Last week a number of major supermarkets recalled some of their gluten-free products because they may actually contain gluten.
Last year in the UK, sales of gluten-free products reached £184m, up 15% from 2013 and in 2015 the UK ‘free-from’ market has been estimated at £238m.
Until recently, gluten-free food was only available on prescription as a medical need for a small minority. A report by Mintel found 15% of households were avoiding gluten and wheat – more than half because they believed it was part of a healthy diet. One in 10 new food products launched in 2014 were gluten-free; nearly double what it was two years ago.
Not limited to supermarket shelves, there are ever more gluten-free dishes in restaurants – and new EU food labelling rules mean gluten, along with potential allergens, must now be listed on menus, as well as packaged foods.
With the quality of gluten-free products increasing and gluten-free alternatives appealing to a wider audience of those who need to maintain a gluten-free diet, and those who choose to, there is still significant room for growth within the market, and a growing need for clear allergen labelling.