Chicago, IL—A whopping 65% of consumers who have tried gluten-free foods said they did so in part because they thought they were healthier, according to new research from Mintel. Perhaps more interesting are the 27% of consumers who responded that they eat gluten free as part of their efforts to lose weight.

Over one-third of Americans who have tried gluten-free products cited reasons other than a particular sensitivity to gluten. Seven percent went with gluten-free in a bid to combat inflammation, and 4% thought it might help them fight off depression.

“It’s really interesting to see that consumers think gluten-free foods are healthier and can help them lose weight because there’s been no research affirming these beliefs,” said Amanda Topper, food analyst at Mintel in a statement. “The view that these foods and beverages are healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts is a major driver for the market, as interest expands across both gluten-sensitive and health-conscious consumers.”

Sales figures in the gluten-free food and beverage market are predicted to top $10 billion in 2013, according to Mintel. The market has experienced 44% growth from 2011 through 2013.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2013