The chips are down: JJ Food Service makes play for gluten-free market

Enfield-based specialist wholesaler JJ Food Service has made a  move into the £350+ gluten-free market with the launch this week of Super Crisp Chips. Made with sunflower oil in a gluten-free environment, JJ’s new line hopes to help restaurants, pubs and other eateries to cater for the increase in gluten-free diets.

The chips are available in three varieties: Julienne (7mm), Super Crips (9mm) and Steak Cut (19mm), and are GMO and allergen free. A special coating gives the chips a unique, crispy texture which retains heat for longer.

JJ’s chief product officer Ali Guvemli said: “We sell a variety of potato products to restaurants and caterers, and have noticed a significant increase in demand for gluten-free. The market is worth more than £355m in the UK and is expected to hit £519m by 2016 – It’s not a trend that’s going away.” 

78% of consumers think that catering outlets are not doing enough to support customers with gluten intolerance* and 36% of consumers said that they would pay more to have gluten-free [independent research conducted by Almondy, 2014] – so it’s a big opportunity for gastro-pubs, restaurants and hotels.

“But it’s not just about attracting the 1% of the population that suffers from Coeliac disease – 73% of consumers are influenced by gluten-intolerant friends on where to eat – so having gluten-free options on a menu could encourage more group bookings as well as single customers”, said Guvemli. 

 The gluten-free chips have been launched in time for the new food labelling legislation in December, which will require manufacturers and wholesalers to list  allergens when used as ingredients in a dish. “This means that gluten-free products are no longer just a trend – the visibility of gluten as an ingredient in food will become a legal requirement”, said Guvemli.

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