The food brand, which has a 51% share of the gluten-free bread market in the UK, will kick start the marketing push during the second half of the year in a bid to generate more interest in the category.
Online promotions and press ads will make up the campaign, which the manufacturer hopes will capitalise on the growth of the gluten-free sector and help it to become a mainstream brand.
Gluten-free bakery foods tend to be more costly than normal products, however the producer is adamant that its target demographic of “active shoppers” – people who lead active lifestyles – will be willing to trade up when they realise the health benefits.
Roz Cuschieri, chief executive of Genius Foods, says: “We believe that an increasing number of consumers, particularly those that enjoy an active lifestyle, are adopting a gluten-free diet because they notice the potential health benefits that it brings.
“These include people who lead active, healthy lifestyles as well as those who think they might have a wheat or gluten sensitivity. As awareness of gluten intolerances rises, so does the size of the market.”
Nearly a fifth (16.5%) of UK consumers have bought gluten-free products in the last 12 months, according to research firm Box Clever, and an additional 15% say they are considering buying gluten-free in the next 12 months
Genius Foods has also signed up athlete and Team GB hopeful Andrew Steele and his father Chris, who is a GP as well as medical expert on ITV’s This Morning programme, for a summer campaign to target amateur athletes. Andrew will act as a brand ambassador speaking about the benefits of a gluten-free diet, while Chris will appear at a number of in-store promotional events throughout the summer.
A spokesman for the company says the brand is using the athlete to speak directly to consumers and athletes who are not gluten-intolerant but who could potentially benefit from going gluten-free.
Last year, the business teamed up with Glutino Food Group, a US manufacturer and distributor, to market its range in the US.