The firm’s £8M Bedford factory is dedicated solely to producing gluten-free, egg and dairy-free food coatings, including batter mixes and dry-mix marinades. The 3,716m2 factory began production this month, Bowman Ingredients confirmed.
Retailers were driving growth of the free-from sector, and the European gluten-free market was worth about £600M, the ingredients firm claimed. Its new facility meant it could supply the volumes needed to keep up with the growing demand for free-from foods, it added.
“We have been at the forefront of innovation in gluten-free and free-from food coatings for 15 years, but this investment takes us to a whole new level,” said Bowman Ingredients ceo Rory Bowman. “We are now able to supply the volumes we need to meet increasing demand from our customers in the UK and Europe.
- UK’s first free-from factory opened this month
- £8M investment
- 3,716m2 factory
“As well as expanding production, our dedicated gluten-free, egg and dairy-free blending plant will allow us to develop new products, increase flexibility and improve response times.”
The new facility has the capacity to produce 15,000t of gluten-free, egg and dairy-free coatings a year – the equivalent to 41t a day. The facility also included new manufacturing and blending plants, and new warehousing offices.
15,000t of gluten-free, egg and dairy-free coatings
Bowman Ingredients makes coatings for frozen and chilled foods. It also claimed to supply coatings for many well-known chicken products, served in market-leading fast-food restaurants across the UK, Europe and Russia.
Free-from featured in Cargill’s 2017 top chocolate and cocoa trends earlier this month. Consumer demand for free-from was increasing, particularly in lactose-free, it claimed.
Warburtons, Genius Foods and Northumbrian Fine Foods were founding members of the Gluten Free Industry Association, it was revealed on January 6. The association was formed in response to the rapidly growing market for gluten-free products, it said. Warburtons subsequently launched a gluten-free crumpet a week later.
Meanwhile, gluten-free product sales were up 27% in 2016, according to a report by Coeliac UK.
Rising gluten-free sales – at a glance
- Sales up 27% last year
- 13% of British people choose gluten-free
- Supermarkets now stock 80% of all gluten-free products made