By Angela Petrie
Did you know that sales of gluten free products are expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2012? Good news for those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. National chain stores have been slowly introducing specialty items for people with allergies over the years. As awareness grows, so do our choices. Last week I had a meeting with Dave Blackmore, manager of Save-On foods, and a newly diagnosed celiac. Like most people he had never even read a label before his diagnosis.
Save-On has been carrying a few gluten free product options for years; however, I was very excited to learn that Save-On is now carrying Udi products. I first discovered Udi when I attended the National Celiac Association Conference in Winnipeg this year. I sampled Udi’s brown bread and was astounded by its fresh, soft texture and great taste. I told them we had to get this product in Kelowna! They are a company based out of Denver, Colorado and was told that they were trying to break into the Western Canada market. So when Dave sent a message to the Kelowna Celiac Association membership that he had some of the Udi products in his store I was both surprised at how quick it had arrived and eager to sample what he had available.
Udi products are gluten free, dairy free, nut and soy free. All their goods are made in a 100% dedicated gluten free facility. Udi claims that there is “no need to toast this bread, go ahead and eat straight from the bag.”
I agreed with this claim in Winnipeg, but have to admit it was a little dry by the time I ate my PB&J sandwich at lunch – not saying that it didn’t still taste great, it just was not as fresh as it was in Winnipeg. Also, it tastes excellent – better than others – when toasted.
I highly recommend their blueberry muffins! I took it out of the freezer in the morning and by lunch I had this yummy, soft muffin oozing blueberries and a sugary topping. Okay, not the healthiest, but still it tasted awesome, was the size of a regular muffin and I know would pass as a regular muffin to those poor unsuspecting gluten-consuming foodies.
I also sampled the Udi cinnamon buns. Again, a little dry but still pretty good when you think of all the effort that I would have to go through to make one for Hannah on my own. I just popped it out and put it in the microwave so maybe it would be better if I let it freshen on its own like the muffins. While researching this article I found the following statement under their FAQ site: ‘for best results refresh cinnamon rolls in a 275 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or in a microwave for 15-20 seconds.
Last Dave gave me Patsy Pie chocolate chip cookies to try. All I can say is – remember the saying ‘Mr. Christie, you make good cookies’ – I relived my childhood as I dipped my cookies in a glass of cold milk.
Dave told me that so long as the products sell, he will continue to supply them and hopefully stock more. Please support these businesses so our options we continue to grow. Watch for the Save-On flyer the first week of October for a gluten free section.
Dave has graciously agreed to allow me to promote awareness about celiac disease and my business at his store in the coming months. He will provide products to sample and I will be on hand to answer your gluten free product questions and tell you more about my services.
Once a few dates have been arranged I will post the info on my blog and hope to meet a few of you at the store.
Angela Petrie is a gluten free consultant. She can be reached at 250-863-8123 or check out her website at www.glutenfreehelp.ca