You are currently viewing What’s driving the free from trend?

According to Michael Schofield, marketing manager of British Bakels, the past year has seen a 10% rise in bakery snack sales, primarily driven by the sector’s focus on healthier options.

“Consumers’ increased concern around health has been clear to view,”​ Schofield told BakeryandSnacks.

“Not only have we seen a 400% growth in the vegan sector over the past five years, for reasons beyond ethics, but other health and diet trends have emerged, and stayed put, particularly gluten free and dairy-free.”

In the UK, around 1 in 100 Brits have coeliac disease, but many other conditions like non-coeliac gluten sensitivity also require the sufferer to follow a gluten-free diet. Expert estimates that at least 10% of UK consumers are following this lifestyle diet today.

Another to emerge is dairy free, with 1 in every 10 older children and adults though to be lactose-intolerant, meaning they cannot properly digest lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and dairy products.

Maintaining indulgence within tight parameters

“Dairy free options are increasingly important for UK bakers to offer,”​ said Schofield, noting the best way for bakers to address this demand is by offering vegan options, which are inherently dairy-free. 

Dairy-free options are also available in the fillings market, “which has exploded in popularity of late because of the application benefits.

“In addition, the nation has developed a fascination with ‘what’s inside’. Consumers love the element of surprise when biting into a doughnut with a delicious filling. There’s the pop of enjoyment, with indulgent products torn open to reveal a tasty filling and it makes for incredible Insta-worthy snaps, too.”