International Journal of Celiac Disease
ISSN (Print): 2334-3427 ISSN (Online): 2334-3486 Website: Editor-in-chief: Samasca Gabriel
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International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2020, 8(3), 95-103
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-8-3-5
Open AccessArticle

Gluten-free Products in the UK Retail Environment. Availability, Pricing, Consumer Opinions in a Longitudinal Study

Frank Vriesekoop1, , Emily Wright1, Stephanie Swinyard1 and Wim de Koning1, 2

1Department of Food Technology and Innovation, Harper Adams University, Newport TF10 8NB, United Kingdom

2Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084, Lincoln, Canterbury, 7647 New Zealand

Pub. Date: August 02, 2020

Cite this paper:
Frank Vriesekoop, Emily Wright, Stephanie Swinyard and Wim de Koning. Gluten-free Products in the UK Retail Environment. Availability, Pricing, Consumer Opinions in a Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2020; 8(3):95-103. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-8-3-5


Gluten free products are essential for people who suffer from coeliac disease or have a more generic gluten intolerance. In both instances people are forced to resort to consuming gluten free (GF) foods. We carried out two online surveys to gauge the sentiments from people purchasing GF produce, and we carried out two retail observation studies. These studies were carried out in 2015 and repeated again 2019. Bread was the most commonly purchased GF product, but also the most complained about GF product, both from a quality and a price point of view. These sentiments did not change much from 2015 to 2019. One clear set of trends was that people purchased less specialty flour and raising agent when comparing 2019 to 2015, and they did less home-baking over the same period. Furthermore, the decrease in home-baking coincided with a relative increase in satisfaction in the quality of GF products. With regards to observations made across 11 supermarkets, we observed an overall increase in the number of GF line items, with the budget supermarkets offering a very small selection of produce labelled as GF in 2019 only. Our research shows that the relative cost of GF items increased from 2015 to 2019, with the average price ratio of GF food to non-GF foods rising from 3.2 to 4.1 across all UK supermarkets. Ultimately, GF produce cost significantly more compared to similar, gluten-containing foods, while many of the GF products, especially GF breads, still underperform when it comes to the perceived quality and value for money.

longitudinal availability range price free-from price discrimination shopping-basket

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