November 16, 2011, 7:37 am

Falling household spending has done nothing to dent the rapid growth seen in the gluten and wheat free sector as latest market figures from gluten free brand DS-gluten free, show a 15.5 per cent growth in the sector year on year.

Latest Kantar Worldpanel data, commissioned by DS-gluten free, shows that strong growth over the past 12 months has seen the gluten and wheat free market grow to a value of £135.9 million.

In retail, that growth has been most markedly felt by Asda, which now has a market share of just more than 12 per cent – against 8.6 per cent a year agot growth has been most markedly felt at Asda, which now has a market share of just more than 12 per cent – against 8.6 per cent a year ago.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s remain market leaders following a year of double-digit growth and now represent 52.4 per cent of the market between them.

Frozen foods, crackers and savoury biscuits are currently the biggest growth areas within the market, seeing growth of 33 per cent and 43.8 per cent year on year respectively.

Emma Herring, Retail Brand Manager at DS-gluten free, said:

“The growth in the gluten and wheat free market shows no signs of slowing down, despite the squeeze on household incomes.

Growth has been most markedly felt by Asda

“Private labels, such as Marks and Spencer No Wheat, have certainly helped grow the market overall, but DS-gluten free remains the number one brand in the UK, with only Tesco’s private label range showing a larger market share.

“That only goes to confirm our long-held belief that category consumers are instinctively cautious when making purchasing decisions, and would rather turn to heritage brands than experiment with new products or brands.

“With double digit growth in the sector overall, there’s clearly tremendous potential for retailers to tap further into this market at a time when overall household spending is falling.

“Around one per cent of people in the UK are thought to have coeliac disease, while more and more people are choosing a gluten free diet for lifestyle reasons, causing category wide growth despite the fact household incomes are falling in real terms.”

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