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Michi8

Gluten Free Product Placement

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I officially started eating gluten free on Monday...so I am now trying to navigate grocery stores with gluten ingredients in mind.

Yesterday I found that my local Safeway has a good selection of frozen gluten-free baking (Kinnikinnik and other brands) so I bought some to try. Unfortunately, they don't have much in the way of gluten-free cereals, pastas or flours. They've also eliminated their "Natural Foods" aisle where they used to keep gluten-free stuff. Instead, they items are found amongst all the other gluten-filled choices.

I found a couple of Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour choices down the flour aisle. I found it odd that they would place these flours in the same place as large packages of regular wheat flour, especially since they tend to be covered in flour. Especially odd was that a gluten free flour mix was placed on the shelf right next to a box of "Essential Wheat Gluten!"

I ended up chatting with the manager about the placement of the products (and potential cc issues from residual flour...those big bags are hardly spill proof), and how I'm disappointed that they've removed the "Natural Foods" aisle in favour of spreading the product throughout the store. Am I wrong to be concerned about cross contamination down that aisle? Anyone else see the same in their local grocery store?

Michelle

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Since I am also in Alberta I know exactly what you are talking about. Depending on your location, you may or may not have a Save-On Foods. They have a "natural section" in each aisle and that way the gluten-free products are kept away from some of the other products.

It would be better if Safeway could keep the gluten-free flour away from contaminating products, but I don't think they make a lot of money from our specialty purchases.

I buy my flour either from Kinnikinnick (since they are located where I live) or from Planet Organic. But that may be because I reacted to Bob's products. I also buy asian flours (rice, etc) from Superstore.


Tapioca intolerant

First cousin dx'd with Celiac Disease

Grandmother died of malnutrition b/c everything made her sick... sounds like celiac to me.

Gluten-free since June 2005

Dx with IBS February 2005

Blood tests both negative (or inconclusive?) for celiac (in 2002 and 2004)

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Since I am also in Alberta I know exactly what you are talking about. Depending on your location, you may or may not have a Save-On Foods. They have a "natural section" in each aisle and that way the gluten-free products are kept away from some of the other products.

It would be better if Safeway could keep the gluten-free flour away from contaminating products, but I don't think they make a lot of money from our specialty purchases.

I buy my flour either from Kinnikinnick (since they are located where I live) or from Planet Organic. But that may be because I reacted to Bob's products. I also buy asian flours (rice, etc) from Superstore.

I think we may live in the same area. :) I haven't been to Kinnikinnick yet...but am planning on going...might be able to get there tomorrow. Save-On does have a good selection, so will have to get there too. However, Safeway may improve their placement and selection if enough people give them feedback.

I am surprised at, when I question ingredients, how many people ask, "are you celiac?" and then mention they are, or have a relative or friend who is. The gal at the tea shop the other day was knowledgable when I asked about the ingredients of certain products...and also mentioned that they occassionally bring in gluten free goodies for sale too. :) Given the number of people who know about it and the number that are now being diagnosed, I think that it would be worthwhile for reatilers to offer a better selection...especially when it is requested by customers. The manager at Safeway now knows that I will be shopping at Save-On instead...might be worth stepping up and offering some good competition.

Michelle

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Re: Safeway...ours took out the Natural Market and mixed gluten-free stuff with other groceries as well. I buy some of my flours at the health food store (better selection and price) or Superstore (sweet rice, white rice and tapioca) and potato starch at the asian market.

At our Safeway the Kinnikinnick is in the bakery section in a freezer but Glutino and other products are in the freezer section near the ice and juice. Haven't figured that one out yet.


Linda, Mom to Ty (11 years old)

Ty was diagnosed by blood test June 7/05

biopsy Aug 11/05, diagnosis confirmed Aug 18/05

Mom, Dad and big brother Celiac-free.

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Like you I'm bothered by the mixing of gluten and gluten free items. I don't buy from the stores that don't separate them.

I ended up chatting with the manager about the placement of the products (and potential cc issues from residual flour...those big bags are hardly spill proof), and how I'm disappointed that they've removed the "Natural Foods" aisle in favour of spreading the product throughout the store. Am I wrong to be concerned about cross contamination down that aisle? Anyone else see the same in their local grocery store?

