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The future of the global free-from market

corresponding

HAMISH RENTON

HRA Food and Drink, Rockwood House, Parkhill Road, Torquay, Devon, UK-TQ1 2DU, United Kingdom

Abstract

The global free from market has seen significant growth over the last five years in particular and this growth is showing no signs of stopping. Improvements in coeliac disease awareness and diagnosis coupled with a growing perception that free from automatically means healthier are both factors which are contributing to growth. However, free from manufacturers must continue to innovate to deal with emerging threats in the category, not least the growing awareness that free from products can be less healthy than regular products. Another consideration for manufacturers is the emergence of the low FODMAP diet as an alternative for those seeing themselves as ‘gluten sensitive’.


INTRODUCTION
This paper provides a global view of the free-from market. We define free-from as food and drink products that have been manufactured to exclude one or more ingredients to which consumers can have an allergic reaction to or an intolerance. Foods that have been specially designed (e.g. soya milk) to accommodate a dairy or lactose-free diet, for instance, are included within this definition. This paper, however, will focus primarily on gluten-free foods. That is, food that has been marketed specifically to consumers with an allergy or intolerance to gluten (including coeliac disease).

This paper will also centre around two key audiences who are interested in free-from:
Those with an allergy or sensitivity to gluten. This includes th