Spanish consumers grow interest in Free From Functional Foods

The increased incidence of dietary intolerances, allergies and new eating habits are increasing the sales opportunities for free from functional products in Spain. Free from retail sales in Spain reached $1.2 billion in 2018 (+12%).


An USDA’s GAIN report includes data from “The Green Revolution”, prepared by Lantern consultancy based on more than 2,000 interviews. According to Lantern, the combined number of Spanish vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians has grown from 7.8 to 9.9% in the period 2017-2019.

The Lantern’s report shows an increasing openness in Spanish consumers to try new products. During the 2018 Free From Expo held in Barcelona, several industry observers qualified this increase in consumer preference towards FFFF as more than trend and more as a long-term change in consumer behavior as more and more Spanish consumers want to eat and live healthier.

The free from retail sales in Spain reached $1.2 billion in 2018, a 12% increase compared to previous year (Table 1 and Table 2). Mercadona (one of the Spanish largest retailers) leads with a 14% retail value share. In addition, sales are expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2023.

Table 1. FFFF

Table 1. Spain. Sales of FFFF by Category: Value 2012-2018

Table 2. FFFF

Companies are targeting non-intolerant consumers which look for healthy and nutritious alternatives. Processors aim at expanding the general healthy perception to increase demand from non-intolerant consumers, by widenning for example the offer of gluten free products.

The USDA’s report also includes interesting information about market constrains and opportunities in Spain, as well as consumption trends in the country.

Two possible venues to showcase FFFF are included as well.

Find here the full report in English:

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service