Gluten Free Buying Guide

The gluten-free sector makes up a significant part of the free-from category and grew by more than 31% in 2017, to be worth an estimated £588 million*. The expansion in the appeal of gluten-free is a key factor helping to drive this surge in sales as it has become synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. Consumers are choosing to avoid gluten as a way to lose weight or because it makes them feel better, rather than as a necessity when diagnosed with coeliac disease or a sensitivity to gluten.

This perceived ‘health halo’ of gluten-free products is helping to drive product innovation, taste and quality as gluten-free manufacturers are starting to look at reducing the fat and sugar content in their products whilst increasing the nutritional profile and taste. There has also been more convergence with other wellness ‘trends’ such as high protein, ancient grains and vegan.
Conventional brands have also started to tap into this more mainstream appeal, launching gluten-free variations of their top-selling products, creating a gluten-free fixture that offers customers more variation, choice and price points than ever before. The bakery segment continues to dominate, but snacking and convenience products are growing in importance, whilst we’re starting to see more seasonal products, international cuisine and specifically targeted products for children and pets too.

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