This week marks Food Allergy Awareness Week, a scheme created by Food Allergy Research and Education to raise awareness and understanding of food allergies around the world.
In the UK, “free-from” products of all kinds are in high demand. The gluten-free sector has seen steady growth in recent years due to a range of factors. Rising awareness of gluten intolerance and Coeliac disease, but also a growing interest in gluten-free options among the general population have led to greater demand for easily accessible products in supermarkets and on restaurant menus.
The Plimsoll Analysis looks at the 94 leading companies in the gluten-free sector, showing that 20% of companies have been given a rating of ‘Strong’ in the latest edition. Furthermore, 27 companies in the report have increased in value over the last year, with 6 of these increasing by 50% or more of their value.
However, despite the positive headlines, the Plimsoll report finds that 35 companies have been given a rating of ‘Caution’. While not yet at serious risk of failure, these companies make up a significant share of the industry and are perhaps the key to its long term growth or failure. Luckily, there have been some key announcements in recent weeks which could prove pivotal in the coming months.
Ingredients supplier Newly Weds Foods has recently opened a gluten-free facility at its plant in Oxfordshire, allowing for more innovation and expansion within the production of gluten-free goods in the UK.
Coeliac UK has announced it will be offering a research fund worth £750,000 in total to researchers and businesses in the gluten-free industry. This could provide a significant boost to small businesses looking to invest and develop their activity. As is often the case with markets involving specialist products and services, small and family-run companies play an important role. If the sector is to continue to grow, then these companies are arguably the ones to watch. It is important that they are also able to benefit from the investment and expansion enjoyed by larger companies, not only to meet with increasing consumer demands, but also to ensure that the sector as a whole continues to flourish.
The Plimsoll ‘Gluten-Free Products’ report includes a detailed analysis of the industry’s leading companies, and also provides a ‘future year’ feature giving a unique insight into the potential development of each company. Find out more by clicking here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are interested in how this industry compares with other markets around Europe, we also offer equivalent reports analysing the French and Italian gluten-free industries; click on the links to learn more.