Free From Sector Continues To Grow Despite Economic Gloom

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Falling household spending has done nothing to dent the rapid growth seen in the gluten and wheat free sector as latest market figures from gluten free brand leaders, DS-gluten free, show a 15.5 per cent growth in the sector year on year.

Latest Kantar Worldpanel data (52 w/e 4 September 2011), commissioned by DS-gluten free, shows that strong growth over the past 12 months has seen the gluten and wheat free market grow to a value of £135.9 million.

In retail, that growth has been most markedly felt at Asda, which now has a market share of just more than 12 per cent - against 8.6 per cent a year ago. Tesco and Sainsbury's remain market leaders following a year of double-digit growth and now represent 52.4 per cent of the market between them.

Frozen foods and crackers and savoury biscuits are currently the biggest growth areas within the market, seeing growth of 33 per cent and 43.8 per cent year on year respectively.

Emma Herring, Retail Brand Manager at DS-gluten free, said:  "The growth in the gluten and wheat free market shows no signs of slowing down, despite the squeeze on household incomes.

"Private labels, such as Marks and Spencer No Wheat, have certainly helped grow the market overall, but DS-gluten free remains the number one brand in the UK, with only Tesco's private label range showing a larger market share.

"That only goes to confirm our long-held belief that category consumers are instinctively cautious when making purchasing decisions, and would rather turn to heritage brands than experiment with new products or brands.

"With double digit growth in the sector overall, there's clearly tremendous potential for retailers to tap further into this market at a time when overall household spending is falling.

"Around one per cent of people in the UK are thought to have coeliac disease, while more and more people are choosing a gluten free diet for lifestyle reasons, causing category wide growth despite the fact household incomes are falling in real terms."

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Notes to editors:

  • Dr. Schär UK is the UK division of the European company Dr. Schär, market leader and pioneer in the gluten free food sector, drawing on the company's 30 year global heritage
  • Dr. Schär aims to be the leading food specialist for particular dietary and nutritional needs in Europe and America
  • The company was established to distribute and market gluten and wheat free products and remains committed to making gluten and wheat free food as convenient and tasty as mainstream foods
  • Its Dietary Specials (DS-gluten free) range is brand leader in the retail sector and its Glutafin brand is a leading brand in the healthcare channel
  • The company is also responsible for the marketing and distribution of the TRUfree brand in retail
  • Since 1998 the Warrington based team has been working closely with the loyal DS-gluten free customer base to develop a superb product range including ambient, frozen and chilled foods
  • Dr. Schär products cater for those with coeliac disease and wheat or gluten allergies or intolerances, and are also suitable for those who choose a gluten or wheat free diet for lifestyle reasons