Wednesday, 23 August 2017

 

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This year's Free From/Functional Food Innovation Awards saw the introduction of a Lifetime Achievement Award - which was taken home by Italian distributors Probios, and gluten-free brand Farabella, also from Italy.

Swedish brand Vilmas celebrated winning Best New Brand for its range of gluten-free crackers and Quinua Real scooped Product of the Year for its Quinoa syrup. Laia Abello, from Quinua Real, said: "We are proud and delighted with the recognition of our unique gluten-free product in such an exciting and innovative industry."

At the conference, analysts from Mintel said that the UK free-from market is currently worth GBP531m and is predicted to grow to GBP673m by 2020. The sector has a promising future, driven largely by Generation Z (16-24 year olds). Industry expert Hamish Renton, of food and drink consultants Hamish Renton Associates, also revealed the exploding popularity of lactose-free, calling it the "star in the free-from sky". He told the attendees that the rate of product development, the weight of marketing investment and the expansion of distribution means the category is set for very rapid growth.

With more visitors than ever before, Free From/Functional Food Expo 2017, held June 8-9 in Barcelona, revealed that the free-from and functional food trend continues to thrive across Europe. The fifth edition featured more than 260 producers from 39 countries, including the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Korea, Ireland and Canada. It attracted more than 4,300 buyers - up by 29% from 2016.

Producers included: Grano, Bute Island Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Rude Health, Nakd Trek, Generous, Germen, Glebe Farm Foods, King Soba, Dhul, Sweet Switch, Turtle, Mrs Crimble's, Broderick's Brothers, Virginia Health Food, 226ers, Honest, Probios, Proceli and Bfree Foods. 

Related articles: 

Exclusive: Free From Expo Brings New Functional Section 

Free From Food Expo Expands with Ingredients Expo   

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