Last year, 224 Coeliac UK members responded to a survey confirming that many people with a gluten intolerance felt they missed out on some of the simple food pleasures in life, such as baked goods.
When asked which foods they missed the most, 81% listed bread and 51% listed cakes. Though gluten-free bread is now quite commonly available, the same cannot be said for many sweet treats, though some producers are looking to redress the balance.
“Whether you need gluten-free or choose gluten-free for a healthier lifestyle, we believe you shouldn’t have to miss out,” said Leanne Crowther, co-founder of Flower & White, which is expanding its range of gourmet desserts to include gluten-free muffins.
Crowther said: “Our range of muffins are gluten-free, but without compromising on taste or flavour – a delicious alternative that can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Individually wrapped in 110g portions, the muffins come in three flavours for retail – White Chocolate & Raspberry, Salted Caramel and Triple Chocolate.
• Yorkshire-based Feel Free For Gluten Free is developing a gluten-free jam donut, following customer feedback. Sally Allister, managing director of Feel Free For Gluten Free, who has coeliac disease herself, said: “Since we launched our ring donuts in 2014, our customers have been telling us they still miss jam donuts. When we present our products to retailers, they always ask if we have plans to add a jam donut to our range.
“We’ve already begun testing gluten-free jam donuts. We’re working hard to bring them to market by the end of the year – great news for those people who told us they want a gluten-free jam donut.”
• Family bakery supplier Bakels has launched a brand new gluten-free sweet bake-at-home brownie and muffin mixes. Greg Woodhead, product development manager at Bakels, said: “We know that finding all the bakery favourites for a gluten-free diet is difficult, we’ve listened to what people want and have now developed tasty sweet mixes that will enable families to enjoy gluten-free treats again.”
• Gluten-free biscuit brand Prewett’s has extended its range to include milk-free biscuits, ‘indulgent’ all butter cookies and individually-wrapped chocolate-coated biscuit bars.
The brand, owned by Northumbrian Fine Foods (NFF), is expecting to double both its distribution points and retail sales value with the launch.
“These attractively packaged biscuits have been well received by the market,” said NFF’s business director David Wood. “We have already gained a significant number of listings with multiple retailers and have secured an extension to our contract with distributor RH Amar to supply the new products to the impulse and convenience markets.”
• All gluten-intolerant consumers deserve the chance to enjoy the taste of pure butter shortbread, according to Scottish shortbread producers Walkers.
The company’s gluten-free range includes three options – Pure Butter Shortbread, Chocolate Chip Shortbread and Ginger and Lemon Shortbread.
Walkers says its gluten-free shortbread is certified gluten-free by the UK Coeliac Society, meeting the standard for gluten-free food, which is to have less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Every batch is tested to ensure compliance before being released.
• As more and more consumers turn to a gluten-free lifestyle, the gluten-free category is having to diversify its product ranges to offer a range of alternatives, according to Nairn’s.
One of the most recent examples of innovation within the Nairn’s brand is their new breakfast biscuit range. Nairn’s Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits come in two variants: Oats & Berries, and Oats & Apricot.
• The morning goods sector has performed strongly over the past year in the gluten-free market, according to Genius, which claims to have the top three SKUs in the free-from segment: Crumpets, Seeded Rolls and Pancakes.
March saw the introduction of bagels into the Genius range for the first time. The new line is available in Plain or Cinnamon & Raisin.