Tesco to fund allergy research through sales of Free From products
24 June 2020
As part of a new partnership, Tesco will donate 10p from the sale of every Tesco Free From product to the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, during World Allergy Week (28 June – 4 July). The proceeds of the campaign will help fund research into allergies.
The Foundation was set up by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died in 2016 after an allergic reaction to sesame in a baguette. Its aim is to fund and support pioneering allergy research and bring about positive change.
Last year, the Foundation successfully lobbied for a change in the law. Under "Natasha's Law", which will come into effect in October 2021, food businesses will have to include full ingredient labelling on pre-packaged food.
Sarah Bradbury, Tesco Group Quality Director, said:
“We’re the UK’s leading supermarket for Free From products and we’re committed to helping customers with food allergies, or other special dietary needs, enjoy the food they want to eat.”
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said:
"The number of people suffering allergic reactions is rising year-on-year at an alarming rate. Scientists don’t yet understand why this is happening, and are particularly concerned with the number of young children being diagnosed with severe allergies from an early age. The Foundation is partnering with Tesco Free From, to raise vital funds that we can invest in large scale research projects into both the causes, and for a cure.”
Around two million people in the UK have a food allergy, and on average 20 people die each year from food-induced anaphylaxis. In the past six years, the number of children being admitted to hospital with severe allergic reactions has risen by 72%, according to NHS Digital Data.
Tesco was the first UK supermarket to develop a Free From range to cater for customers with food allergies. From its launch in 2003, the range has grown to 297 products across all categories, and earned the supermarket the Retailer of the Year title at the Free From Food Awards for the last six years.
In the UK, demand for Free From products is growing by 15% each year, as more and more people are becoming aware of food allergies. 28% of UK households now have at least one person with a food allergy or intolerance.