Gluten Free Purchases On the Up
4th May 2017
New research released today by Opinion Matters, commissioned by food services company Aramark, found that 63.5% of people across the UK and Ireland live with, work with, or have close relatives that are gluten intolerant. The research, which surveyed over 2,000 people across the UK and Ireland, found that more people in cities or urban areas lived with, worked with, or had close relatives who were gluten intolerant (81%), compared to people in rural areas (46%).
The results were published to mark Aramark’s Healthy for Life May theme, which was Coeliac Awareness. When asked ‘do you think coeliac is a real disease?’, 43% of people answered ‘yes’, 21% answered ‘no’, and 36% of people said ‘I think it’s a real disease but I also think it’s a fad for a lot of people’.
“The results of this research were very interesting.” Elbha Purcell, Company Dietician for Aramark Northern Europe, said. “They really outline how many people identify as gluten intolerant and the rise in the demand for gluten-free products.
London and Dublin are two of Europe’s coeliac capitals, with a huge percentage of people following a gluten-free diet. All of our research on our customers and clients shows a trend in two areas: a demand for more coeliac-friendly and low-carb food.”
The UK Free From market is valued at over £740 million, according to Kantar, and grew by 27% in 2016. Within this, the gluten-free market accounts for nearly 60% of the category and is valued at £438 million, increasing by 36% over 2015.
“We are seeing a huge opportunity for growth in the gluten-free market,” Elbha Purcell said. “While Aramark is happy to offer coeliac-friendly options to our customers where we can, we are also keen to encourage and promote overall wellbeing by teaming a varied balanced diet with exercise. Choosing gluten-free options doesn’t necessarily mean being healthier, it’s important to look at the overall nutritional content.”
According to Bord Bia research, the number of people buying gluten free food is up 400% in four years, from 6% to 26% in 2014.