Special edition: 'The rise of free from'

It’s a wrap: Gluten-free beetroot wrap ‘bang on-trend’, says Warburtons exec

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: free from, Warburtons, vegan, Gluten-free baked goods

The UK’s oldest national bread company has launched a gluten-free beetroot wrap that it claims is the first of its kind in the UK gluten-free bakery market.

Warburtons has also reshaped its once square wraps and reformulated the recipe as part of a wider overhaul of the company’s gluten-free range.

New wrap range

Warburtons has launched three new wraps: a white wrap; a high-protein wrap with super seeds; and the beetroot wrap.

The British baker said it has listened to customer feedback and developed a wrap that was softer and thinner, round in shapes, and were gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free.

The high protein and beetroot wraps will initially launch in Asda, with the full range rolling out to other retailers over the coming months.

The wraps are available in packs of four, with a lower recommended retail price than the original £2.99 ($3.94) price: white wraps have an RRP of £2.50 ($3.30); and beetroot and protein wraps are £2.79 ($3.68).

According to Chris Hook, director of Warburtons Gluten Free, the beetroot wrap is right on-trend, reflecting the growth of vegan and thereby appealing to a much broader consumer base.

“It is important to make gluten-free products more mainstream,”​ he said.

“At lot of UK retailers are asking if the phenomenal growth of gluten free continue and all indications are that it will, what with the increase in diagnosis rate of celiac disease, but also with the rising number of people who are opting to following a gluten free diet,”​ Hook told BakeryandSnacks.

From bread in a tin

“I have seen massive changes and improvements in the quality of the products, but also in the taste, the choice and availability,”​ he said, adding that, when he started in the bakery industry 30 odd years ago, bread used to come in a tin with an 18-month shelf life.

“It was quite disgusting, but that was that was all what people could have, which sounds ridiculous standing here today.”

Warburtons was established in 1876 and entered the free from category in 2011 with a $5m investment in a dedicated gluten free and wheat-free bakery in Newcastle, UK.

The company’s gluten free products are approved by Coeliac UK, and includes a retail range of sliced bread, artisan loaves, rolls, wraps, thins and crumpets, as well as a pharmacy range of fresh white and brown loaves and rolls that are high in iron and fortified with calcium.

In January this year, the family-owned company rebranded its Newburn Bakehouse Free From range to Warburtons Gluten Free.

“It’s been an interesting journey for UK’s oldest national bread company to make the gluten-free range, but we’ve learnt a lot along the way,” s​aid Hook.

“One of the big obstacles is being able to get it to a cost price that enables it to sit comfortably against a mainstream core product. For example, our artisanal products retailing around £3.60 ($4.75) and there’s potentially a big price difference next to a mainstream product … although some pure artisan bakeries are selling their bread for £4.00+ ($5.00).”

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