Sunday, March 10, 2013

The PR Niche in Celiac Disease

Over the past few years the gluten free diet has trended more and more. Additionally, the awareness and diagnosis of Celiac Disease has skyrocketed to 1 in every 133 people. With this drastic change in Americans’ eating habits, food manufacturers and restaurants are offering more gluten-free alternatives.

As a Celiac Disease patient myself, I know that people are willing to spend the extra money for gluten-free products to fulfill their taste desires. These products are in such high demand because the media is encouraging the gluten free movement more and more. Since the movement has become so popular, public relations specialists who work with these food manufacturers have strategized and taken advantage of every opportunity to push and sell these products. PR specialists push them not only for Celiac patients, but also for persuading people that weight-loss and overall improved health are benefits from a gluten free diet.  Now, grocery stores have an entire aisle designated to gluten-free products as well as “gf” labels on other gluten free products throughout the store. Name brand manufacturers such as Betty Crocker and General Mills are offering gluten free products. Restaurants have gluten free menus and bakeries have opened solely for gluten free baked goods. Because of all the PR efforts to promote gluten-free diets, people who don’t even have Celiac Disease are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet because of the talking trends in the media. PR specialists have succeeded in spreading the awareness and pushing the benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle because enough people support the concept and are willing to invest in it.

The rise in demand for these products is putting PR specialists at a great advantage to promote new gluten free products. However, the gluten free market is becoming very competitive since there are now multiple gluten-free manufacturers pushing similar products. Yes, people will discover which products they prefer after testing a few themselves, but the key to grabbing their attention in the first place is gaining their trust. Thanks to PR specialists, the credibility and publicity of certain gluten-free manufacturers such as Glutino and Amy’s Kitchen have progressed as profitable companies with satisfied, loyal customers. The increase in popularity for gluten-free products is just one example of how PR specialists find a niche in a certain product or client, and use that niche to make the company’s goals a reality. Have you seen more gluten free alternatives and advertisements over the past few months? Let us know who you think is promoting those gluten free campaigns! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Madeline Barry.

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