Why Is Gluten Free Flour So Expensive?

A product’s price is determined by supply and demand. The market for gluten-free dietary goods is modest in comparison to “regular grain products containing gluten produced for the general community.” The complicated method of production is mostly to blame for these products’ greater price. In 2008, the Codex Alimentarius Commission established a new cutoff point for gluten-free products. Accordingly, the maximum amount that such items may contain is 20 ppm (parts per million), or 20 mg/kg. For food delivery, manufacture, and packing, these statutory gluten threshold values necessitate highly stringent monitoring and special safety precautions. Only such stringent quality control procedures can ensure excellent product safety. Primary ingredients and produced goods are continually inspected and tested for the presence of various allergies, including gluten. Modern technologies and full automation are used to produce consistently excellent gluten-free cuisine. In addition to being more expensive than wheat, rice and corn are the main ingredients that are typically utilized in gluten-free meals in place of wheat.

Why does gluten-free flour cost more money?

The fact that cross-contamination is always a possibility is one of the factors contributing to the higher cost of gluten-free goods. Therefore, bakers who make items with the designation “gluten-free” are required to pay to have the facilities regularly deep cleaned. Additionally, they need to produce their goods in a setting that adheres to the highest standards. Additionally, it is advisable to test each batch for allergies. Foods that are gluten-free cost more than conventional foods because they require more staffing, specialized equipment, and extra stages.

Does gluten-free flour cost a lot?

In recent weeks, I’ve examined in depth how the US and other nations have put in place various structures—from tax deductions to stipends—to help offset the financial premium frequently paid for gluten-free meals, including a fictitious example for the typical American household.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the premium is most noticeable with speciality items, especially baked goods made without gluten. So this week, I’m just slightly changing gears and approaching the gluten-free premium query from a new perspective: How does the price of gluten-free baked goods vary depending on whether you buy store-bought versions or make them from scratch at home? Our instinct has long told us that cooking food from scratch at home is less expensive, but is this really the case? It was time to perform some calculations. Analysis Techniques I had to first choose which dishes to compare. Sandwich bread, chocolate chip cookies, pizza crust, frozen waffles, bagels, pancakes, brownies, yellow cake, and frozen pizza were some of the potential items that Kelli and I brainstormed. In the end, I made the decision to concentrate the investigation on three typical things you could commonly buy at the store: sandwich bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza crust.

Prices for store-bought versions of the foods were generally provided by the businesses themselves (such as Pamela’s, Udi’s, etc.), and they appeared to be in line with what we’ve paid for similar goods in NY and CO.

I utilized the recipes from the second edition of our cookbook Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, which also includes our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend, to make the items from scratch.

Last but not least, I consulted a variety of sources to figure out how much the ingredients for our dishes would cost. Values for basic goods like milk, butter, and sugar were derived from averages of the national consumer price index provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Prices for additional ingredients were obtained from Walmart, ShopRite, Bob’s Red Mill, among a few other places.

Blended flours I did the math and discovered that our Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend costs, on average, $2.27 per pound. The majority of all-purpose gluten-free flour blends were much more expensive, with the exception of Bob’s Red Mill’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour, which came in at a relatively comparable $2.29 per pound. Prices per pound for Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend, King Arthur’s gluten-free blend, Better Batter, and Cup 4 Cup ranged from $4.13 to $6.67, which is around double to triple the price of our flour blend made from scratch.

Pizza, bread, and cookies—oh my! When we shifted our attention from the flour blend to the actual items, the narrative remained largely same.

It costs $3.32 to produce a full-size loaf of our sandwich bread. Compared to this, a loaf of gluten-free bread from a store like Udi’s or Rudi’s usually costs $5 to $6.

Our chocolate chip cookies cost $6.39 to produce, and one batch makes 36+ cookies of average size. Comparatively, a box of just nine Pamela’s chocolate chunk cookies costs around $4, so it would cost you about $16 to buy the same number of cookies that our from-scratch recipe yields, or nearly 150% more. Lastly, it only costs $1.52 to prepare one of our 12-inch thin crust pizzas. A smaller 9-inch Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust costs roughly $2.50 in comparison. You receive a smaller pizza crust for a $1 extra (66% more than the cost of our recipe’s foundation ingredient).

