From scarcely two shelves on a shelf, the UK free-from food and drink retail market, valued at an estimated at £934 million in 2019, has enjoyed stellar growth over the past five years, more than doubling in value, supported by a raft of factors. The trend rose to prominence with a rise in gluten-free foods but has expanded to take into account a number of dietary requirements, including sugar, wheat and dairy-free, providing tasty options to people who may have otherwise been unable to indulge.
Of course exciting new start-ups and challenger brands are making their impact, and free-from has become a byword for exciting innovation and quality products. Take a look at the gluten free snacks you should be selling...
Gluten Free at a Glance
You may have heard the term 'gluten free diet' before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn't a diet in the way that most people understand it - it's not designed to help people lose weight. It's just a way of eating that helps you heal your gut so you can start absorbing all the nutrients you need from your diet.
Coeliac disease, which is thought to affect one in 100 people causes your immune system to react badly to gluten, which leads to damage in your gut.
According to Coeliac UK, the broad definition of gluten free is when you've been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease then your immune system has been reacting to gluten and damaging your gut. To stay healthy, you must remove gluten from your diet, which is currently the only treatment for coeliac disease. Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
If you're gluten intolerant, avoiding gluten is imperative. However, you may struggle to find good snack options or least those which are aligned to your lifestyle values. Though many convenient gluten-free snacks are available in stores, some may be unnecessarily high in calories or added sugars. People with coeliac disease should choose snacks rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, as dietary restrictions and gluten-related damage may increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Rise of Free From Brands
Just as vegan food has conquered a variety of popular meat-based foods, from burgers to sausages to mince, so too has the burgeoning free-from snack market produced varieties of almost every variety – from the dairy-free chocolate, to the sugar-free treats and gluten-free gummy sweets. No matter what intolerance is bothering your customers, there is a delicious, healthy and pocket-friendly alternative to be found.
The snacking industry has taken note of this increase for free-from foods, with many big-name brands looking into reworking snacks free-from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. In 2019 alone, over 42% of us have chosen something from the free-from aisle in our weekly shop. However, they are having to work hard to compete with innovative, bespoke manufacturers who are producing their products ‘free-from’ from their very origin. Free-from product ranges to attract new audiences To help develop this base, either for consumers who have specific dietary requirements, or those who are simply looking to cut back on certain products, dedicating a small area of your retail space to a ‘free-from’ range can deliver great results.
To help develop this base, either for consumers who have specific dietary requirements, or those who are simply looking to cut back on certain products, dedicate an area of your retail space or section online for a ‘free-from’ range can deliver great results. But what choice is available and how tasty are the options out there?
Gluten Free Snacks to Try
There is a strong connection between well-being and innovation in gluten free snacking. This reflects a new consumer attitude to truly understand everything possible about a product and then buy in to the brand, whether it be a producer or a retailer, by aligning with its values and supporting it with a purchase.
To get your taste buds tingling, here's 5 of our top tasting gluten free snack picks:
Candy Kittens have fast become iconic vegan gummy sweets. Absolutely no bad stuff, these gourmet gummy candies are gluten-free and made with natural flavours, colours and real fruit juices. Now to be enjoyed by everyone with these new Candy Kittens (rrp from £1.20) recipes are made with absolutely no gelatine!
When the sugar cravings inevitable kick in, grab for natural boosts, packed with protein and whole food ingredients to keep you on track. One of Squirrel Sisters’ incredibly tasting raw energy bars (rrp £1.99) could be just the thing to hit the spot. These guilt-free treats have the hint of sweetness you need, without the refined sugars of other brands, making them a genuinely healthy snack.
How about some authentic Mexican gluten free tortilla chips (rrp £1.00) which are gently roasted for a crunchy bite and generously sized to fit all your favourite dips. Even better they're vegan packed with super foods and high in protein - muy bueno! Mister Free'd is a disruptive brand which provides healthy, tasty, gluten-free snacks made with simple, natural ingredients with added super-food for extra incremental profits in a competitive category. Did you know they're also the only vegan cheese tortilla snack on the market?
Fancy something new and allergen free? The British Crisp Co are handcooked in the UK (rrp £0.79) using exclusively British potatoes, these tasty crisps combine no-nonsense flavours with classic crunch. Made on a farm that not only grows its own potatoes, but is powered by renewable energy. How good is that? So, these crisps don't just taste good - they do good, too. These crisps are free from the major allergens and suitable for a vegan diet, meaning more people can enjoy each and every crunchy bite. Did you know over 20% of the UK population is affected by one or more allergic disorder?
In light of the current circumstances, movement and exercise has never been so important. Moving isn't just about working up a sweat, it is about increasing blood flow, relieving stress, improving memory, getting a better night's sleep and boosting mood. The fuel to keep you going could be the gluten free TRIBE natural energy (rrp £1.99) and protein bars. Their mission is to lead a revolution in performance nutrition by trusting nature and to inspire their tribe to reach their infinite potential!
While it may mean keeping an extra supply of special snacks in a desk drawer rather than raiding the office fridge, rest assured it is possible - and enjoyable - for someone with coeliac disease to maintain a tasty gluten-free diet.
An Inclusive Snack Choice for Everyone
A large number of snacks are gluten-free, and it would be wrong to label every gluten-free snack as "gluten-free", simply because there are a huge number of them. Some are created with that in mind, others naturally free from gluten. However, we've suggested just a hand of the great gluten-free snacks available. There's a wealth of free from and healthier snacks available for retailers to help attract a wider audience.
Fortunately, food producers and restaurants in the UK have long caught up with the demand for gluten-free snacks and ingredients. So if you’re coeliac, or want to reduce your gluten in take, you never have to feel like you’re missing out again. Paying closer attention than ever to free from content (or the lack of it), consumers are demanding more inclusive formats whilst not compromising on taste. If you're sick of checking labels and not finding the free from snacks you needs. why not take a look and discover our full range of gluten free products?
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