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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gluten- Free: Easy as ABCDE

Readers, have you heard that some people think that eating gluten free is a fad? I have heard this and thanks to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness many restaurateurs and the like will not only hear that this myth is not true, but will learn the ABC's of gluten free. Standouts in the gluten free community are presenting crucial information during the National Restaurant Association expo being held at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois.

U.S. News & World Report estimates that 15 to 25% of consumers look for gluten-free options, as the number of Americans with celiac disease and gluten intolerance is on the rise. Packaged Facts research projects that this segment of the U.S. retail marketplace will continue double-digit growth as it approaches $2.6 billion in 2012, offering tremendous success and profits to those entering this marketplace.
Despite outgrowing other areas of the food industry, the gluten-free marketplace is not keeping up with demand due to perception that the diet is merely trend and that gluten-free initiatives are difficult to implement. 
Gluten-Free: Easy As ABCDE will dispel these myths by presenting a successful system utilized by thriving operations, and explain how to implement a proven 4-part process to confidently provide patrons with safe and delicious gluten-free options, creating a market differentiator that will attract this growing and loyal customer base.

The presenters of the Gluten-Free: Easy as ABCDE Education Session:
  • Nancy Baker, Director of Education, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)
  • Anne Roland Lee MS, RD, Director of Food and Nutritional Services, Schar USA
  • Kay Conley, Executive Chef and Owner, Savory Moment
  • Jim McCurley, Chef, P.F Chang’s China Bistro
  • Doug Radi: Vice-President of Marketing, Rudi’s Gluten-free Bakery
  • Richard J. Coppedge, Jr., CMB, professor, Culinary Institute of America
  • Tom Herndon, Owner and Chef, Hipp Kitchen and Full Fridge
The following is how The National Restaurant Association describes its members:

They're the cornerstones of their communities. At the National Restaurant Association we strive to help every one of our members build customer loyalty, find financial success and provide rewarding careers in foodservice.
Today's restaurant industry is growing rapidly. It employs 12.7 million Americans in 945,000 locations — and 2010 sales are expected to reach $580 billion.
The National Restaurant Association now represents more than 380,000 of those businesses — from restaurants and suppliers to educators and non-profits — and provides each one with the valuable resources needed to stay ahead in a fast-paced industry.
Since 1919 we have been the restaurant industry's leading association and, together with the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, our goal is to lead America's restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve.

I am very excited about this expo and dream of the possibility of many more restaurant doors opening up to those who follow a strict gluten free diet.
Readers, if you'd like to see photos of the expo I encourage you to visit  Kelly of the Celiac Chicks has been reporting from the expo including pictures.  How exciting!

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