OVER the last few years the free-from category has gone mainstream, moving from the fringes and specialist stores to its own dedicated aisles, and food and drink manufacturer Nestlé has offered some possible reasons why.
The firm, which produces gluten-free cereal range Nestlé GoFree, reckons free from has become much more mainstream in part due to a shift in focus from allergies and intolerances to lifestyle choices.
Jane Richards, associate marketing manager for Nestlé GoFree, said: “Free from is no longer associated purely with avoidance and restriction – research from Mintel suggests almost half of people buying into free from do so as part of a lifestyle choice with ‘healthy image’, ‘variety’, ‘naturalness’, and ‘weight control benefits’ all appealing above ‘personal allergy/intolerance’.”
But there are still significant barriers to entry in the segment.
And, although, awareness and availability is rising, according to YouGov, 47% of people still think being gluten or dairy free is ‘pretty challenging’.
We’re breaking down those barriers around taste and variety and bringing nostalgia and delight back to those who have deprived themselves of their favourite cereals for too long.
Key barriers include taste, price and variety. So tackling these obstacles is key to helping make peoples’ lives easier. Time spent with consumers and shoppers has shown Nestlé that whilst increasing numbers are buying into the free from category because of the perceived health benefits, shoppers – particularly where gluten-free cereals are concerned – are still seeking out taste and enjoyment.
Richards notes “Avoiding gluten means most of the ready-to-eat favourites are off limits and, with an overwhelming offering on shelf in the health space, we feel that the fun and enjoyment is missing from the segment.
“Nestle GoFree is reintroducing customers to the joy of cereal. We’re cereal like any other, just gluten free.
“We’re breaking down those barriers around taste and variety and bringing nostalgia and delight back to those who have deprived themselves of their favourite cereals for too long,” she said.
To bring the message that free-from foods don’t need to be low on flavour, Nestle is engaged in an ongoing marketing campaign to drive awareness of its GoFree brand.
“We want to reconnect consumers with the joy of cereal which we plan to do through a new creative platform: Cereal like any other, just gluten free. With an innovative online media plan to drive awareness of GoFree and drive trial, 2017 is set to be a very exciting year for the brand,” said Richards.