Natural Foods Merchandiser


Study Explores Food-Allergy Market
As many as 84 million Americans suffer from food allergies, sensitivities or intolerance, and the amount they spend on foods that cater to their health needs will rise 17 percent this year, according to Packaged Facts. By 2008, sales of food allergy and intolerance products could reach $3.9 billion. The New York-based market research firm looked at four categories: dairy and dairy-alternative products; baked goods, flour and pasta; peanut and tree nut-alternative products; and infant formula and baby food. But Acquisitions Editor Don Montuori noted that less-studied substances, including sweeteners, food coloring and preservatives, also can trigger reactions. ?As more Americans learn to connect their unexplained headaches, rashes and other conditions with the consumption of the substances listed above, food marketers may find that a growing number of consumers are avoiding foods containing these ingredients and seeking alternatives.?

Lactose intolerance keeps an estimated 30 million to 50 million Americans, including as many as 75 percent of African-Americans and 90 percent of Asian-Americans, from effectively digesting the most common milk sugar, according to the National Institutes of Health. The University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research estimates that one in 150 Americans has celiac disease.

What a Friend We Have in Cheeses
A new study shows that Americans are not only eating more cheese and higher-quality cheese but also are increasingly choosing high-quality cheese that is made in this country.

Specialty cheese consumption nearly doubled in the United States between 1994 and 2003, when 815 million pounds of it were snarfed up at a market value of $6.4 billion. Research found more than 350 artisan and farmstead cheesemakers around the country, most of them in California, Wisconsin and the New England states.

Total U.S. cheese consumption grew 15 percent in the last decade to 8.8 billion pounds last year, with a market value of nearly $40 billion. ?Specialty cheese has been a catalyst for industry growth,? said Nancy Fletcher of the California Milk Advisory Board, which sponsored the study. The cheese consumption trends study was conducted by J/D/G Consulting of Delray Beach, Fla.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 11/p. 16

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