One of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, Bidvest 3663, has launched a new ‘Gluten-Free made simple’ guide and expanded its gluten-free range to encompass more than 330 products. The new range will help its customers cater for people with food allergies and intolerances and make the most of growing demand for gluten-free choices on menus.
The move comes as market data indicates that food allergies and intolerances affect nearly a third of UK households – with 22% of the population believing that they suffer from one. In particular, coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten, affects 10% of households and a further 8% of the population avoids gluten as a lifestyle choice. Yet, according to Coeliac UK, the UK’s expert body on coeliac disease, the catering industry is missing out on an estimated £100 million a year by not adequately catering for people with coeliac disease.
As part of its work to drive the gluten-free category forward, Bidvest 3663 has appointed a gluten-free strategy team across buying, marketing, new product and food development and quality assurance departments. Its role is to ensure that the gluten-free range meets customers’ needs and that all products comply with legal requirements. In response to heightened demand from customers for information about the gluten-free category and the needs of those with gluten-free dietary requirements, the team has collaborated with specialist suppliers and Coeliac UK to compile the ‘Gluten-Free made simple’ guide. This 56 page guide brings all the category information in one place and has been designed to demonstrate that catering for special diets needn’t be restrictive or difficult.