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UK sales of gluten and wheat free products soared 18% to GBP108.3 million (NZD$231 million) in the year to July 11, 2010, according to FoodManufacturer.co.uk, citing data from Kantar Worldpanel.

The growth reflected moves into new areas such as frozen and fresh, but also the breadth of the customer base, which now comprised a growing number of people avoiding wheat “as part of a wider lifestyle choice” as well as diagnosed coeliacs, the report quoted Emma Herring, retail brand manager at gluten-free supplier Nutrition Point saying.

Nutrition Point, which owns the Dietary Specials and TRUfree brands, has recently secured new listings for its TRUfree chocolate finger biscuits in 178 Tesco stores, said Herring. “Tesco is currently underperforming against the current gluten and wheat free biscuit market growth, with an increase of just 1.8% year-on -year.”

Much of the growth in gluten-free over the past year, however, has come from the Genius fresh gluten-free brand, which is already worth GBP10 million at retail level just 15 months after launch, making it one of the most successful launches in the free-from market over the last decade.

Several brand extensions are now in the pipeline for Genius, which is manufactured by Finsbury Food Group. – Source: FoodManufacturer

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