Rising awareness of gluten intolerance globally had also added to the uptick, claimed the research firm’s director of innovation Lu Ann Williams. “Also, the development of mainstream and good-tasting gluten-free products,” she added.
Gluten-free snack foods and bakery snacks had seen a relatively high proportion of launches, Williams added.
The Belgian-headquartered pastry firm Pidy, which manufactures gluten-free pastry, has seen a rise in demand for its gluten-free products, the firm's UK general manager Robert Whittle claimed.
Investment in innovation
“Gluten-free products are definitely commanding more shelf-space,” he said. As a result, the firm was investing more time in gluten-free innovation.
In June, ingredients firm Bowman Ingredients announced plans to pump millions of pounds into “the UK’s first dedicated production facility” for gluten-free ingredients.
The UK’s gluten-free market would rise to £500M by 2019, claimed Bowman Ingredients chief executive officer Rory Bowman.
Meanwhile, more food and drink manufacturers were reformulating products to make them gluten-free, claimed Williams.
“We’re seeing rising levels of interest in gluten-free reformulations, or even [companies] just emphasising the gluten-free nature of existing products,” she added.
A rise in firms pushing the gluten-free status of their products was down to the continued increase in non-gluten intolerant consumers buying gluten-free foods, she said.
Consumers continued to believe that gluten-free foods were healthier for them, Williams added.