Tess Wicksteed: Allergen-Free Foods Will Have An Impact Because They’re Necessary

Tess Wicksteed: Allergen-Free Foods Will Have An Impact Because They’re Necessary

Why necessity is creating a radical new direction for the future of food.

Tess Wicksteed, Pearlfisher
  • 24 december 2013

The allergen-free market is quickly shifting from compromised copies of gluten-filled favorites to an area of experimental food and flavor, ripe for innovation. The future of food is one of today’s most hotly debated topics by everyone from scientists and celebrity chefs to Bill Gates. But, we believe that necessity remains the mother of invention. And there is one relatively new and breaking influence that has the power to endure and steer yet another radical change for the future direction of food: allergen free.

In the burgeoning allergen free market, necessity is creating totally new approaches to healthy eating. This market is quickly shifting from compromised copies of gluten-filled favorites to an area of experimental food and flavor, ripe for innovation.

GF pizza

But first, let’s take a step back and look at the context. Allergen free (or Free From which is the name convention now adopted in the UK) brands are rapidly becoming mainstream and it is now such a recognized market that we think of them as a new way of eating for everyone, not just a restriction for the few.

We are seeing both existing and new brands respond to food allergies, sensitivities and the lifestyle changes of consumers by developing new languages and aesthetics that are changing the perception of this market from staid, limited, mundane and bland to a fresh, exciting, varied and easy way to eat. In this way, these brands are building (a new) desire amongst their established audience and – maybe more significantly – now drawing in a brand new food savvy audience.

New brands such as Ilumi are leading this change. Ilumi is a range of 100% natural nut, milk and gluten free gourmet convenience meals, designed to reflect the exciting truth behind its food; that it’s full of taste, variety and cooking expertise while still being allergen free. The brand philosophy focuses on food without sacrifice, creating tolerance rather than intolerance and bringing to life a forward thinking, food-focused approach and establishing a connected community around the brand. It is the creation of this complete world of food – and food experience – that has already galvanized a foodie revolution and, with the growing influence of this market, is now taking this connection to food to a whole new level. Foodies are looking to get the most from their food emotionally, physically and intellectually and buying into the idea – and celebration – of ‘being in the know’ that is at the core of the new Free From approach.


Allergen free consumers are foodies, not faddies, and with this growing market high on consumers’, retailers’ and the nation’s agenda, this presents a new and exciting opportunity for future thinking and innovation. Our food brands, experts and ideators need to adopt and adapt this approach mainstream, finding new and ever more creative product solutions that stimulate and challenge the assumptions of food culture as we know it.

Images: GCMag, PopSugar Fitness

Tess Wicksteed is Executive Vice President at Pearlfisher. Having worked at Pearlfisher for over 13 years, Tess is a strategic driver in the development of Pearlfisher New York. Tess’s great talent is her instant ability to see the wood for the trees. As a major force behind Pearlfisher’s strategic offer, she trades in originality, clarity and logic, delivering bold imaginative thinking for brands like Coca-Cola, Absolut, Unilever, and Nestle.


IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Walter De Brouwer

Technology, Data, Consumer Health

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Retail Today

Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

An app for the wrist-mounted device is looking to revolutionize customer service for staff


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products at GE Lighting, uncovers how lighting technologies can affect our sleep cycles

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Financial Services Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.