Gluten-Free-Grocery-Store-AisleWith new gluten-free products hitting the shelves each day, GF eaters are finding it easier and easier to discover new items that they love to munch on. There’s no doubt that this will continue to trend in 2014 and beyond; a survey conducted by the HAIN Corporation found that at least seven out of 10 “health conscious” consumers frequently purchased products labeled gluten-free and at least four in 10 stated they planned on buying more GF products in the coming year.

While the GF lifestyle continues to gain popularity, companies are rushing to capitalize on this untapped market. Grocery stores, whether big box chains or local markets, can expect to be adding quite a bit of merchandise to their shelves. Expect gluten-free sections or aisles to become the norm.

A great consequence of this is that pricing for GF items, which can often be up to 30% higher than similar, gluten-laden items, will come down as production increases. However, because of all the money to be made, it is important to make sure celiacs eat healthy and check labels, and not just pick up any item marked “Gluten-Free”. Just because an item is available for consumption on a GF diet, doesn’t mean that it should be treated as healthier or more nutritional than it’s non-GF counterpart. The influx of overly-processed GF food options is astounding and a quick read of the nutritional facts label will shows that there’s nothing good inside that box of junk food.

Whole, natural, unprocessed foods will always be our friends no matter how we eat. When thinking about healthy eating, it’s important to make wise food choices and not just throw anything with a GF sticker into that shopping cart.