Why are Gluten Free Products so Expensive?

  • Gluten-free food is expensive.
  • It is almost double the price of regular food.
  • Many reasons contribute to gluten-free food being so expensive. 
  • Some of the reasons are smaller markets, hardship in production, certification, alternative items, and so on. 

Do you know the secret to a healthy life? Well, apart from working out, the primary key is to have a clean, fresh, healthy diet. And while speaking of a clean diet, one thing that makes many of us concerned is gluten. But why are gluten free products so expensive?

Gluten free diets are pretty popular right now. Many do it because they want a clean slate, and some do it because they have to. People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten. 

That means many people do not have a choice other than going for a gluten-free diet. Well, it keeps you healthy. But keeping yourself healthy this way is a billion-dollar game!

Specific reasons contribute to gluten free products being so on the pricey side. We will be discussing them here.

Reasons why Gluten free products are so expensive

Why are gluten-free products so expensive?

Gluten free products are pretty expensive, as we said earlier. People who consume it often complain that their food is twice as expensive as standard stuff. 

This might sound crazy at first. But once you understand the reasons behind it, you’ll find that it makes sense. 

So let’s dive in...

Smaller Market

This one is a calculative economic strategy. However, the word strategy would sound too negative, whereas the actual scenario is compelling. 

Like any other business, gluten free products also compete in the market because of demand and supply. So they’re still around because of the demand. 

However, you can’t forget that the gluten free market is much smaller than for the most of the everyday products. Not everyone is a fan of the gluten free diet.

And you cannot expect most people to be celiac intolerant. Hence, the percentage of gluten free consumers is less in comparison to the average product range. 

That simply means gluten free manufacturers will take slight advantage of economies of scale. Meaning, that the better your selling quotient is, the cheaper the product becomes. In this specific case, the selling part is minor. Hence, the price will be higher and higher. 

Costly production

Why are gluten-free products so expensive?

Gluten free food is quite costly to produce. The regular or average product range is pretty standard. Also, the production is manageable and does not come with high expenditure. 

For example, the most popular source of gluten is wheat flour. That means typical derivative products from wheat flour are not edible for gluten free people. 

In order to maintain or balance the accuracy of wheat flour, the alternative is rice flour, sugar, cornflour, or Xanthan Gum. These extra ingredients are pretty costly to produce. Therefore, the whole process becomes expensive. 


As we said earlier, gluten free products come with a balanced mixture of alternatives. 

Commonly, bread-related items require three basic ingredients: flour, water, and yeast. 

Obviously, additional things might be utilized for flavored bread. However, essentially, there are three items for ordinary dough items. 

And as a matter of fact, gluten free products do not contain wheat flour as it is the primary source of gluten.

So, to maintain authenticity, the manufacturers add different ingredients to the food. These ingredients include rice flour, Tapioca starch, corn starch, and many more. 

These additional fixings add to the producer’s primary concern, an expense which is passed on to us, the gluten-concerned customer. 

Cross-contamination matters

Why are gluten-free products so expensive?

Cross-contamination is quite a serious matter to focus on. Often the gluten free grains are harvested with the tools or equipment that has been used for regular grains. 

For example, we may consider oats. It is a type of cereal grain that is considered to be gluten free. Often the harvest action process results in cross-contamination because of the usage of tools to harvest gluten grains like wheat. 

This is why many manufacturers have to arrange for a separate base tool kit for harvesting gluten free grains in order to avoid cross-contamination. Hence, it becomes a bit costly. As a result, the price tag goes up.  


You’ll often see gluten free food products come with packaging where the ‘gluten-free’ label is mentioned. This is a mandatory thing for that specific product or brand to be visible in the market. 

Depending on the country and where you live, the certification process might differ. And the cost of the certification process is also different. This can be called an extra expenditure on account of the manufacturers. 

So, to balance the extra cost, they manage it through the price tag. 


Are gluten free products more expensive?

  • Well, yes, they certainly are. A gluten free diet is, of course, a healthy course for us. But then again, gluten-free food is pretty expensive. On average, gluten free products cost at least 242% more than the standard product range. That means gluten free food items come with a significantly high price tag. 

Why is gluten free such a big deal?

  • Well, some people want to keep themselves on a clean slate when it comes to their diet. These fitness freaks choose to stay on a gluten free course because it is healthy. But some others do not have any other options left. Celiac diseases make people gluten-intolerant. Hence, going gluten-free is the only choice left. However, the number of people inclined towards a gluten free diet is much less compared to the whole market. Whatever the number is, the issue is a serious one.

What is the benefit of gluten free?

  • A gluten free diet is, of course, healthy. It improves digestion and boosts energy. Also, it helps in controlling inflammation. And another benefit is that it is super effective in weight loss. 

Conclusion on why are gluten free products so expensive

A gluten free diet is always good for your health, especially if you have celiac disease or some other health condition causing gluten intolerance. However, the price tag might bother some people a little bit. And exactly there comes the question: Why are they so costly?

In the above section, we have brought light to the reasons for gluten-free products being so costly. We hope this can answer all your questions.

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.