Free-From Gains Ground With Holland & Barrett Concept Store
Capitalising on a trend that has seen free-from food transition from a niche to a mainstream grocery category, UK health-food retailer Holland & Barrett has opened Holland & Barrett More – a concept stocking the UK’s largest selection of free-from items, supported by a growing range on its e-commerce site.
The first Holland & Barrett More, located in Chester, Northern England, stocks free-from goods that cater for consumers with gluten and dairy intolerances, as well as nut, fish and egg allergies. Alongside product, the shop also boasts a ‘Good Life Garden’, featuring plants that constitute ingredients within the supplements sold in-store. There is also a ‘Beauty Kitchen’, where customers can create their own beauty products (see also Product Hubs: Co-Creation & Experimentation in our Future of the Store Industry Trend), and a vegan nail bar, which uses items that have not been treated on animals, nor include animal products.
Solidifying its credentials as something of an all-round wellness hotspot, Holland & Barrett More also has a full-time nutritionist offering consultations by appointment, and also sells healthy fresh food and smoothies.
London-based market research firm Mintel found that the UK’s free-from category doubled in market value from 2009 to reach £365m in 2012 – and forecasts a further 50% rise to £550m in 2019. Holland & Barrett is tapping into that upsurge with a range expansion plan, pushing from an initial 1,000 products to more than 3,000 by the end of 2015, and a target to open 50 more shops in the next two years.
For more on how health and wellness is filtering into the mainstream, see also Holland & Barrett’s Protein-Shake Bar, Wellness Retailing: The Modern Apothecary, Evolution of the Supermarket, Gen Y: Beauty Meets Wellbeing, Holistic Health and Rise of the Sustainable Supermarket.