Holland & Barrett is today launching the first store as part of a new concept aimed directly at consumers with food allergies and intolerances.

The concept, branded ‘Holland & Barrett More’, is being debuted with the first shop opening in Chester. The outlet is the first of 50 planned over the next two years under the ‘More’ banner, the company said.

The stores will initially carry around 1,000 ‘Free From’ health products. In total, more than 3,000 products will be offered by the end of this year, including gluten and dairy- free items and products for people with nut, egg and fish allergies. At the same time, the range will be launched online.

Peter Aldis, European chief executive of US-based NBTY, Holland & Barrett’s owners, said the new store concept is “natural territory” for the firm.

He said: “We are seeing a significant change in consumer trends in this market alongside an explosion of new Free From products, with many of those on our shelves being produced by small British businesses.”

Holland and Barrett cited a 2014 YouGov survey showing that one in five people in the UK consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance, up 5% since a 2011 survey. 

In February NBTY revealed plans to rebrand 167 Holland & Barrett stores in the Netherlands and Belgium.