The race to capture gluten-free consumers with on-the-go bars

Both The Handmade Cake Company and Fatherson Bakery are pushing new products into this area hoping to capitalise on demand.

10 April 2019

Gluten-free goods on are the rise, with the sector set to grow by 18% over the next three years, according to Euromonitor figures.

Bakery brands are sitting up and taking notice, with a number of new products entering the market this month which also tap into the desire for more convenient eats.

After 30 years producing frozen cakes and desserts for trade, The Handmade Cake Company are releasing their first ambient range, which is all gluten-free. The cakes will have a minimum shelf life of 90 days from delivery to the distributor.

The new SKUs consist of a gluten-free and vegan spiced fruit granola targeted at those looking for an on-the-go breakfast, which is made with oats, golden syrup, stem ginger, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cranberries and apricots.

For those looking for a treat, there’s two options: a gluten-free salted caramel brownie or caramel praline flapjack. The flapjack in particular draws on the trend for a twist on classics which is dominating cakes and desserts, according to the company, and includes caramel, hazelnuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Despite enormous progress by operators, many dietary alternatives still leave a lot to be desired and consumers are now looking for more inclusivity, expecting a product that’s as good as its standard sibling, said the brand.

“We wanted to design a range of cakes that are free-from, either vegan or gluten-free or both, but meet the expectations of standard and free-from consumers alike – products people love because they’re great, not just ‘good for a vegan cake,’” said Anthony Saison, category manager.

Cake to go

Increasingly consumers are also looking for convenient, premium snacks that are both indulgent and free-from, added Gareth Jones, commercial director at The Handmade Cake Company.

“So, we’ve created a range of delicious, artisan, ambient cakes-to-go which we think offer a permissible indulgence suitable for everyone: perfect for a mid-morning boost, as part of a lunch deal or as a late afternoon snack,” he said.

The new cakes are baked in a fully-segregated gluten-free bakery and are all licensed by Coeliac UK. The spiced fruit granola is also registered with the Vegan Society.

The brand believes the individually sealed offerings are the way to increase the free-from share of a range as they alleviate the issues of cross contamination, which are a challenge for operators with open displays, such as those typically found in coffee shops.

“There is a clear need for a convenient, premium sweet snack that could be sold as part of a meal deal or on its own to be eaten on-the-go in the tube, in the office or during quick breaks on a busy weekend,” Saison said. “Convenience is at the heart of our new range: they offer a small but reasonable, transportable portion of cake that is sealed in solid packaging. Our spiced fruit granola is perfect for breakfast while the salted caramel brownie and the caramel praline flapjack make a great afternoon snack or dessert at lunch.”

Snack bars

Fatherson Bakery has also launched new gluten-free snack bars into Co-op and Budgens supermarkets, with the range called 2Go.

Produced in Britain, the products are made via small batch production and are suitable for vegetarians.

There are four new SKUs coming to stores. The first is the Salted Caramel Sensation, a buttery oat bake layered with salted caramel, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, almonds and Belgian dark chocolate.

This is followed by the Chocolate Honeycomb Tiffin and the Fruity Granola, which is packed with oats, sultanas, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds and almonds.

Vegans can indulge in the Chocolate Rocky Road, which is made with dark Belgian chocolate, biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows. Each bar is 65g per portion with RRP at £1.49.

More bakes to make

Bakery manufacturer Dawn Foods has also recently extended its range of gluten-free ingredients to meet increased demand.

New additions include Choux Pastry Mix, a Lemon Cake Mix and Plain Cake Mix, while a gluten-free Cookie Mix is on the horizon. The mixes can be used to make muffins, sheet-cakes and tray bakes, while the Choux Pastry Mix is suitable for patisserie such as eclairs and profiteroles.

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