Fria has teamed up with local Irish distributor Healthy Free From Foods to deliver its range in Supervalu stores across the Cork region and via online store Heaven & Health. The company manufactures a range of frozen baked goods free from gluten, lactose and milk including bread, rolls, muffins and puff pastry.
Gunilla Lisspers, Fria’s export manager, said the company had plans to eventually roll out across the country.
“We have plans to expand and cover all Ireland as soon as possible; I would say within this year or next,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com.
She said national expansion would continue online and in stores and supermarkets, but would also target Ireland’s food service sector.
There was huge potential in food service, she said, because the sector was used to handling frozen goods and shelf life was crucial.
Gráinne Denning, CEO of the Coeliac Society of Ireland, welcomed the move. “With the prevalence of more than 1% of the Irish population having coeliac disease, we welcome new brands which add to the choices for those on a gluten-free diet. Diverse product ranges such as this help celiacs to expand and maintain their gluten-free diet.”
European free-from boom
Fria is present in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK.
Earlier this year, it announced a strategy to ramp up presence in the UK. Lisspers said Fria was still in negotiations with UK retailers but listings should be confirmed this year.
Asked if the company had further European expansion plans, she said: “I would say we are looking at South Europe and also a little bit more into Eastern Europe.”