Free from, as a category, is continuously growing in popularity. In 2018, 23% of new food & beverage had a “free from” claim. Although, it is well-known that allergy and intolerances rates are increasing across developed world, free from products also target healthy consumers. They seek “better for me” products as gluten-free and lactose-free which are perceived as being healthier. Gluten-free products stand out within this group. In 2018, 58% of all the free from claims accounted for gluten-free products, whereas vegan products have a peak of growth with an average annual growth of 30% since 2014 (CAGR 2014-2018).
By region, Europe leads the way in free from product launches, while North America launches are nearly the half of those in Europe. However, by country is another story. The US is the leading market for free from launches, followed by the UK, India and Brazil. Surprisingly, Europe leads for lactose-free product launches, ahead of Latin America. Vegan product launches are particularly strong in Europe and North America, while in Asia, vegetarian product launches dominate.
Top market categories of food & beverages launches with a “free from” claim (Global, 2018):
Market category Penetration (%)
(Source: Innova Market Insights)