Source: Unsplash

Focus On: Free From

By Megan Tatum 

Publishing: 6 July 2024

Advertising deadline: 21 June 2024

Submissions deadline: 14 June 2024

Print, digital and sponsorship opportunities

Long gone are the days when free-from was thought of as tasteless and dull. With gluten-free and dairy-free products making huge strides in improvement over the last decade, brands are having fun with playful, eye-catching products. Take the recently launched sugared ring donuts, or the gluten-free chickpea snacks inspired by global cuisines, or the wealth of free-from seasonal lines in own label and branded. There’s whimsy and humour aplenty. What’s driving this approach? Who are the brands leading the charge? And which consumers are they targeting?

Putting the fun in free-from: Who are the brands innovating in this space? What strategies are they using to capture consumers? Do they have to work hard to shake off negative perceptions around the taste and quality of their products? Are they after just core free-from consumers – or also those who don’t have dietary restrictions?

Retailer boost: Once a niche category, free-from is benefiting from more visible displays and growing shelf space in stores. Last autumn, Sainsbury’s trialled a whole aisle dedicated to free-from products. What’s behind the push? Is the approach likely to take off in other stores?

FSA campaign: Despite the playfulness of recent NPD, in the backdrop there’s a more serious side to the category, with the recent Food Standards Agency campaign to strengthen allergy information for consumers and advocacy around Natasha’s Law. What are the most recent developments? How are they affecting innovation?

Innovations: We will profile four new products or ranges, ideally ones that have not appeared in The Grocer before. We need launch date, rsp, and a hi-res picture of each.