Conclusions As with any average-based examination of prices, there is potential for substantial variation. In different sections of the country, the cost of ingredients and gluten-free items from stores will vary. Your choice of ingredients’ quality will affect costs as well. Do you buy store brands of chocolate or expensive chocolate? conventional eggs, cage-free eggs, free-range eggs, or eggs from pastures?

Additionally, cooking from scratch takes time. The convenience of prepared gluten-free foods from the grocery may outweigh the extra cost for some people.

However, the statistics are convincing if you want to cut down on your spending on gluten-free baked goods: go in the kitchen and start baking from scratch!

P.S. I have a thorough Excel spreadsheet if anyone is interested in the specifics of the computations and numbers, but it contains far too much information for this blog post.

Why is flour made without gluten better for you?

About the alleged health advantages of a gluten-free diet, we have all heard both the myths and some realities. And while many people may find it difficult to entirely wipe out gluten from their diets, it is possible to reduce your gluten consumption without sacrificing your ability to meet your nutritional needs. To do this, using gluten-free flour is the best option.

Prevent Allergies

Even though not everyone is allergic to gluten, many people do experience adverse reactions to this protein. And it’s difficult to know if you belong to that group. So why not err on the side of caution and minimize your exposure to gluten?

Beneficial for Digestive Health

Some of the most popular options for gluten-free flour are millets like jowar, bajra, and ragi. These not only provide your daily diet more diversity, but they are also very light and simple to digest.

Neither bloating nor diarrhea is present.

The oligosaccharides found in gluten-containing grains including wheat, rye, and barley are quickly fermented by gut bacteria. No oligosaccharides, no fermentation, no bloating, cramping, or diarrhea are associated with gluten-free flour.

aids in the treatment of chronic gastrointestinal disorders

It makes sense to choose gluten-free flour if you frequently experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Although it won’t heal the illness, it will undoubtedly aid in lowering IBS incidence.

Be cautious of celiac disease

An extremely dangerous autoimmune illness is celiac disease. Not only are the patients completely unable to digest gluten, but over time, the buildup of gluten also begins to harm the small intestine. The majority of Celiac Disease cases remains undetected despite all the advances in medicine. You can’t go be tested for every sickness there is, but you can steer clear of bad eating habits.

Say no to processed, bleached flour.

The majority of white flours sold in stores are bleached and have chemical additives. Instead of using them, why not switch to healthier organic gluten-free flours?

Even a modest modification each day can help to promote a healthier lifestyle, as it is difficult to change our eating patterns overnight. Can’t totally give up wheat flour? Instead of white flour, choose organic whole wheat flour, which has less gluten. Start eating millets every other day. Make one minor adjustment at a time.

Why are gluten-free meals more expensive at restaurants?

Have you ever complained about paying a fee at a restaurant to ensure that your food didn’t make you ill?

As restaurants sometimes charge more to produce a dish without wheat, barley, or rye, this is a common occurrence for many customers with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Other guests frequently receive free customizations of their orders in the interim.

Anna Marie Phillips is suing P. F. Chang’s China Bistro for discrimination and violating the American with Disabilities Act as a result of the unjust treatment she received there. The lawsuit claims that by making gluten-free diners pay more, the restaurant is violating their civil and handicap rights.

The lawsuit claims that P.F. Chang’s gluten-free menu charges an additional $1 for each meal while offering other customers free menu substitutions. Diners who must adhere to a gluten-free diet due to celiac illness or gluten allergies are forced to pay a higher price. According to the complaint, prices for inherently gluten-free foods such vegetable dishes are particularly outrageous.

The class-action complaint was filed in Santa Clara County, California, by Phillips’ attorneys. They are requesting that the restaurant stop adding a premium for gluten-free food, reimburse customers for the surcharges, and impose civil penalties, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

Perhaps your neighborhood café will reconsider charging you more for that gluten-free bread.

Good news: gluten-free foods are less expensive compared to gluten-containing foods than they used to be! The bad news is they still cost almost twice as much, on average.

According to a 2019 US market basket survey, the average price of GF food goods has increased to 83 percent more than non-GF foods. [1] That’s significantly better than 2006, when a comparable survey revealed they were astronomically 140% more expensive. GF goods from large-scale manufacturers currently cost 39% more than their non-GF counterparts.

