According to a March 2007 survey by the market research company Mintel, 8 percent of the U.S. population look for gluten-free products when they shop. Nielsen Co., which tracks gluten-free food in U.S. grocery, drug and mass merchandiser stores (excluding Wal-Mart), reports that the gluten-free sector increased 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 14, to $1.75 billion from $1.46 billion a year ago.
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The number of choices also is expanding. In 2007, 700 new gluten-free products were launched in the U.S., up from 214 in 2004, according to Mintel. Consumers of gluten-free products can wander down the aisles of their local health food store — in some cases their local supermarket — and choose from an array of gluten-free pastas, cake mixes, waffles, bagels, pizzas, cookies, baby food, even beer and cosmetics. Mintel projects a 15 percent to 25 percent annual growth rate for gluten-free foods over the next few years.