The appetite for gluten-free chicken products supplied by Golden Valley Foods has soared
Sales of the range increased by an average of 155% during 2019 compared to the previous year. The best seller – Golden Valley Foods gluten-free plain breaded chicken goujons – grew by almost 200%, reports Central Foods, which operates the brand.
Wholesaler Brakes has recently listed three of the Golden Valley Foods gluten-free chicken products – chicken fillets-Italiano, plain breaded goujons and Southern-fried goujons – so the company is expecting that with an even wider distribution sales will continue to expand during 2020.
“There are a couple of key trends that we’re seeing at the moment in the food service sector when it comes to poultry,” explains Gordon Lauder, managing director of frozen food distributor Central Foods.
“The first is the growing demand for gluten-free chicken products, which has led to this three-figure increase in sales of the Golden Valley Foods gluten-free range. Gluten-free awareness has grown considerably over the past few years. According to Coeliac UK, around one in 100 people are believed to have Coeliac Disease, an autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten. Alongside this, there are others who actively decide to avoid gluten, as a lifestyle choice. As a leading frozen food distributor in the UK, Central Foods has certainly seen a significant increase in demand for free-from items generally, and this is reflected in demand for the Golden Valley Foods gluten-free products too.
“The second key trend links into the first because we’re finding that good quality chicken is proving popular. Research by Mintel showed that 45% of affluent Brits visited chicken shops in 2019 and 72% of them said this was because burger and chicken restaurants are offering more healthy options than a year ago.
“The Golden Valley Foods range of gluten-free chicken is not only extremely versatile – in that it is suitable for all, not just those requiring a gluten-free option - but the products are made from prime breast meat and, most importantly, taste really great, just like the entire Golden Valley Foods poultry range! They are good quality, consistent, versatile and even though they cost slightly more because they are gluten free and have Crossed Grain accreditation for reassurance and to demonstrate integrity, there’s strong appetite for the products because caterers and consumers are willing to pay more for quality, consistency and flavour.
“Our full Golden Valley Foods range sales are also up, some 9.6% in 2019 over 2018. This is linked to the growth in the home delivery market by organisations such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Almost four in ten (37%) consumers are ordering more food for home delivery from burger and chicken outlets and restaurants than they did a year ago, when the figure was 25%, according to the Mintel survey.”
Northamptonshire-based Central Foods is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors, supplying more than 400 different lines into foodservice, including the Golden Valley Foods range of poultry products which are particularly popular in the fast food sector. It currently sells to more than 240 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry.