Fruit, Free-From Fastest-Growing Products In 2016: Nielsen
The shift of the British consumer to a more healthy lifestyle has encouraged fresh fruit and 'free-from' products to become 2016's fastest-growing products, Nielsen's annual analysis of supermarket till sales has found.
"The nation is increasingly concerned about diet and health – over four in 10 Britons now actively avoid certain ingredients in what they eat and drink – which is reflected in fresh fruit and free-from being the fastest-growing categories," says Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight.
UK shoppers spent an additional £175.6 million on fresh fruit this year compared to 2015.
Avocado was most popular, with Britons spending £50 million more on the green fruit, making it the fastest-growing food or drink item in 2016.
Sales of free-from items , such as gluten-free products, rose £122.9 million, or 18.9%. The category is now worth £772.2 million per year and is now larger than instant coffee.
"To some, free-from may still have the air of an “alternative” or niche category but it’s now nearly 40% bigger than a signature staple of British consumption – tea," Watkins commented.
He said that retailers are now giving the category more shelf space due to its increased growth as a lifestyle or health choice.
Dairy-free brand Alpro is the most popular, with yearly sales of £151.9 million, followed by Lactofree (£49.2) for those with lactose intolerance, and grain-free brand Nakd (£36.4 million).
On the not-so-healthy side, sales of sparkling wine made it the only other category with sales rising more than £100m in 2016 (£101.9 million, or 15.5%).
Bottled water ranked fourth, with an increase of £81.9 million helping it surpass the £1 billion mark.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.