Why the Free From world just keeps blowing up!
Yes, Free-From (FF) foods are a necessity for those with IBS or Coeliac but they have become a lifestyle choice for many people who appreciate and understand the significant health benefits of embracing Free From Foods. As a result the Free From market has expanded by a healthy 41.6% in the last 12 months according to Kantar data who track our regular weekly shopping purchases. The market through UK grocers is now a blockbuster £1.9 bn in size and 96.2% of all households have bought from the Free From shelves at some point in the last year. Potential linked health benefits include reduction in gut inflammation problems, better cognitive performance and ultimately a feel good factor by simply cutting back on the endless carbs cycle of bread or cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner!
“So what is Gluten and Wheat?”
Wheat and Gluten are often used interchangeably; but they are two different groups of proteins. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley. Gliadin and Glutenin are the two main gluten proteins and its Gliadin that is responsible for most of negative effects on the body. Wheat of course is present in many peoples every day foods like bread, cakes, biscuits, bars and a majority of processed foods. That seems like a big change to make in search of a healthier lifestyle…… so back to those health benefits again if you go gluten free.
Well, the list of claims is endless, so here are a few examples; improves cholesterol levels, clears skin, promotes digestive health, increases energy levels, reduces inflammation, promotes weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. All this would suggest that eating FF is a massive investment for your body’s health and wellbeing. Becoming aware of your nutritional intake eliminates unhealthy and processed foods from your diet but also improves your awareness of foods and the adverse effect they have on your body.
“Yeah I know it is good for you, but doesn’t the food taste horrible?” …we’ve heard this many times. Well it’s simply not true anymore. That healthy £1.9billion of sales is being driven by free from products which not only deliver on great taste but which also now have really positive additional nutrition and health angles such as high fibre, lower sugar, superfood ingredients and are increasingly plant based and often vegan too.
Exciting and innovative FF foods are entering the market every day, and despite having no gluten and often no added sugar, these products often deliver big on flavour. It is simply a win win scenario for consumers; their bodies are benefiting from better nutritional value and their taste-buds are not compromising. Especially welcome for individuals who have food allergens. And for the convenience lovers and snackers amongst us……
FF healthy snacking is up 13% through brands like Nature’s Store …..our rice cakes have always tasted great, including our dark chocolate vegan line, but for a real taste sensation try the new Salted Caramel popcorn bar. What is it about salted caramel that we love so much?! So there is no excuse now when indulging in your mid-morning or afternoon snack; make it healthy. You do not need to hide it in your office drawer anymore!
Definition: Adjective- Denoting or relating to food products that do not contain ingredients known to cause a reaction in people with food allergies or intolerances; like gluten, wheat and dairy.
Definition: Perception – oh those healthy foods that look flavourless and boring.