The grocery distribution cooperative Foodstuffs New Zealand owns several retail franchises including 4 Square and New World and several in-store private labels such as Budget and Pam’s.
It said sales of gluten-free breads and cereal in its retail outlet New World have soared but it is clear consumers are demanding more.
“Surveys that were done in-store provided shoppers with the opportunity to tell us what they’d like to see more of and a number of customers said they’d like to be able to buy products that are egg and dairy free so we’re also looking to expand that range through stores where there is a demand,” Rob Chemaly, general manager retail at Foodstuffs Auckland, told BakeryandSnacks.com.
The cooperative said Nielsen data showed sales of gluten-free bread at its New World stores have surged 22% in the past 12 months, with Vogel’s the most popular product.
It added that sales of gluten-free cereals in the store were also up 8%, with Hubbards Thank Goodness and Healtheries Simple the best-sellers.
Foodstuffs said it has also increased the variety of gluten-free baking ingredients on shelf to cater to consumers wanting to bake at home.
Quality and variety improved
Sue Clay, executive officer of Coeliac New Zealand, said it is clear that gluten-free options in supermarkets across the country are broadening.
“The quality has improved and the variety is much better than what it has been in previous years,” she said.
Figures suggest that celiac disease affects up to 1 in 100 of the general population in New Zealand, although many people remain undiagnosed. This figure is estimated to be the same in the US and Europe.
In neighbouring Australia, the gluten-free market is also strong with recent moves made by Bupa and The George Institute for Global Health to develop a scanning app to provide consumers with information on gluten content.
The lead researcher on the app initiative told this site that the development could prompt industry to improve the nutritional profile of gluten-free foods. (See HERE)