The fast growing ‘Freefrom’ category could be given an extra boost in 2012 following the publication of new, independent research* highlighting the emergence of a newly identified condition – Gluten Sensitivity – which responds positively to a gluten free diet. 
Medical experts are pushing for greater acknowledgement of Gluten Sensitivity as predictions show that as many as 10% of the UK population could benefit from cutting gluten from their diet.

With the predicted incidence of Gluten Sensitivity exceeding the more commonly known gluten related disorders, such as coeliac disease and wheat allergy, a shift in awareness of this Gluten Sensitivity could mean that more people than ever will buy into the gluten free sector.
For the gluten free sector of the Freefrom category, this research could lead to increased purchase, resulting in an incremental category value of £25 million a year. By 2015 it is estimated this new consumer group will have driven an additional £100 million to the category.    
Emma Herring, Retail Brand Manager at Dr. Schär UK, said: “We’ve already seen many non-coeliacs opting for a gluten-free diet, and benefiting from it; however with the recent recognition of Gluten Sensitivity, a greater portion of the population will be trialling gluten free products.

In a difficult economic climate, this is a lucrative sector for retailers and as awareness of this condition grows, support behind gluten-free becomes even more imperative.”
Commenting on this newly emerging condition, Professor David Sanders, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and University of Sheffield, said: “Gluten Sensitivity could affect many more people than coeliac disease.

In evolutionary terms, gluten is a relatively new foodstuff for the digestive system and we have noticed a trend of increased diagnosis of gluten-related disorders over the past decade.
“Research in this area is beginning to support what individuals have been saying – that cutting gluten from the diet can improve their symptoms even if they do not have clinically proven coeliac disease.

By defining Gluten Sensitivity we are able to put a name to the collective symptoms from which people have been suffering for years; this could potentially benefit millions of people worldwide.”
Dr. Schär UK’s DS gluten-free range offers an extensive selection of high quality, great tasting, gluten-free food. Consumers can choose from a range of gluten-free bread products, pastas, pizza, and even sausage rolls. DS-gluten-free products are suitable for people diagnosed with coeliac disease and those suffering from gluten and/or wheat allergies, intolerance and sensitivity.