Celiac.com 02/22/2016 - Are supermarkets charging extreme prices for certified gluten-free foods, which are basically the same as their non-certified counterparts?
A Channel 4 exposé of stores in the United Kingdom shows that shoppers are paying huge mark-ups for store brand gluten-free products, while similar unlabeled foods are much cheaper in other parts of the store. The Channel 4 probe found huge price differences between certified gluten-free sauces, soups and crackers and regular equivalents that do not naturally have any wheat or gluten ingredients.
Meanwhile at rival Sainsbury's, a 300g Free From juicy tomato and basil soup sells for 3 times the price of a 400g regular tomato and basil soup with no gluten ingredients. Lastly, Sainsbury's 300g Free From massala sauce was priced at nearly 65% more than a 500g jar of regular massala sauce, which also has no gluten.
Of course, the trick here is that we are comparing certified gluten-free store brands with similar products with no gluten ingredients. For many people, certified gluten-free products provide a degree of safety that they are willing to pay a premium price for.
However, in many cases, a journey away from the gluten-free aisle and some quick ingredient checking might get you a product that is as gluten-free as the certified products, and works every bit as well.
As always, consumers should be aware, read labels, and make choices that work for them.