Blog: Holland & Barrett sets out UK free-from ambitions
Dean Best | 23 April 2015
Holland & Barrett's new free-from focused store in Chester
UK-based health food retailer Holland & Barrett has outlined its ambitions to become the country's largest free-from retailer.
The company, owned by US vitamin and supplement giant NBTY (itself backed by private-equity firm Carlyle), today (23 April) launched plans for a chain of stores focusing on the free-from category and set out its ambitions for the sector.
The first Holland & Barrett More outlet was opened in the UK city of Chester. The store, larger than a standard Holland & Barrett, will initially offer 1,000 free-from products. However, the retailer said its range would expand to over 3,000 lines by the end of the year.
Peter Aldis, CEO of NBTY's European arm, said: "The speed of growth of free-from has seen it transform from what was once regarded as a nutritional niche into a mainstream shopping option. YouGov data on where people buy free-from products shows we already do well in this market, scoring significantly ahead of Boots and very close to Waitrose and Morrisons. We already have more high street stores than many of the big supermarkets and the 50 new concept stores we have planned for the next two years will help ensure we can deliver against our ambition to become the largest free-from retailer in the UK."
Holland & Barrett's move is a significant shot across the bows of the UK multiples, many of which have worked to invest in their free-from ranges as consumer interest has grown.
The likes of Sainsbury's and Waitrose do - and will - represent serious competition for the new Holland & Barrett venture but the health food retailer will hope its reputation for health and wellness will resonate with consumers.
And Holland & Barrett has stores in markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It would be a surprise if the retailer was not weighing up whether the concept could work in other countries.
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
Shares in Tyson Foods slumped on Friday, closing down almost 9% after an analyst claimed a lawsuit facing the company could hit the US meat titan....
- It won't just be Unilever to push for Brexit hikes
- Price an underlying tension across European FMCG
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- Interview: UK trade body on Brexit's policy impact
- Interview: UK trade body on the impact of Brexit
- PepsiCo sets 2025 nutrition, sustainability goals
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- China "transition" drags on Danone Q3
- UK announces "action plan" to drive food exports
- CP Foods invests in UK foodservice firm Foodfellas
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global Food Packaging: Innovating for Greater Convenience and Quality Image
- Packaged Food: Quarterly Statement Q3 2016