Free-from, a lable to be deserved
The free-from claim has been around for a few years now and has become a sensational marketing tool, having gone from a niche-market claim for subjects intolerant to specific ingredients to turning into an expression that is synonymous for “healthy food”. The current situation for this claim probably deserves further insight to clarify its meaning.. The recently-published Guidance on Allergen Claims by the British Retail Control and the Food & Drink Federation offers a chance to shed some light.
According to most market research, the free-from claim seems to be driving the purchasing patterns non-intolerant shoppers too. As clearly stated by Stephen Wynne-Jones, editor of European Supermarket Magazine, “…the biggest innovation in free-from has been its gradual extension outside of the category. While free-from foods originated based on the dietary requirements of customers (gluten-intolerant, lactose-intolerant etc.), the current demand for healthier foods is attracting a far wider range of customers. In response, brands have sought to reposition themselves as ‘good for everyone’, and not just for those with a particular intolerance”.
The fact that the Free From claim is now perceived like a “healthier food” claim has changed the market of those products: it brought the producers to widen their offer, expanding the range of the products to snacks and drinks and pushed little manufacturers to ride the trend and enter in this market. For those reasons, the free-from products are easily found in mainstream supermarkets and managed as they were in fact products for everyone. This means that there is a real risk that claims advertising these products ar ...