Operators urged to widen their gluten-free menu options

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Inspiration: Aviko Gluten-Free Heroes campaign aims to support coeliac sufferers more
Inspiration: Aviko Gluten-Free Heroes campaign aims to support coeliac sufferers more

Related tags: Gluten, Gluten-free diet, Coeliac disease

Demand for gluten-free dishes is outstripping supply with more than half of consumers (62%) believing operators don’t do enough to cater for gluten intolerances out-of-home, according to foodservice operator Aviko.

Aviko’s research also revealed that almost 60% of diners choose to eat gluten-free for its perceived health benefits and lifestyle reasons.

As part of the potato supplier’s Gluten-Free Heroes campaign, launched at the beginning of Coeliac Awareness Week (8 to 14 May), Aviko has urged chefs, caterers and operators to look at ways their menus can be updated to meet demand and widen their appeal with consumers.

Aviko general manager Mohammed Essa outlined how providing coeliac sufferers with a varied choice of dishes can pay dividends to pubs.

Serious condition

He said: “Coeliac disease is a serious condition and sufferers should be able to enjoy eating quality, gluten-free dishes out-of-home, which is why we are commending Coeliac UK for shining a light on menus.

“Our Gluten-Free Heroes campaign is about just this, supporting the industry in becoming coeliac-friendly and inspiring caterers with recipes, top tips, facts, hints and product information to boost menus.

“This year, we have even more recipes including slow-roasted lamb with honey, figs and cream and cheese gratin; fries with spicy bean and guacamole topping; and wedges with ribs and slaw and hash brown Croque Madame.”

Charity Coeliac UK launched guidance this week​ (Monday 8 May) to help pubs safely cater for gluten-free patrons.

Essa explained that Aviko will be donating £5 to the charity for every download of the foodservice company’s top tips.

Not all chips are gluten-free

Meanwhile, he added that 57% of consumers don’t realise that not all chips are gluten-free because of the coating used.

Essa said: “This could have serious implications for both an individual with coeliac disease as well as the outlet that served them.

“Aviko’s fries and many of its products are gluten-free and are produced in a dedicated gluten-free factory meaning there is no risk of contamination before the range enters kitchens – an issue 38% of consumers worry about when eating out."

Aviko has also created a range of free, downloadable point-of-sale material​ including posters and tent cards.

It has also released a video,​ highlighting the key results of research commissioned by Aviko and details of how the potato specialist can provide support.

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