With demand for allergen-free products rising, Coles has awarded $400,000 to Melbourne family business Not A Trace to produce ‘Coles I am free from’ branded treats.
One in 70 Australians is diagnosed with Coeliac disease making it essential to have access to gluten-free options. Sales of Coles ‘I am free from’ biscuits and cookies rose by 75 per cent during the past two years.
Not A Trace director Samantha O’Brien welcomed the support from the Coles Nurture Fund grant because it will allow the company to run a dedicated bakery for allergen-free products.
“As we bring to life an array of new savoury snacks and crackers, we will be generating many new local jobs and supporting other local suppliers as we bounce back from an extremely challenging year,” she said.
The partnership with Not A Trace will include treats like chocolate mint creme biscuits, Scotch fingers and choc-chip cookies.
Michelin-starred chef and Coles Nurture Fund judge Curtis Stone commended Not A Trace for its approach to producing quality foods free from allergens. “As a chef, I know how important it is to cater to the growing number of food intolerances and allergies impacting many Australians,” he said.
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) health management educator Wendy Freeman lauded the initiative illustrating the hardships people with allergies face since they have limited food options when buying packaged goods.
Coles GM for grocery Leanne White said the supermarket chain has seen an increase in demand for gluten-free biscuits, bread and crackers highlighting the growing awareness for healthy food options and allergies in general.
“Last year, we expanded our health foods range and integrated gluten-free products like cereals, spreads and soups into their respective product aisle to make it easier for shoppers with dietary requirements or for those wanting a healthier alternative available in every single aisle,” she said.
The Coles Nurture Fund offers up to $500,000 in financial support to businesses that want to drive innovation and sustainability. Companies with fewer than 50 employees and an annual turnover of $25 million are eligible to apply.