14 facts on British attitudes to the free-from market

As the UK Government announces tighter labelling laws for ingredients in foodservice, global intelligence platform Streetbees asks 800 people about the foods they are avoiding.

26 June 2019
image credit: Getty Images

  • Overall, the most common foods people are avoiding are sugar (26%), dairy (19%), gluten (12%) and lactose (11%).
  • Only 9% of respondents have a diagnosed allergy, with 49% avoiding allergens or ingredients for general health reasons.
  • 34% say their local supermarket makes a lot of effort to cater for special dietary needs, while 54% think only a little effort is being put in.
  • Only 16% say there is an extensive choice of free-from products at the local supermarket, but 46% describe the range as good.
  • Just under a third believe that free-from products are generally healthier.
  • 68% do not see a difference between branded and supermarket own-brand free-from products.
  • Over a third of people say free-from products don’t taste as good as regular products.
  • Almost half of respondents are convinced people are too sensitive about their diets.

Why are people cutting down?

  • Lactose: 58% of lactose avoiders claim to have an intolerance and 39% exclude it from their diet for general health reasons.
  • Dairy: 50% because of a lifestyle choice and 42% for general health.
  • Gluten: 46% for general health, while 45% think they have an intolerance.
  • Wheat: again,46% for general health and 42% believe they have an intolerance.
  • Nuts: 40% for general health, while 31% choose to avoid them for lifestyle reasons.
  • Following the FODMAP diet: 54% think they have an intolerance and 43% want to for general health

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