Why Gluten Free is more expensive – is it justified?
People decide to go gluten free for a few different reasons – originally, gluten free foods were made available for those suffering from celiac disease, or for those who are sensitive to gluten. More recently a lot of people have decide to go gluten free as they enjoy the taste of well-made items that are free of gluten as they become more widely available.
The issues gluten can cause and why gluten free products exist
The reason gluten can be such an issue for some people is because wheat can be incredibly difficult to digest for some, leaving behind gas in the stomach that can make those with sensitivities feel bloated and uncomfortable. Refined wheat also has very little nutritional value and therefore taking this out of our diet is not usually a problem for us health-wise.
Sticking to a gluten free diet can be tricky, and for most of us, cutting bread and cake can be a hard one! Gluten free products allow you to include a little bit of what you enjoy in your diet and also help you feel full throughout the day without the horrible bloated feeling that can come from a sensitivity.
Enjoying gluten free products is made so much easier by the variety now available. With so many people now partaking in a gluten free diet the array of products available is vast, but as you may have noticed they are also more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts.
Why the price hike
The reason why gluten free products come at a cost is mainly down to the necessary steps taken by manufacturers to avoid cross contamination. Premises dedicated to producing gluten free foods have to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, ensuring that their product is purely gluten free. Due to this fact, companies need extra staff and special equipment to allow for these extra procedures to take place.
Gluten free ingredients need to pass stricter standards
Gluten free certificates are also a crucial part of gluten free food production. To be able to be classed as a gluten free product, the product must adhere to the high standards of the following:
- Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Gluten-Free Certification Program (NFCA)
- The International Certification Services (ICS)
- Celiac Sprue Association Seal of Recognition (CSA)
- Gluten-Free Standards Organization (GFSA)
These agencies have such strict guidelines, ensuring a product passes can be costly and time consuming for gluten free producers. Due to the hardships gluten free companies face, its not hard to see why few food manufacturers venture down the route of gluten free, and instead stick to easier, cheaper food products with fewer manufacturing issues.
However, if a manufacturer is serious about providing gluten free products, and adheres to the strict guidelines, they will be more likely to produce a high quality product that you can enjoy, making for great quality ingredients that can be enjoyed in all manner of ways. These manufacturers understand that for those with a wheat allergy, consuming wheat can be debilitating and therefore they take pride in producing their foods. Whilst this does, of course, come at a cost, it’s a price worth paying for good health.
Here at the Gluten Free Bakery, we are careful about both the gluten free ingredients we use and the methods used to make our delicious bakes. We realise that they may carry a slightly higher price than their mass produced counterparts, but you certainly get an end product that’s worth it – both in terms of a sumptuous taste and a less bloated digestive system.