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Free-from Foods - US - June 2019

Covered in this report

The purpose of this report is to assess consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding foods bearing a “free-from” claim, meaning a food that claims to be free of one or more ingredients. The following ingredients are discussed throughout this report:

  • Added preservatives
  • Added sodium
  • Added sugar
  • Antibiotics
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Carrageenan
  • Common allergens (Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Treenuts, Wheat/gluten)
  • FODMAPs
  • GMOs
  • Grains
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Hormones
  • Lactose
  • MSG
  • Nitrates/nitrites
  • Palm oil
  • Sulfites
  • Trans-fats

"The free-from foods market is growing, and with 62% of consumers avoiding at least one ingredient, it is unlikely to slow in the near future. However, the market faces a number of challenges, such as differing priorities for avoiding ingredients, skepticism over the trustworthiness of the claims, and perceptions that products are expensive and overly processed."
- Karen Formanski, Health & Wellness Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Strong preferences by age limit broad appeal
  • Price and trust barriers limit growth of free-from foods
  • Some consumers simply apathetic toward ingredients

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Strong preferences by age limit broad appeal
            • Figure 1: Free-from food claims of importance, by age, April 2019
          • Price and trust barriers limit growth of free-from foods
            • Figure 2: Select attitudes toward free-from foods, April 2019
          • Some consumers simply apathetic toward ingredients
            • Figure 3: Select attitudes toward free-from foods, April 2019
          • The opportunities
            • Healthy lifestyle is the mainstream hook
              • Figure 4: Reasons for avoiding certain food/ingredients (net), April 2019
            • Overarching label claims can cover diverse needs
              • Figure 5: Allergy-friendly and paleo/vegan examples, Enjoy Life and Hu
            • Parents have multiple reasons for seeking free from
              • Figure 6: Shopping behavior changes over one year ago, by parental status, April 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Growing market leads to crowded labels
                • Free-from sought across the aisles
                  • High prices cause roadblocks
                    • Allergies/intolerances continue to drive free-from market
                      • Special dieters most prone to avoid grains
                        • Consumers concerned with ingredients
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Purchase locations are diversifying
                            • Consumers seek free-from across the aisles
                              • Figure 7: Categories where free-from claims are sought, April 2019
                            • Price remains an obstacle
                              • Figure 8: Free-from foods are too expensive, by total, age and parental status, April 2019
                              • Figure 9: Population aged 18 or older, by age, 2013-23
                          • Market Factors

                            • Allergies/intolerances continue to drive free-from market
                              • Figure 10: Select food/ingredients avoided due to allergy/intolerance, April 2019
                              • Figure 11: Importance of allergy-friendly claim (any rank – net) by age of children in household, April 2019
                            • Grains top ingredients avoided due to special diet
                              • Figure 12: Select food/ingredients avoided due to special diet, April 2019
                            • Consumers buying more ingredient specific foods
                              • Figure 13: Shopping behavior changes over one year ago, April 2019
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Free-from claims continue to rise; major players see value in the market
                              • Allergy-friendly brands compete for niche audience; innovative alternative provides boost
                                • Legacy brands struggle with increased competition
                                  • Claims under scrutiny; overprocessed is undesirable
                                    • Clean label claims on the rise
                                      • FODMAP free gaining traction
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Free-from labels continue to rise
                                          • Figure 14: Percent of food and drink product launches with select free-from claims, 2014 and 2018
                                        • Key players investing in free from
                                          • Acquisitions/investments
                                            • Figure 15: Primal Kitchen and Hu Products product examples
                                          • New product lines
                                            • Figure 16: New free-from product lines from Birds Eye, Barilla and Breyers
                                          • Free-from menu items
                                            • Funding for smaller free-from brands
                                              • Figure 17: Siete Foods grain free and dairy free products
                                            • Gluten-free, allergy-friendly brands compete for niche audience
                                              • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of select allergy-friendly and gluten-free products, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                              • Figure 19: Allergy-friendly products, Enjoy Life and MadeGood
                                            • Cauliflower brings nutrient density to free-from products
                                              • Figure 20: Select examples of cauliflower pizza crusts
                                          • What’s Struggling?

                                            • Legacy brands struggle in the face of increased competition
                                              • Figure 21: Multi-outlet sales of select allergy-friendly and gluten-free products, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                              • Figure 22: Gluten-free product examples, Glutino and Udi’s
                                            • Claims under scrutiny
                                              • Overprocessed is undesirable
                                                • Figure 23: Food and beverage claim importance, April 2019
                                            • What’s Next?

