Gluten-free foods look poised for continued growth in 2014, according to research conducted on behalf of FreeBird Chicken. Four in ten health conscious respondents (41%) in the United States are planning to buy more gluten-free products this year, with 57% intending to purchase the same amount as they did in 2013. Notably 70%, of those surveyed said they regularly bought products that were labeled gluten-free.
“We found it particularly interesting that gluten intolerance or celiac disease was only a factor among about three in 10 of these gluten-free shoppers,” commented Barb Quijano, vice president of marketing for Oxford, Pennsylvania, USA-headquartered Hain Pure Protein Corporation (HPPC), which sells FreeBird Chicken and Plainville Farms turkey. “About half of the shoppers said they viewed gluten-free as ‘healthier’.”
More than 50% of the consumers in the survey, which was part of the 2014 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Annual Natural & Organic Consumer Study, also stated that they preferred that their gluten-free chicken be antibiotic-free and family farmed.
The FreeBird Chicken assortment of pre-cooked frozen products runs the gamut from gluten-free patties and kid-friendly nuggets to grilled breast strips and popcorn chicken.
All FreeBird chickens are humanely raised on family farms where they are fed a vegetarian diet, completely free of animal byproducts. FreeBird organic chickens are free range and FreeBird antibiotic-free chickens are free to roam inside the barns.
HPPC is a joint venture established by The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and Pegasus Capital Advisors to build a company focused on providing consumers with diversified offerings of natural and organic products across various protein food segments. Its holdings include a minority equity stake in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania-based Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc., one of the most established kosher poultry producers in the United States.