Michelle


“This email is a natural hand made product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws.”

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I think we may live in the same area. :) I haven't been to Kinnikinnick yet...but am planning on going...might be able to get there tomorrow. Save-On does have a good selection, so will have to get there too. However, Safeway may improve their placement and selection if enough people give them feedback.

I am surprised at, when I question ingredients, how many people ask, "are you celiac?" and then mention they are, or have a relative or friend who is. The gal at the tea shop the other day was knowledgable when I asked about the ingredients of certain products...and also mentioned that they occassionally bring in gluten free goodies for sale too. :) Given the number of people who know about it and the number that are now being diagnosed, I think that it would be worthwhile for reatilers to offer a better selection...especially when it is requested by customers. The manager at Safeway now knows that I will be shopping at Save-On instead...might be worth stepping up and offering some good competition.

Michelle

You really should go to Kinnikinnick if you can because they have a points system for local shoppers and when you have enough points you get money off of your purchases. Also, they have really cool baked items for local shoppers, like pies, special cookies, foccaccia, and sometimes samples to try. It is also nice to buy direct from the factory, fresh unfrozen products.

I know what you mean, more people seem to be knowledgeable about celiac these days. You mention it and they usually have a friend or family member with it.

I'm assuming you are in Edmonton or near to it. We don't have a gluten-free restaurant/coffee shop, etc here. My husband suggested that I should open one. Not that I would have money, or a clue on how to do that!


Tapioca intolerant

First cousin dx'd with Celiac Disease

Grandmother died of malnutrition b/c everything made her sick... sounds like celiac to me.

Gluten-free since June 2005

Dx with IBS February 2005

Blood tests both negative (or inconclusive?) for celiac (in 2002 and 2004)

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Guest Viola

The biggest worry about flours being next to each other is when children go shopping with their parents. Children love to help put things in the buggy, and if they are getting all that flour, that is on the outside of a gluten free cake mix for instance, on their fingers, then they put their hands near or in their mouths, you will have a very ill child. I think everyone should point out the problem to the staff and manager. Only we can change things for the better if we get together and be persistent.

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The biggest worry about flours being next to each other is when children go shopping with their parents. Children love to help put things in the buggy, and if they are getting all that flour, that is on the outside of a gluten free cake mix for instance, on their fingers, then they put their hands near or in their mouths, you will have a very ill child. I think everyone should point out the problem to the staff and manager. Only we can change things for the better if we get together and be persistent.

It's a worry for me too. The gluten free flours (of which there were only two!) were on the very top shelf, above shelves of gigantic bags of flour. I'm petite...I pretty much have to climb up to reach if the product isn't close to the front of the shelf! :rolleyes:

Michelle

You really should go to Kinnikinnick if you can because they have a points system for local shoppers and when you have enough points you get money off of your purchases. Also, they have really cool baked items for local shoppers, like pies, special cookies, foccaccia, and sometimes samples to try. It is also nice to buy direct from the factory, fresh unfrozen products.

I tried to get there yesterday, but shopping in the South took so long, I didn't have time to get there. I will definitely try again!

I know what you mean, more people seem to be knowledgeable about celiac these days. You mention it and they usually have a friend or family member with it.

I'm assuming you are in Edmonton or near to it. We don't have a gluten-free restaurant/coffee shop, etc here. My husband suggested that I should open one. Not that I would have money, or a clue on how to do that!

Yes, I'm near Edmonton. :) I think you should open a restaurant. Please make it a gluten free De Dutch Pannekoek House. It used to be my favourite breakfast/brunch place when I lived in Vancouver. Of course they aren't actually gluten free...it would be nice if you could accommodate so I could have my apple, onion and bacon pannekoeks again. :lol:

Michelle

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I asked our local store if they could at least place the gluten free stuff on the top shelf that way the gluten free would spill onto the gluten and not the other way around. (I talked with the manager and she changed it that week!)

