Free from packaged food was in demand in 2018 based on medical recommendations given to people suffering from lactose and gluten intolerance, and among those who choose to consume free from meat substitutes and free from dairy, often during religious fasts. However, it is the free from gluten and free from lactose categories that have mainly evolved to become fashionable among urban dwellers generally seeking to take care of their health.
Free from gluten registered the fastest growth in 2018. Following initial medical recommendation to treat gluten intolerance, the product benefitted at the end of the review period from rising interest among educated and more sophisticated consumers who are voluntarily adopting free from gluten diets in order to avoid or alleviate health problems.
The strongest sales of free from meat products came from consumers who voluntarily consume these products and not for health reasons in 2018. In fact, Romanians are traditional consumers of processed meat products and free from meat products are an important variant of standard products.
Nestlé Romania is the leading player in the category due to the clear popularity of breakfast cereals with free from gluten products. The company completely replaced its standard brands Nestlé Corn Flakes and Gold Flakes with similar free from gluten products under the same brand, which helped it to sustain its leading position in the category during 2018.
The domestic producer Cristim 2 Prodcom ranked second in 2018 within the free from category due to its leadership in the largest category free from meat meat substitutes. In fact, the company is a leading player in processed meat and seafood.
The first step made by Kaufland to launch its K-free line for free from lactose and free from gluten products brought private label to the attention of mass consumers. The fact that Kaufland is the largest retailer in Romania contributed to growing consumer interest in such products at affordable prices.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in Romania with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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