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What is the price difference between gluten free and standard products?

By Chris Elliott

While awareness of Coeliac disease and the gluten free diet is growing, there is still low awareness of the symptoms and how they affect people differently before diagnosis.

Therefore this week is Awareness Week 2015 and charities, such as Coeliac UK, aim to raise awareness of the symptoms of Coeliac disease (and gluten intolerance) and encourage people to talk to their GP about it.

Coeliac UK estimates that 1 in 100 people in the UK have Coeliac disease which translates to an estimated £175 million a year spent on gluten free foods according to The Grocer.

It’s estimated the gluten free market is growing by 15 percent a year. However, this growth is predominantly due to shoppers that are not affected by Coeliac disease switching to gluten free products.

Brand View has reviewed the flour category and the range of standard and gluten free flours available in Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose since 2 May 2014.

Gluten free flour varieties

The number of gluten free flour varieties has risen by 23.5 percent in the past year, up from 51 products on 2 May 2014 to 63 on 8 May 2015. The number of products peaked on 7 November 2014 at 73, before dropping steeply on 28 November due to Tesco delisting five Doves Farm gluten free flours.

no of gluten free products

Looking at the number and variety of gluten free flours in each retailer on 8 May 2015, we see that Tesco has the most gluten free flour products (23).

Tesco have the greatest variety of gluten free flour products compared to other retailers; it stocks nine more products that fall into “other” category, including almond, coconut and peanut flour.

Blended gluten free flours, such as Doves Farm products, are the most frequently stocked product with each retailer listing at least three products.

Gram flour, which is made from ground chickpeas, is the second most frequently stocked; Waitrose is the only retailer that does not stock it.

number of gluten free

Price of gluten free vs standard flour

The blended gluten free flours are designed to be used in the same way as standard flours and shoppers can purchase gluten free, plain or self-raising variants. However, shoppers will pay a premium for gluten free alternatives.

It costs a shopper an extra 52.9 percent to switch to gluten free plain flour and an extra 43.1 percent for gluten free self raising. The greatest disparity can be seen for white bread flour where it costs an extra 70.2 percent for the gluten free alternative.

price per kg flour

Price of gluten free vs standard pasta

All five supermarkets also list own label gluten free dry pasta. Brand View has compared the price per kg of these lines to the standard own label pasta lines.

Looking at the average difference in pricing we can see that Asda charge an extra 196.3 percent for gluten free pasta, the greatest increase of any of the retailers.

Sainsbury’s has the smallest average price difference between standard and gluten free pastas at 111.8 percent. It is closely followed by Tesco whose gluten free pasta range is on average 124 percent more expensive than its standard pasta products.

price standard vs gf pasta

In May 2014 Coeliac UK started its “Gluten-Free Guarantee” campaign where it challenged supermarkets to stock gluten free products in eight staple categories in all of their stores.

While many of the gluten free products are own label there are also a number of branded gluten free products in these categories.

gf brands

Brand View has reviewed the eight categories on the Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose websites and can confirm that all five retailers list gluten free products in these categories.

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