Why Gluten-Free?

The Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal states that one percent of the United States population have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a long-term digestive disorder that damages the intestinal lining. Celiac disease sufferers cannot eat gluten, which is a protein found in barley, rye and wheat.

More than 3 million people in the U.S. without a diagnosis of celiac disease eat a gluten-free diet on a regular basis. Researchers are not yet clear why those without a celiac diagnosis – referred to as people who avoid gluten (PWAG) – make the effort to eat gluten-free. Some may simply feel better when they reduce their gluten intake, which is a difficult measurement to quantify.

However, what is clear is that the gluten-free label makes a difference in the shelf-stable baking ingredients category. SPINS® data comparing sales in baking mix, ingredients and flour from 2015-2016 confirms that products labeled “gluten-free” are outselling their conventional counterparts.*

Category % Change Labeled Gluten‑Free % Change Total Category
Overall + 5.9 -3.5
Baking Ingredients + 8.4 -2.0
Baking Mixes + 2.8 -4.8
Flours + 4.6 -8.2
Pancake and Waffle Mixes + 2.7 0.2


When looking at the baking category overall, sales were down 3.5 percent from 2015 to 2016. But those products with gluten-free claims actually increased by nearly 6 percent. Gluten-free flours were up nearly 5 percent while the total category had dropped over 8 percent.

Naturally gluten-free baking ingredients such as ancient grain and pulse flours are enjoying some interest among consumers who are health-driven and have the time or enjoy baking in their own kitchens. If you’re looking for ways to help boost your sales, these flours are worth trying. Contact us with questions or for a free sample.

*Source: SPINS® data from natural, specialty and conventional multi-outlet retailers – total U.S. 52 weeks ending 2/19/17 and 2/21/16. “Labeled Gluten-Free” categories included products labeled gluten-free on front, side or back of pack not including ingredient statement. Category as a whole included shelf-stable baking mix, ingredients, and flour.


There’s still time – come meet our new team members at IFT!

Zak Matthews

Zak Matthews

Dave Braun

Dave Braun

Between our plant expansion project and adding new faces to the sales force, Firebird Artisan Mills is growing fast.

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and planning to attend IFT June 25-28, be sure to stop by booth 5070 and meet our newest members of the team, Dave Braun and Zak Matthews. Better yet – avoid the chaos, call Dave (303) 945-6520 or Zak (419) 420-5730 today and make plans to connect.

About our newest teammates:

Dave Braun is a milling industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience with milling and consumer goods. Zak Matthews joins Firebird after gaining valuable expertise in sales, customer experience and logistics with food/ingredients heavy hitters like WhiteWave Foods and ADM.


Industry News

Click the links below for a look at some of the stories we’re watching.

Powerful, protein-packed pulses  Baking Business reviews some of the benefits and applications of pulses.

Lessons from niche marketing  Bakery and Snacks identifies ways to spice up your stagnant marketing plan.

In-store gluten-free bakery gets a boost  Bakery and Snacks showcases how one baking industry veteran filled a much-needed in-store gap.