San Miguel to release gluten-free variant in UK

Carlsberg UK has announced that it is expanding the San Miguel range in the UK with a new gluten-free expression set to hit the shelves on 19 September.

The new coeliac-friendly beer will be launched exclusively in the off-trade grocery channel in Tesco and will also be available to all of Carlsberg UK’s on-trade customers.

According to Carlsberg UK, San Miguel Gluten Free delivers the same aromas and flavours of the original San Miguel. It will be available in 330ml bottle format only and at a strength of 5.4% abv.

San Miguel Gluten Free has been officially certified by the European License System (ELS) and contains less than 10ppm of gluten. Currently the law states that a product cannot be labelled gluten-free unless it contains 20ppm or less.

Carlsberg UK’s decision comes as an increasing number of breweries release gluten-free variants together with some breweries that have choosen to brew all of their beers without gluten.

Brewing giant Coors released a gluten-free expression back in January 2015 while Asahi announced the launch of Peroni Nastro Azzuro Gluten-Free in the UK market in February this year.

In April 2016, German brewer Radeberger launched the first beer made from a new ultra-low gluten barley variant that was developed in Australia.

Scottish gluten-free brewery Bellfield also use this variety of barley, making it the UK’s first dedicated gluten-free microbrewery. The brewery recently raised a total of £430,000 which will be used to fund its expansion.

According to Euromonitor, the global gluten-free retail market has grown from US$1.7 billion in 2011 to US$3.5 billion in 2016 and is set to grow to US$4.7 billion in 2020.

San Miguel’s new expression has already proved popular in Spain where the beer won Product of the Year 2016.

Liam Newton, vice president of marketing at Carlsberg UK, added: “The demand for premium world beers with heritage and authenticity is showing no sign of abating, so we’re proud that we’re able to make the San Miguel experience inclusive for everyone. Gluten-free is the major driver in the free-from market and following previous success in Spain we’re confident that San Miguel Gluten Free will be a hit with UK consumers”.

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