The UK’s gluten-free market looks set to be worth the most in Europe over the next five years – valued at £242.719m. However, independent research analyst Datamonitor has predicted that growth will continue to slow.

Despite gluten-free’s profile having been raised by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley, who have been linked to gluten- or wheat-free diets, Datamonitor said it believes there is a risk it will suffer in the same way that low/no-carb products did over the second half of the last decade.

“With a number of consumers also wrongly self-diagnosing themselves as coeliacs, as well as gluten-free being somewhat of a ‘vogue diet’ – therefore susceptible to a rapid decline in popularity among non-coeliacs – it is possible that long-term growth will be negatively impacted,” reported the firm.

“In fact there are already signs that gluten-free may plateau in the future, as we predict growth over the next five years is somewhat less than what we’ve seen for the last five years,” commented consumer analyst Mark Whalley.

Whalley said that firms need to focus on broadening their products’ appeal, and should ensure they communicate the wider benefits of gluten-free foods, rather than relying on what is excluded from products.

These findings come from recent research by Datamonitor – The Future of Gluten-Free: Consumer Insight and Product Opportunities.