If you read our last blog about the availability of free-from food online, you’ll know just how quick and easy it is to purchase a huge range of free-from food at the click of a button. Of course, we love Ocado for our online essentials, but what about when online shopping is an inconvenience? When do we need the supermarket?The British High Street has a lot to offer on the free-from front…
Holland & Barratt have incorporated a huge amount of dairy and gluten free food into their supermarkets and stores. The staff are clued up on all things allergy-related. The vast majority of their ambient food items are close together which makes it quick to glance over the offerings and pick out your favourites. The chilled stuff is stacked neatly in fridges which boast delicious free-from delights, including our own Puds.
They also have freezers packed with everything from vegan pizzas to meat-free celebration roasts for the perfect Christmas dinner accompaniment!
The fact that someone who chooses a free-from diet can enter the shop and peruse everything on offer is certainly different to the typical supermarket layout.
The big supermarkets such as Waitrose, Morrison’s and Tesco all have an ambient free-from section. They include foods suitable for those who avoid milk, eggs and gluten. Generally free-from foods take over a few shelves in the middle of the store, and are stacked together to make it easier for shoppers to locate their food of choice. However, with the free-from food industry increasing at a dramatic rate, do you think that these food items will eventually move from their own section and become a part of the ‘normal’ food? That almond milk will be stacked next to dairy milk? Gluten-free rolls in among the burger buns? Or perhaps there will be an entire aisle dedicated to free-from? It’s an interesting point to consider as free-from sections take up more and more shelf space each week.
Some of the supermarkets also have a chilled free-from sections. Waitrose recently introduced this in over fifty stores across the county. They now offer a variety of dairy and gluten free foods such as yoghurts, cheese and our delicious Puds! However, the rest of the Waitrose stores, as well as the other supermarkets, tend to distribute their chilled free-from items in among the ‘normal’ food: dairy-free cheese with the dairy cheese, chilled soya milk next to the dairy milk, coconut yoghurt by the dairy yoghurt. Do you prefer to use the supermarket as it was originally intended or do you think a chilled free-from section is an easier way to shop?
And what about buying free-from food online? We touched on this in a recent blog post (which you can find here) and found that online stores such as Ocado have a truly great range. It is the newer stores that get us really excited. Having a website that sells only free from food is a novel idea that we hope to see expand in popularity very soon. They make free-from food even more accessible for savvy shoppers.
Do you prefer to shop on a website, such that sells only free-from food, or do you prefer the supermarket sites that sell free-from food as an addition to the other food that they offer?
Let us know your thoughts on this one! Does the Holland & Barratt style of focusing almost exclusively on free-from food have you flocking to buy? Or do you prefer a supermarket layout: keeping the free-from food over a few shelves so that it’s easy to locate? Or do you hate shopping for free-from food in store and always opt to get everything online? The free-from market is increasing rapidly which is clear to see from the array of shopping methods now available – the interesting bit is where this will go. What are your predictions for the free-from shopping of the future?