[personal profile] literally
 Or, why it's good to have more gluten-free products available for everyone.

 I'm not vegetarian, much less vegan. But there are are some cosmetics out there that are naturally vegetarian or vegan, because the owner of the company either has that lifestyle or wants to appeal to at least try to broaden their market. Now I never heard of anyone  asking, hey this liptstick is vegan and you're not, why are you buying it and/or how this isn't socially responsible. But I do see this kind of bullshit about the existence gluten-free items. I can't even begin to get in to how hypocritical this this mindset is, especially when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. One does not, after all, choose to have something such as Celiac, but one can choose to be vegan. Where are the complaints of people about the plethora of vegan products on the market, which are much more abundant than gluten free? I have yet to see any. But some people do some extra things in order to appeal to the vegan/vegetarian part of the market in order to expand market share, but I don't see anyone complaining about that even though there is a lack of evidence that we evolved to live on such a diet.

 Anyway, when many people in the supermarket or drugstore or cosmetics counter or just shopping online purchasing stuff, they are often, just like people with vegetarian friends or family, not just purchasing products for themselves, but for other people. A parent isn't only buying bread for themselves, and if they have a kid with Celiac, gluten-free bread or bread mix may be bought instead of the loaf of usual bread. Same with potato chips, and you have no idea how I love the fact that Kettle Chips are now gluten-free. There is nothing quacky about a company having a product that is naturally gluten-free in the first place taking extra precautions to avoid cross contamination and advertising their product is, but this is to some people. But things like this do help broaden the market, not just for individual buyers.

 And the reason you don't just want people on gluten-free or other specialized diets buying your product is because the market only for specific people isn't going to make you much money. Sure, it's wrong to promote the stuff as a cure all for everything, but most gluten-free products aren't-though I have seen a lot of interesting claims about soy as a miracle food escape without notice in far too much of the skeptic community. Anyway. You have to have broader appeal, because market research is so important, because you want a good business plan, because you want that business loan, because you want to actually do a lot more than break even. 

 Most people who buy vegetarian or vegan products aren't even vegetarian, hell I still used to still buy things like soy and gluten-based burger substitutes for years after I stopped being vegetarian. But I never seen any complaints about people allegedly being ripped off by vegetarian products. Vegetarian products appeal to a larger market than just vegetarians, coconut oil with absolutely no contact with gluten or animal particles expands the market appeal. This isn't about hype, but business and market reality. Those complaining about the plethora of gluten-free products out there are ignorant hypocrites.


Pre-ETA: I can't help but be reminded of the time in which I saw an inane thread in Marion Nestle's Food Politics site in which a commenter didn't understand why gluten-free pet food is on the market now. As though cats and dogs evolved to eat that in the first place, and as though no one with problems with gluten would ever have a problem with touching it.

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Very Gluten Free

November 2013

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