                                              • Clean label claims get a boost from free from
                                                • Figure 24: Select products with clean label claims
                                              • FODMAP free gaining traction
                                                • Figure 25: Select FODMAP friendly products
                                                • Figure 26: Interest in FODMAP-free claim, by attitudinal segmentation, April 2019
                                              • Cluster Analysis
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Majority of consumers avoid an ingredient
                                                  • Healthy lifestyle top reason for avoiding certain ingredients
                                                    • Artificial ingredients, sugar, preservatives cause most concern
                                                      • Free-from sought across departments
                                                        • Hormones, antibiotics, nitrates/nitrites not desirable
                                                          • Free-from purchases increasing
                                                            • Desire for transparency drives interest in free from
                                                            • Ingredients Avoided

                                                              • Most consumers avoid an ingredient
                                                                • Ingredients with unhealthy reputation outweigh common allergens
                                                                  • Figure 27: Food/ingredients avoided, April 2019
                                                                  • Figure 28: Repertoire of foods/ingredients avoided, April 2019
                                                                • Younger adults a key consumer for free-from brands
                                                                  • Figure 29: Repertoire of foods/ingredients avoided, by age, April 2019
                                                              • Reasons for Avoiding Ingredients

                                                                • Healthy lifestyle broad motive for avoiding ingredients
                                                                  • Figure 30: Reasons for avoiding certain food/ingredients (net), April 2019
                                                                • Age and gender influence reasons for avoidance
                                                                  • Figure 31: Reasons for avoiding certain food/ingredients (net), by age and gender, April 2019
                                                                • The usual suspects seen as obstacles to healthy lifestyle
                                                                  • Figure 32: Food/ingredients avoided and why, April 2019
                                                              • Importance of Prevalent Free-from Claims

                                                                • Artificial ingredients, sugar, preservatives cause most concern
                                                                  • Figure 33: Free-from food claims of importance, April 2019
                                                                • Consumers’ age guides attitudes
                                                                  • Figure 34: Free-from food claims of importance, by age, April 2019
                                                              • Importance of Free-from Claims by Product Categories

                                                                • Free from sought across departments, meat a top priority
                                                                  • Figure 35: Categories where free-from claims are sought, April 2019
                                                                • Women more reliant on free from
                                                                  • Figure 36: Categories where free-from claims are sought, by gender, April 2019
                                                                • Those who seek free-from snacks have specific concerns
                                                                  • Figure 37: Select label claims of importance for those who seek free-from claims in snacks, April 2019
                                                              • Other Free-from Claims of Interest

                                                                • Consumers intrigued with a wide spectrum of claims
                                                                  • Figure 38: Other free-from claims of interest, April 2019
                                                                • Hormones, antibiotics, nitrates/nitrites concern for meat eaters
                                                                  • Figure 39: Select other claims of interest for those who seek free-from claims in meat products, April 2019
                                                                • More claims broadens the appeal
                                                                  • Figure 40: TURF analysis – Other free-from claims of interest, April 2019
                                                                • Women are a key target for free-from brands
                                                                  • Figure 41: Select free-from claims of interest, by gender, April 2019
                                                              • Shopping Behavior Changes

                                                                • Consumers more concerned with what’s in food than what’s not
                                                                  • Figure 42: Shopping behavior changes over one year ago, April 2019
                                                                • Parents show more change to free-from shopping
                                                                  • Figure 43: Shopping behavior changes over one year ago, by parental status, April 2019
                                                                • Younger adults buying more free-from, organic
                                                                  • Figure 44: Shopping behavior changes over one year ago, by age, April 2019
                                                              • Attitudes toward Free-from Foods

                                                                • Consumers feelings are mixed when it comes to free-from
                                                                  • Figure 45: Attitudes toward free-from foods, April 2019
                                                                • Women show openness where men express doubts
                                                                  • Figure 46: Select attitudes toward free-from foods, by gender, April 2019
                                                                • Parents purchase more free-from foods, but also more critical
                                                                  • Figure 47: Select attitudes toward free-from foods, by parental status, April 2019
                                                                • Price remains an obstacle for most consumers
                                                                  • Figure 48: Free-from foods are too expensive, by age, April 2019
                                                              • Free-from Foods Attitudinal Segments

                                                                • Cluster Analysis
                                                                  • Figure 49: Segmentation by attitudes toward free-from foods, April 2019
                                                                  • Figure 50: Attitudinal segmentation profiles, by gender, April 2019
                                                                  • Figure 51: Select ingredients avoided, by attitudinal segmentation, April 2019
                                                                  • Figure 52: Select shopping behavior changes, by attitudinal segmentation, April 2019
                                                                  • Figure 53: Select attitudinal statements, by attitudinal segmentation, April 2019
                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                • Data sources
                                                                  • Sales data
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                              • Figure 54: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Food/ingredients avoided, April 2019

                                                                          Free-from Foods - US - June 2019

                                                                          US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)