Free from registered further healthy retail volume and current value sales growth across categories in 2020. While overall growth rates were faster than in 2019, as Coronavirus (COVID-19) heightened health awareness and boosted the healthy eating trend, the upswing in free from products is well established in packaged food in the Netherlands.
In 2019 and 2020, free from witnessed significant new product development as manufacturers sought to tap into this fast-growing category in the Netherlands. The healthy eating trend, in line with wider environmental and health awareness and concerns over allergies and food tolerances, has grown the potential consumer base for these products.
The demand for free from dairy and meat products grew apace with the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Netherlands. During the spring-summer 2020 lockdown the demand for vegan products, such as free from dairy milk, cheese and yoghurt and plant-based options, increased significantly.
Governmental agencies in the Netherlands have been arguing for a more plant-based diet population wide. The general guideline encompasses the gradually transitioning to a diet that is 20% based on animal products and 80% plant-based.
In free from meat, the trend towards free from soy and gluten products is expected to accelerate in the forecast period. The majority of meat substitutes on the Dutch market consist of soy protein products.
Manufacturers are expected to continue to see growth opportunities in new product developments that present shorter and more recognisable lists of ingredients to consumers, such as in free from meat meat substitutes. There has been some apprehension regarding meat substitutes, in general, as such products undergo numerous processing steps in order to provide tastes and textures that are suitable for consumption and appealing to consumers.
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This report originates from Passport, our Food Intolerance research and analysis database.
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