The opportunities in Europe's gluten-free market
Gluten-free is blossoming in a number of European countries. What are the most attractive markets? What are the trends to watch? What challenges lay ahead? This briefing investigates.
Much of the commentary around the rise of gluten free has focused on the US, a market that alone accounted for a quarter of global sales in 2014. But what about the opportunities in Europe? The UK, home to its own well developed gluten-free category, also attracts column inches and, despite some concerns about the maturation of the market still offers opportunities. On the continent, a clutch of western European countries are home to categories at different stages of development. In the first part of our management briefing looking at Europe's gluten-free sector, we provide a run-down of the region's major markets - and hint at the countries to watch.
The growth of the gluten-free market in Spain has been solid but not quite at the rates of some of its neighbours in western Europe. Spain's recent economic travails have not helped the category, while the country's culinary traditions have also held back the sector's development. However, gluten-free sales are gathering pace, presenting another opportunity for manufacturers, although the market presents some stiff challenges. Dean Best reports.
France's gluten-free market has taken longer to develop than in some of its neighbours in western Europe. But growth is starting to gather momentum. In this part of just-food's briefing on the region's gluten-free sector, Dean Best looks at the evolution of the French market and its future prospects.
As the gluten-free market grows and competition - from both specialists and interested conventional manufacturers - intensifies, innovation will be vital. The rate of product development is increasing - Mintel says one in ten products launched in the entire food sector last year was gluten free, up from 2% in 2005. However, as one industry watcher puts it, there is a lot of "spray and pray" to NPD in the category. What trends can manufacturers harness for success? Dean Best reports.
Mrs Crimble's was one of the clutch of brands Tesco listed when it set up a dedicated free-from fixture in the UK a decade go, a move seen as key to the early development of the category in the country. With gluten free now a crowded market, how can Mrs Crimble's continue to grow? Dean Best met with Gareth Toms, the company's international commercial director, to discuss its plans.
Warburtons, the UK baker, continues to enjoy growth from its free-from unit Newburn Bakehouse as demand for gluten-free bakery products in the UK continues to rise. However, competition is intensifying. Dean Best spoke to Warburtons' free-from director Chris Hook at the Free From Food Expo in Barcelona, to find out more about the group's plans - not just in the UK but, potentially, elsewhere in Europe.
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