Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the 2015 Natural Products Expo West show, chief marketing officer Joel Warady said: “By the year 2020 this [the allergen-friendly market] will be a 12 billion dollar global market and we’ve just tapped the surface. We feel that the opportunity not only here in North America, but throughout the world, is going to grow substantially."
He added: “One stat we like to share is that in North America in 1990 only one out of 50 children had severe food allergies, today it’s one out of 13 and in the next 24 months it’s going to be one out of 10.”
Deal with Mondelez International a win win
Asked why Enjoy Life Foods had recently struck a deal to become part of snacks and confectionery giant Mondelez International, Warady said the deal was a win-win for both parties.
"Enjoy Life Foods gives them [Mondelez International] a great platform in which to get into the natural foods space."
And as for Enjoy Life Foods - which Mondelez will run as a standalone business headed by the current management team - the deal gives it the firepower to realize its global ambitions, said Warady.
“We finished the last three years with 40% growth for three consecutive years, but we were doing it from cash flow, and it was taking all of our cash. And we saw that the opportunity to grow this business was significant and we needed more resources.
“But what Mondelez also brings in addition to resources is this global footprint; they are in 180 countries, and they really understand how to scale a business; they will be bringing their expertise along with their cash resources.”
Click HERE to read more about Enjoy Life Foods, which generated revenues topping $40m in 2014 from cookies, chocolate, snack bars, and savory snacks free from the eight most common allergens (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish).