Gluten free UK England trend 2010
The UK is worth analysing for its online gluten free demand for several reasons. It was the seed country for the major settlement of America, which is now the global leading gluten free growth country. The UK also has a high proportion of its population who are European descendents, who are the most susceptible to developing celiac disease.
However even with all of these factors, previous analysis of the UK market (2008, 2009) has showed that in terms of gluten free online searches, the UK has underperformed. 2010 shows that for the first time since analysis has begun that the UK growth of its top 50 term volumes was NEGATIVE.
The following article looks at what changes have occurred in the UK market over the years.
To understand how the UK gluten free online market is developing, it was decided several years ago to analyse the top 50 gluten free associated terms per month by segmenting the terms into the seven groups.
In terms of online search, the ‘generic gluten free’ group of search terms overwhelmingly comprise the greatest volume of all ‘gluten free associated’ searches in all developed countries. This group includes terms such as ‘gluten free food’, ‘gluten foods’ etc. Google is used as the data set for analysing global markets due to its market dominance and wealth of data available.
The following table shows data segmented into the seven groups for UK October 2010. The search values are in terms of Google BROAD MATCH volume data.
To give an indication of how undeveloped the UK market is, Australia with a population of around one third of the UK has total gluten free associated searches of 790,400 – only slightly less than the UK’s 1,076,900.
The above table and the graph below (comparing 2008, 2009, 2010) shows that the UK has actually decreased online searches for its two major gluten free associated search groups: ‘generic gluten free’ and ‘celiac’.
One of the major similarities with the leading gluten free search countries is that the ‘generic gluten free’ group is similar in all countries (54% in UK, 54% USA, 49% Australia). Also the ‘gluten free diet’ group, ‘recipe’ and ‘gf locations’ groups all have similar volume share of the top 50 terms.
Unlike USA and America, UKs celiac searches only account for two terms in the top fifty (whereas in the USA there are nine terms and 10 in Australia) and the volume proportion of the top 50 terms is considerably less: (UK 7%, USA 18%, Australia 15%).
The significance of this is that over the last two years a celiac group search volume of near 20% has been standard across all developed countries. It would appear that the taper off in celiac group term search volumes that has been experienced globally is being accelerated in the UK.
Another major difference between the UK and USA/ Australia is their propensity to search for ‘wheat free’ terms. While this group used to have more popularity in USA/ Australia, in 2010 ‘wheat free’ searches only comprise 1% of top 50 searches. In the UK this group comprises seven terms and 7% of their top 50 gluten free associated searches.
Total gluten free group Broad Match volume comparisons 2008, 2009, 2010
The following table shows the absolute volumes of each group search terms for end of year months in the UK. While the latest statistics are based on October 2010 rather than December, the next UK analysis article shows that over the last twelve months that October has by far (Jan to Oct 2010) had the largest ‘gluten free associated’ search volumes in the UK.
The table below shows that only three groups out of seven experienced postive growth gains and for 2010 that in October that the top fifty terms showed a seventeen percent
negative growth compared to the previous year.
UK Gluten Free Proportion analysis 2010
The graph below shows that compared to the USA and Australia that the UK had the most change in the proportions of its ‘top 50 term’ groups.
Most obvious is the UK proportion changes to the ‘generic gluten free’ group (increasing 8% and ‘celiac’ group decreasing 12%.
While ‘wheat free’ terms decreased 53% in absolute search volume, the terms still make up 7% of top 50 searches. The two remaining biggest movers were ‘gluten free recipes’ (up 11% from 124,000 to 137,900) and ‘gluten free specific food’ searches up 31%.
Specific gluten free food Broad Match Volume searches
Like other developed countries, the UKs largest specific gluten free food searches were for the ‘gluten free bread’ subgroup (four terms 59,200) and ‘gluten free cakes’ subgroup (two terms 44,400 searches).
The only surprise entry (very similar as to America’s new entries) was searches for ‘gluten free chocoloate’. Though at a combined total monthly search of only 10,800 this is a similar volume to the ‘gluten free and dairy’ sub group (8,800 sarches) and still represents a relaively small demand.
Considering that October 2010 has so far been the UK’s largest search volume month for 2010 and it equates to a decrease of seventeen percent compared to December 2009, the online gluten free market seems quite depressed in the UK.
Currently the UK economy is experiencing major financial issues with the Government putting in place severe austerity measures. High country debt and unemployment figures most likely mean that mostly diagnosed celiacs would still be seeking out gluten free food while those people who are gluten intolerant or eat gluten free by choice are more likely to reduce their gluten free consumption – since these products typically cost substantailly more than other compariable foods.
It is also possible that immigration of non-european races to the UK (who are not as susceptible to celiac disease) is also limiting gluten free growth rates.
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Article by Bruce Dwyer - GoLeftfield Marketing - Market Analyst and SEO Expert
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