Everyday gluten-free eating?
Celebrity endorsements of gluten-free eating can be found in most countries. Even in France – although French people have a conservative food culture and a long track-record of rejecting eating habits they see as “strange” (try being a vegetarian in France).
French people are willing to be influenced by Novak Djokovic, who attributes much of his success as a tennis ace to eating gluten-free. He has even written a best-selling book about it: Serve to Win: the 14-Day Gluten Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence.
Gluten-free fixtures like this one – for the Gerble brand, owned by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical, are now as common in supermarkets in France as in America. The text on the display reads: For a balanced diet that can change your life.
It’s a sign of how gluten-free eating – once seen as an unusual problem that made gluten-free eaters unwelcome dinner guests – is fast becoming normalised.
Normalisation is an important step in the evolution of any trend. It’s the process which takes foods and eating habits from being unusual (or “weird”) to being everyday and unremarkable.
Brands play their part in normalisation by starting the process of moving gluten-free from a special aisle to the mainstream aisle.
Nestle’s recent launch of gluten-free cornflakes in Europe is a perfect example. A mass-market brand selling a mass-market product in the mainstream aisle, it’s all part of making gluten-free a normal, everyday message.
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