The Esplanade Luxury Hotel in Zagreb has become the first hotel in Croatia with the Gluten-Free Food Service Certification.
On the 24th of January the Bosk company from Rijeka which developed the first such standard for hospitality in the country awarded the Esplanade Hotel this significant certificate.
''In the past few years a demand for gluten-free food has significantly increased at the Esplanade Hotel. The gluten-free meals has already been available on our menues, but now with the certificate we believe that guests will have more confidence in what we have to offer in terms of gluten-free food'', commented Sanda Sokol, the PR and marketing manager of the Esplanade Hotel. She also hoped that this was the added value of the hotel and a specific completion of the offer, because the hotel has already have halal and kosher certificates and the HACCP system which is the basis for all standards.
On this occasion Denis Delogu, the manager of the Bosk company, emphasized that the lack of restaurants and other tourist services in Croatia with such standards was quite visible. ''These standards are increasingly present every day in the whole world, especially in the United States and Italy which have gone the furthest in terms of gluten-free food service''.
Delogu also presented data that show that nowadays 70 million people in the world are sensitive to gluten, around 190 million people avoid wheat, whilst one or two persons out of a hundred people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder related to intolerance to gluten, a protein from wheat, rye and barley.
On the other hand, it is estimated that the gluten-free food market in Europe is worth more than one billion Euros and is expected to grow by a further 40 percent till 2018. For comparison, a kilo of gluten-free flour in Croatia is up to ten times more expensive than 'ordinary' flour.