Bakery in Ireland has been identified as having a “poor offering” in gluten-free, according to shopper research by Irish food organisation Bord Bía.

This is despite one in five Irish people regularly purchasing gluten-free products when shopping, said the study, which revealed a significant opportunity for the Irish food industry in gluten-free.

Although only 1% of the Irish population has been diagnosed with coeliac disease, the research found a gluten-free diet was particularly popular among upper- and middle-class earners.

“As a nation, we’re increasingly conscious of our diet, with 87% believing we have a healthy diet,” said Paula Donoghue, consumer insight manager for Bord Bía.

“Some 78% of Irish people who follow a gluten-free diet are not diagnosed as coeliac. Nearly half of these do not have any intolerance to wheat or sensitivities, but perceive gluten-free to be a healthier lifestyle choice. The market has experienced an increase in the number of available products as well as double-digit growth in supermarkets.”

According to Bord Bía, the report encompassed interviews with key influencers, a nationally representative online survey, face-to-face interviews with 15 consumers of gluten-free products, as well as analysis of existing reports and information.

The gluten-free market in Ireland is estimated to be worth £55.3m and has experienced a 36% increase in the past year (Kantar Worldpanel).

In April 2017, Kantar Worldpanel released its latest grocery market share figures that showed more than half the British public bought a free-from product in the past three months – 3.3 million more shoppers than a year ago.