Hosafci noted that, SIAL, one of the largest food innovation events in the world, featured products such as buckwheat burgers, vegan pancakes, spirulina gnocchi, quinoa snack bars and lentil pasta this year. These products, she said, “tap into both gluten-free and high fiber brands, where the industry’s future lies.”
“Flours made from legumes like lentils, peas or soybeans are the most visible in the market. In Canada, these varieties are already going mainstream, with major Canadian brands, such as The Country Harvest, Weston Bakeries and Canada Bread, all having their own veggie brands,” Hosafci penned in a blog.
Tapping into health trends
An earlier Mintel report shows that these grain-free flours are also tapping into health trends, including the demand for high protein products.
Mintel data indicates that almost a quarter (23%) of all flour launches in Germany in 2015 were grain-free, compared with only 10% in 2014.
In other mature markets, such as the US, grain-free products are also on the rise. Earlier this year, Michelle Retik, founder of the US granola brand, Goodness Grainless, said grain-free baked goods were relatively new to the US, but demand had grown rapidly. The brand reported seven-figure sales last year.
Grain-free is an extension of gluten-free trend
The rising popularity of the free-from grains trend is an extension of the gluten-free trend, Hosafci explained, as the “gluten-free hype is no longer limited to the remit of North America and Western Europe.”
“In March this year, Detroit Diet Maroc launched gluten-free ready-to-eat muffins in Morocco. Although only available in the mass grocery channel, the product has so far resonated well with consumers. Similarly, Eti Gida, a Turkish biscuit manufacturer, has introduced the Pronot health brand, which has a gluten-free chocolate brownie range to accompany Turkish coffee,” she wrote.
As a result of the increasing amount of gluten-free products globally, retailers are moving gluten-free bakery from store perimeters and into the fresh bakery departments of supermarkets as they receive more footfall, Hosafci added.
The global market for gluten-free bread was valued at $1bn in 2015, accounting for 31% of all gluten-free food globally, Euromonitor said. Around 95% of the sales came from developed countries, “making it a mainstream choice for the Western consumer.”