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Free-from Foods - UK - January 2016

“The ‘health halo’ of free-from foods is a key driver of uptake, opening up a pool of opportunity beyond actual or suspected allergy or intolerance sufferers. However, it also leaves the market exposed to the vagaries of consumer opinion. The importance of health in driving uptake also means that companies need to ensure that nutrition profiles are best in class.”

– Kiti Soininen, Head of UK Food, Drink and Foodservice Research

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Importance of health credentials
  • Price remains a key barrier
  • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up

Operators’ ongoing investment in the market, the predicted rise in disposable incomes and growth of the child population should support growth going forward. However, the market remains reliant on a ‘health halo’, leaving it vulnerable to changes in public opinion, and needing to improve the nutritional profiles of products.

Longer term, the scope for volume growth among existing users will be limited. The interest in premium free-from products, however, suggests potential to maintain value growth.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Free-from sales growth has been supported by new users
                • Further investment on the cards
                  • Figure 1: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                  • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                    • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                      • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Alpro is the leading brand in the free-from market
                            • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                              • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK retail free-from foods market, by value, 2014/15*
                            • Market attracts mainstream players
                              • Adspend continues to rise
                                • Low/no/reduced allergen claims leapt ahead in 2014
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Two in five have a household member avoiding particular ingredients
                                      • One in three people buy or eat free-from
                                        • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                          • Figure 3: Reasons for eating free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • Price remains a key barrier
                                          • Figure 4: Non-users’ attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                          • Figure 5: Users' attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Importance of health credentials
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Price remains a key barrier
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • New users support growth in the free-from market
                                                              • Further investment on the cards
                                                                • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                                                                  • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                                                                    • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                                                                      • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Free-from sales grow helped by new users
                                                                          • Figure 6: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                                                                        • Further investment on the cards
                                                                            • Figure 7: Value retail sales of free-from foods in the UK, 2010-20
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Gluten-free market enjoys a virtuous circle
                                                                            • Dairy-free in rude health
                                                                              • Figure 8: UK retail value sales of free-from food and drink, by segment, 2013-15
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Free-from diets continue to attract media attention
                                                                              • NHS limits gluten-free prescriptions
                                                                                • Long-term rise in people with food allergies
                                                                                  • Lack of growth of 16-34s limits support to sales
                                                                                    • Figure 9: Recent and projected trends in population growth, by age, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                                  • Growing availability of free-from products supports growth
                                                                                    • Big food producers entering the market
                                                                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • Alpro extends its lead in the market
                                                                                        • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                                                                                          • Recent entrants enjoy rapid growth
                                                                                            • Adspend continues to rise
                                                                                              • L/N/R allergen claims leapt ahead in 2014
                                                                                                • Health claims remain rare
                                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                                  • Alpro retains an unassailable lead
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK retail free-from foods market, by value, 2013/14 and 2014/15
                                                                                                  • Genius takes top position in gluten-free
                                                                                                    • Mainstream brands enter the free-from market…
                                                                                                      • …and recent entrants have enjoyed strong growth
                                                                                                        • Acquisitions continue in the market
                                                                                                        • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                          • Advertising spending on free-from foods continues to grow
                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on free-from foods, by top advertisers, 2011-15
                                                                                                          • Alpro remains top advertiser
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on free-from foods, by top 10 brands, 2014
                                                                                                          • Big boys entering gluten-free market
                                                                                                            • Small producers rely on other marketing
                                                                                                              • NMR methodology
                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • L/N/R allergen claims leap ahead in food in 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: L/N/R allergen, lactose and gluten-free claims of all new food product launches, 2011-15
                                                                                                                • M&S and Asda extend ranges
                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: New food product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by top 10 brands, 2011-15
                                                                                                                • L/N/R allergen claims are most prominent in baby food
                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: L/N/R allergen claims’ share of new food product launches, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                  • Health claims remain rare
                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: New food product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by top claims, 2011-15
                                                                                                                    • Premium positioning still niche
                                                                                                                      • Jump in L/N/R allergen claims in drinks in 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: L/N/R allergen, lactose- and gluten-free claims of all new drink product launches, 2011-15
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: New drink product launches with L/N/R allergen claims, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: New drink product launches with gluten-free claims, by category, 2011-15
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                      • Two in five households avoid a food
                                                                                                                        • Many buy free-from products without a food avoidance
                                                                                                                          • Many on an exclusion diet don’t buy free-from
                                                                                                                            • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                                                                                                              • Price remains a key barrier
                                                                                                                                • Evidence of cynicism among non-users
                                                                                                                                  • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                                                                                                    • Product recalls are a turn-off
                                                                                                                                      • The importance of health credentials
                                                                                                                                      • Avoidance of Foods/Ingredients

                                                                                                                                        • Two in five report food avoidance
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Types of food/ingredients avoided, September 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Lactose/dairy and gluten/wheat are avoided the most
                                                                                                                                        • Types of Free-from Foods Eaten and Bought

                                                                                                                                          • One in three eat or buy free-from
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Types of free-from foods bought and eaten, September 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Many people buy gluten-free with no gluten avoidance…
                                                                                                                                            • …and the same is true of dairy substitutes
                                                                                                                                              • Many food avoiders do not buy substitutes
                                                                                                                                                • Key free-from customers – young, affluent Londoners
                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Eating Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                  • Feelgood image drives free-from uptake
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Reasons for eating free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to position dairy alternatives as offering variety
                                                                                                                                                  • Non-users’ Attitudes towards Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                    • Price remains a key barrier
                                                                                                                                                      • Few non-users see free-from as benefiting non-sufferers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Non-users’ attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Few non-users doubt free-from products’ taste
                                                                                                                                                        • In-store visibility does little to drive interest
                                                                                                                                                        • Users’ Attitudes towards Free-from Foods

                                                                                                                                                          • Scope to encourage free-from users to trade up
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Users' attitudes towards free-from foods, September 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • The effect of product recalls
                                                                                                                                                            • High trust in regulatory checks
                                                                                                                                                              • The importance of health credentials
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Best- and worst-case forecast, value retail sales of free-from foods, 2015-20

                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                      Free-from Foods - UK - January 2016

                                                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)