So I’ve been doing some research the past few days on the subject of finding gluten-free food on a budget, and I’m back today to share my finding with you.
I found the results of a study that was done by Dalhousie University Medical School that was published by The Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research back in 2008. The study was designed to assess the differences in the cost of gluten-free foods in comparison to their glutenous counterparts.
What the results of the study showed, is basically what we as consumers of gluten-free products already knew. Gluten-free food costs more! Just how much more? According to the study, on average gluten-free foods cost a huge 242% more!!
With the growing demand, there is big money to be made in gluten-free food items. Just how much? By the year 2015, Packaged Facts, a leading publisher of market research in the consumer packaged food and beverage goods and demographic sectors, predicts that the sales of gluten-free foods and beverages with exceed $5 billion in the United States alone!
Hopefully the growing demand and growing availability will help to drive down the price of gluten-free foods, but, that is small consolation right now to families that have to eat gluten-free, with prices of everything from food to gasoline going up and the worth of the dollar going down.
So the question is, Why are gluten-free foods so expensive? Well I don’t think that it is just because the manufacturers think they have us over a barrel. (We need the gluten-free food to live, so we will pay whatever they want to charge.)
I really think the reason is because of all the extra steps they have to take to ensure that the gluten-free product remains gluten-free throughout the whole process.
They have to source the raw materials, mill them in a dedicated gluten-free facility or have all the equipment cleaned extensively before using it for gluten-free foods, they have to test the product for gluten, then they have to package it. All of this takes time, money and manpower, which leads to expense.
So how can we combat this dilemma? There is some light at the end of the tunnel for those of us forced to eat gluten-free. In my search, I found that General Mills Chex Gluten-free Cereals, Kellogg’s Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Cereal and a gluten-free pasta company I have never heard of before, Sam Mills sell their products at about the same price as their glutenous counterparts.
I found some Sam Mills pasta on Amazon for about $2.71 a package. You had to buy a case of 12 and that doesn’t factor in the cost of shipping, but I know that in some instances you can get free shipping on Amazon. So $2.71 sounds a whole lot better than upwards of $5.00 or more per bag for some of the other gluten-free brands.
I also found that Delallo just introduced a Gluten-Free Pasta and if you go here they are offering a 50% discount on their gluten-free pasta. Just enter the code GFSAVE at the checkout.
I was a little concerned about cross-contamination since they make regular glutenous pasta until I read this statement that I pulled right off of their website: ”
“In two varieties for the gluten-free consumer—Corn & Rice and Whole Grain Brown Rice—DeLallo Gluten-Free Pasta boasts a desirable “al dente” texture and flavorful bite. Like all of our pasta, our gluten-free varieties are made in Italy with only the finest raw ingredients. Our mollino and pastificio, mill and pasta maker) are located in one gluten-free facility with no risk of cross-contamination. Crafted with generations of experience and the artisanal methods of Italy’s fine pasta-making tradition, DeLallo created a gluten-free pasta so good, the whole family will indulge.”
The pasta is $4.99 for a 12 oz. bag and they offer elbows, fusilli, orzo, penne, spaghetti and shells. I don’t know if there is a limit or a minimum order but it may be worth a look see.
Hopefully, with all this competition starting up within different companies for the gluten-free market, we can look forward to a future of more reasonably priced gluten-free food products.
Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of http://www.easyglutenfreeliving.com. She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.
While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.