Falling household spending has done nothing to dent the rapid growth in the gluten and wheat free sector, according to the latest market figures from DS-gluten free.
It reports gluten free products have grown by 15.5% year-on-year.
The Kantar Worldpanel data (52 w/e 4 September 2011), commissioned by DS-gluten free, shows strong growth over the past 12 months has seen the gluten and wheat free market grow to a value of £135.9m.
Asda has fueled growth and now has a market share of just over than 12% compared with 8.6% a year ago. Tesco and Sainsbury’s remain market leaders following a year of double-digit growth and together represent 52.4% of the market.
Frozen foods and crackers and savoury biscuits are currently the biggest growth areas within the market, seeing growth of 33% and 43.8% respectively year-on year.
Emma Herring, retail brand manager at DS-gluten free, said: “The growth in the gluten and wheat free market shows no signs of slowing down, despite the squeeze on household incomes.
“Private labels, such as Marks & Spencer No Wheat, have certainly helped grow the market overall, but DS-gluten free remains the number one brand in the UK, with only Tesco’s private label range showing a larger market share.
“That only goes to confirm our long-held belief that category consumers are instinctively cautious when making purchasing decisions, and would rather turn to heritage brands than experiment with new products or brands.
“With double digit growth in the sector overall, there’s clearly tremendous potential for retailers to tap further into this market at a time when overall household spending is falling.
“Around 1% of people in the UK are thought to have coeliac disease, while more and more people are choosing a gluten free diet for lifestyle reasons, causing category wide growth despite the fact household incomes are falling in real terms.”