|The rise and rise of GF products|
An increased awareness of allergies, food intolerance and Coeliac disease drives the demand for more gluten free products in stores.
FMCG finds out what’s new in this category.
Healtheries has a wide range of wheat and gluten free (GF) products available in supermarkets nationwide, including breakfast cereals, pastas, snack bars, bread and baking mixes under the ‘Simple’ brand, as well as baking ingredients such as rice flour, rice flakes, cornmeal flour, ground LSA and ground linseed. Healtheries ‘KidsCare’ brand also has a range of GF snacks, such as Rice Wheels, Rice Rounds, and Corn Tubes in a variety of flavours.
James Ford, senior product manager at Healtheries says: “Healtheries believes in making good snacking habits easy, and recently launched a new range of Grain Wafers, which come in square and round shapes, are wheat free and endorsed by Coeliac NZ with the crossed grain logo. They also have no artificial colours or flavours and no added MSG, making them a healthy, tasty snack with or without toppings.”
The new square Grain Wafers come in three varieties, which are packed full of nutritious grains and seeds such as corn, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sunflower seeds, linseeds and sesame seeds.
“They’re the perfect bread replacement – being deliciously light and crispy, lower in kilojoules and sodium than regular bread – so ideal if you’re watching your weight and looking to lower your energy intake without compromising on taste,” says Ford.
The new round Grain Wafers come in three flavours: Sour Cream & Chives; BBQ Chicken; and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. They are lower in kilojoules and saturated fat than other more-ish snacks like regular potato chips, but pack just as much flavour.
“We are always looking for ways to improve and expand our range of wheat and gluten free products we offer to consumers and have more innovations planned for later this year,” says Ford.
“An example of this is two new varieties of the much-loved Healtheries Ground LSA (Linseed, Sunflower & Almond), which are wheat and gluten free, and a source of fibre and omega-3. Healtheries Ground LSA Super Fruits is a blend of LSA with added blueberry, strawberry and blackcurrant fibre – perfect for adding to smoothies, breakfast cereals, porridge and muffins. Healtheries Ground LSA Super Grains is a blend of LSA with added black chia, buckwheat and quinoa – perfect for adding to homemade breads and baking, hearty stews and soups, or sprinkled over salads.”
CEO Tim Grainger told FMCG: “Our team at Venerdi in west Auckland produce the Venerdi range of gluten free and dairy free products and more recently a brand called ‘Gluten Freedom’. We launched both a white and brown sandwich loaf under the ‘Gluten Freedom’ brand early this year and are launching gluten and dairy-free burger buns on 23rd April to complement the bread. The buns are our most wheat-like product yet! We are trying to get to a point where gluten free is as user friendly as wheat products.
“Gluten Freedom bread has started well and we are continuing to get steady growth in a sector that is quite competitive.
“People are enjoying the range of gluten free baked goods that is growing at a rapid pace. They are excited to try new products and the products that they continue to purchase are those that fit well into their lifestyle and taste good. We expect the strong in-store growth in this category to continue,” says Grainger.
In September 2011 Diamond launched a range of five GF pasta variants into the New Zealand market and these have rapidly established a share in excess of 18% of the GF segment, says Paul Doherty, key account manager (Aztec TKA Diamond Gluten Free Qtr value share of Total Gluten Free – 13 weeks to 26/02/2012 – 18.27%).
He says: “The launch of Diamond Gluten Free Pasta has reinvigorated the segment and as a result Gluten Free Pasta is growing more than two and half times faster than total pasta (Aztec TKA Total Gluten Free Qtr value sales vs YA – 13 weeks to 26/02/2012 + 8.17% and Aztec TKA, Total Pasta Qtr Value Sales v YA – 13 weeks to 26/02/2012 + 3.11%).
Doherty explains: “All of that growth has come from Diamond Gluten Free Pasta (Aztec Total Gluten Free Qtr Dollar Growth Actual YA – $47,531 to 26/02/2012 and Aztec Total Gluten Free Diamond Qtr Dollars Growth Actual YA – $114,992).
A number of factors have been key to the success of this launch says Doherty.
Bold and consistent premium packaging across the range has given Diamond a very strong shelf presence. The range of Spaghetti, Macaroni, Lasagne Sheets, Spirals and Penne encapsulates the primary shapes which make up over 80% of all pasta sold.
The extensive launch campaign including a TV advert, on-line campaign and close association with key publications, plus working with the Coeliac Society and its database to generate trial.
Doherty comments: “Consumer feedback has been fantastic. They love the taste and texture. A further benefit to our range has been the large number of potential allergens which were excluded in the product development.”
