The Future of Free-From
and Allergy-Friendly Foods
Kroger, Fresh Thyme, Aldi blazing new trails
By Mary Bobson
Food retailers are increasingly well positioned for shopper wellness. As hoppers seek fresh, less processed claims and categories, they rely on food stores as among their most
trusted allies for meeting their wellness needs.
That news, excerpted from FMI’s "Grocery
Trends 2017" report, underscores the profit
power free-from products – think non-GMO,
gluten-free and allergen-free items – can wield.
It was less than a decade ago that free-from
products started gaining traction with American
consumers, says Carl Jorgensen, director of
global thought leadership-wellness at Daymon
“Free-from positioning has been around for a
long time, but as the use of the term ‘natural’ on
labels became more of a liability, the ‘free-from’
proposition became more popular,” explains
Jorgensen, whose expertise is in organic, natural, non-GMO, allergen-free, nutritional, sustain-ability and in-store wellness services. He equates
the launch of Kroger’s Simple Truth brand in
September 2012 as a watershed moment in the
world of private brands.
Simple Truth is part of Kroger’s “Free From
101” brand tier comprised of products that do not
contain 101 artificial preservatives and ingredients customers told the retailer they didn’t want in
Data Tells the Story
Consumers are increasingly turning to products
that tout the absence of negative ingredients.
Claims such as low sugar, low sodium, no artificial
ingredients and no preservatives are among the top
health claims that shoppers seek, FMI reports.
Mintel and Euromonitor research echoes those
Three in 10 consumers say they would pay
more for non-GMO dishes, and two in five say