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I asked our local store if they could at least place the gluten free stuff on the top shelf that way the gluten free would spill onto the gluten and not the other way around. (I talked with the manager and she changed it that week!)

That's a good point! Though, I still think it would be better stored away from gluten flours altogether ...and away from boxes of wheat gluten! :rolleyes:

Michelle

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I hate to be the dissenter, but I'd be thankful enough to have my local Whole Foods even have these flours available. They are so small that they do not and they keep cutting their stock; for instance they sell only one Ener-G product when just 3 years ago they had several. I have to rely on mail order more and more lately. I'd be happy if I could walk into a store and purchase without driving 25 miles to another Whole Foods store (that's about how far away another WF or Wegmans is from me). We have no Wild Oats stores in NJ yet.

Also, you can't get away from a certain amount of supermarket cross contam. For instance once at Whole Foods there was white wheat flour all over the conveyor -- I didn't realize it until my stuff was moving up to the register. No way I could stop it; but I made sure to wipe everything down as I was removing from grocery bag at home.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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Guest nini

the Whole Foods by me has their entire gluten-free section RIGHT NEXT to the whole wheat flour grinder... and you know as well as I do that when grinding flour IT GOES EVERYWHERE! My husband and I called the manager over and my husband ran his finger across the tops of the boxes in the gluten-free secton and his finger was COVERED in flour... he said that our daughter breaks out in hives just from touching it, and if it's all over the outside of the boxes of gluten-free food there is no way we could buy it there... the manager said he was aware of the issue and trying to either move the flour grinder or move the gluten-free section, but in the meantime nothing's been done. I won't shop there until it's fixed. I keep stopping by to check but I'd rather shop at Life Grocery right across the street from them that keeps most of the gluten-free stuff in one main area with some scattered throughout the store... much better selection too.

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I hate to be the dissenter, but I'd be thankful enough to have my local Whole Foods even have these flours available. They are so small that they do not and they keep cutting their stock; for instance they sell only one Ener-G product when just 3 years ago they had several. I have to rely on mail order more and more lately. I'd be happy if I could walk into a store and purchase without driving 25 miles to another Whole Foods store (that's about how far away another WF or Wegmans is from me). We have no Wild Oats stores in NJ yet.

I believe there's a Wild Oats in Princeton on Nassau Street. If you're in that neighborhood, then you're also not too far from Whole Foods on Rt 1 and DeLiteful Foods on Quakerbridge Road. Lots of gluten-free stuff there.


Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

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I believe there's a Wild Oats in Princeton on Nassau Street. If you're in that neighborhood, then you're also not too far from Whole Foods on Rt 1 and DeLiteful Foods on Quakerbridge Road. Lots of gluten-free stuff there.

Yes, I've been to the Wild Oats in Princeton--it's pretty small, but they carry lots of Ener-g products as well as Kinnikinnik, some Namaste and Enjoy Life. As I remember (I was only there once), they didn't have a large frozen/referigerated section. That may have changed. I did get a cute pair of reading glasses there--with a matching pouch :D


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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I believe there's a Wild Oats in Princeton on Nassau Street. If you're in that neighborhood, then you're also not too far from Whole Foods on Rt 1 and DeLiteful Foods on Quakerbridge Road. Lots of gluten-free stuff there.

thanks but that's exactly the same location that I am 25 miles away from and you know Jersey traffic, a 15 minute trip can take an hour due to so much traffic. I'd rather do mail order than drive over an hour back and forth to a store, esp. with gas prices this high. I live near Essex county (yes whole foods is in West Orange but it's about 20 miles in opposite direction. I am in section of state where no one wants to build any new stores exept Home Depots & Staples and Lowe's Hardware and movie theatres)...


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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I know what you mean. In a state as progressive and varied as NJ, surprisingly they don't seem to have celiac on many peoples' radar. In the last two years I have found places to buy most of what I want without having to order online, but safe restaurants are still few and far between. And I know what you mean about driving - I live near Trenton, work in Cranbury, and if I could just shoot up route 1 it would take maybe 35 minutes, but at rush hour I've spent as much as 1 hour and 20 minutes. Needless to say I found a lot of back roads to avoid that, but it still takes 45-50 minutes at rush hour. And since I try not to drive more than I have to, I only go to Whole Foods every month or two and stock up.

