United Biscuits (UB) has announced the launch of two gluten-free hobnob variants.

Rolling out from early June, McVitie’s Gluten-Free Original Hobnobs (rrp £1.69) and McVitie’s Gluten-Free Milk Chocolate Hobnobs (rrp £2.19) are designed to increase the audience of the biscuits.

The range will be supported by a digital and PR campaign, which the firms says will help it to garner an anticipated retail sales value of £3m in its first year.

The free-from sweet biscuit segment has seen continuous growth over the past five years, with the category doubling in size since 2012, to be worth over £55m today (Kantar).

Kerry Owens, McVitie’s Brand Director at United Biscuits, said: “The free-from sweet biscuit segment is one that continues to expand, with 55 per cent of UK consumers now open to buying gluten-free products[2]. As the market leader in the main biscuit aisle, free-from is an important sector for us to expand into, to ensure McVitie’s moments are open to all of our consumers with specific dietary requirements.

“Thanks to our strong baking heritage, consumers rely on McVitie’s to deliver great tasting, quality products, and as a result we anticipate strong demand from shoppers to see the range on-shelf in-store.”