While people with specific food allergies remained the main consumers of free from products in 2018, the category continued to gain popularity among those that do not have food allergies but simply consider free from products healthier than standard alternatives. For instance, while free from gluten products are a necessity for people with coeliac disease, the gluten-free diet fad also led consumers who do not suffer from this condition to embrace such products in recent years.
Obesity and cholesterol levels are rising among United Arab Emirates consumers and thus there are concerns about health issues. People looked increasingly at healthier alternatives in general within dairy and beverages.
In response to rising demand among consumers, major hypermarket and supermarket chains in the United Arab Emirates expanded their free from packaged food assortments towards the end of the review period. For instance, Carrefour increased its offer of free from products as part of the launch of its Healthy Kitchen concept.
Most brands present in free from packaged food in 2018 were from international companies. This was partly because expatriates living in the United Arab Emirates tend to remain loyal to brands from their home countries.
Ace Canning Corp Sdn Bhd remained the overall leader in the free from category in retail value terms in 2018. This company distributes the soy milk brand Soyfresh and the other dairy milk alternatives brand Ecomil, which appeals to both lactose-intolerant consumers and those who are not but consider such products to be healthier than cow’s milk.
Emirates Snack Foods LLC, the distributor for Alpro, gained retail value share in 2018 thanks to the growth of the Alpro brand. Danone Groupe, the GBO for Alpro, acknowledged that the Middle East and Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions and is thus investing in this region.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in United Arab Emirates with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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