The market for “free from” food is reported to be worth around GBP100m, growing rapidly to around GBP140m in 2007, and could reach GBP400m in 2012 if US trends are mirrored according to new privately owned allergy specialist food company Safetoeat.

Safetoeat has predicted that through an innovative approach to “free-from” foods it will be able to challenge mainstream cook-in sauces and soups catering for allergy sufferers, an area that the company says has considerable potential for growth.

Safetoeat considers the “free-from” market as fragmented, meaning that most products are aimed at people suffering from Coeliac disease, or who are allergic to dairy or lactose. The company aims to revolutionise the “free-from” market by taking a pan-allergy approach, catering for all allergies.

The new kid on the block has set sales targets of more than GBP1m (US$1.73M) in its first year. This month (March 2006), Safetoeat plans to launch a range of branded soups and sauces to establish itself as the leading pan-allergy brand.

Its first products will have maximum retail prices of GBP2.19 for the soups, and GBP2.59 for the sauces, in 400g servings.  

Safetoeat director Martin Hopkins said: “Safetoeat is new and we have the benefit of being able to look at the market and customer needs in a different way. We are developing food to taste good and to be allergy and additive aware. It is very difficult to manufacture to the standards that we do.
“It’s a fact of life that we are all different and so are our allergies. However, we can make as many of our products as safe for as many people as possible. We can make sure that these products only contain what we say they contain.”