Developments in free from packaged food followed the general health and wellness trend in 2020, and were relatively unscathed by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Free from gluten and free from lactose products grew thanks to the fact that they are now often recommended by doctors.
Free from products remained available throughout 2020, as supermarkets stayed open, and they were not subject to stockpiling in March. Free from products are sold at similar price points to their regular alternatives.
Free from meat substitutes recorded some of the highest volume sales in 2020, as they increasingly came to be perceived as healthier versions of processed meat products. Meat substitutes made from soy, tofu or vegetables were increasingly adopted during religious fasts, when many devout Christian Romanians abstain from eating meat.
Free from packaged food is expected to remain on an upward trajectory for the duration of the forecast period. The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing about changes in Romanians’ eating habits: many people are trying to stay healthy and maintain their wellbeing while not being able to exercise as much.
The growth of free from food in 2021 and beyond will depend partly on whether these products can expand their consumer base. Currently they rely on devout Christian Romanians who abstain from eating meat and dairy products for over three months each year while they observe religious fasts.
Consumption of free from gluten and free from lactose products is set to show strong growth during the forecast period, driven by urban consumers who increasingly value the image of brands as well as healthy ingredients. Manufacturers and retailers are expected to make concerted efforts to bring gluten- and lactose-free brands into the mainstream.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Food Intolerance industry in Romania with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Food Intolerance research and analysis database.
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