Increasing health consciousness has been a key factor behind sustained strong growth of free from packaged food over the review period. Part of the demand is based on real medical needs based on food allergies or intolerance, as seen in coeliac disease, which impacts only a small fraction of the total population.
Free from dairy has consistently enjoyed double-digit growth over the last few years of the review period, and showed no signs of slowing down in 2018. As alternatives to traditional fluid milk, free from milk offers newness while addressing certain medical needs.
Despite reaching a peak in 2013 the free from gluten movement remains an influential trend in many packaged food categories such as baked goods and breakfast cereals. However, it has overall gradually subsided.
The free from category in Canada is relatively fragmented. DanoneWave, established in 2017 after the merger of WhiteWave Foods and Danone, remained the leading player in 2018.
As one of the fastest growing categories in health and wellness, free from packaged food has attracted an expanding list of both large and small players, which are launching new products and expanding their distribution to satiate consumer demand. In particular, free from lactose has been the focal point since 2017, although free from lactose milk has been around for over a decade.
Like the rest of the packaged food market, the growing impulse in conscious consumption is creating a trend towards greater transparency of ingredients used, including free from. In response more brands will market themselves towards an increasingly health-conscious consumer base and endeavour to become more socially and environmentally responsible over the forecast period.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in Canada with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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