Mississauga (ON), January 27, 2011 -Massachusetts-based, award-winning premium soup manufacturer Kettle Cuisine is dipping its spoon into the growing Canadian gluten free market and mixing things up with the introduction of five, great tasting strictly gluten free, frozen soup varieties. These hand-prepared soups, will not only appeal to consumers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but to any consumer who is striving to find a high-quality, convenient and all natural soup.
Products for consumers with food intolerances recorded current retail value growth of 4% in 2009, with sales reaching C$157 million. The fact that a growing number of Canadians are suffering from food intolerances is fuelling demand in this area. Gluten free food (compared against lactose-free and diabetic food products) led growth during 2009, with current retail value sales increasing by 9% to reach C$24 million. Gluten free foods will continue to lead growth over a five-year forecast period, with constant retail value sales expected to increase at an annual average rate of 11% to reach C$42 million by 2014.
The growing movement to a gluten free diet is largely due to increasing awareness of celiac disease, an auto immune disease that damages the small intestine when gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and some varieties of oats are consumed. Celiac disease is now recognized as one of the most common and under-diagnosed chronic diseases in the world. In fact, rates of celiac disease have nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries. Nearly one per cent of Canada's population is affected by celiac disease, which is more than 330,000 Canadians.
Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten free diet. Many find this diet complex, expensive and difficult to follow, given the heavy reliance on wheat and wheat-based products in the food supply. A recent national survey revealed that 54 per cent of Canadians with celiac disease admitted to wanting more gluten free foods in supermarkets. Unfortunately, a staggering 83 per cent of those surveyed reported having difficulty finding gluten free foods, especially gluten free foods of good quality (85 per cent).
"It is clear by the growth in the gluten free market that a great number of people are subscribing to a gluten free diet either out of necessity or preference," says Sue Mah, a Toronto-based registered dietitian. "However, following a gluten free diet can be a challenge for consumers, as it can be difficult to identify hidden sources of gluten contained in a product and occasionally the quality and taste of gluten free products are not on par with those containing gluten. Kettle Cuisine soups make customers feel good as they offer them a high quality, great tasting, convenient meal option that is prepared with strict cooking procedures so that all soups are safe to eat for those with gluten allergies and intolerances."
In soup, gluten is found in most pastas and noodles, however, gluten is also often found in the form of wheat flour roux's which are used to thicken soups. Gluten also hides in many processed ingredients, so by using only top quality raw ingredients including naturally raised chicken and beef Kettle Cuisine has greater control over product integrity and safety. In addition, each batch is cooked under gluten free conditions and is certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) to ensure that the product is gluten free. Given the company's commitment to producing a premium quality, great tasting product, Kettle Cuisine soups will be a welcome addition to every Canadian grocer and household freezer.
Jerry Shafir, Kettle Cuisine's president and founder, first became aware of the gluten free diet 20 years ago, after his daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. This line of soups was inspired by a strong desire to deliver great tasting, real prepared food options to the gluten free community. The intent was to include a number of varieties that are difficult to make gluten free so that the soups could be enjoyed by everyone.
The soups - Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans, Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles, New England Clam Chowder, Three Bean Chili and Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables - can be heated on a stovetop or microwaved for added convenience. The average retail price per unit is $4.99. The soups are served in 10oz recyclable bowls and are typically merchandised in the natural frozen food section of stores.
ABOUT KETTLE CUISINE: Kettle Cuisine is at the forefront of a growing demand for exceptional tasting real food that satisfies everyday wellness lifestyles. The company has served some of the most discerning chefs in the foodservice industry with more than 50 varieties of soups, stews, chilis, and chowders since 1986; today, they proudly deliver these soups directly to consumers in fully prepared, frozen, single serving bowls. By always using the finest quality natural food ingredients and classical artisan cooking techniques, Kettle Cuisine consistently delivers top-quality soups with no artificial ingredients. Visit www.kettlecuisine.com for additional information.
ABOUT SUE MAH, REGISTERED DIETITIAN: Sue is a nutrition consultant to the health and wellness industry, and one of Canada's leading media dietitians. As a nutrition trends expert, Sue is well versed on the topic of gluten free eating, and translates the science of nutrition into practical, sensible advice for consumers.
For further information on Kettle Cuisine, to request a product sample, image or to schedule an interview with Registered Dietitian Sue Mah or a company spokesperson, please contact Katarina Markovinovic (firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-206-0577 ext.251) or Katherine Heydon (email@example.com or 905-206-0577 ext.243)
Euromonitor - Health and Wellness in Canada - May 2010
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