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Frozen food distributor Central Foods has expanded its free-from range with the launch of two new delicious desserts.

The Menuserve New York Style Baked Cheesecake and the Menuserve Baked Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake are both gluten-free and vegan friendly – helping foodservice operators to fulfil the increasing appetite for products that are suitable for diners with dietary requirements.

The new additions follow the recent launch by Central Foods of two Menuserve savoury products – Menuserve Cauliflower and Lentil Dhal Bundt® with Spiced Mango Chutney and the Menuserve Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Roulade with Vegan Cream Cheese, Red Pepper and Black Bean Salsa – which are both also gluten-free and suitable for vegans.

Gordon Lauder, managing director of Central Foods, said: “The demand from diners for vegan and gluten-free menu items has risen significantly in recent times, and Central Foods is delighted to be able to support foodservice clients to fulfil this increased demand from their own customers.

“The new Menuserve desserts have been especially selected because they will appeal to all diners – not just those looking for free-from options – and, as such, are great products to have on the menu.”

The Menuserve New York Style Baked Cheesecake and the Menuserve Baked Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake are both pre-portioned into 14, have a crunchy gluten-free biscuit base, and are deliciously creamy, even > > though they are vegan. Designed for chefs to top and garnish with their own creations and ideas, the two desserts are perfect for any diners eating out – not just vegans and free-from diners.

“One of the biggest current trends in foodservice is the increase in demand from consumers for free-from items, such as vegan and gluten-free options,” added Gordon. “A recent study released by comparethemarket.com suggests that more than 3.5 million British people now identify as being vegan, which is a big increase since 2016 when The Vegan Society revealed there were approximately 540,000 vegans over the age of 15 living in Britain. The number of ‘flexible vegans’ has grown too, particularly among the younger generations, with many happy to eat vegan food and some experimenting with a fully vegan diet.

“And Coeliac UK believes that coeliac disease affects at least one in 100 people in the UK. The charity estimates that there are now over 1.3 million Britons or 3% of British adults following a gluten-free diet. In addition, 8.58 million, or 13%, are avoiding gluten in their diet, so it’s hardly surprising that we are seeing an increase in demand for gluten-free items. The charity suggests that the catering industry is missing out on an estimated £100 million a year by not catering for people with coeliac disease and their friends and family, so it is well worth including gluten-free items on the menu to satisfy this demand.”

Based in Northamptonshire, Central Foods has been supplying frozen food to the foodservice sector for more than 21 years. It currently supplies more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry.

Offering a one-stop shop to the foodservice sector, Central Foods sources products from around the world and the UK, supplying more than 400 different lines, ranging from meat, bakery items and canapés through to buffet products, desserts and puddings.

For more information about Central Foods, visit www.centralfoods.co.uk

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