The gluten-free market is increasing at such a rapid pace that a new industry association has been officially set up to support companies in the gluten-free space.
Britain’s annual sales of gluten-free products has increased 26.7 percent in the last two years, currently worth £585.6m (US$711.2 million) and sales are projected to reach £673 million (US$817.2 million) by 2020.
Gluten-free forms the largest section of the free from category accounting for almost 60 percent. This has increased by 36 percent over 2014/15.
The Gluten Free Industry Association will bring together gluten free from food manufacturers and companies to ensure the high standards of the sector and to provide additional consumer confidence.
The priorities for the year ahead include developing the best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology.
“We are very pleased to be launching the Gluten Free Industry Association. The GFIA provides a single point of contact for this fast-changing sector whilst encouraging the major suppliers to come together and share best practice to deliver the high quality their consumers expect,” says Simon Wright, Founder of OF+ Consulting and GFIA chairman.
GFIA founder members include Bells of Lazonby, BFree Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Dr Schar, Genius Foods, Mrs Crimbles, Nairns Oatcakes, Northumbrian Fine Foods, and Warburtons.
The GFIA is a full member Association of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and FDF will provide the secretariat for the Association.
“As the national charity for people with coeliac disease, it’s great to see this latest step in the maturation of the gluten free sector. A new association devoted to gluten free manufacturing will help the industry work together to tackle consistency and safety for the benefit of consumers and keep growing this vibrant new market. We look forward to working with the GFIA to ensure the needs of people with coeliac disease continue to be met, says Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK.
Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, Director, FreeFrom Awards, adds: “We are very pleased that gluten free manufacturers are coming together in an attempt to improve consistency and confidence in the manufacture of gluten free foods and especially in the supply chain. This can only be good for the industry and, in the long run, of significant benefit to the gluten free consumer.”