Marks & Spencer Confirms Rising Demand For Free-From Food
Marks & Spencer says that it has seen a massive demand for free-from products over the last year, and has extended its own-label offerings in this category to meet an increased appetite for products relating to special diets.
The retailer told ESM, "We have extended our Made Without Wheat range to include pizza bases, breads, biscuits, crisps and beer, amongst others. We also have gluten-free party food, stuffing, etc., and all of our sausages are now gluten-free."
The company spokesperson said that it had also extended its Made Without Dairy range with new milk drinks such as oat, soya, coconut, rice and almond.
"We also have dairy-free chocolates, including a dairy-free Easter egg."
The retailer says that it is impressed with innovation in the area of special diets in recent times.
"We have seen health-food writers such as Ella Woodward champion recipes without gluten and dairy. This new trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and means that we have to be constantly innovative in the new products we launch to ensure we appeal to this ever-growing audience."
As customers become more aware of the health benefits of made-without products, the retailer has seen sales soar in this area.
In relation to displays used to promote these lines, the spokesperson said, "We have a specialist display for gluten-free ambient products, such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits, etc. Each of these is clearly labelled as gluten-free. We also clearly label products around the food hall, such as gluten-free party food and dairy-free drinks."
Looking ahead, M&S says that it will continue to expand the range throughout the seasons. "For Christmas, for example, we will be able to cater for customers with wheat intolerances, so they can enjoy Christmas to the full. We will have gluten-free Christmas cakes, puddings, party food, to name a few."
Read more about supermarkets' free-from product ranges in ESM's Issue 2 2015.
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