You must fully avoid wheat, rye, and barley if you want to avoid gluten, yet these mainstream grains are the ones that are most frequently found in everyday foods like bread, pasta, and cereal. The naturally gluten-free grains quinoa, teff, millet, buckwheat, and sorghum are also less accessible and more expensive than wheat, barley, and rye.

The researchers contrasted a basket of staple foods, snacks, and convenience foods (such as pizza and cakes) that included gluten with a basket of products that did not. The baskets were bought online and at retail locations in five US cities.

The price of the GF baskets differed significantly amongst the various sites, costing between 62 and 145 percent more than the non-GF basket. Gluten-free spaghetti, bread, and crackers are all more than twice as expensive as their gluten-containing counterparts.

Cheapest places to buy gluten-free foods

Upmarket stores have changed from being the cheapest source of GF goods since 2006 to being the most expensive. Traditional grocery stores, in comparison, are no longer the second-most expensive source they were in 2006. They are now the least expensive source.

The availability varied by geography and type of outlet; for instance, some cities’ stores carried just one brand of GF pasta. More GF products are now available in traditional grocery stores than on the internet. Although many health food stores have decreased their GF product selections after 2006, upmarket and health food stores often carried a broader selection of GF goods. Fewer brands, but more diversity within product categories, such as many flavors of crackers.

Gluten-free food prices are going up

Unfortunately, the researchers discovered a persistent rise in GF product costs overall and a persistent decline in GF product availability. They mentioned that comparable trends have been discovered in numerous nations, including the UK, Austria, and Chile, by earlier investigations.

Greater mass-market GF food production has been beneficial, but those who must follow a GF diet still struggle with cost and availability.

Gluten-free food costs in Australia

According to a 2015 market basket survey[2] conducted by Australian researchers, the cost of a healthy GF diet for a family of four—i.e., the price of all food purchases, not just GF items—rose by 17 percent as a result of the increased cost of GF foods. Standard GF food items like flour, pasta, and whole wheat bread were four to five times as expensive as their non-GF counterparts.

Tips on how to reduce the cost of your gluten-free diet

  • Try to purchase uncooked or raw foods and prepare them yourself.
  • Purchase naturally GF grains like quinoa, millets, teff, buckwheat, and sorghum in large quantities or during special sales. Purchase only what you anticipate using before the best-before date.
  • Rice, dairy, almonds, eggs, fruits, and vegetables are all naturally gluten-free foods. Buy during the off-season to save money. Use your freezer, and don’t forget to label each package with the purchase and use-by dates.
  • If you can, purchase in bulk naturally GF legumes and pulses such chickpeas, lentils, peas, broad beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas. You’ll discover that dry goods are less expensive, but tinned goods are also reasonably priced. Tinted chickpeas, etc., are frequently discounted in supermarkets.
  • On your weekly shopping excursion, make sure to stock up on GF pantry essentials like tinned chickpeas and tomatoes if you anticipate being pressed for time when you get home from work. Purchase in sales.
  • Consider the newest packaged sliced vegetables for soups and stir fries. Think about frozen vegetables as well; they are far more nutrient-dense than takeaways.
  • For nutrition information and allergy cautions, always read the labels.
  • Exotic spices pair well with basic components. Use ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, and kidney beans to go Mexican. Chickpeas, lentils, and ground spices like cumin, coriander, and allspice will give your dish a Middle Eastern flair.
  • Take pleasure in the flavor and crunch of your own Buddha or poke bowl of raw vegetables and salads. To get started, try this delectable and beneficial Buddha dish.
  • Use rice, potatoes, or chickpeas in instead of pasta. Your favorite meals’ flavors will surprise you!
  • When you really want to eat out, keep GluteGuard on hand as an additional line of defense against undeclared gluten in food. For people with a gluten sensitivity diagnosis, GluteGuard’s unique enzyme action, caricain, helps to lower the possibility of symptoms brought on by unintentional gluten consumption.

Is gluten-free bread cheaper to make than to buy?

Handmade gluten-free bread is typically 35% less expensive than packed store-bought bread and 40% less expensive than if you use a bread, while store-bought gluten-free bread is approximately 35% less expensive than homemade gluten-free bread or if you use bread mixed with butter.