Friday, April 21, 2017

Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Expo Coming to Chicago Area




I am excited to attend the Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly (GF&AF) Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois taking place on April 22-23. The organizer Gluten Free Media Group states that the 8-city Expo “is the biggest gluten free and allergen friendly event in the US”. Gluten-free products are big business, with market researcher Mintel estimating the US market for gluten free foods at $11.6 billion in 2015 according to an October 2016 article in The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/23/13370858/gluten-free-diet-fad-weight-health-expensive-food). An estimated three million Americans have celiac disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rising demand for gluten free foods is coming not just from individuals with celiac disease but from consumers who believe that consuming gluten free products will help them with weight loss, digestive issues, and autism.


 


The GF&AF Expo offers consumers with celiac disease and individuals with food allergies the chance to learn about and try a wide variety of gluten free and allergy friendly products. I look forward to discovering new products and talking with people I have met at other trade shows. One of the scheduled exhibitors is Brazi Bites out of Portland, Oregon who makes Brazilian cheese bread (Pao de Queijo). Another is Biena Foods with their chickpea snacks. I wrote about how Brazi Bites are naturally gluten-free because they are made with tapioca flour, cheese, and yucca root and that Biena chickpea snacks are a better for you option to chips at http://www.virginiaalee.com/2017/02/top-5-food-trends-seen-at-2017-winter.html.


 


In addition to a wide range of snacks, the exhibitors will offer baking products, breads, dairy alternatives, salad dressings, spreads, and yogurt. Udi’s Gluten Free, the number one gluten free food brand in the US, is a presenting sponsor of GF&AF Expo along with sister brand Glutino. In response to growing demand for convenient gluten free products, Udi’s has expanded from its original line of breads to include breakfast sandwiches, granola, and frozen meals. I will be writing a recap of trends seen at GF&AF Expo.


 


The Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Expo will take place at the Schaumburg Convention Center at 1551 Thoreau Drive North, Schaumburg, IL 60173 on April 22 and April 23. More information can be found at http://gfafexpo.com/locations/2017-schaumburg-il/#when-where



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