Brakes set to break ‘free from’ market

Brakes is on a trailblazing mission with a promise to have a market-leading range of top quality ‘free from’ products by 2019, ready to satisfy the burgeoning demands of the gluten-free, meat and dairy free, and vegan friendly sectors.

New products to be launched over the coming months include: a range of sweet baked vegan goods; dairy cheese alternatives; meat-free quiche; ‘free from’ desserts, including a chocolate and coconut tart; three new vegan ice creams; ‘free from’ frozen MSC Alaskan pollock portions; plus a number of meat-free meal solutions. The comprehensive range will provide the tools to cater for most dietary requirements with tasty, quality menu options.

The ‘free from’ market has grown by 30% since 2015 and is forecast to hit £952m by 2021, according to data from Mintel. While the company already has a popular and fast-growing range of ‘free from’ foods the plan is to incorporate significantly more ‘free from’ choices into products that will ultimately save the Brakes customer money and space.

“Over the coming year we will be educating our customers and inspiring them to add ‘free from’ to the menu,” explains Louise Hatch, Brakes’ Category Manager – Meal Solutions. “The demand is definitely there, not just from those who have an allergy or intolerance, but also from the increasing number who have adopted a ‘free from’ lifestyle for its health benefits. In fact, a recent Mintel report found that 55% of ‘free-from’ consumers do not have an allergy or intolerance, which proves that there is huge interest and a need to include ‘free from’ on the menu in order to stay on trend.”

Brakes is hoping not only to educate its customers on ‘free from’ menu choices but also to inspire them with new product innovation. At the same time, the company will be helping customers to encourage consumers to trade up at the point of purchase, buying into occasions such as ‘meat free Mondays’ and ‘free from Thursdays’ to boost profits.

“We are also working closely with leading ‘free from’ societies to ensure that our products are properly approved,” adds Hatch. “We want to offer our customers reassurances that they can pass on, and at the same time we want to be at the forefront of revolutionising the menu in order to drive sales for them.’

Brakes’ comprehensive new product development plans include a wealth of products representing all sectors including bakery, fish and seafood, dairy, deli and meal solutions, catering for those who opt for vegan friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free or simply meat-free meals. There are also plans to introduce products that provide a total ‘free from solution’, covering not just one dietary requirement, but all of them.

Hatch adds: “Whether you are catering for a people with an allergy or intolerance, vegans or vegetarians, or indeed flexitarians who enjoy a mixture of meat and meat-free meals, ‘free from’ plays an important role. Brakes is geared up to lead the way so keep an eye out for some exciting launches over the coming months and stay ahead of the competition.”

For further information visit www.brake.co.uk or call 0345 606 9090.