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McDonald's trials gluten-free burgers

October 27th 2014 / Elizabeth Bennett / 7 comments


Is gluten-free the new vegetarian? McDonald’s certainly thinks so…

As reports suggest the growing demand for gluten-free food could take over meat-free products, fast food giant McDonald’s trialled its first gluten-free burger in a number of UK stores over the past week.

Jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon does not come as much of a surprise, as the trend for avoiding gluten is becoming more and more mainstream. Once banished to the corners of health food shops, gluten-free products are now readily available in your local supermarket in the ever-expanding ‘free from’ aisle and gluten-free menus are commonplace at both high street and independent restaurants.

Whilst vegetarians still outnumber those who avoid gluten, the food industry is finding that the big bucks is now in gluten-free products. In Britain, sales of meat alternatives have dropped by a third, whereas sales of gluten-free products have been rapidly increasing - across Europe they are expected to increase by a further 20% in 2015.

Whilst the jury is still out on the health benefits of gluten-free products, McDonald’s plans for the gluten-free burger to have a permanent spot on menu from 2015 suggest the trend doesn't look like it will be going anywhere quite yet.

Read more here.

MORE GLOSS: Should you go gluten-free?


Join the conversation

  • Vicki
  • November 21st 2014

Seriously, who wrote this article??? Likening eating gluten free to 'trends' 'fads' and 'jumping on the bandwagon' is really quite disgraceful. Myself and 2 of my 3 children have coeliac disease and the ONLY way to treat it is adhering to a strict gluten free diet. It's not a lifestyle choice like being a vegetarian, yet certainly up until now catering for those making these lifestyle choices is given priority!!! Macdonalds I suspect (and hope!) are doing this NOT to follow the 'trend' but the HUGE pressure put on them by those NEEDING to eat gluten free and who are currently poorly catered for in their restaurants. The campaigns and petitions this year have been extensive, especially as they seem to be able to sell GF buns in many of their European restaurants. The 'read more' part of the article is marginally better but really?! Think before publishing things like this in future!!!!

  • Roseanne
  • November 21st 2014

I'm glad to see that the comments so far are as appalled by the wording of your article as I am. I strongly suggest you educate yourself on health issues such as Coeliac Disease before you write about the only treatment for it.

Gluten free eating should NEVER be compared to vegetarianism as the only reason we avoid gluten is to avoid a very painful life and slow death. No I'm not just being dramatic.

If someone is allergic to nuts and they avoid them, will that person be told that they are being fussy? Be told that a little bit won't Hurt? I doubt it.

Lot's of people think that coeliac disease is becoming more common but it's not. It's getting awareness and better testing methods which is good. Less people will be dying of preventable complications.

McDonald's burger meat is gluten free, I often get a burger without the bun. Three years ago when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, our McDonald's had no clue, I was given steamed chicken from the salads and some fries. Now I can order most of the burgers as long as I have it without the bun! they have new allergen menu that tells me the ingredients of each item in the burger individually.

You see, education is key.

  • emma
  • November 21st 2014

What a great article?! I shall let my 5 year old son know that he is bang on trend with being GF! The avoiding gluten to ensure he doesn't suffer from malnutrition or a greater risk of bowel cancer must only be secondary to being trendy!

Although a very small number of people avoid gluten as the latest fad. The majority have no choice but to avoid it. All food Giants should be embracing GF food.

Why should vegetarians get such a choice when they could eat meat if they wanted to, whilst your average coeliac has to suffer with poor choice and consideration when preparing food.

Show all (4)
  • Beverley
  • November 21st 2014

How dare you imply that gluten free living is just a fad and lifestyle choice. It is difficult, time-consuming (just try doing your supermarket shop if you have to read all the food labelling just to be sure) and makes eating out at the very least complicated. It pushes up your food bill significantly and changing your diet is the only cure at present. I have enjoyed learning to cook in new ways for my husband, but I am lucky as I have the time and love cooking. I am also grateful to all the people who have unwisely taken up the diet for no good reason as it has increased quality and choice for us. Coeliac disease and other intolerances are serious health issues and we do not choose to eat in this way.

  • lynne
  • November 21st 2014

Wow, this article is so misleading and damaging. Myself and 2 other family members wouldn't CHOOSE to eat gluten free, we hate it, its not a pleasant lifestyle, its hard work, its antisocial, its damaging to your social life, its expensive... who the hell would WANT that! Its an auto immune disorder that increases your risk of stomach cancer left ignored! The symptoms are painful and can last for months from swallowing the tiniest crumb of bread! Very poor research by the writer if any at all! Very irresponsible article.

  • lisa
  • November 21st 2014

This article has made me very angry. My son has coeliac disease, he hasn't chosen to live this way so how dare you compare gluten free to vegetarianism. If he eats gluten then his immune system will literally start eating the lining of his intestine which makes him very ill. Longterm this will lead to more serious conditions such as cancer. I find the fact that you called this way of life a fad highly insulting. Whoever wrote this badly researched article should not be allowed to write again.

  • Tree
  • November 21st 2014

This article implies that gluten free is a trend and a choice. This is totally untrue, for most having a chronic illness is the reason, namely coeliac disease. Articles like this only belittle and detract from the seriousness that most people who HAVE to go gluten free face many challenges to do with food on a day to day basis. Gluten Free is not a fad, it should not be compared with being vegetarian at all. Shame on whoever wrote this. The facts are all wrong!

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