Diamond GF pasta is vegan and free of gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, GMO, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and soy.
New Zealand Kettle Korn is a new, lightly salted, slightly sweet, popcorn that is GF, as well as soy, dairy and peanut free.
Managing director Michael Howe told FMCG: “We launched New Zealand Kettle Korn on a retail level in September 2011. We operated as a concessionaire at local events and festivals for one and a half years before our retail launch. Working at events and festivals is a great opportunity for us to meet Kiwi families, many of which suffer from severe food allergies, including gluten allergies.”
During the first one and a half years, mums continually expressed their support for a retail product like NZ Kettle Korn that not only addressed their families’ allergy issues, but tasted great. Weekly we receive emails from customers like this: “I just wanted to take the time to thank you for making the most amazing popcorn I have ever had. I am blessed with dairy and gluten allergies and when I saw your packaging, I was over the moon. I have been finding it difficult to find satisfying snacks, and now I just buy several packets of your jumbo sized Kettle Korn weekly – I’m addicted and have already started spreading the word to family and friends.”
Howe says: “Our growth in only two quarters has been nothing less than incredible. Our marketing plan includes the launch of multiple flavours of Kettle Korn. We are also in the process of launching a new line of air popped popcorn in a variety of flavours. New Zealand Kettle Korn will soon become known as the #1 quality gourmet popcorn product on the market.”
Meadow Mushrooms has captured the best of mushrooms by offering a full range of canned products under the brand of Emma.
Emma Foods has been in business since 1978. Based in Christchurch, Emma Foods is New Zealand’s only canned mushroom producer.
The range consists of:
These four variants are gluten free and have no artificial preservatives or added flavours, says spokesperson Yvonne Clyne.
She explains: “The Emma brand has a 36.8% share of the canned mushroom category (TKA Aztec MAT period ended 11 March 2012). Emma canned mushrooms can provide a quick and tasty meal in minutes; just ‘heat & eat’. Ideal for a quiche filling, oven baked potatoes or kumara, sauce for steak, base for a soup, added flavour for pasta, paninis and hearty winter casseroles.”
Clyne says: “Don’t forget to come and visit the Emma sales team at the Gluten Free Food & Allergy Shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. For further information please contact our sales team: Mark Santy (Southern Region) 0272 202 452; Tracy Scott (Central Region) 0274 972 823 and Zane Hutching (Upper North Island) 0274 859 826.”
Blackball Salami Company
The legendary Blackball Salami Company is famed for producing some of New Zealand’s finest old-fashioned salamis and top quality speciality smallgoods. Using only the best lean NZ meats, the boutique West Coast butchery handcrafts a superb array of MSG free and GF products.
The company’s cooked chorizo and fresh pork sausages took out Bronze medals in the Great NZ Sausage competition, as well as Silver for the black pudding.
Director Debbie Russ says: “Our range includes venison, Italian and original salamis, smallgoods including chorizos, cabanas, biersticks and manuka-smoked bacons, as well as a selection of delicious gourmet sausages and patties. The products are available from leading supermarkets and speciality food stores. You can visit www.blackballsalami.co.nz for more information.”
Kirsten Unger, business director Bakeworks says: “Gluten free foods have seen a huge growth since we started baking gluten free bread and cookies over 10 years ago. When we started there were minimal bakeries around producing gluten free options and the quality was very average. We thought we could do better; why shouldn’t gluten free baked goods taste as good as ordinary wheat based products? We focused our development on baking a loaf of bread as close to the real thing, and in 2004 we launched our ‘Liberte’ gluten free bread range. The French word ‘Liberte’ means freedom and that seemed the perfect name for bread that is free of gluten, dairy, eggs and soy, but is soft enough to make a sandwich. Our Liberte bread range can be found in both Progressive and Foodstuffs stores nationwide along with our gluten free cookie range and gluten free breadcrumbs. In March we launched the first ‘Gluten Free Hot Cross buns’ for Easter in NZ supermarkets and the response was amazing. They were extremely popular and we had trouble meeting demand. Over the past couple of years we have found the gluten free market more competitive and the standard of products is constantly improving. Our aim is to keep coming up with innovative products and use only the best quality ingredients to ensure our brand continues to grow. We have some exciting new product launch plans throughout the year, including a gluten free Fruit Loaf, which will be available in stores shortly.”
GF Golden Days Sesame Snaps and Peanut Snaps are supplied by Hutchinsons, along with Trident Rice Vermicelli 125g; Trident Rice Stick Noodles 250g and Trident Authentic Thai Packet Soups in Hot & Spicy; Laksa; Tom Yum; and Chicken variants.
