The free from trend has picked up serious momentum as consumers have become more conscious of their health and the environment, while inclusivity has risen to the top of societal discourse.
In response, food manufacturers have scrambled to offer alternatives to their traditional offerings, manifesting in the form of gluten-free bread, fat-free yoghurt, sugar-free drinks and so on.
One might argue the ‘free from’ concept is not a trend, rather a new norm that shows no sign of going anywhere, so producers would be wise to get on board, if they haven’t done so already.
In the bakery space, one company that is capitalising on the consumer demand for free from is BakeAway, which earlier this year launched the UK’s first readymade, dairy-free pancake brand.
BakeAway flipped the pancake game upside down with OaYeah!, swapping out animal dairy with an oat-based alternative.
According to Mintel, oat milk has quickly become the plant-based milk of choice for the majority of Brits, with sales of the trendy substitute almost doubling between 2019 and 2020. Brits spent a hearty £146m on oat milk in 2020, up from £74m in 2019. By contrast, consumers spent £105m on almond milk in 2020.
One in three Brits now drink plant-based milk, the majority of whom are Millennials.
It’s data like this that prompted BakeAway to based its new pancake brand around this consumer habit.
The trend-tapping doesn’t stop there though, claims the company.
Not only are OaYeah! pancakes perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or looking to cut down on their dairy intake, but they are HFSS-compliant and contain up to 45% less saturated fat and sugar compared to conventional ready-to-eat pancakes. And a big bonus of ditching the cow’s milk is saving up to 30% on CO2e emissions.
For this reason, they are a suitable alternative for the more health-conscious consumer and have been dubbed ‘feel good’ pancakes.
Furthermore, capitalising on the popularity for American-style pancakes (the fastest growing pancake format), BakeAway is offering a Fluffy American-style variant alongside its Original offering. According to the company, this format is now worth a third of the value of the chilled pancake market and growing at a staggering +19% in value YOY.
“We created OaYeah! to be a real category gamechanger, capitalising on a trend that has proven it is here to stay,” said Jennie Bosson, BakeAway’s marketing manager.
“We know that Gen Z consumers are passionate about trying dairy-free and healthy alternatives, OaYeah! provides an entry point into the pancake category for these consumers. By using our oat based dairy alternative, Oat-no-M!lk, we have created a delicious pancake which is HFSS compliant and contains up to 45% less saturated fat and sugar than traditional pancakes.”
OaYeah!’s pancakes can be pan heated, microwaved or warmed in the oven and are available in Sainsbury’s across the UK for an RRP of £2.40.