Brakes is introducing a wide range of ‘free from’ products over the next 15 months in order to satisfy the burgeoning demands of the gluten-free, meat and dairy free, and vegan friendly sectors. Although the wholesaler already offers a selection of ‘free from’ foods, the plan is to incorporate significantly more ‘free from’ options.
New products to be launched over the coming months include: a range of sweet baked vegan goods, dairy cheese alternatives, meat-free quiche, ‘free from’ desserts, including a chocolate and coconut tart, three new vegan ice creams, ‘free from’ frozen MSC Alaskan pollock portions, plus a number of meat-free meal solutions.
The ‘free from’ market has grown by 30% since 2015 and is forecast to hit £952 million by 2021 (Mintel).
“Over the coming year we will be educating our customers and inspiring them to add ‘free from’ to the menu,” explains Louise Hatch, Brakes’ category manager – meal solutions. “The demand is definitely there, not just from those who have an allergy or intolerance, but also from the increasing number who have adopted a ‘free from’ lifestyle for its health benefits. A recent Mintel report found that 55% of ‘free-from’ consumers do not have an allergy or intolerance, which proves that there is huge interest and a need to include ‘free from’ on the menu in order to stay on trend.”
Brakes will be helping customers to encourage consumers to trade up at the point of purchase, buying into occasions such as ‘meat free Mondays’ and ‘free from Thursdays’.
“We are also working closely with leading ‘free from’ societies to ensure that our products are properly approved,” adds Hatch. “We want to offer our customers reassurances that they can pass on, and at the same time we want to be at the forefront of revolutionising the menu in order to drive sales for them.”
Tel: Brakes (01233) 206000