Oh to flash back 10 years ago.
There was very little awareness about what gluten free diets were (“Do you mean glucose?” or “Well just take the bun off the burger…”). And even less awareness about what celiac disease was let alone gluten intolerance.
Then 2008-2009 hit. The wave of wave of gluten free awareness and products had begun. Pizza places started popping up with gluten free crusts, General Mills introduced gluten-free Chex, my grocery store started carrying more gluten free products, gluten free lunches were available at my daughter’s school….
As the years progressed….gluten free communion wafers were allowed to anyone on a regular basis at church, websites like glutenfreeregistry.com were among the first to seize on a market desperate for information on eating out — safely, then the likes of Jennifer Esposito, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Clinton and more went gluten free, some because of celiac or a gluten sensitivity others likely because it is a trend diet. And THAT’S when the game seemed to change for gluten free products and lifestyle awareness.
Since January 2009, gluten-free has been on the hot trend list every year since. Around the New Year 2013 there was no shortage of articles talking about how gluten free would remain on trend for the new year:
- Mini-Meals, Gluten-Free Eating Highlight 2013 Trends List, FoodBusinessNews.net December 27, 2012
- 2013 Menu Trends– On Restaurants: Barrel-Aged Cocktails, Local Foods, Gluten-Free Diets Top Charts, The Columbus Dispatch, dispatch.com, January 1, 2013
- 7 Hot Health and Fitness Trends That Will Own 2013, DietsInReview.com, January 7, 2013
- Gluten-Free Foods: Will Gluten Free Cuisine be a Big Trend in 2013? Huffington Post Canada, December 31, 2012
- Diet Trends Worth Skipping and Trying, Fox News Latino, December 16, 2012
- EatDrinkShopCook: What Food Trends are Next Up To the Plate in 2013? FairfieldCitizenOnline.com, January 13, 2013
- Top 5 Trends for 2013, JournalNews.com, January 7, 2013
- Report Reveals Explosion of Gluten Free Items on Limited Service Restaurant Menus, foodnavigator-usa.com January 11, 2013
- Locally Grown Movement Still Popular in 2013, leadertelegram.com January 12, 2013
- 9 Health and Food Trends to Expect in 2013, washingtonian.com, January 9, 2012
Benefit: Gluten-Free Goes Techno with Current Gluten Free Information
Back in the very early 2000’s I would sneak a McDonald’s burger and fries for my celiac daughter, into a restaurant my husband and I wanted to go to. A road trip usually ONLY consisted of eating McDonald’s because we didn’t know where to go. Although in early 2002 we were able to use the newly published “Gluten & Wheat Free Guide to Eating Out”, which listed 50 restaurants and their gluten free options. A book that was probably extinct not long after publication because as we all know foods and ingredients change!
Finding gluten free food in a mainstream grocery store was also horribly painful. I remember asking a manager to carry EnerG gluten free pretzels when they first came out. They were a godsend for my daughter but so difficult to find. When I put in the request, I got this look from the manager like I was speaking in tongues. I didn’t see those pretzels at our grocery store for at least 4-5 years.
Oh and I would bring this enormous list with me of gluten-free foods and I bought this book with information on gluten free medicines.
Now, I can find a gluten free restaurant or food product within 5 minutes using the internet. A quick Google search of a product I am looking for usually yields results — sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but at least I can get the info. Using a website like the groundbreaking glutenfreeregistry.com or the app FindMeGlutenFree helps me find out so quickly about gluten-free friendly restaurants and grocery stores. Just a quick search in the app store for apps with the the words gluten free in the title showed more than 40 in the first 100 I perused.
My how times have changed. The technology was coming along before the trend became popular, but in my opinion the trend pushed the technology to move faster and fulfill gluten free needs. This is one area where I thank the trend. I have considered throwing out these extinct books and handouts, but I am wondering if some day they’ll be an antique??
Tomorrow: The Gluten Free Product BOOM!