One of our 10 Things You Need To Know About… Free-from 

Tesco and Sainsbury’s command more than half of the UK free-from market, with value sales up 7.2% and 11.7% respectively [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 9 October]. Both retailers have taken bigger slices of the sector than their share of the wider grocery market by developing own label ranges and pioneering new approaches to how the sector is merchandised. 

Just this week, Tesco and Alpro began rolling out dedicated chilled free-from fixtures to accelerate growth. “This is a hugely exciting development for plant-based food and drink,” said Alpro marketing controller for UK & Ireland Vicky Upton. “We’ve already seen a significant uplift in sales during pre-launch trials of the new fixture.”

Morrisons has seen the strongest growth in the big four, with its free-from sales surging 62% after the retailer doubled its free-from range earlier in the year. In May, the retailer ran its first TV ads to showcase the range. 

“Customers told us they wanted more free-from foods. As a result we’ve increased the range to include more core staples and on-the-go snacks,” said Morrisons free-from buyer Stefanie Downey. “This advert shows customers we now have a greater choice of gluten, dairy and wheat-free products in their local store.”

At 10%, Morrisons’ share of free-from is still smaller than the 10.7% of the overall grocery market the retailer commands. Asda is lagging much further behind with 8.7% of the market versus 15.9% of grocery. Asda’s free-from sales have risen by just 1.1%, the slowest rate of any major retailer. 

Infographic - retail share of free from bakery

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