Newly-formed Gluten Free association sets out ambitions

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 22:  Worker wait on guests at a Taco Bell Cantina restaurant on September 22, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The restaurant is Taco Bell's first to serve alcohol. Along with the regular fast food menu guest can also order beer, wine, sangria and twisted Freezes which can be mixed with rum, tequila or vodka.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Gluten free options are a fixture of most menus these days – and now the first ever Gluten Free Industry Association (GFIA) has been formed in response to the significant growth of this market.

UK demand for gluten free products has grown rapidly, with annual ‘free from’ sales currently worth £586m, a 27% increase on the previous year. Sales are projected to reach £673m by 2020, according to Kantar Worldpanel research.

Within the free from market, the gluten free market accounts for nearly 60% of the category and increased by 36% last year.

In this climate of growth and opportunity, leading producers of gluten free foods have come together under the GFIA to ensure consistent high standards and to provide additional consumer confidence.

GFIA priorities for 2017 will include the development of best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology in order to deliver the highest quality of products to their consumers.

GFIA founder members include Bells of Lazonby, BFree Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Dr Schar, Genius Foods, Mrs Crimbles, Nairns Oatcakes, Northumbrian Fine Foods, and Warburtons.

The GFIA is a full member Association of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and FDF will provide the secretariat for the Association.

Simon Wright, founder of OF+ Consulting and GFIA Chair, said: “We are very pleased to be launching the Gluten Free Industry Association. The GFIA provides a single point of contact for this fast-changing sector whilst encouraging the major suppliers to come together and share best practice to deliver the high quality their consumers expect.”

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