Hutchinsons has just launched Golden Days Peanut Snaps in a handy three-pack.
Sasha d’Entremont, senior product manager at Hutchinsons says: “Golden Days Peanut Snaps are brand new to New Zealand; they’ve been very successful in the Australian market and are off to a great start here.
“We’re still in the process of launching Golden Days Peanut Snaps and part of our launch strategy is to exhibit at this year’s Auckland Gluten Free Show.
“More and more New Zealanders are realising that gluten free products are a great, healthy alternative to traditional wheat based options. With wheat and gluten intolerance on the rise I believe this consumer-shift to gluten free products is only set to increase.”
Vogel’s Café-Style Light Original and Vogel’s Café-Style Light Berry are made with no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.
“This makes them extremely popular with people who want to reduce or manage their wheat intake, and their great flavour means that once they are on the breakfast table the rest of the family want them as well,” says Vicky Taylor of Smartfoods. She adds: “The range grew 19% in the last year (Aztec Mat 27/3/12), demonstrating just how much New Zealanders love these products. Smartfoods will be using the Gluten Free & Allergy Shows as a way to tell more consumers about these products and further build sales. Vogel’s plans to add further products to its wheat and gluten free range in the next 12 months,” says Taylor.
“The New Zealand Breakfast Cereal Specialty segment, which is largely made up of gluten free cereals, is worth $8,112,491* and is showing strong growth of 5% over the last year. Hubbards Thank Goodness Original – a blend of rice pops, fruits, nuts and seeds – continues to be the number one gluten free cereal in the segment with over 13% growth over the last year*,” says Rebecca Bergs, marketing manager, Hubbards Foods.
She explains: “More and more people are adopting a gluten free diet or partially gluten free diet as a way of promoting a healthier lifestyle for themselves. This, and the growing number of people medically diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, has led to demand for more gluten free versions of existing wheat-based products and greater variety overall. They are also looking for a brand they can trust to deliver a truly gluten free product.”
There are currently five cereals in the Hubbards Thanks Goodness range. These have been developed to appeal to a wide audience, including children, ranging from GF cocoa puffs to GF brown rice porridge. The range meets the standards set out by Coeliac New Zealand and carries the organisation’s ‘crossed grain’ logo, which gluten-sensitive consumers look for and trust.
“Hubbards will be extending its Thank Goodness range over the next few months with some innovative cereals that will specifically appeal to adults,” reveals Bergs.
*Aztec MAT to 01/04/2012
Manufactured by Tasman Dairy Producers and distributed by the Kiwi Yoghurt Company, GF Piako Gourmet Yoghurt is proudly Kiwi and family owned, with a simple goal to provide the best gourmet yoghurt products for New Zealanders.
Spokesperson Shaun Jacka told FMCG: “Since launch in 2009 things have gone from strength to strength at Piako, achieving 92% volume growth through key accounts vs last year and the delicious Passionfruit Yoghurt achieving top position as the number one product in the premium/gourmet segment in key accounts (Aztec scan data, volume, MAT to 04/03/12).”
From 2009-2011, the gourmet yoghurt segment has grown from a segment worth $7.5M to $25.8M retail sales dollars and continues to show strong growth, says Jacka. He explains: “This growth has been driven by consumers’ desire for a rich and creamy style yoghurt. Piako’s success was based on understanding this gap in the New Zealand market for gourmet yoghurts and producing simply the best yoghurt in the world. Don’t believe us? Just go and buy a tub!”
All FreshFields products are GF but they have an interesting extra health bonus. At the 2011 Auckland Gluten Free & Allergy show, dietician Anna Richards came by the Enzafoods stand and learnt the 120gm FreshFields Apple Sauce was made from variety-specific Royal Gala apples and this is what she had to say. “Royal Gala is a bland sweet apple and is much lower in the naturally occurring food chemical called salicylate. Salicylate can be an aggravator of eczema in young children and is not well tolerated in salicylate sensitivity. Apple varieties such as Granny Smith, Braeburn etc are much higher in salicylate and are not recommended for children with allergens or eczema”.
Richards is said to be recommending the 120gm FreshFields Apple Sauce to her customers; she particularly liked it for mums feeding small children. The 120gm pouch purees are great as a base for feeding to infants straight, or adding cooked vegetables or other fruits, and are readily available in supermarkets throughout New Zealand.
