According to research conducted by Almondy, 72% of people would like to see more lactose-free options on menus when eating out.

Allergy UK has estimated that one in five people in the UK have a lactose intolerance, and suggested that operators that cater to people who are unable to consume dairy products could boost their profits.

Gluten-free bakery Almondy reported that over a third of people have bought a lactose-free product, and a growing number of people have opted for free-from products for lifestyle reasons.

However, the company said there has never been a better time for operators to look at how they can make menus lactose-free friendly.

Almondy managing director Andrew Ely said:  “We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to lactose-free; commercially it offers a huge untapped opportunity for operators, not only in catering for the 20% of people who have the intolerance, but appealing to the growing number of consumers buying free-from.

“It’s clear from the research that the demand for lactose-free is there, seven out of 10 people want more options and operators seen to react will stand to profit.”

Earlier this month, Almondy raised a total of just over £7,500 for the Katie Piper Foundation charity, which specialises in helping survivors of burns and scars.