Shopping Gluten Free

Tell Asda What You Want

asda-requestDid you know that Asda are planning to improve their Free From collection?

If you’d like to offer suggestions or other comments to help them enhance their product range, you can: they’re asking for feedback here: Asda blog

Go on – make your voice heard.

(Is that a Moilas pizza? I do hope so…)

[Edit: I’ve closed comments on this post because I am not associated with Asda. If you’d like to let Asda know what you think, please tell them directly, using this link: CLICK HERE.]

In which Sainsburys make me cry again

reading-the-labelI was entertained to be told, last week at the free-from blogger dinner party held by Sainsburys, that one of their customers refers to the Free From aisle as “the library aisle”. I think we all know why, as we check the labels carefully to see if there is something suitable to eat, or whether our choice will make us ill.

Today, as I visited the library aisle yet again, I was once more struggling with a lump in my throat.

They’ve launched their new Free From range, as promised at the blogger meal. Without fanfare, as far as I can see; certainly my local store wasn’t making a big deal of it.

But why not? WHY NOT?

It is a big deal. It is a huge deal. The allocated shelf space must be twice as big, at least. About the same size as the pasta sauces shelving. Yes, that big! And there are a lot of new products, both Sainsburys own Free From brand and external brands, ranging from new breakfast cereal varieties, through cakes and biscuits to breads, and on to ready meals, sauces, mixes and cooking ingredients from stocks to cake decorations.

Choice. It’s all about choice. The reason for the prickles in my eyes and the lump in my throat? That’s because we’re getting to the point where coeliacs can choose what to eat, and it’s all good. Bread with bits? What kind of bits – seeds / onions / sundried tomatoes / rosemary? Brown bread? White bread? Buns? What size and shape do you want your buns? Baguettes? Pitta bread? Naan bread? Ciabatta? Focaccia?

Choice. Free From has grown up enormously over my daughter’s 14-year lifetime. Bring on the next 5 years!

Good News from Tesco

I’ve just had an email from Adam, one of Tesco’s frozen foods buyers with some good news for coeliacs.

dietaryspecialspepperoniYou may remember that I was delighted a few months ago when he bothered to ask coeliacs what they’d like to see from Tesco to make life easier. He asked around, including on the biggest UK coeliac messageboard. I was impressed.

And now he’s come up with the goods.

Even better, he’s come up with at least two of the things I particularly wanted: Dietary Specials pizza, and ready-made pastry.

He says:

I am pleased to inform you that, as of Feb 1st, I will be launching a selection of Dietary Specials products into approx 400 Tesco stores across the UK.

The range will be as follows :

Dietary Specials Pizza / Dietary Specials Steak Pies / Dietary Specials Lasagne / Dietary Specials Yorkshire Puddings / Dietary Specials Pastry Block / Dietary Specials Sausage Rolls

If you have purchased any Free From products from a Tesco store in the last few months, and you have a Tesco ClubCard, you should be receiving notification of this soon via post along with a coupon to ‘save 50p’ on your first purchase.

I will be advising the necessary forums of this and will hopefully arrange to have a list of the stores who will be stocking posted online somewhere.

I hope that by stocking these products, I can help contribute towards making your life easier by providing the products you want at the competitive prices Tesco always offers.

Hurrah! I’m just hoping that our tiny Tesco here in the rurals will qualify…

Now then, Adam – what about those gluten free croissants we’d like?

A gluten free Christmas: Day 8

Mince pies!

mince-piesYou do know that every one of these that you eat during the 12 days of Christmas is supposed to bring you a month’s good luck, don’t you?

But who needs an excuse: I love mince pies, especially with brandy butter.

Gluten free mince pies are available online, at many of the suppliers I outlined yesterday, or in the supermarkets.

For example, Dietary Specials Trufree mince pies are available in ASDA and Holland and Barratt, as well as online at Goodness Direct; Sainsburys and Tesco have their own brand mince pies; and Marks and Spencer are offering gluten free mince pies too; but I can’t find any gluten free mince pies at Ocado.

At Johnson’s Provisions, you can find G-Free and Village Bakery mince pies; Goodness Direct also have the Village Bakery mince pies.

You know how I like to find new things: here’s something else new to me – Tarte Maison are doing gluten free mince pies.

But if you want to make your own – and want to do more than just roll out some ready made gluten free pastry and stuff it with gluten free mincemeat – here are a couple of recipe links:

Don’t forget, if you’re going to offer these to a vegetarian, to avoid suet and lard: use vegetarian mincemeat and butter.

And while we’re talking about fats: do be sure that the suet you’re using is gluten free. You can buy gluten free vegetarian suet from Johnson’s Dietary Provisions, from Naturally Good Foods or from Goodness Direct.

A gluten free Christmas: Day 7

Are you planning to buy ready-made gluten free food for Christmas?

online shoppingDon’t forget about the delivery schedules: the last order dates are approaching!

Supermarket Christmas delivery dates are available now, and the pick of these may have already gone. If you’re hoping to book a Christmas food delivery, get it in their diaries today. Don’t forget that you can book a delivery with just one item or two in your shopping basket, and fill your basket up later.

Note that if you need a prescription over Christmas, then you may need to get your prescription request in early (at our doctors, requests are required by 16 December). Remember that there will be a delivery delay at the pharmacist too, especially for fresh bread.

As for the specialist suppliers, here are dates for our favourite suppliers that I know about so far:

  • Goodness Direct – I called them to ask, and it seems orders as late as 22nd December may still arrive before Christmas
  • Droppa & Droppa – cut off date for orders to be delivered before Christmas is midnight on 16th December; last delivery date is 23 December. No deliveries available between 23 Dec and 11 Jan.
  • Lifestyle – I emailed them to ask, as no-one was answering the phone. They replied very quickly, and said that orders should be placed as soon as possible, and the last delivery date set as 23 December.
  • Gluten Free Foods Direct – Christmas orders must be received by 5pm on 17 December; no guarantees that orders placed after this date will be delivered before Christmas.
  • Johnson’s Dietary Provisions – cut off date for orders to be delivered before Christmas is 5pm on Wednesday 16th December; last delivery date is 23 December (and they’ll be closed 23 Dec to 5 Jan)
  • Dietary Needs Direct – I spoke by phone to them, and they suggested that the 20th would be a sensible last-order date.

Any others? Who have I forgotten?