Trust in gluten-free and broader free-from foods and brands is critical. Therefore, brands need to be very transparent about what goes into their products and who they are as a business. Clear and transparent labelling in particular is important, not only on retail packs but also on foods produced in-store or on foods bought and consumed out and about. This means working with trusted, certified brands and partners in the supply chain like ‘FREEE by Doves Farm’.
What’s the state of the gluten-free market in the UK?
We have seen strong growth in the gluten-free market for a number of years as consumers have become increasingly interested in gluten-free diets and have gone looking for gluten-free offerings in supermarkets as well as on-the-go. The gluten-free market in the UK continues to perform strongly. According to ‘Kantar Worldpanel’, value sales growth was +52.3% in 2018, with volume growing even faster at +81.3%. This rapid growth is one of the reasons why we decided to bring our free-from including gluten-free products together under a new brand in ‘FREEE by Doves Farm’ in 2017, clearly signposting to consumers those products which were free-from.
What’s your assessment of its growth potential in the UK in the next few years?
We continue to see strong opportunity for growth in the gluten-free category over the next few years. From a retail perspective, more shoppers are coming into the category and they are buying more as availability, choice and quality continue to increase. We also see strong opportunities in the on-the-go and food service sectors as demand for gluten-free options is growing here as consumers expect gluten-free or other free-from options to be readily available when out and about. With the quality of free-from foods often matching conventional options, going fully free-from with certain items such as gluten-free flour can make good sense. We have certainly seen strong interest in our ‘FREEE by Doves Farm’ naturally gluten-free flour blends in these sectors.
Is Dove Farms launching any new gluten-free products in 2019?
We recently re-launched our four strong Free From Breakfast Cereals range. The whole range is free from gluten and milk and is certified organic too. We also recently added three new products to our gluten-free “Quick & Easy” baking mixes. The range include Choc Chip Cookies, Chocolate Brownies, Pancakes and Seeded Bread mixes and is perfect if you are new to gluten-free baking or short on time. As the #1 gluten-free flour brand in the UK, in Barcelona we will showcase our extensive naturally gluten-free flour range, including our best-selling plain and self-raising flour blends. Finally, we will show our broader range of gluten-free Pasta, Cookies and Oatbars, which are also vegan and organic.