One third of UK households affected by food allergy or intolerance, finds YouGov research

One third of UK households now affected by food allergy or intolerance, according to new research by YouGov.

In a survey commissioned by the Food and Drink Innovation Network for their ‘FreeFrom Summit’ next week, YouGov interviewed 1,600 representative adults across the UK.

It found the incidence to food allergy and intolerance has now increased to affect nearly a third of UK households – with 22% of the population believing that they suffer from a food allergy or intolerance – that is one in every five people.

• Dairy products and gluten are, unsurprisingly, the foods most likely to be suspected but…

• Peanuts, along with dairy, remain a major issue for children

• Almost double the number of women than men suffer from an allergy/intolerance

• The incidence of food allergy and intolerance is higher in the south of England than around the rest of the UK

• The spread across the classes is fairly even.

YouGov will be presenting the results of its work at a two-day FreeFrom summit in London on 10-11 September 2014which will bring together heavy hitters from across the ‘freefrom’ food industry.

They will be discussing not only the phenomenal growth of the ‘freefrom food’ industry over the last five years but the dramatic effect that the new allergen regulations which come into force in December will have on the catering and food service industry. (As from December 2014 all food service outlets have to be able to give accurate details of any of the 14 major allergens in their food to any customer who asks.)

Speakers will also include:

• Dr Andrew Clark, consultant in food allergy at Cambridge University Hospital Trust – whose recent research suggesting that there might be a ‘cure’ for peanut allergy caused such excitement.

• Lucinda Bruce Gardyne – the mum who created Genius gluten-free bread for her allergic son and has gone on to develop it into a multinational business.

• Wan Mak, head of nutrition at Sodexo the multi-billion pound international event organiser, which is a leader in implementing the new food service regulations

• Sarah Sleet, CEO of Coeliac UK and Rupi Zani of Pizza Express who they helped to develop a complete gluten-free offering within their 400 odd UK restaurants.

Both days are chaired by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Eating Out Awards and long established expert in freefrom food.