Consumers with gluten intolerance often find ingredients for baking difficult. Apple sauce is recommended as a replacement for butter and/or eggs in many recipes, and the FreshFields Apple Syrup is always a treat as a drizzle or topping – it is made from 100% NZ apples and GF, says spokesperson Robin Percy.
Luciell McIlroy, managing director, Brelita Foods, says: “We have just launched a new brand called Seasons, starting with a fine dining range of gourmet soups, which are now available in selected supermarkets. Our head chef Mark Harman, ex Dine by Peter Gordon, has used his vast fine dining experience to create four restaurant quality soups that not only taste exquisite but are all gluten free. The four new flavours are Smoked Kahawai Chowder; Kumara, Coconut & Lemongrass; Pumpkin, Parmesan & Basil; Tomato & Vanilla Bean. Mark’s passion is for great food that tastes fantastic but is also good for you. Check out our website seasonsgourmet.co.nz for our product range.”
Crombie & Price
Auckland-based Crombie & Price supplies a wide range of brands, including Orgran; Naturally Good; Leda Nutrition; Eskal; Sweet William and Buontempo.
Among the new gluten-free products the company has launched in the past 12 months are: Leda Arrowroot biscuits; Sweet William Scooby Do Mud; Orgran Face biscuits; three Orgran pastas; Orgran crimpers and Buontempo Macaroni & Cheese.
“We will be launching up to six more products soon,” says spokesperson Catherine McArdle. For more information visit crombie-price.co.nz
Easiyo manufactures ambient yogurt sachets that are supplied in the ambient section in supermarkets all over NZ.
“We also supply the Easiyo maker, which makes it possible for consumers to make a high quality premium yogurt, within the comfort of their own home,” says Stuart Silkstone, national accounts manager.
Easiyo is a completely natural product that contains no stabilisers or emulsifiers and is gelatine and gluten free. “Also suitable for vegans and Halal approved, it really is a superb product that can be enjoyed by many consumers,” says Silkstone.
He adds: “In 2010, we introduced a new premium sub-segment, and these [products] have been met with tremendous acceptance. In 2011, we added two more lines to this segment that drives consumers to purchase a higher value item and trades the category up. We launched Greek & Coconut ’n Bits, with real coconut pieces, as well as Blueberries & Cream to complement the current premium offer. These have done exceptionally well since introduction.
“The ambient yogurt market is worth $12 million, growing at 11.5% MAT, with Easiyo overall growing at 22% (Aztec 26/02/12). The premium sub-segment is absolutely rocking, as an example, with sales well in excess of +250% in all major retail channels in each region across the country, versus last year,” comments Silkstone.
Among other exciting new launches this year are Greek & Cranberry ’n Bits and Mixed Berries ’n Bits.
“We are also introducing a stunning new yogurt base for a smoothie – new Easiyo Vanilla Bean Smoothie. Now you can have all the benefit of Easiyo yogurt, in a handy smoothie base − just add fruit and let your imagination run wild!
“Consumers are definitely trading up to a more premium product that offers true value.
“Products like Easiyo ’n Bits range and yogurt products in the chilled section with real fruits pieces are increasing in sales and popularity,” he says.
Simon Gillian founded Delidownunder ten years ago. The Christchurch-based business began exporting products from New Zealand to the UK and Europe in 2001.
And now they import products from around the world into New Zealand.
Delidownunder imports and distributes Changs GF range, Old Time Bakery wraps and Mrs Crimbles from the UK.
Gillian says: “All the ranges have experienced steady growth – particularly the first two – and the star performers are Changs Wok Ready Noodles, Stir Fry Sauces and the Organic Gluten Free Wraps from the Old Time Bakery. Mrs Crimbles are the biggest brand in the UK and its Chocolate Macaroons and Cheese Crackers are to die for.”
These products are available in some New World and Pak’n Save stores.
Delidownunder will be introducing about 10-12 new lines in the next two months, “in time for the gluten free shows”, says Gillian. For more information visit delidownunder.com.
Managing director Ann Brockliss told FMCG: “The CuisAnn brand is in supermarkets willing to accept our products on a store-specific approval basis and they deal directly with us. CuisAnn’s frozen pies and savouries have been available for many years now and have grown in popularity since more supermarkets have agreed to stock our products, and customers have been able to buy them while doing their normal grocery shop.
“As CuisAnn’s pastry products have no competitors, they are a new line for supermarkets and do not displace other products or brands. Supermarket sales are steady, and customers who wish to buy our products are very appreciative of, and loyal to, the supermarkets who agree stock them,” says Brockliss.
