tescoAbsolutely astonished this morning to see that one of Tesco’s buyers has posted on the gluten free messageboard, asking what the gluten free community would like to see in store.

I’ve posted before about Sainsbury’s target in their CSR strategy of being the number one choice for customers with allergies or intolerances … at the moment, Sainsbury are my number one choice of supermarket for gluten free products, because of their wider range. Sainsbury is one of Tesco’s major competitors, so I’m delighted to see Tesco taking an interest too. And in all this talk about social media, it is great to see that such a big company has decided to take action and discuss matters with a niche group of consumers. Good for Tesco!

They’re particularly interested in creating a frozen range at the moment: I’d like to see some options that are both vegetarian and gluten free. So often the veggie options are padded out with breadcrumbs… How about a vegetarian, gluten free lasagne, for those too-weary-to-cook days?

For myself, I’d like to see a decent ready-made gluten free pastry available. And if they could come up with more breakfast ideas, that would be fantastic (we’re still struggling with breakfast here) – a really good gluten free croissant or pain au chocolat would be great. And what about stocking frozen gluten free pizza and gluten free icecream cones as well? My local store doesn’t have either of those, though the competition does…

And at the moment, Tesco (and the other supermarkets) stock some items in the Free From range that are readily available, cheaper, and suitable for coeliacs in the normal section. This takes up shelfspace with slow-turnover items. The problem with the slow-turnover items is that then there appears to be no demand, so stores feel free to encroach on ‘our’ shelfspace when it is Christmas.

I’d like to see a wider range in the smaller stores too – coeliacs don’t just live near superstores.

If you’d like to help Tesco out, do go and visit the message-board – but do it today, because the message will get replaced by newer ones.

What ideas do you have? What could a major supermarket (the biggest here in the UK) provide that would make life easier for us?