Gluten-free Foods in Focus During Coeliac Awareness Week
With demand for gluten-free products continuing to soar, frozen food distributor Central Foods has calculated that if all the 12-inch gluten-free pizza bases it sold in the last year were laid end to end the distance would measure 250 times the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Collingtree, Northampton, England-based company, which supplies foodservice outlets across the United Kingdom and abroad, reports that there is a growing appetite for free-from, vegetarian and vegan menu items. And with Coeliac Awareness Week 2017 running from May 8-14, the company is spotlighting its most popular gluten-free items.
“Coeliac UK estimates that there are now over 1.3 million Britons, or 3% of British adults, following a gluten-free diet. In addition, 8.58 million, or 13%, are avoiding gluten in their diet, so it’s hardly surprising that we are seeing an increase in demand for gluten-free items from foodservice operators such as pubs, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and other outlets,” said Gordon Lauder, managing director of Central Foods. “We have been supplying the catering industry with frozen, ready-prepared, sweet and savory gluten-free products since 2009, and are proud to have worked with Coeliac UK to raise awareness about the issue in the industry.”
Central Foods does business with more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, offering a wide line of 400-plus items ranging from pizza bases, meat and bakery products to canapés, wraps, buffet components, desserts and puddings. It also supplies caterers across the entire foodservice sector, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, staff canteens, schools, hospitals, coffee shops, football grounds and universities.”
“While many foodservice operators already include gluten-free items that are suitable for coeliacs on their menus, Coeliac Awareness Week provides the chance for them to offer additional gluten-free products – perhaps as specials or extra dishes,” said Lauder. “It’s also the chance for operators to consider joining the Gluten Freevolution – a new campaign being launched by Coeliac UK.”