The Allergy & Free-From Show, held last week at London’s Olympia, offered an opportunity to see what is driving this burgeoning sector.
One prevalent trend is indulgence, with rich chocolate flavours and thick layers of cream reinforcing the fact that gluten-free doesn’t have to mean healthy.
Start-up brand Positive Kitchen (pictured right), which was exhibiting a range of indulgent-looking cake slices, said the brand had begun as a way to “offer treats to everyone”, regardless of allergies. “People shouldn’t have to miss out,” said the company’s Liam Egan-Rayner.
There were also example of brands tapping demand for convenience.
Gâto was displaying its recently launched nut butter cookies (pictured below), which are sold in 33g packs and available in three flavours: peanut butter, raspberry and dark chocolate. While selling snacks in individual portion packs isn’t revolutionary in the general bakery market, options are limited in the gluten-free market as yet.
Another area bakers could tap in a bid to entice health-conscious shoppers is raw bakes – made by combining ingredients such as dates, nuts, oats and chocolate.
The Raw Treats Boutique was selling mixes and ready-made snack balls (pictured below) in three flavours: salted caramel, white chocolate crunch and chocolate crisp. Their treats are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.
Among the other new products on show were Oaties biscuits from Lazy Day Foods. Available in chocolate chip and golden syrup flavours, these are described as a rustic oat cookie, and are free from gluten, dairy, wheat and eggs.
Elsewhere, Genius was exhibiting its ‘Good for the Gut’ range, including its Cobs and Deli Rolls, which launched earlier in the year. Meanwhile Warburtons showed off its supermarket gluten-free range, noting that there would be more to come “soon”.
BFree also had a large presence at the show, promoting its flours for the home baking audience, as well as its recently launched cereals.
Schär, meanwhile, was doing a roaring trade by giving out gluten-free waffles with toppings on, and had queues all the way around its stand.
For more information about the gluten-free bakery market, read our latest report here.