1.1 Definition and scope of the study
Gluten is a substance resulting from the processing of certain cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) which can be harmful for people diagnosed as intolerant. This is referred to as the Coeliac Disease; unlike popular belief, this is not synonymous to an allergy, but rather intolerance.
Included in the scope of the most frequently sold gluten-free products are:
- Aperitif biscuits;
- Sweet groceries;
- The salty groceries;
- Prepared meals.
The world market for gluten-free food is booming and the value growth between 2016 and 2021 is expected to reach 11.6%. The market is dominated by the US which in 2019 accounted for over 40% of the market share. Moreover, bakery products dominate the global demand for gluten free products.
Driven by a diversification of the offer of gluten-free products, the market is also benefiting from a positive image among consumers, as gluten-free products are often associated with a healthier diet. Going forward, this health trend is expected to contribute to the growth of the market.
In the UK, one in ten people avoid gluten and 15% of households avoid gluten and wheat. [foodanddrinktechnology] The market is expected to grow parallel to an increased consumer awareness around health. Moreover, an increasing number of restaurant outlets are offering gluten-free alternatives which will boost sales in this distribution channel as well.
The market structure in the UK is fragmented; there are many companies with niched products. Still today, gluten-free alternatives are relatively expensive.
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