categorywatching - Free From 2023

The 'Free From' sphere is brimming with exciting innovation, which we deep dive into in our Free From 2023 report. It's a category that continues to evolve as new-wave technology and scientific breakthroughs bring a buzz around the future of allergens. Think advancements to detect and prevent allergen errors in menus and revolutionary accuracy in testing (which have often proved unreliable and timely to date!).

We've collated three key takeouts from the report, listed below, whilst trendhub subscribers can access the report in full via the link at the end of this article:

Allergen Friendly 2.0 – Many people are sensitive to more than one allergen; so companies increasingly reach for the holy grail of products which are free from all the major allergens (including milk, eggs, nuts, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, wheat, soy and sesame). There is also growing awareness around intolerances to other naturally occurring foods, including high FODMAP foods, which can include the likes of garlic, onion, broccoli, lentils and more – leading to an increase in gut happy and FODMAP-friendly innovation too.

Little Ones – There is increased attention on allergens where little ones are concerned – from allergen introduction for babies, to greater transparency regarding allergens in products aimed at toddlers and adolescents. Indeed, as allergens become more common – some schools are banning certain ingredients altogether, as well as experimenting with allergen-free school meals for all. There is also growing focus on the nutritional profile of typical 'free from' products for kids, since some 'free from' products lack the nutritional equivalence of their traditional counterparts. So we are seeing lots of reformulation to reflect this – for instance plant based milks boosted with added protein and calcium.

Beyond Soy & Nuts – In the plant based world, nuts and soy have long dominated when it comes to making cheese, milk and protein alternatives. But with increased awareness around allergen intolerances, brands are innovating to find alternatives to these – and they turn their attention in particular towards the likes of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax and more) and legumes (e.g. chickpeas, lupin beans, cannellini beans).


Subscribers can access the full Free From 2023 categorywatching report here. If you're not yet subscribed but are interested in accessing our regular reporting then get in contact via the link below.