Gluten-free menu proves to be a big winner for Tea Monkey café

05 April 2013
Gluten-free menu proves to be a big winner for Tea Monkey café

Tea Monkey café at Midsummer Place Shopping centre in Milton Keynes is a recent recipient of a "5 cups" accreditation from the Beverage Standards Association.

The outlet averages 500 covers a day and provides a collection of 40 tea blends, premium speciality coffees and high-quality food.

"I wanted to bring tea to the high street," explained founder Tracey Bovingdon, "so I set up Tea Monkey in 2010 to make tea modern and recreate that community feel."
Bovingdon's determination to make Tea Monkey a place for everyone led to her developing a gluten-free menu that includes the Swedish cake brand, Almondy.
"I was aware of Almondy after living in Sweden and when I opened Tea Monkey I knew the Daim Bar tårta would be on the menu. It's our best-selling cake by far. Almondy has everything you want in a cake: it has a nutty base, chocolate layer and an indulgent topping."

"Research tells us 27% of people* have bought gluten-free products," said Andrew Ely, managing director of Almondy. "The market is growing as more people realise they have an intolerance or are opting for gluten-free as part of a lifestyle choice and that is reflected in the way Almondy is performing.

"What's interesting is that 71% of people feel catering outlets could be doing more for gluten intolerance, so there's a huge opportunity for operators."

It's a business opportunity that Bovingdon has already identified. "Our gluten-free menu is going from strength to strength, so we're looking to add more products," she says. "I know Almondy has a Toblerone version, so we may introduce that alongside other special dietary products such as lactose-free.

"2013 is going to be a big year for Tea Monkey. We're looking at London, the Middle East and New York. We want Tea Monkey to be a high-street and international brand that gives people something new and original in the café market."

With the gluten-free market now worth £120m and growing by 18% last year*, a rising number of caterers are realising the profit opportunity of special dietary needs.

\Kantar Worldwide, July 2010-July 2011*
See" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer"> details of Coeliac UK's Awareness Week

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