Growth in free from packaged food is being driven by a combination of rising consumer awareness of food allergies and intolerance and the development and distribution of an expanding range of products. While soy milk continues to dominate sales in the fastest-growing category, free from dairy milk, the category’s dynamism is being supported by the diversification of the offer to include products such as nut milk and oat milk.
From an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with diet-related health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, coeliac disease and lactose intolerance, to a general rise in consumer concern with the impact of diet on health, conditions are becoming increasingly favourable for the diversification and expansion of free from packaged food. Concerns about lactose intolerance are contributing to strong growth in both the free from dairy and free from lactose categories.
The high prices commanded by free from packaged food products represent a significant obstacle to the category’s development in South Africa, a market that continues to be characterised by low levels of consumer purchasing power. In addition, the expansion of categories such as free from meat and free from dairy continues to be constrained by the central role of meat and dairy in the traditional South African diet.
Unilever remained the largest player in free from packaged food in 2018, despite the ongoing erosion of its value share. The company’s leading position is founded on the strength of its Knorrox Soya Mince brand in the free from meat category.
Good Hope International was the fastest-growing top 10 player in free from packaged food in 2018, thanks to the ongoing dynamism of its MA Soy Milk and Good Hope brands in free from dairy milk. In addition, the company commenced local production and distribution of the US free from dairy milk brand, Almond Breeze, in South Africa in 2015.
Rhodes Food Group was the fastest-growing player in free from packaged food in 2018, as the Bull Brand Soya Mince it introduced in free from meat shelf stable meat substitutes in the previous year expanded dynamically. Bull Brand is notably an established brand in processed meat in South Africa, rising to second in the category in 2018.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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