Hot topic: Free From, 2018 – ‘Free From’ Food & Drink Products

"Hot topic: Free From, 2018", report offers comprehensive insight and analysis of the major players, the main trends, and consumer attitudes. It provides in-depth analysis of the following: the hot issues affecting the market, strategies for success, key trends, retailer and brand comparisons, retailer case studies, and consumer data.

The report focuses on gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, nut free and meat free food categories and diets. Consumer data is based on our 2018 UK free from survey, using a panel of 2,500 nationally representative consumers.

Free from growth is largely coming from previously underdeveloped categories, such as fresh and food-on-the-go products. Millennials are the largest proportion of free from consumers, and are also the demographic that purchase the greatest proportion of food-on-the-go and fresh produce.

With convenience space at a premium, ranges need to be efficiently stocked and carefully curated, giving priority to the most commonly purchased items. However, as the number of people eating speciality diets increases, so will the demand for free from essentials and everyday food categories.


– The most popular free from diet followed by consumers in the UK is a vegetarian diet (7.4%); vegan though, is the least popular (2.2%).

– 34.2% of consumers follow a specific diet because they think it is healthier.

– Free from shoppers are more likely to shop online, compared to those not shopping for a dietary requirement. This is because there is greater choice online and it is easier to shop.

Reasons to buy

– Using our main issues and key trends, understand which subsectors and formats are the strongest performing to ensure more focus and investment in these winning product areas.

– Gain insight into which formats consumers prefer to shop for free from products as well as which retailers are already successfully doing this.

– Understand free from shoppers’ purchasing habits and preferences, and what influences their retailer selection in order to drive spend.

Companies mentioned






Planet Organic


Holland & Barrett



Marks & Spencer



M&S Café



Table of Contents

Table of Contents

The hot issues

Market drivers

Strategies for success

Main issues

Key trends

Retailer comparison

Brand comparison

Consumer insights



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