More People Requesting Gluten-Free Products - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

More People Requesting Gluten-Free Products

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More people are experimenting with a gluten-free diet these days; the result is that gluten-free products have become a multi-billion dollar business. Fewer than 10% of people in America are diagnosed as gluten intolerant but many more people say they're trying to cut back on wheat, barley and rye, which contain gluten.

We visited Smith's Grocery Store in southwest Reno to see what this trend is all about. Assistant Manager Asbel Carcache told us they recently remodeled the store, and put gluten-free products in one aisle. "We specifically mark the area of the store with specific tags to show it's a gluten- free item. We have a variety from cake mixes, to special needs cooking, to pasta here on the bottom," he said.

Carcache says many customers are asking for gluten-free products. "Most people are asking for pastas or cookies or anything specific that is gluten-free for their health needs," said Carcache.

People buy gluten-free food for many reasons. Lisa McCamant, was shopping for gluten-free gravy mix. "I shop gluten-free because of inflammation in my body," she said. "I was told if I stopped eating wheat, it would help with the inflammation."

Whether medically necessary or not, food analysts say the market for gluten-free products is growing rapidly and has become a multi-billion dollar business and they expect it to continue expanding.

Grocery stores like Smith's say they're responding to customer demand. "That's what we're trying to do, make it more convenient for the customer to just stop here for their needs or if it's one person in their family that needs it. Be able to get it for them here as well as the rest of the family in one stop," said Carcache.

Customers like Lisa McCamant say they appreciate the store's response. "It makes my life easier," she explained.

One sign that gluten-free products are becoming more common: the Girl Scouts are testing a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie in select cities this year.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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