Why is it that the best gluten-free, vegan, or allergy-friendly products always get discontinued?
As a food allergy mama this can be difficult. I finally find an awesome product that my gluten-free, nut free, dairy-free son actually enjoys, one that doesn’t cause him to react (which is like hunting for a unicorn), and then one day, poof, it’s gone, never to be found again.
Unfortunately, gluten-free products and other allergen-friendly items disappearing from the marketplace is an all too common trend.
“Living through a pandemic has been a huge wake-up call for the world, and it showed all of us how important it is to be prepared,” writes Coral Ward-Barajas, creator of the podcast Gluten Free You and Me, on GlutenFreeLiving.com. “But for those of us with celiac disease, food allergies, or any intolerances, it’s been especially frightening and has often felt like being in survival mode.”
Not only is it hard to find good tasting allergy-friendly foods, but if you really need a certain product, it can be nearly impossible to find a replacement that won’t cause a potentially dangerous reaction.
Steven Lieber, president of The Gluten Free Shoppe in Brooklyn, New York, says many manufacturers make the mistake of looking at how gluten-free sales compare to those of mainstream products. Since not everyone is gluten free, it’s not a good “apples-to-apples” comparison, Lieber says, because if the snack companies dug deeper into the numbers, they’d realize the gluten-free market is a growing and an underserved demographic.
Allied Market Research estimates that the market for gluten-free products, fueled by an increase in the number of people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, will reach $7.5 billion by 2027. According to Statista, a market and consumer data company, by 2032, the gluten-free market is projected to be valued at $14 billion, more than double the 2022 market value.
Despite this, many of my kiddo’s favorites have been killed by their manufacturers in the past couple of years. I literally cry every time one of his go-to products aren’t made anymore—and I’m not alone in feeling this way. Just go on Reddit and you’ll find entire communities of people with Celiac disease bemoaning the loss of their favorite gluten-free products. Here are a few that have gone to the graveyard, mourned by those who depended on them.