Plant-based food products has been growing in recent years, not just for vegetarians and vegans but also for consumers for their own ethical, environmental and health reasons(23% of consumers are flexitarians and only 9% are vegan or vegetarian according to Proveg).
The Free-from category covers several different free-from products included but not limited to Nut free, Dairy free, and Gluten Free. This category has been growing in the last few years and is becoming a huge part of the food and drink industry. The products you can now get in this category are becoming very diverse.
Within this category of the food industry, you will find many different products, from ready meals, pizzas, milk, vegetables, ready to eat salads, pasta salads, fruit, milk, and butter. In 2020 the UK dairy industry produced a massive 15.3bn litres of milk which was the highest annual figure since 1990.
Bakery category in the UK is worth £8.4bn (2022). Bakery manufacturing is complex and has an 8-stage process which includes mixing, fermentation, makeup, proofing, baking, cooling, slicing, and packaging.
Grocery or Ambient category is the production of food that can be safely stored at room (or ambient) temperature. That means that you do not need to store these items in the fridge. The products in this area can range from pasta, rice, tinned products, tinned soups, sauces, snacks, and ingredients etc.
There are many different manufacturers within this category, they range from start-up businesses to huge, limited companies. For example, Rubies in the Rubble and Proper Snacks through to huge businesses like PepsiCo and AB World Foods.