Waitrose has seen sales in free-from goods rocket this Easter, with gluten-free hot cross buns up 124% on last year.

The supermarket, which yesterday was pipped to the post by Aldi in the supermarket leaderboard, said that free-from alternatives were becoming one of the fastest-growing product ranges for the store. 

It also said that the free-from boom has been felt on previous holidays. Pancake Day at Waitrose saw a 32% sales rise in gluten-free flours and, at Christmas, gluten-free Christmas cakes and pudding sales were up 41% and 20% respectively.

Moira Howie, Waitrose nutrition manager, said: “Recent advances in free-from products, recipes and their more widespread availability means that eating free-from foods does not have to lead to a sacrifice in taste or quality. This is the case for everyday foods, as well as seasonal fare.”

The retailer pinpointed the rise in this trend as being down to ‘superfoodies’, such as bloggers DeliciouslyElla and Hemsley& Hemsley, which it said were “encouraging people to try alternatives to gluten, dairy and sugar as part of their everyday diets”.

Yesterday, German discounter Aldi leapfrogged Waitrose in the UK supermarket leaderboard to become Britain’s sixth-largest retailer.