Rules for celiac commuters in NJ:

Always have something gluten-free in your purse or briefcase to get you through the traffic jam.

Always, ALWAYS, go to the bathroom before you leave!


Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

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Rules for celiac commuters in NJ:

Always have something gluten-free in your purse or briefcase to get you through the traffic jam.

Always, ALWAYS, go to the bathroom before you leave!

Yes! :D


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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I feel so fortunate to be living near my local store that not only stock pretty much everything I used to mail order (and if they don’t they get it for me) they also separate the freezer section as well as the grocery section for us celiacs. And buy the way cheaper then my local whole foods

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Please make it a gluten free De Dutch Pannekoek House. It used to be my favourite breakfast/brunch place when I lived in Vancouver. Of course they aren't actually gluten free...it would be nice if you could accommodate so I could have my apple, onion and bacon pannekoeks again. :lol:

Michelle

That sounds delicious.


Tapioca intolerant

First cousin dx'd with Celiac Disease

Grandmother died of malnutrition b/c everything made her sick... sounds like celiac to me.

Gluten-free since June 2005

Dx with IBS February 2005

Blood tests both negative (or inconclusive?) for celiac (in 2002 and 2004)

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I get the issue of leaky flour bags, but sealed packages sitting next to each other does not bother me. One plus for having some items integrated is that it is less likely to isolate celiacs, make gluten-free products more of a normal part of *normal* shopping, and expose others to gluten-free products that may not be aware of them.


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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I get the issue of leaky flour bags, but sealed packages sitting next to each other does not bother me. One plus for having some items integrated is that it is less likely to isolate celiacs, make gluten-free products more of a normal part of *normal* shopping, and expose others to gluten-free products that may not be aware of them.

That is a good point. I do like having the cereals with other cereals, pasta with pasta, breads with bread, etc. It was mainly the messy flour aisle that surprised me. The other issue is that this particular Safeway has an extremely small selection of gluten free products. We're talking one or two bags of Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour on the very tip top shelf of the flour aisle, surrounded by glutenous bags and packaging. There was one package of gluten free cereal down the entire aisle. Two, maybe three, choices of pasta. To have such a small selection spread out over an entire store makes gluten free shopping frustrating. At this location, they would serve the celiac community better to centralize the products.

Save On Foods, OTOH, has clearly marked "natural products" down each aisle. So, in the cereal aisle, the gluten free products are placed in a special area that is combined with organic and specialty cereals. Same with all the other ailses. I think it works very well. :)

Michelle

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That is a good point. I do like having the cereals with other cereals, pasta with pasta, breads with bread, etc. It was mainly the messy flour aisle that surprised me. The other issue is that this particular Safeway has an extremely small selection of gluten free products. We're talking one or two bags of Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour on the very tip top shelf of the flour aisle, surrounded by glutenous bags and packaging. There was one package of gluten free cereal down the entire aisle. Two, maybe three, choices of pasta. To have such a small selection spread out over an entire store makes gluten free shopping frustrating. At this location, they would serve the celiac community better to centralize the products.

Save On Foods, OTOH, has clearly marked "natural products" down each aisle. So, in the cereal aisle, the gluten free products are placed in a special area that is combined with organic and specialty cereals. Same with all the other ailses. I think it works very well. :)

Michelle

I think many stores are still in the beginning stages of gluten-free foods--even the natural foods stores! I still find incorrect labeling at Wild Oats etc. I found a product with wheat labeled gluten-free at my store this past weekend... I think a majority of the employees don't really know what *gluten-free* is.

I get what your saying w/places that only have a handful of products. Our Wild Oats just started a "gluten-free" isle--isle being more like a kiosk ! What I dislike is that people (esp beginners) flock there, missing a host of gluten-free products that are elsewhere. A good thing, like you've done, is to speak up about it. If there is a local Celiac group, like in my city, I'd say they can have some influence over how the stores gluten-free selection is set up.


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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