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Free-from, Organic Leading Wellness Categories

Foods and beverages offering health benefits, such as free-from and organic products, drove value sales in 2016, with organic increasing by 6.8 percent to reach $36 billion and free-from increasing by 7 percent to reach $32 billion.

That’s according to new research from global market research company Euromonitor International on the growth of free-from food products, or foods that do not contain ingredients known to cause a reaction for people with food allergies or intolerances.

“Growth in organic and free-from food sales has boomed in 2016 as consumers are reading labels more carefully than ever, seeking natural ingredients and looking for foods that represent a ‘guilt-free’ purchase,” said Ewa Hudson, head of health and wellness at Euromonitor International.

The increasing demand for lactose-free and hypoallergenic options within foods and beverages has contributed to the growth of free-from, which is set to generate an additional $9.5 billion sales by 2021 and will become the fastest growing category in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe and North America, with an average of 5.4 percent growth.

“A clear statement that combines health, convenience, fashionable packaging and affordable price is the winning strategy behind health and wellness developments,” Hudson explained. “Before the free-form boom, gluten and lactose-free options were the opposite of convenience, meaning consumers were forced to either avoid or prepare almost every meal from scratch. Now, convenience has found its way into free-from and with that, growth opportunities abound. Organic is also in sync with the natural and clean label trend, and so unlikely to fall out of favour with consumers in the foreseeable future.”

Free-from and organic foods and beverages will continue to contribute to the global health and wellness industry, which is on the way to hit a record high of $833 billion by 2021, Euromonitor projected.

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