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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Starbucks Dumps Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwich

      May is Celiac Awareness Month, and coffee giant Starbucks is celebrating by dumping their much loved, but not-so-popular gluten-free breakfast sandwich.

    Caption: Image: CC--Juozas Šalna

    Celiac.com 05/21/2018 - Just a year ago, Starbucks debuted their Canadian bacon, egg and cheddar cheese gluten-free sandwich. During that year, the company basked in praise from customers with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity for their commitment to delivering a safe gluten-free alternative to it’s standard breakfast offerings.

    But that commitment came to an ignoble end recently as Starbucks admitted that their gluten-free sandwich was plagued by  “low sales,” and was simply not sustainable from a company perspective. The sandwich may not have sold well, but it was much-loved by those who came to rely on it.

    With the end of that sandwich came the complaints. Customers on social media were anything but quiet, as seen in numerous posts, tweets and comments pointing out the callous and tone-deaf nature of the announcement which took place in the middle of national Celiac Disease Awareness Month. More than a few posts threatened to dump Starbucks altogether.

    A few of the choice tweets include the following:  

    • “If I’m going to get coffee and can’t eat anything might as well be DD. #celiac so your eggbites won’t work for me,” tweeted @NotPerryMason.
    • “They’re discontinuing my @Starbucks gluten-free sandwich which is super sad, but will save me money because I won’t have a reason to go to Starbucks and drop $50 a week,” tweeted @nwillard229.

    Starbucks is not giving up on gluten-free entirely, though. The company will still offer several items for customers who prefer gluten-free foods, including Sous Vide Egg Bites, a Marshmallow Dream Bar and Siggi’s yogurt.

    Stay tuned to learn more about Starbucks gluten-free foods going forward.


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    Sadly yes, a girl working there, who mentioned she has celiac and was quite sad as well, told me that it is gone for good.  I for one had recently re-started going to Starbucks because of this breakfast option, but I can go somewhere else. I did really appreciate the we can’t screw it up with our bread tongs protective paper envelope. 

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    I went to Starbuck's the other day and wanted to get the gluten-free sandwich with my reward stars.  I immediately got back to work and went on Starbucks.com to complain about the sandwich no longer being available.  I did suggest that a sausage, egg, and cheese gluten-free sandwich would be better.

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    The cocoa used in their mochas contains gluten so it was a nice but weak try to serve a gluten-free breakfast sandwich - still no mochas. 

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    Gee, if only they had ADVERTISED that they had a gluten-free breakfast sandwich. But since they never advertised it, I never had a chance to buy it. No wonder they didn't have many sales.

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    I am also shocked.  I often had them for lunch as well as breakfast.  My starbucks was often out of them,  so I assumed they were popular.

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    If I knew it existed I would have been there in a jiffy! Not enough places offer gluten-free on the go breakfast so that's very unfortunate they discontinued it I think they only needed more advertising..

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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    Celiac.com 09/27/2016 - After repeated shareholder requests, and a public admission from the CEO that the company had "really screwed up the gluten free stuff," Starbucks is announcing an expansion gluten-free and other specialty options.
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    Celiac.com 03/24/2017 - Does it meet the FDA standard for a gluten-free product? Is it safe for people with celiac disease?
    Starbucks' new Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwich looks yummy. But, why does Starbucks' website feature a disclaimer saying the company cannot guarantee the absence of allergens, including wheat?
    The sandwich itself is pretty standard fare, consisting of two slices of cherrywood-smoked Canadian bacon, an egg patty and reduced-fat white cheddar on a gluten-free roll.
    The company website uses boldface type to tout the "gluten-free"-ness of the new offering, noting that the sandwich uses a "gluten-free roll," is "prepared in a certified gluten-free environment," and sealed "in its own oven-safe parchment bag to avoid any cross-contamination." Sounds good, so far, perhaps even safe for celiacs.
    But then there's this little disclaimer at the bottom of the page saying that Starbucks "cannot guarantee that any of our products are free from allergens (including dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat and others) as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them."
    Wheat? This product may contain wheat? Wheat contains gluten. Things that contain wheat are not gluten-free, and usually cannot be labeled as such.
    So, what's the deal? Is the sandwich gluten-free or not? Is this a bit like when Pizza Hut offered a gluten-free pizza crust, but wouldn't guarantee a gluten-free pizza? How much wiggle room is built into Starbucks' disclaimer? The questions are basic ones. Is the product gluten-free? Is it safe for people with celiac disease, or not? If it is, then Starbucks has been unclear in declaring the suitability of their product for people with celiac disease.
    If not, then Starbucks has been equally unclear in declaring the unsuitability of their product for people with celiac disease. Also, if the company can't guarantee a gluten-free product, and won't recommend it for people with celiac disease, then who is this product for?
    The Starbucks website features lots of talk about the "gluten-free," aspects of the product, and the serving process, but there is no language stating that the sandwich, as served is "under 20ppm" gluten, which is the FDA standard for advertising package goods as "gluten-free." There is no claim that the product is safe for people with celiac disease.
    The Starbucks Gluten-free Breakfast Sandwich sounds very much like something that many people in the celiac disease community might welcome…IF it's actually gluten-free. Let's hope it is. Let's hope this was just a mix-up by Starbucks, perhaps the result of an over-zealous legal department.
    Otherwise, it would seem that, without more clarity, people with celiac disease could be confused or mislead by the claims, and maybe influenced by the ubiquitousness of Starbucks and their promotional campaign into trying something that might harm them.
    Celiac.com is reaching out to Starbucks for comment. We look forward to sharing their reply.
    Until it becomes clear that this product is actually gluten-free, and suitable for everyone, Celiac.com urges celiac sufferers to use caution, and to follow the story here for more updates.
    Source:
    Starbucks.com   
     
     

    Jefferson Adams
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