“We have noticed a growing understanding from supermarket staff for the need for gluten free products, and a greater willingness to meet customer demand, even though freezer space is precious and we are too small to have merchandisers doing the work in their stores.
“As our unique pastry is well liked by everyone (including people who do not have to eat gluten free), we have finally bowed to demand and put the pastry we use in our pies and savouries out for sale. We have created a pack of savoury short pastry containing four pre-rolled and cut sheets 215mm x 240mm. It is sold in boxes of ten packs. This was launched in December last year with most supermarkets putting it out for sale early this year. Stores stocking our pastry have not experienced a loss in sales of our other products.
“As the pastry is pre-rolled, this alleviates a lot of the headache around cross-contamination. With the growing trend towards people cooking more for their families, and experimenting with a wide range of recipes, our pastry makes cooking gluten free pastry products for the family a breeze. On the other hand, a stock of CuisAnn individual serve size products in the freezer makes quick meals, or a hearty lunch at work a breeze also.
“CuisAnn will be attending the Gluten Free & Allergy Shows again this year and promoting the pastry along with our other products, and the retail outlets stocking our brand. These shows are always well attended. We have noted from talking with people at the shows that they want to buy gluten free products locally.
“We are currently experimenting with a sweet pastry and hope to launch this as a new product later this year.”
Love Cake GF baking mixes
Love Cake Company specialises in premium quality, all natural baking mixes.
Director Virginia Clark says: “We have two ranges, our Organic Range and our Natural Range; each feature a Simply Divine Chocolate cake, muffin and cookie mix. The Natural Range is available in selected New World supermarkets nationwide.
Our focus for 2012 is new products. We are aiming to expand our range of cake and muffin mixes to include a pure vanilla, great for adding fruit, icing or topping of your choice. Also a tangy lemon, which will be sensational with a lemon syrup poured over. We are working on additional flavours of cake and muffin also.
In addition we are working on a pudding / dessert range. Self -saucing chocolate pudding, sticky date pudding, to name a couple.
“We are finding more and more people are turning to a gluten free or low gluten diet. For some it is a necessity, if a diagnosis of Coeliac disease excludes all gluten from the diet. For others it may be a wheat intolerance, which means the quantity of wheat consumed needs to be reduced. Others by choice or self-diagnosis elect to go gluten free.
“We believe the awareness of Coeliac disease, food allergies and intolerance has certainly increased. We also believe the number of people, especially children, being diagnosed with food allergies is on the rise.
“Often, especially in children, there are a number of allergies diagnosed. Love Cake products strive to accommodate as many of these allergies as possible. As well as being gluten free our products are dairy free, soy free and nut free. In addition some are egg free, or offer an egg free option, and of course they are all natural, so are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.”
The Tasty Pot Company was hatched from a desire to get a greater variety of vegetables into our diet, to provide convenient meals which are healthy, natural and delicious. The company supplies Tasty Pot meals (350g), soups (500g) and salads (225g) to NZ supermarkets, says co-founder Natalie Vivian.
She explains: “We're constantly trying to improve what we do; restless innovation, developing a range of soups to complement our meals, and at the start of November 2011 a range of fresh salads. Our full range of soups, all of which are gluten free, are back on shelf this week.”
The soups’ range (500g) includes:
• Free Range Chicken & Leek Soup with potato, lemon & fresh tarragon (low in fat, GF, no dairy)
Tasty Pot’s GF salads (250g) include:
• Superfood with red quinoa, toasted seeds & pomegranate dressing (low in saturated fat, high in fibre, GF)
Tasty Pot’s GF meals (350g) include:
• Thai Green Curry with brown rice, green beans, shitake mushrooms & lemongrass (low in fat, high in fibre, GF)
“Being a small and relatively new business we don’t currently have the budget to buy in data. One of our best barometers is consumer and trade feedback and to date it’s all been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s clear to us that gluten free is increasingly relevant to a growing number of Kiwis. While we don’t position ourselves as a 100% gluten free company, it is a major consideration for us when developing new recipes, as ultimately we about making people’s lives that little bit easier. Gluten Free is certainly high on the agenda.”
Among the new products TopShelf has launched in the last 12 months are Piri Piri Aioli with Horopito and Gourmayo fresh mayonnaise.
Director Jesse Watson says they are currently slow to move without marketing budgets or promotional manpower, but produce “promising products which will find their place slowly”.
The company is also launching Kalamata Tapenade, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Hollandaise Sauce and Tartare Sauce.
Watson says: “There is definitely a move towards simple, preservative free, palm oil free and gluten free food products made fresh with quality ingredients.”