The Gluten-Free Agency

1 Purpose. 360 Degrees

Food Trends and Fads for 2013

2013-Food-Trends

Each year we see a summary of food trends and fads, according to the Hartman Group here are the leading concepts for 2012 that will continue to have impact on 2013.

2012 will certainly be remembered as the year we bid a nostalgic farewell to the Twinkie! But there were many other exciting stories and concepts worthy of ink this past year, as well.

Over the past year, our ethnographers have crisscrossed the United States and ventured to distant lands, immersed deeply into consumer culture, to uncover new insights and track the ongoing saga of the ever-changing consumer. Here’s a list of 12 of our favorite concepts compiled from issues of Hartbeat newsletter and mined from our own proprietary qualitative and quantitative research in 2012. Continue Reading…

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Does Vodka Contain Gluten?

Luv Shaq Gluten Free VodkaIt isn’t enough for Shaquille O’Neal to be one of the NBA greats. It doesn’t suffice that he’s dabbled in rap and acting. No, the former Los Angeles Lakers star had to go and start his own brand of vodka.

In what is either a stroke of marketing genius or a sign of devastating hubris, the booze is named “Luv Shaq.” It’s also gluten-free and absent of any sugar. Plus, it’s coconut flavored.

Bottles, which according to the New York Post will be emblazoned with images of a winged O’Neal, are being produced in partnership with Devotion Vodka. The label is set to launch early 2013. Continue Reading…

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Dr. Robert Lustig’s Ideas on Sugar and Obesity in the Wheat Belly Diet

Sugar and Obesity - The Gluten-Free AgencyAs a follow up to my last blog on the Wheat Belly diet, perhaps Dr. Robert Lustig’s ideas on sugar and obesity are really the issue with today’s over consumption habits and obesity.  Wheat as an ingredient in our food may be less of an issue than the Wheat Belly diet makes out, and sugar, in particular fructose sugar, may be the culprit.

In a recent issue of Oprah Magazine, Dr. Lustig demonstrates that 50% of all packaged foods in the US contain added sweeteners. We consume about 3.2 cups of sugar each week, which is equivalent to 27 candy bars. The recommended fix to our diet is to include more fiber and less sugar, keeping in mind that exercise is important too.

Real Food seems to be the answer. Food that comes out of the ground or is from animals. Food that is not processed. The key for reduction in obesity is reducing insulin over-production in the body and to do that you have to put back fiber in the diet and cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugar.. Enjoy the videos – they offer some important insights into what we eat!

Dr. Lustig: Sugar Pandemic Part 1

Dr. Lustig: Sugar Pandemic Part 2

http://youtu.be/nac7Ydoj0Rg

Dr. Lustig: Sugar Pandemic Part 3

http://youtu.be/kzdxeO6LKlc

Dr. Lustig: Sugar Pandemic Q & A

http://youtu.be/Rj8uQUkhEAg

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Shelley Case Responds to Wheat Belly Author’s Gluten-Free Claims

Dietitian Shelley Case Responds to Wheat Belly Author's Gluten-Free ClaimsWith the continued popularity of the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis, it is good to see that dietitian Shelley Case has no issue with responding to his claims and challenging their specificity and scientific support.

Like many popular diet books, it is well written and engaging; but as a health professional, it is hard not to stand back and wonder, given what have you been teaching and recommending all these years to consumers about a balanced diet.

The article is engaging with both professionals having a solid point of view and position. It also brings up the question, if you don’t have celiac disease, why would you want to put yourself through the challenges of eating wheat free? There are risk factors and it is very difficult to eat a balanced diet without the benefit of some grains in your diet. Moderation seems to be the best approach until a solid diagnosis is obtained.

Read the full article

 

 

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Meet the Constant Consumer

Shopping BasketConsumers and retailers are continuing to blur the boundaries between traditional shopping channels; technology has become integrated into consumers’ lives in ways unimagined a few short years ago, so, consequently, the old ways of thinking about path to purchase have to change.

“The days of shopping trips to one store just to fill the pantry are long gone,” says Laurie Demeritt, The Hartman Group’s president and COO. “For today’s consumers, shopping is very much in constant motion; it’s a virtual 24-hour, seven-day-a-week activity. The consumer is now in total control of the shopping process, not the manufacturer or the retailer.” Continue Reading…

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44% of Adults Eat Alone

Swansons 1954 TV DinnerConsumers of all ages are looking for solutions to help feed their families with the tastiest, easiest to prepare and for some, the healthiest foods possible – at the right price.

Data from The Hartman Group reports that 44% of all adult eating happens alone, underscoring the need for more single serve and convenience offerings. While the frozen foods department has typically satisfied these needs, today unit sales in this category are down more than any other department in the supermarket. But that is about to change.

For the gluten-free consumer, frozen food has been a necessary resource as so many of the baked goods now available require freezing to stay fresh. New technology and convenient product offerings will assist this niche target audience that relies so heavily on frozen food items. The enclosed video has some important suggestions on the direction of the category and what the future might hold with respect to new product offerings.

Enjoy the video!

 

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Top 10 Food Trends by Time Magazine

Gluten-Free Food TrendsIt is that time of year when everyone is providing a summary of what people searched most or needed confirmation on to ensure that it was a trend. “Gluten-Free Everything” is the number two trend this year according to Time Magazine.

According to the article author, Josh Ozersky, “Since bread is fattening, and dispensable, and because so many of us are hypochondriacs, gluten-free foods keep surging to ever higher levels of popularity, rivalling artisanal as a marketing shibboleth.” Once again, we are not sure if this trend will go mainstream; but note that it was more popular than King Kale, Molecular Cocktails and Asian Chefs.

Read the article

 

 

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Google Trending List by Country and Category

Google Zeitgeist 2012

It’s that time of year again. Google has updated its Zeitgeist site for 2012, looking at the most popular search trends of the year. The company has been doing this for 12 years.

Google has added some bells and whistles to the site that weren’t available in previous years. There is an interactive map showing search spike locations and times, for example.

Google says it has seen 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages.

Within the link there is a video, and Google reviews the year in under three minutes (video produced by Whirled):

So where does gluten as a term and the gluten-free diet fit within all these searches?

  • Canada was the only country asking “What is Gluten?” in the “What is” search trend.

  • Celiac disease was 9th most popular out of 10 in US for health issues searched.

Review Google’s 2012 Trending Report

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Google Trends and The Search for Gluten-Free Information

Google Trends The Gluten-Free AgencyGoogle Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally.

For those of us interested in marketing gluten-free products, you will find the comparison from 2004 to present very interesting. Also the differences in this subject area of interest from country to country is significantly different. The US over indexes on this search term at 100%, with Canada at only 85%. Europe is very under developed. So it will be interesting to continue to monitor what has oftened been called a fad in North America Enjoy the tool!

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Why Are Gluten-Free Foods So Texturally Different?

Gluten-Free BreadThe attached article although more of a press release for Ingredion, has a great summary about the texture, shelf life and nutrional profiles of gluten-free foods.

If you have ever wondered what the manufacturing challenges are once gluten has been removed from baked goods and its contribution to texture, nutrition, shelf life and an optimized flavour profile, this article  can certainly provide some insights. Enjoy!

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