Free-from foods market on the rise

The free-from foods market is booming in many parts of the world, with the category widening out to include broader definitions such as dairy, additive, preservative and GM-free.

According to Innova Market Insights, between 2008 and 2013, the percentage of food launches using additive and/or preservative-free claims rose from 10 percent to 13 percent.

Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights said “While claims using the term ‘natural’ have increasingly come under fire for lack of clarity regarding definition, the use of additive-free and preservative-free claims has been able to move forward relatively unhindered.”

“Interest in naturalness is still highly evident, however, and is also reflected in the growing use of GM-free labelling, although it remains relatively limited on a global scale,” Williams said.

Innova Market Insights reports just 2.3 percent of global launches tracked used GM-free labelling in 2013. Snacks, bakery and dairy have the largest number of launches, reflecting the significance of GM (genetically modified) ingredients in sectors using high levels of cereals for food or feed, ahead of meat, fish and eggs, confectionery and ready meals.

Gluten-free lines have continued to see rising availability, with nearly eight percent of product launches recorded in 2013 using a gluten-free positioning, rising to 10 percent in Western Europe and nearly 14 percent in the USA. The growth is partly due to improved labelling regulations, but also to rising awareness of gluten intolerance and the development of more mainstream and good-tasting gluten-free products across a range of food and drinks sectors.

Lactose-free claims has been included in 1.5 percent of launches in 2013, double the amount recorded five years earlier. The dairy market has seen the highest levels of activity, accounting for over one-third of total lactose-free launches, with seven percent of dairy launches using this type of claim. 



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