“Free From” watch

Category : Market information: figures and trends

Published on 16/01/2019

image “Free From” watch


The global market for gluten-free products was estimated at $15 billion in 2016. (source: Grand View research) The main alternatives are legumes, hemp, rice, corn, potatoes, ancient grains, etc.
The lactose-free product market is expected to reach $17.8 billion by 2027. These include plant-based beverages and desserts, ice creams, and even cheeses made with nuts (almonds, cashew nuts)...), rice, hemp, coconut milk, or soy.

The French market for gluten-free products reached €95 million (22% more than in 2016)
The allergen-free product market is flourishing in supermarkets. In 2015, it rose 8% to €197 million and is expected to reach €215 million in 2016 (+9%), according to Xerfi. Lactose-free products are over-represented in this group, especially when it comes to milk, which accounts for €103 million in sales (+11%). (source: LSA)
While the ultra-fresh dairy market (€400 million in France) lost 3% of its annual turnover in 3 years, the plant-based segment is growing, with a turnover of €81 million (+42% )


49% of consumers worldwide buy gluten-free products – 57% because they think they are healthier, 29% for the flavour, and 15% because they are intolerant
50% of consumers worldwide buy lactose-free products – 51% because they think they are healthier, 29% for the flavour, and 21% because they are intolerant
This trend affects Millennials more strongly.

The trend towards “free from” products extends beyond allergens, with consumers now seeking to avoid any “harms” demonised by the media or whistleblowers: sugar, meat, pesticides, additives, palm oil, aspartame, ....
In France, 8% of the population, or 5 million people, consume gluten-free products. But the figure rises to 12 million when you include regular (not exclusive) consumers. Like flexitarianism, the bulk of the gluten-free market is made up of people who reduce their consumption without stopping it altogether.
Just over one in four French people still trust food brands. This new climate of mistrust benefits organic (+17% in volume) and plant (meat and dairy substitutes are up 30%) ranges. (Source: Linéaires).