Going gluten-free: Mary's Gone rides health and clean label trend in Middle East with better-for-you crackers
Originally from the United States, Mary's Gone has emerged as a strong healthier bakery brand in the Middle East due to its unique proposition of simultaneously fulfilling multiple aspects of sincumer health and wellness demands in a product, marketing itself primarily as a healthier option as opposed to a regular snack.
“We have a total of seven products across three different cracker ranges, and all of these are gluten-free, organic, plant-based and clean label with no artificial additives or preservatives,” Mary's Gone Middle East representative New Country Healthcare Nutritionist Gulsha Mariam told FoodNavigator-Asia at the recent Gulfood 2023 event.
“The main ingredients that we use are all clearly visible and easily understood in our ingredient lists, all of which are known healthy items such as flax seeds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and brown rice.”
The three Mary's Gone product ranges are Original, Real Thins and the extra seed-filled Super Seeds range, the latter of which was shortlisted as a finallist for Best Organic Product in this year's Gulfood Innovation Awards.
The firm's confidence in launching these clearly better-for-you focused product ranges was fuelled by a growing awareness and demand from local consumers.
“Our research has shown that the market for organic and/or gluten-free products here in the Middle East is growing rapidly at some 3% to 7%, similar to markets such as the United States as many food and beverage trends here are strongly influenced by those markets,” she added.
“There is clear increasing demand for products like ours based on local acceptance - we are already present on shelves on major supermarkets such as Carrefour and various co-ops as well.
“We also made sure to develop our flavours based on thorough market analysis in keeping with the brand's healthier messaging, and to fill gaps in the market based on consumer demands.”
What it takes to be a super cracker
In order to succeed in this category, the firm has taken great pains to tick just about all the boxes, including obtaining the relevant certifications that can provide consumers with peace of mind.
“For example we are certified USDA organic so consumers can be confident that they are purchasing a clean product according to their needs,” she said.
“There's also the fact that the ingredients are all plant-based, so although the crackers have some 15g or of protein per serve, vegan consumers can be sure that this is all plant-based protein.
“Other significant benefits that consumers have highlighted to us as being important to them include having good fats from the seeds, high fibre content as well as these being baked not fried so they can consume these without the guilty factor coming into play.”