A new trade body has been formed to support the rapid growth of the gluten free industry, which is predicted to be worth over £600m by 2020.
Founder members of the Gluten Free Industry Association (GFIA) include leading specialist suppliers of gluten-free products such as Genius Foods and Mrs Crimbles, as well as major bakery manufacturers like Warburtons who are developing their own gluten-free product lines.
The UK market for gluten free products has grown rapidly in recent years in line with growing awareness of gluten intolerance. Annual free from sales are currently worth £585.6m, an increase of 26.7% on the previous year, with sales projected to reach £673m by 2020. Within the free from market, the gluten free market accounts for nearly 60% of the category and increased by 36% over 2015.
The GFIA says its purpose will be to ensure consistent high standards and to provide additional consumer confidence in gluten free foods. The new body will become a full member association of the Food and Drink Federation, which will provide the secretariat.
“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,” said Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK. “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.”