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Driven by consumer calls for less processed ingredients, the UK bakery industry expects a significant growth in grain-free flours and bakery products.

Scottish bread made with grain-free flour
Scotland Food & Drink image

Currently, grain-free bakery products represent a niche market, but the hype around gluten-free, high-protein and paleo grain-free products appeals to consumers looking for healthier alternatives.

According to market research firm, Mintel, there was a 134% increase in the global launch of non-grain flour based bakery products between 2010 and 2015. 

A potential super flour

Lupin flour, made from lupin beans, is commonly used in mediterranean and latin american cuisine, and is gaining popularity, especially in Australia, Canada and increasingly in the US. 

According to Mintel, out of all bakery launches using lupin flour in 2015, 22% were launched in Germany, 21% in France and 11% in Italy.  

Here in the UK, bakery manufacturers believe that lupin flour has great potential to establish itself in the UK market. It's high in fibre, protein, contains essential minerals, and compared to other legumes is low in carbohydrates. Lupin is also said to lower blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, as well as helping to regulate appetite. 

These health benefits, coupled with customer preference for more natural, less processed ingredients, could see lupin become a successful market alternative to grain-based flours. 

The sustainable insect flour 

Not quite grain-free, but an innovative protein enriched flour based on crickets, won the UK’s Young Foodie of the year award in 2017. Luke Crave, who owns the cricket farm BiJimini, in Wiltshire, is developing a new product called PowerFlour, which will soon be ready for market. 

It's a flour blend mixed with organic white and wholemeal flours, and finely milled cricket powder. It's said to be more nutritious, and contains a more sustainable and higher protein source than traditional flour. 

Growth opportunities 

Alternatives to grain-based bakery products are becoming more mainstream. These grain-free flours, an extension of the gluten-free diet, are the latest health trend products targeted to match customer expectation for more nutritional products.

There are some challenges still, regarding cost-efficiency and logistics to overcome, before making the grain-free flour sector ready for the commercial market in the UK. But analysts believe grain-free flour, particularly lupin could be the next big trend. 

Next step for your business 

Interested in understanding more about the free-from market in Scotland? Our innovation connectors are here to help. Make Innovation Happen is a free, one-stop-shop for innovation support available to the Scottish food and drink industry. 

Looking for support to become more innovative? Working on something new or different that will add value to your business? Whether it involves product development, processes or employees, Make Innovation Happen can help you explore your ideas and develop them all the way through to market. 

Contact our innovation connectors today