The Allergy & Free From Show in London is a good mirror of the way in which the market for 'free from' products has grown in recent years. Four years ago the show occupied one of London Olympia’s smallest exhibition spaces – now it’s in the Grand Hall. With around 35,000 people visiting over its three-day span, it needs to be.
As always, it was the best place to discover some of the developments in gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, coeliac, allergy and vegan products.
I was particularly excited by the ZeroGluten Baker, an electric breadmaker especially designed to create gluten-free bread and cakes and featuring two paddles for extra mixing. It also comes with a host of accessories. See www.zeroglutenbaker.co.uk.
Follow Your Heart is a company now importing that US best seller loved by Gwyneth Paltrow, Vegenaise. It tastes just like egg-based mayo, but is totally vegan! I confess I was surprised by how good it is; look out for it on a shelf near you soon. Follow the developments on Twitter, @FollowYourHeart.
Rebel Kitchen were at the show again showing their delicious range of flavoured coconut milks… if you’ve not tried it yet you’re really missing out! Available in Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado among others, www.rebel-kitchen.com.
Kent & Fraser were biscuit kings at the show, with an impressive range of gluten-free, egg-free biscuits, from lemon butter shortbread to fig & hazelnut cookies (without oats). Go to www.kentandfraser.com to find out more.
If you’re after ready-made cakes in a gorgeous spectrum of toppings and ingredients, then Wholesome Bakes has picture-perfect cupcakes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and just crying out for a party to go to. See www.wholesomebakes.co.uk. Also offering gluten-free readymade cakes (and pies, breads and more) is Nuttylicious. Vegan and lactose intolerants are also catered for, see www.nuttylicious.me.uk.
Bute Island Foods were at the show with their 100% dairy-free and vegan Scottish-made ‘Sheese’ – and with a mind-boggling collection of varieties, from ‘smoked cheddar’ to ‘mozzarella’, there should be something for everyone. Find them at www.buteisland.com.
Various dining Apps have been launched and many were at the show. The ones I discovered were FoodMaestro (www.foodmaestro.me) and Can I Eat There (www.canIeatthere.co.uk). Don’t miss The Gluten Free Centre either – this site has a shopping director, brand directory, recipe site, coupons and offers restaurant/hotel/cookery class/chip shop/café listings and a community hub dedicated to gluten-free living. Find it at theGlutenFreeCentre.co.uk.
And finally, for anyone doing a spot of online shopping, Free From Market has all your favourite brands in one place across the whole spectrum of allergy, food and lifestyle needs. There’s also recipes, nutrition advice and a community spot, with no minimum order. Go to www.freefrommarket.co.uk. Also worth exploring are www.doesnotcontain.net and www.healthyfoods-online.com.