Coeliac charity launches UK's 'first' gluten-free event for food professionals

The UK gluten-free market is estimated at £210m ($300m) . Photo: iStock - CharlieAJA

Nestlé, Marks & Spencer and the Food Standards Agency will be among speakers at what is claimed to be the UK’s first gluten-free networking event for food industry professionals.

Organised by charity Coeliac UK, the event – Gluten Free: Staying Ahead of the Game - will cover topics including growth and diversity in free-from retailing, the legislative challenges around gluten-free food, and gluten-free accreditation.

The one-day event will be held on Tuesday 14 June at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire.

The aim of the event is to allow manufacturers, retailers and the catering sector to gain essential insight from those companies that have already embraced a gluten-free offering and also facilitate opportunities for them to work together to help improve consumer experiences,” said Coeliac UK chief executive Sarah Sleet.

Gluten-free market to grow 50% by 2019

According to Mintel, which will be presenting at the event, the UK free-from market is worth £365m ($525m) and forecast to grow 50% by 2019. The gluten-free market alone is estimated to be worth £210m ($300m).

Organizations also speaking at the event include foodservice analysts Horizons, food analysis experts RSSL, Pizza Express, Hard Rock Café, Unilever, and bakers Bells of Lazonby. British Motor Museum, the first conference venue to gain gluten-free accreditation from Coeliac UK for its catering, will also present.

Coeliac UK, which was established in 1968, will provide updates on the gluten-free consultation services and accreditation schemes provided by the charity.

'Demand will only increase'

With half a million people in the UK still to be diagnosed with coeliac disease and many people choosing a gluten-free lifestyle, the demand for new products across the retail sector and catering establishments where people can enjoy a wide range of gluten-free menu options will only increase,” added Sleet.

We hope this event will encourage debate and valuable information for all sectors.”

See here for further information.

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