Despite a slew of own-label activity in gluten-free bakery, the rapid growth in the market continues to be driven by brands.

While 2011 saw major retailer range revamps from the likes of The Co-operative and Asda, the latest Kantar Worldpanel data shows ambient own-label bakery volumes stagnated, with brands soaring ahead. Volumes of ambient branded goods grew by 30%, with value sales up 27%. "The reason for this growth is increased new product development from Warburtons and Genius," said a spokesperson for Kantar.

David Jago, trends and innovation director of Mintel, predicted strong market growth for another six years, but said Genius and Warburtons’ on-shelf presence will have discouraged Hovis and Kingsmill from entering the market. "Alongside private-label, it will be harder for new entrants to gain listings," he said.

Hovis brand manager Sarah Brown confirmed it was not planning a move into free-from: "Gluten free while a growing part of the market is still relatively niche. We continue to monitor growth of the health-related sector, but have no plans to launch products in this area."

Total market penetration crept up to 10%, pushed by brands. "Retailers have seen the opportunity within free-from and also continue to improve their product offerings," said Richard Hayes, marketing director, Warburtons.

"We’re seeing significant growth in both branded and own-label," said Paddy Cronin, managing director of United Central Bakeries, producer of the Genius and Livwell brands.