The growth trajectory of plant-based alternatives was already significant across packaged food before the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020. However, health concerns deriving from the pandemic have accelerated this trend with consumers becoming more aware about their food choices and how it affects both their own health and the environment.
Dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance, coeliac disease, and allergies continue to contribute strongly to the growing demand for free from packaged food in 2021. For example, there is a high incidence of coeliac disease in New Zealand which is driving demand for gluten-free breakfast options such as granola.
Free from meat products performed particularly strongly during the pandemic as consumer concerns about consuming meat were driven by fears over contracting the virus. Thus, this is encouraging many New Zealanders to try plant-based alternatives in 2021.
Approximately 10% of the children in New Zealand suffer from food allergies with milk, eggs, and peanuts being the primary allergens. As a result, an increasing number of households have adopted a special or restricted diet.
When it comes to purchasing for their children, consumers tend to seek more premium products with high nutritional value. Label claims such as organic and high fibre are highly sought by consumers with children, though many also seek products with fun shapes and natural colours that will encourage their children to eat and enjoy the products.
It is estimated that around 8% of the New Zealand population suffer from lactose intolerance. With this proportion continuing to rise alongside non-lactose-intolerant consumers increasingly avoiding lactose for their own health reasons, sales of lactose-free milk are set to continue growing in the forecast period.
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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 Food Intolerance research and analysis database.
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