The gluten-free food industry is exploding due to increased diagnosis of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people, while gluten sensitivity is believed to affect up to 10% of the population. The gluten-free market is one of the fastest growing industries, with 20%+ growth per year with US sales increasing from under $1 billion in 2006 to over $2.5 billion in 2011. With the potential market so large, more and more major corporations are getting into the act.
Smart Balance recently acquired Udi’s Healthy Foods, the industry leader in the gluten-free breads and baked goods category, for $125 million. This follows Smart Balance’s 2011 acquisition of Glutino Foods, which was at the top of the gluten-free snack industry when purchased. With this recent buy, Smart Balance is fast becoming (more…)