Supermarkets are expanding their own-label gluten-free bakery ranges as sales in the category boom.

According to data from Kantar Worldpanel commissioned by leading brand DS-gluten free, sales in the total gluten- and wheat-free market rose 15.7% in the 12 months to 12 June 2011 to reach £130.7m. Own-label sales are rising faster than branded, up 20% to £37m, compared to a 14% increase for branded products, which are worth £92m.

Retailers have responded by expanding their ranges. The Co-operative Group launched a full range of own-label gluten-free products in July, while Waitrose is also understood to be planning a relaunch of its gluten- and wheat-free range this year.

Richard Storrie, Asda’s ’Free From’ range buyer, said Asda’s sales were up 25% following the launch of 70 new products in May, which included new cakes, biscuits and breads. "We have also launched new Asda brand packaging for the free-from range to make it stand out," he said.

According to Emma Herring, retail brand manager at DS-gluten free, the largest brand in the category, an increase in diagnoses of coeliac disease combined with cutbacks in the amount of gluten-free food available on prescription have helped drive retail sales.

Herring said the potential for growth is also strong. DS-gluten free has recently launched a range of ready meals and pizzas and, said Herring, is the dominant brand in the frozen sector.

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