Gluten-Free Adventures at Expo West…and an Ode to Bloggers

March 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm 1 comment

Eight years ago, I started the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to make “gluten-free” a household word.  Our goal was to raise awareness of celiac disease so we could have a voice:  increase availability, affordability, safety, tasty and understanding… and eventually fund research.

Well, the market for gluten-free foods has soared.  We are currently a $2.64 billion industry, and the marketplace is expected to double in the next 4 years.  15% of all consumers are looking for gluten-free foods, and at Expo West, gluten-free labels were EVERYWHERE!

Jillian Michaels at Expo West

Yep, that's fitness buff Jillian Michaels!

On the convention floor, I stood in amazement of the rows of gluten-free products. I didn’t know which way to turn. To the right for Rudi’s great gluten-free grilled cheese and chicken sandwiches; to the left to Glutenfreeda’s  fabulous new Pizza Wraps; down another aisle to Kettle Cuisine’s unbelievable Thai Curry Chicken Soup.  Haine Celestial’s booth was piled high with sections of gluten-free products.  I even found a new meal replacement protein drink called Svelte. It was heaven on earth.

Svelte

My new gluten-free find: Svelte!

All three gluten-free presentations were standing room only.  When I stepped down from the podium, people asked questions for a ½ hour.  They even followed me out the door.

At one point in the day, I was speaking with Anne Whalen, editor of Gluten Free Living, and renowned dietitian Shelley Case. We all agreed: Our time has come! We have all dreamt of this day, and it’s finally here.

Of course, this couldn’t have happened without the help of a very dedicated group: the bloggers. Thanks to their daily posts, rapid-fire tweets and enticing recipes, gluten-free has nestled into solid ground online and in stores.

Gluten-Free Bloggers

My "New York Crew" of gluten-free gals!

So, to the blogging community: Thank you for making a difference for all of us. Thank you for being such passionate advocates; we now have a voice!  We can and are bringing about change. Awareness and interest have driven the growth of gluten-free products, making our lives and the lives of others better.

Basically, you all rock! And I especially enjoyed spending time with you over the past couple weeks.

(Stay tuned to Celiac Central: Bits & Bites. These fantastic celiac and gluten-free bloggers will be making an appearance in May!)

-Alice

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I Did It! No Reservations

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. The Healthy Apple  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you, Alice. Such a pleasure meeting you at Expo West and I am truly looking forward to seeing you again soon. Keep up the great work and enjoy your weekend! xo

    Reply

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