It is no secret that we’re a nation of food savvy consumers, but what’s becoming more apparent is how demanding we’re becoming, especially when it comes to gluten-free!
Recent research by Technomic found that one-fifth of U.K. consumers (19%) expect to see gluten-free options at bakery cafés, coffee cafés and patisseries, with an additional 18% saying that while they don’t expect gluten-free choices to be offered, availability of these items could encourage them to visit more often.
So, what you may be asking is behind this increased demand?
There are a number of reasons, but the one that is causing the biggest boost is the increasing number of diagnoses of coeliac disease – 1 in 100 people in the UK are affected by the condition*. Research by University of Nottingham also found that there has been a fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases over the past two decades and a staggering three-quarters of people with the condition remain undiagnosed.
That’s a shocking figure, but there are plenty more when it comes to the topic of gluten-free and here are just a few:
• The UK gluten-free market is forecast to grow by 46% to £561 million by 2017 (F&D Innovation Network Free-From Conference).
• Gluten-free cuisine was a top five trend identified in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2014 Survey.
• The gluten-free sector represents the largest within the UK market for free-from foods (just-food.com)
• Gluten-free is highlighted on 20% of menus (Allegra Foodservice report 2014)
The statistics above clearly show that there is an obvious market for gluten-free and food retailers have been hot on the heels to ensure they get a slice of the (gluten-free) pie!
Tesco and Sainsbury’s account for over half of the gluten-free market, for example Sainsbury’s free-from range (first launched in 2002) now has more than 250 products, whilst Tesco’s free-from foods range includes over 150 products.
Not only are food retailers getting in on the action, but so prolific are food allergies, in particular, coeliac disease, that there is a dedicated week tasked with raising awareness of the condition and all that can be done to make the lives of those that suffer, that little bit easier.
With two gluten-free Beans at Jellybean HQ, we know only too well how important it is that the demand for said products to be readily available so we will most certainly be celebrating coeliac awareness week (12th-18th May 2015) and helping to spread the word.
If you’d like to know more, or would like support and advice, check out the website
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