Global Market for Food Intolerance Products: At War With Our Food

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Apr 2009

This special strategic report on food intolerance highlights the trends, the drivers behind them, focusing on major national markets, the sectors and what the future holds. There are currently over 300 million people managing special diets worldwide; the number is rising each year. Increased diagnosis has given rise to a new and growing market for food intolerance or "free from" products, as well as stricter labelling and a greater awareness of the content and origin of packaged foods.

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Global Market for Food Intolerance Products: At War With Our Food

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment

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Global Market for Food Intolerance Products: At War With Our Food


Demand Factors
Summary 1 Drivers and Constraints in the Food Intolerance Products Market 2008
Consumer Market Trends
Chart 1 Top 10 Markets for Food Intolerance Products
Chart 2 Forecast Growth of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2008-2013


Lactose-free food
Gluten-free food
Diabetic food


Higher Incidence of Food Allergies
Pollutants to blame?
Allergies lasting longer
Knowledge of allergies is improving
Mass hysteria over nuts
Increased Diagnosis of Intolerances
Vagueness of symptoms makes diagnosis difficult
Food intolerance testing becomes big business
Food intolerance is often genetic
Trends in Gluten Intolerance
Coeliac disease
The development of gluten-free products
Trends in Lactose Intolerance
Prevalence varies according to region
The development of lactose-free products
The Rise of Diabetes
Types of diabetes
Higher obesity levels contribute to problem
Table 1 National Obesity Rates in Selected Countries 2002-2007
Dietary requirements for diabetics
Growing Health Consciousness
Healthy eating trend encourages free-from consumption ...
... as well as of better-for-you products in general
Media plays its part
Labelling Regulations
No global standards for allergen labelling
EU labelling requirements
International gluten-free standards
US introduces new gluten-free definition
Companies introduce their own standards
Australia adopts lowest denominator for gluten
Diabetic food labelling
Technological Development
Research continues into gluten substitutes
Lactose-free developments
The Importance of the Internet
On-line help for intolerance sufferers
Internet usage becomes more international
Table 2 Number of Internet Users by Country 2003/2008


Global Market
Birth of an industry
Market boosted by non food-intolerant consumers
Women are core consumers
High prices and restricted distribution hamper growth
Gluten-free and diabetic foods are most dynamic
Table 3 Global Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
US remains by far the most developed market
Mexican market soars on the back of increased lactose intolerance
Table 4 Global Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Market 2003/2008
Lactose-free Products
Dairy products lead the way
Lactose-free ice cream yet to develop
Table 5 Global Sales of Lactose-free Products by Sector 2003/2008
US dominates market, but Mexico shows highest growth
Swedish market boosted by new product development
Sales still negligible in China
Table 6 Global Sales of Lactose-free Products by Market 2003/2008
Gluten-free Products
Bakery products dominate gluten-free sector
Gluten-free beers reach mainstream
Table 7 Global Sales of Gluten-free Products by Sector 2003/2008
US extends lead over Italy
Germany and the UK also see strong growth
Table 8 Global Sales of Gluten-free Products by Market 2003/2008
Diabetic Products
Table 9 Global Sales of Diabetic Foods by Sector 2003/2008
Russia leads the way
UK market hampered by Diabetes UK advice
Table 10 Global Sales of Diabetic Foods by Market 2003/2008
New Product Development
Arla at forefront of lactose-free development
Competition from soy-based innovations
General Mills launches gluten-free cereal brand
Summary 2 New Product Launches in the Food Intolerance Market 2007-2009


Increased Distribution Through Supermarkets/Hypermarkets
UK supermarkets dominate free-from sales
Health food chains remain strong in US
Supermarkets in Russia see rapid growth
Table 11 Supermarket/Hypermarket Share of Food Intolerance Product Sales 2003/2008
Growth of Non-store Sales
Internet offers convenience and lower prices
Peapod filters by dietary needs
Free-from vending emerges in Italy


History of food intolerance
Valio pioneers lactose-free technology
Gluten-free market less developed
Table 12 Finland: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Food intolerance largely unacknowledged
Gluten-free leads the way
Specialist shops and pharmacies dominate sales
Table 13 France: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Awareness of food intolerances still low
Lactose-free competes with soy
Gluten-free benefits from wider product range
Diabetic products face competition from "Diät" segment
Fragmented market
Table 14 Germany: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Growth held back by limited distribution ...
... but number of gluten-free products rises sharply
Home to Dr Schär
Table 15 Italy: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Russia leads diabetic food sector
Gluten and lactose-free products still in infancy
Supermarkets drive growth
Table 16 Russia: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Media creates interest
Gluten-free enjoys dynamic growth
Supermarkets at forefront of innovation
Table 17 UK: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008
Dairy-free dominates US intolerance market
But growth fuelled by gluten-free and diabetic foods
Is the party over for diabetic confectionery?
General Mills challenges specialists
Table 18 US: Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2003/2008


Trends to Watch
Free-from sector destined for bright future
Increased diagnosis will sustain growth
A loyal consumer base
Innovation will be key
Mainstream food companies to enter the market
Lower prices will boost market
Distribution to become more widespread
More market regulations needed
Opportunities in the consumer foodservice sector
Market to defy recession
Lactose-free sector may enter period of maturity
Gluten-free offers best potential for growth
Table 19 Forecast Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Sector 2008/2013
US market slows, but demand still strong in Mexico
China offers long-term potential
Table 20 Forecast Sales of Food Intolerance Products by Country 2008/2013