Key areas that need better gluten free
Improving gluten free isn't just about making it better everywhere, there are some specific areas where gluten free is non existent and that means there is a real opportunity for growth.
Whether catering for children in school, patients in hospital, people in residential care or those in prison, kitchen and service staff should be able to provide food that ensures the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
We're concerned that 60% of people on a gluten free diet still find it difficult to get a suitable gluten free meal when staying in hospital. Parents also report issues getting gluten free schools meals.
The legislation around the UK varies in terms of the specific obligations on hospitals and the provision of food, but in all cases there is a requirement to provide food that is safe and suitable for patients, which will maximise health outcomes. Patients should have a nutritional assessment on admission, which should ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made for gluten free meals. Care and support needs assessments should be completed for in need of social care, which should include reference to the need for gluten free food for those with coeliac disease.
Children should not excluded from school activities, excursions or meals because they are on a gluten free diet. So making sure catering teams know how to produce safe gluten free food is essential for any school providing meals.
Whether catering for a hospital, school, care home or prison the advice and processes for producing safe and trusted gluten free food are the same.
Opportunities in the gluten free market
We recently surveyed people on a gluten free diet to see if there was anything they craved that was hard to find. Over 9,000 people responded to our survey to tell us what they're looking for.
Gluten free Chinese, Thai and Indian food are high on the list of elusive gluten free food options. And, gluten free versions of Italian, British and American fare are much sought after.
Vegetarian gluten free dishes, of all cuisines, are worth including as part of your gluten free menu.
It is also worth knowing that around two thirds of people on a gluten free diet say that the reason they don't buy gluten free food when they are out and about because they can't find anything suitable or safe to eat.
Gluten free on the move
Gluten free meals on the move is a market which has room to grow. Potential customers who aren't yet accessing gluten free meals on the move are only not doing so because there is often nothing for them. Cost, limited choice and lack of healthy options were also raised by consumers.
Over 80% of people on a gluten free diet saying that finding gluten free food is difficult when at an airport. And, although most international airlines claim to have gluten free meal option, 70% of people still report finding it difficult to access gluten free food on flights.
A massive 92% of people on a gluten free diet find it difficult to find something to eat when travelling by train, which includes issues at stations, and 80% have problems when going by ferry.
90% of people on a gluten free diet report finding it difficult to find something to eat at sporting venues and 86% at entertainment venues.
Our top Gluten Freevolution tip is that reasonably priced prepackaged gluten free food, can help to fill the gap and meet the needs of people on a gluten free diet in the places where people are searching for options.
Retailers might want to check out our Gluten free Guarantee campaign, which asks shops to do more, by providing a gluten free on the move options for consumers. When looking for suppliers of gluten free prepackaged products or ingredients, look for products licensed with the Crossed Grain symbol, for products you can trust.