May 27, 2009

A Gluten Free Surprise

It truly is the simplest things in life that can make you the happiest: trying a great new gluten free food, perfecting a gluten free recipe, discovering a new restaurant to safely eat, or finding a new store to buy gluten free products. Today as I was shopping in my local Giant that is being remodeled, I stumbled upon gluten free bliss!

There I stood where the flower department used to be admiring the new large gluten free section with new freezers installed for gluten free products. I couldn’t believe my eyes- Kinnikinnick bread, English muffins, and donuts in a regular grocery store that previously had a tiny gluten free section. I remember being thrilled when I discovered the tiny section last year. I was surrounded by gluten free cereal, animal crackers, cookies, bars, flours, mixes, and pasta. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I found the K-TOOS sandwich cookies.

As I was talking to a store employee about the gluten free section, he asked me “What exactly is gluten and is it just healthier?” I explained about celiac disease and he was truly shocked. Imagine how many people walk by a gluten free section and don’t even know about celiac disease.

When I told the manager how happy I was with the new gluten free section, he told me they added it because of customer requests. I am sure my request was one of many. It impresses me that not only did they listen to consumers, buy they added many gluten free items that the nearby Whole Foods does not even carry and grouped them together, instead of throughout the entire store. It amazed me to see the gluten free Van’s waffles, Amy’s, and Kettle Cuisine moved to the new gluten free freezers.

So, the next time you find yourself annoyed that your local chain grocery store doesn’t have many gluten free products, submit a written or electronic comment card and encourage others to do the same. When you are standing in the checkout line impatiently waiting, remember to use the powerful tool you have to increase awareness about celiac disease: your voice!


mb said...

Awesome! Do you know if they will be doing that in other Giants?

marylandceliac said...

I hope this will be a trend with the remodeled Giants, but I am not sure. I'll see what I can find out. It seems unlikely that they would have room for a large gluten free section in the stores unless remodeled. You can fill out a request here

Steve said...

They did the same at the Giant in Alexandria VA on Duke St, but not quite as extensively. They have a 10ft section of all GF in their new specialty food section. In the freezer section they have all of the Amy's and Gluten Free Cafe, etc meals together, but no actual GF frozen section and no GF baked goods. Things are looking better every day!