disorder that destroys the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients from food.  Mounting evidence now suggests the number of people who have nonceliac gluten sensitivity may outnumber those who have full-blown celiac disease.

Frito-Lay said it is working with the Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to educate consumers and health professionals about gluten-free resources and options.

But advertising experts know who the winners will be in the gluten-free craze.

"It's just the perfect storm" for retailers, said Larry D. Woodard, president and CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising and a columnist for  "You've got the retailers needing to increase sales, the marketers to sell more products and government regulation.  "Any time you have all three things, it feeds off itself."

And Frito-Lay is not the only company trying to capitalize on the trend.

Makers of hummus -- a Middle Eastern dip made of chick peas and sesame paste -- are also touting snacks as "gluten-free."

"Obviously, it's never had gluten in it and never would," Woodard said.  "Interesting, we are watching the whole 'no fructose corn syrup' thing.  Peter Pan [peanut butter] has none and could put it in theirs.  The labeling is very big.  People are label shopping."

Dominoes Pizza also tried to capitalize on the trend with a gluten-free crust, but it backfired, according to the New York Daily News.  The North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease charged the company's claims were misleading.  The pizza company had disclaimers, warning the product itself was not recommended for the disease.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Domino’s Offers New Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- The popularity of gluten-free foods has increased over the years, filling supermarket shelves with ingredients such as rice flour and xanthan gum.

Now, instead of whipping up a gluten-free pizza at home or going to a gluten-free restaurant, those with a gluten sensitivity can enjoy a slice of Domino’s pizza that they had once removed from their diet.

The company’s new gluten-free crust is made from rice flour, potato starch, rice starch and olive oil.  Domino’s worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to bring their standards to the company’s employees and kitchens.

“Offering Domino’s Gluten Free Crust is a big step for us, and we wanted to make sure we were doing it right,” Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle said in a statement Monday.

“The prevalence of gluten sensitivity has become a real issue with significant impact on consumer choice, and we want to be a part of the solution,” he said.

Although the crust is gluten-free, the company only recommends that those with a mild gluten allergy enjoy the pizza.  It doesn’t recommend the crust for those with Celiac disease because it can’t fully guarantee the product hasn’t come in contact with gluten.

The pizza costs $12 -- about $3 more than a regular pie.  One slice of a 10-inch pepperoni pie has 170 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 410 milligrams of sodium.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio