Gluten-free food for consumers with gluten sensitivity and those with celiac disease was once hard to find and a relatively obscure concept. But over the last decade, the need for gluten-free items has risen to high levels of awareness, and their availability has surged worldwide.
Today’s food producers and restaurants are more gluten-conscious than ever before, including gluten-free items among their products and on menus. In the U.S. alone it’s estimated that by 2026 the gluten-free products market will reach nearly $8 billion and that it will top $32 billion globally by 2025.
But because gluten-free products still target a relatively niche market, many gluten-free influencers are micro- or nano-influencers with fewer than 60,000 followers. It’s estimated that about 3 million people in the U.S. have celiac disease and that 18 million have gluten sensitivity.
Gluten-free influencers’ follower numbers aren’t so much the key here, but the fact that their audiences are highly engaged, often for serious health reasons, is. These followers represent a target market that’s clamoring for gluten-free choices, from soups and pizzas to cookies and pastas. They’re looking for delicious gluten-free food, ranging from items that are extremely healthy to those that are more indulgent.
Instagram is a great place for gluten-free influencers to share photos, recipes and tips for gluten-free meals. Here are some of the top gluten-free influencers on Instagram for brands and marketers to know:
Ella Mills/Deliciously Ella
U.K.-based Ella Mills is a plant-based living advocate who has attracted 1.6 million followers on Instagram. After being diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, she opted to start eating a diet free of gluten, dairy, sugar and meat. Mills has her own Deliciously Ella line of plant-based foods, such as cacao and almond energy balls, and spiced spinach and potato cakes.
Mills has authored the Deliciously Ella: The Plant-based Cookbook series and has a Deliciously Ella recipe and yoga app and a deli in London. She has partnered with brands including Esprit.
With 424,000 followers on Instagram, gluten-free influencer Danielle Walker posts photos of her creations like grain-free cinnamon rolls and grain-free and dairy-free lasagna. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the “Against All Grain” series and “Eat What You Love: Everyday Comfort Food You Crave.” Walker has partnered with brands including Bare Snacks and Breville.
Chef Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts is a gluten-free lifestyle advocate, chef, author and cyclist. He has 57,000 followers on Instagram, where he posts recipes for dishes like gluten-free chicken mole and gluten-free buckwheat risotto. He has partnered with brands including Bella Lifestyle and authored the cookbook “Good Food Fast! Deliciously Healthy Gluten-Free Meals for People on the Go.”
Elana Amsterdam/Elana’s Pantry
With 52,000 followers on Instagram gluten-free influencer and blogger Elana Amsterdam lives with celiac disease and multiple sclerosis. She is the New York Times bestselling author of “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook,” “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry” and “Gluten-Free Cupcakes.”
Amsterdam’s Elana’s Pantry website features grain-free, paleo recipes for dishes like roasted cauliflower soup and keto brownies. She has written for publications including Delicious Living and Parents. Amsterdam has been featured in media outlets including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes and on CNN.
Jules Shepard/GF Jules
With more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, Jules Shepard is an award-winning gluten-free influencer, blogger, baker and author. Shepard has her own GF Jules line of gluten-free flour as well as gluten-free mixes for cookies, sandwich bread and muffins. She has also authored the cookbook “Gluten Free Holiday Baking with Jules.”
Erin Smith/Gluten Free Globetrotter
With nearly 9,000 followers on Instagram, Erin Smith chronicles her trips to destinations such as Thailand and France as a traveler with celiac disease. Her Gluten-Free Globetrotter blog features gluten-free news and resources, with a section on finding gluten-free food in New York City. Smith is an ambassador for Superseedz and has also promoted brands including Aldi, Sun Flour Mills, Mikey’s and Banza.
RonniLyn Pustil/Gluten Free Garage
Toronto-based gluten-free influencer RonniLyn Pustil became determined to make her home gluten-free after her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. Her search for foods her daughter could safely eat led her to start Gluten Free Garage, a pop-up gluten-free market that features dozens of vendors.
Gluten Free Garage has more than 7,000 followers on Instagram. Its Instagram account features photos of items like gluten-free donuts, cookies and pastas and information about where to find them. Gluten Free Garage has partnered with brands including Italpasta and Neal Brothers.
Gluten Dude is a gluten-free influencer, blogger and celiac disease advocate. With close to 7,000 followers on Instagram and more than 37,000 followers on Facebook, Gluten Dude has promoted brands including Ghostfish Brew Company and Holiday Brew. He is the author of “From Crappy to Happy: The Naked Truth About Living with Celiac Disease.”
Gluten-Free Influencer Discovery
Health-conscious brands are partnering with more and more gluten-free influencers to reach gluten-free consumers with social media marketing campaigns. These influencers range from gluten-free chefs, and moms who run gluten-free pop-up shops to globetrotters who travel the world looking for gluten-free options. Brands and marketers can find more influencers like this at IZEAx Discovery.