Tue, May-09-17, 06:11
Bread sales in the UK sliced by gluten-free trend
From The Times
9 May, 2017
Bread sales sliced by gluten-free trend
Sales of sliced bread are falling sharply as Britons shun carbs and gluten.
The value of wrapped sliced bread sold last year fell 3.7 per cent to £1.4 billion, according to Kantar Worldpanel, the retail analyst.
Sales of Warburtons, the UK’s most popular brand, were down 11 per cent to £467.2 million. The number of loaves sold by Hovis fell 4.2 per cent,while Kingsmill dropped by 1.4 per cent.
The Grocer trade magazine which published the figures, said: “The UK bread market continues to struggle. Low-carb diets, concerns about gluten and a slowdown in sandwich alternatives, which helped boost the market last year, have sent bread sales tumbling.
“Warburtons was the biggest casualty from the sliced loaf’s fall from favour, with a £57.6 million loss.”
Experts say bread sales have been hit by the popularity of low-carb diets and the growing trend of people claiming to be allergic to gluten.
About one in 100 Britons are thought to have coeliac disease, a condition that can make sufferers ill if they eat gluten, a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. However, as many as one in eight people have adopted gluten-free diets popularised by celebrities such as Rachel Weisz and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Sales of the gluten-free brand Genius jumped by more than 50 per cent last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel, while traditional brands are looking to boost sales with lower carb, high-protein alternatives, or loaves with seeds.
Kingsmill recently started selling Hi-Fibre White and Seeded Farmhouse and Hovis has introduced a Seed Sensations range.
Ian Cummings, a senior buyer for bakery categories at Iceland, said: “Innovation is the key to engaging customers and driving growth, so we’re challenging all our suppliers to do more.”