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Why do gluten-free food prices fluctuate so much?

If you read my pages on regularly, you might have noticed that I do not include prices on many products that I review. While I’d be happy to list prices for everything if my audience was limited to Atlanta, over 95% of my readers don’t even live in Georgia. About 2% don’t live in the U.S.

There is another reason I don’t like listing prices on my reviews though, besides the fact that most people reading them don’t live anywhere near Atlanta. Prices on gluten-free products fluctuate greatly depending on where they are sold. Atlanta has the largest gluten-free community in the Southeast. The panhandle of Florida might have the smallest. It is common for patients down there to come to Atlanta to see Dr. Cynthia Rudert because many doctors down there don’t know much about celiac disease.

Fewer people eating gluten-free in an area equals much higher prices for gluten-free products there. It’s a matter of supply and demand, like everything else in business. There is gluten-free flour blend that sells for $3.49 at most places in Atlanta. The exact same item sells for $5.89 in several parts of Florida. It’s not a different size – it’s not a different anything. Yet, it’s over $2 more per package because the small stores in Florida can’t sell as much of it as the stores in our area can.

If I lived in a tiny place with limited gluten-free product choices, I would not want to know that I have to pay $5.89 for something that sells for only $3.49 elsewhere. It would annoy me to pay that much more for a product than others have to pay – every time I bought it. Until everyone who should be eating gluten-free knows they should be (and does it), these price fluctuations will continue in the market. There will always be some fluctuation of course, which is understandable. However, some products cost over double elsewhere than they do in Atlanta.

Since everyone can’t move to a major city for the exceptional gluten-free options, we should all do what we can to drive celiac diagnosis rates up. Urge your family members to be tested – even if they are asymptomatic. Family members should be tested every 3-5 years, depending on which celiac expert you’re talking to.

If we all wait around until the NIH plan to educate doctors about celiac disease kicks in – we might be waiting forever. It is up to our community to step up and drive the change needed in the U.S. regarding celiac, gluten intolerance and other food intolerances.

Author Information: Tiffany Janes, Atlanta, GA
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About Tiffany Janes

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Tiffany is known as the gluten-free warrior of Atlanta and is considered the most discriminating gluten-free diner around. She works as a gluten free consultant in the Atlanta area and was recently given a Top Health Blogger award for her gluten-free lifestyle blog. If you have questions for Tiffany please contact her at Tiffany also writes the Gluten-Free Travel Examiner page.

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