Holland & Barrett is capitalising on growing demand for Free From food with the launch of the UK’s first Free From concept store.

The retailer aims to become the UK’s largest Free From retailer with the launch of the new store - branded Holland & Barrett More - and the launch of the largest Free From food range in the country.

The new concept store in Chester will be the first of 50 new Holland & Barrett More stores planned for the next two years.

The new food range, also available online, will list 1,000 Free From products at launch but will have more than 3,000 available by the end of the year, covering all of the main Free From categories including gluten and dairy free, and nut, egg and fish allergies.

Peter Aldis, CEO of NBTY Europe, Holland & Barrett’s parent company, said: “The speed of growth of Free From has seen it transform from what was once regarded as a nutritional niche into a mainstream shopping option.

“We already have more high street stores than many of the big supermarkets, and the 50 new concept stores we have planned for the next two years will help ensure we can deliver against our ambition to become the largest Free From retailer in the UK.”

According to Mintel, the UK Free From market doubled in value from 2009 to reach £365m in 2014, and is forecast to grow by a further 50% by 2019. One in 10 new food products launched in 2014 was gluten-free, nearly double what it was two years ago.

A number of independent retailers have introduced Free From fixtures to cater for growing local demand for the category.