Lactose intolerance happens when the body can no longer digest lactose, the main sugar (or disaccharide) found in milk and dairy products. Lactose digestion problems are a consequence of the lack of the enzyme lactase in the body. Lactase’s job is to break down lactose into simple sugars, which are then easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
Lactose intolerance is becoming an increasing issue in recent years, affecting all sorts of people no matter what their gender, age or origins, and lactose intolerants often have difficulty finding food to fit in with their dietary requirements. However, if you are looking to gain a good market position and to be able to satisfy every single customer, your business needs to serve something for those with special dietary requirements.
So gelato parlours need to take note, because of course hand-made gelato is a food made with milk. But do not despair, as you can make a good hand-made gelato without using milk or dairy products (such as buttermilk, cream, butter, casein, lactalbumin, etc.).
For example, fruit-flavoured gelato does not have to be made with milk so in that case it can be safely enjoyed by lactose intolerants.
There are also ingredients such as soy, which can be used as an excellent substitute for milk when making hand-made gelato. Soy enables you to create delicious hand-made gelato in a variety of flavours, so that you do not have to lose those gelato lovers whose intolerance would otherwise mean having to give up the pleasure of eating a hand-made gelato.
As well as gelatos, a gelato parlour can also serve granitas, ice lollies and sorbets as a good alternative to foods such as hand-made gelato which are made with lactose.
Satisfying customers at your gelato parlour by trying to meet the diverse needs of consumers is a very important way of retaining customers and acquiring new ones. Your consumers need to know they can rely on a healthy and genuine hand-made gelato, and that you are willing to cater for anyone’s needs.