According to Euromonitor International’s Lifestyles Survey 2021, a sixth of respondents said they were allergic or intolerant to certain foods, which was slightly higher than the level globally. According to the survey, there is also a significant population that chooses to be vegan – over a fifth of respondents.
Awareness of lactose intolerance was previously limited, which led to those affected not knowing how to manage this condition. However, with more widespread consumer knowledge and awareness, managing lactose intolerance has now become easier.
Like lactose intolerance, the management of coeliac disease was also previously difficult because of the lack of availability of gluten-free packaged food in the market. In order to cater to these potential consumers, big brands such as ITC’s Ashirwad expanded their portfolios to include gluten-free flour.
With rising consumer awareness of health problems such as lactose intolerance and coeliac disease, and understanding of the benefits of consuming healthy foods, free from products are expected to expand their penetration to smaller tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Growth of the e-commerce channel and increasing internet penetration has already been seen in these markets, which will pave the way for growth for free from packaged food products.
Free from packaged food is currently a growing category, but still has huge potential. Apart from people living with food allergies or other health problems who cannot consume certain foods or ingredients, these products are also becoming increasingly popular amongst health-conscious consumers who follow a certain diet or lifestyle.
The advent of new brands and a wider variety of free from packaged food products in India will lead to increased competition in the market, and products are therefore expected to be more affordable to consumers in India. With manufacturers experimenting with their recipes to include indigenous ingredients, such as millet in gluten-free products, dates in sugar-free products and cashews or almonds in dairy-free milk, the dependence on importing products will decrease.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Free From industry in India with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This category includes free from gluten, free from lactose, free from allergens, free from dairy and free from meat products. This excludes foods which are certified ‘free’ of a specific product when this is based on use of sterilised equipment.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Free From research and analysis database.
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