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Gluten-free Guarantee

Gluten free Guarantee - For retailers

Maintaining a strict gluten-free diet is an everyday challenge for a growing number of people across the UK. While it may look like choice is on the rise, provision is patchy, and for too many people finding something to eat is an uphill struggle. Working with retailers, we want to ensure that people with coeliac disease, and other medical conditions, can live well, gluten free.

Our Gluten free Guarantee campaign aims to improve access to staple gluten free substitute products like fresh bread, pasta and breakfast cereal. We believe these products should be as widely available as their standard equivalents, and that retailers can help make this a reality.

Who is affected?

A large number of the 1.3 million Britons now following a gluten-free diet do so because it is the treatment for coeliac disease, but it is also followed by people with other medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) [1].

The diagnosis of these conditions continues to improve, which is resulting in growing numbers of people being placed on a strict gluten free diet, and plenty of people are now just choosing to go gluten free as a lifestyle choice.

Sales of gluten free products have been rising rapidly over a number of years, and this growth is set to continue, partly driven by better diagnosis, but also by the transition of how these products are accessed – moving out of the NHS and pharmacies and onto supermarket shelves. The UK gluten free market is now estimated to be worth in excess of £247 million a year and it has experienced double digit growth year on year since 2013 [2].

Why is it important?

Improving access to gluten free staple foods is one of our key campaigning goals to help make sticking to the gluten free diet simple and straightforward.

Sticking to the diet is influenced by a number of factors such as economic access, availability of products and the physical access to shops where gluten free food is sold [3]. For those with coeliac disease, poor dietary adherence risks ongoing ill health and serious complications like osteoporosis, so we’re working to make sure that life without gluten gets easier. 

Supermarkets and other retailers can make a significant contribution to UK public health, and corporate social responsibility strategies, by ensuring that those who need access to gluten free staple products can find them easily, wherever they are, at a reasonable price.

By working with us and making a Gluten free Guarantee, you will be able to tap into a growing, loyal customer base who will not only buy their gluten free staples from you, but also the rest of their household food and groceries.

For supermarkets

We’re asking supermarkets to guarantee the listing of at least one product from each of eight gluten free staple product categories. This is our supermarket gluten free basket.  The product categories are:

  • Fresh gluten free bread, brown or seeded
  • Fresh gluten free bread, white
  • Gluten free bread rolls
  • Gluten free crackers, savoury
  • Gluten free cereal bars
  • Gluten free breakfast cereal
  • Gluten free pasta
  • Gluten free flour

Gluten free on the go and convenience retailers

The way people shop for food is changing, with more people choosing to shop for less, more often. And those on a gluten free diet want the same things: convenient, quality, gluten free options, at a price they can afford.

Our members want to see more options for gluten free meals on the go - 50% of those on a gluten free diet say that they attempt to buy food when they’re at work, but more than 75% find it difficult [4]. IGD has estimated that the value of the food on the move in 2016 was £6bn, up by 6.8% on the previous year, and we want gluten free to take its share [5].

Food on the move is a key area for growth, as fewer people on a gluten free diet report accessing it, compared to those on a normal diet [4] [6]. The main reasons cited for not buying food on the move, in order of importance, are limited availability, limited choice and the expense [4]. 

We want to drive access and choice, but we are also conscious of the need to reduce food waste and the associated costs to businesses.  So we’re asking convenience retailers to guarantee the listing of a least one product from each of just four gluten free categories. This is our convenience gluten free basket. The product categories are:

  • Fresh gluten free bread, of any type
  • Gluten free breakfast cereal
  • Gluten free pasta
  • Sandwich, wrap or ready to eat meal on the move labelled gluten free

What is the ask?

It’s simple. We’re asking retailers to guarantee the listing of one of each product from our supermarket or convenience gluten free baskets, in all stores, across the estate. We expect that stores in excess of 3,000 sq. ft. to fulfil the supermarket basket categories, and stores less than 3,000 sq. ft., to fulfil the convenience basket of just four gluten free product categories.

To make the guarantee official, we’re asking retailers to make this commitment in writing for a minimum of 12 months, with a review before the end of the agreed period.

Where stores are operated under franchise or similar arrangements, we’re asking that these stores are also included, so that customers can be confident of finding what they need, regardless of where they shop.

Where there is an online shopping service, we’re asking that an appropriate substitution policy is in place for all products that form part of the Gluten free Guarantee.

What are we offering?

By making a commitment to the Gluten free Guarantee you are helping to ensure that people on a gluten free diet can easily access the food they need to live well and safeguard their health. Retailers can enhance contributions to corporate social responsibility initiatives, and make gains to their brand reputation, while supporting customers with coeliac disease and other health conditions – all of which our very vocal community will applaud.

We will also actively promote your commitment to our 65,000 members, through a joint press statement, on our website and through our social media channels, reaching the wider gluten free community who rely on us to deliver them updates on those who support our initiatives.  We will also include a feature in our magazine, Crossed Grain, and updates through a regular column to tell people about any new products or gluten free range developments.

You will also be provided with our Gluten free Guarantee logo for use in stores, giving you the opportunity to promote your commitment and support for people on a gluten free diet.

Make your Gluten free Guarantee today? 

If you are ready to give your customers a Gluten free Guarantee today, all you need to do is get in contact with the campaigns team at Coeliac UK.

Please email campaigns@coeliac.org.uk

If you are looking to promote your gluten free range to our 65,000+ members please go to the following section on our website and contact marketing@coeliac.org.uk or call 01494 796722

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