Consumer dietary and buying habits have been changing over recent years, with gluten-free (or free-from) diets growing in popularity due to more informed choices being made. These trends are set to continue, with the UK gluten-free foods and beverages market set to see a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% during the 2020-2027 period*. The number of gluten-free customers is rising and will continue to do so.

With this growing market, food businesses like dessert manufacturers are trying to make moves and capture the opportunities that are showing in this sector. One key factor in this market is just how conscious the customers are in their buying decision. People are turning to free-from diets for mainly health-related reasons, so it’s important that businesses build customer confidence in their products for those choosing free-from foods for reasons like:

  • Managing celiac disease
  • Allergies to wheat or gluten
  • Mitigating gluten sensitivity

HOW CAN FOOD MANUFACTURERS WIN GLUTEN-FREE CUSTOMERS?

The primary way for businesses to build trust in their brand for customers is by verifying and demonstrating that their products are indeed free of gluten. Manufacturers and retailers can do this by providing clear and thorough labelling of their product’s ingredients, or even displaying a badge of certification where possible.

An example of this is the Crossed Grain Symbol, which is recognised internationally by gluten-free consumers and coeliac organisations alike. Coeliac UK explains that the Crossed Grain Symbol is “the most important means of communicating that a product is safe for the gluten-free diet” and provides consumers with “a quick reference point” for identifying suitable products.

Having this kind of recognition is a sure-fire way of showing the integrity and quality of your products. As a result, it gives businesses a competitive advantage by being trusted by consumers…

  • 93% trust the Crossed Grain Symbol.
  • 77% are more likely to buy a Crossed Grain certified product than one that isn’t certified.
  • 87% find the symbol most useful when the products aren’t in the free-from aisle.

The Crossed Grain Symbol is an internationally recognised certification.

HOW CAN BUSINESSES GET CERTIFICATION?

To obtain a certification like the Crossed Grain Symbol to establish trust in a brand, food and dessert manufacturers will have to pass the relevant tests or audits. These kinds of checks are in place to verify a business’ compliance with requirements for producing gluten-free or free-from products. Like in any audit, a manufacturer’s production and administration processes will be under scrutiny, and the business will need to provide documentation and evidence for these processes.

To help with these checks, it’s important that manufacturers have systems in place to ensure the integrity and safety of the food they produce. Having an electronic traceability system in place can give businesses the tools to track unique commodities throughout their production process, with batch reports readily available to provide visibility over the specific ingredients and lots that have gone into a mix or final product.

Digital systems can help businesses future-proof their production while gaining greater control and clarity to guarantee products are free of gluten. Reporting tools can help businesses provide the relevant documentation and reports like Mass Balance to auditors in a matter of seconds, eliminating the need for hours of manual reporting and making the auditing process easier to manage.

Learn more about how traceability can help your business manage and handle sensitive commodities like allergens in our post below.

HOW TRACEABILITY HELPS GLUTEN-FREE MANUFACTURERS

  • Assign unique lot numbers to incoming stock to track commodities throughout production.
  • Set up quality and assurance controls to ensure necessary precautions are taken for product safety.
  • Digital reports available for multiple stages of production to provide evidence of product integrity and the controls in place to protect that.

Learn about our traceability system and how it can fit into your business operations.

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