The association’s priorities included the development of best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology.
The GFIA is a full member association of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). Other founding members included Bells of Lazonby and BFree Foods. See the full list of founder members in the box below.
GFIA chair Simon Wright said: “The GFIA provides a single point of contact for this fast-changing sector, while encouraging the major suppliers to come together and share best practice to deliver the high quality their consumers expect.”
£673M by 2020
Free-from sales grew by 26.7% to reach £585.6M last year, according to charity Coeliac UK. Kantar Worldpanel forecast free-from sales to reach £673M by 2020.
Gluten-free sales made up 60% of free-from sales last year, claimed Mintel, an increase of 36% since 2015.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said the GFIA was the latest step in the maturation of the gluten-free sector.
“A new association devoted to gluten-free manufacturing will help the industry work together to tackle consistency and safety for the benefit of consumers and keep growing this vibrant new market,” said Sleet.
‘Growing this vibrant new market’
“We look forward to working with the GFIA to ensure the needs of people with coeliac disease continue to be met.”
Gluten-free was the third most mentioned food term in the media for the 12 months leading to November 2016, according to Leatherhead Food Research md Chris Wells.
“Gluten-free, which is third on our list, is a reflection of the fact that the percentage of the population electing to go for a gluten-free diet is considerably more than the 1% that needs to,” Wells explained.
About one in every 100 people in the UK is affected by coeliac disease, according to the National Health Service.
Founding members of the GFIA
Northumbrian Fine Foods
Bells of Lazonby