If you’re a gluten free shopper, you know the drill when you’re grocery shopping. You know which products to avoid, and which departments have gluten free offerings. Even if you’re not a seasoned gluten free shopper, or if you’re just looking for a bit more gluten free guidance throughout the grocery store, here's a virtual store tour on how to shop gluten free at Festival Foods! First up is the produce section. Generally speaking, this is a gluten free safe section. Fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten free. This is fantastic, considering you can never have too many fruits and veggies in your diet! Next, we move on to the deli, and things get a little trickier. When it comes to pre-made salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and heat-and-eat items, making sure the ingredients list has no gluten can be tricky. Furthermore, it is important to note that although our deli prepares many items without gluten-containing ingredients and takes care to avoid cross-contamination, we do not have a certified gluten free deli. Products are produced and ingredients may be manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten-containing products. Our deli does offer several selections for items that are made with no gluten-containing ingredients. And more great news, we have put together a list of deli items made with no gluten containing ingredients, which can be accessed by clicking here, or you can find it on our website. Next, we head to the incredible Meat and Seafood Department. A lot of naturally gluten free options are here, but use caution when purchasing items like sausage or breaded meats, which may contain gluten. Just like our deli, our meat department is not certified gluten free, and may utilize products and ingredients that were manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten-containing products. Our meat department has this list of signature meat items with no gluten containing ingredients. It's also on our website. Up next is the Natural and Organic Foods Department, where we can find lots of new gluten free products every day! This department is home to all sorts of gluten free brands, many of which are sensitive to various food allergies and intolerances. Here you will find amazing gluten free versions of just about anything: flour blends, baking mixes, soups, pasta, breads, snacks, desserts, frozen pizzas … the list goes on! You will also find several products made with gluten free grain alternatives, so take the opportunity to find your favorite substitute. It is important that the packaging says “gluten free.” This means that the product has <20 ppm of gluten, which is important. And let’s not forget about the grocery and frozen aisles! Many non-natural and organic food brands have developed gluten free versions of classic products. Take Chex, Bisquick, Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker for example. All of these brands have worked to bring gluten free products to the mainstream grocery aisles. Again, in the grocery and frozen aisles, you want to look for the words “gluten free” on the packaging to ensure you are indeed buying gluten free. Some items on the grocery shelves are not labeled gluten free, but are in fact naturally gluten free. Just double-check the ingredients label to make sure no gluten containing ingredients are used. These items include, but are not limited to:
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
- Canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables
- Rice and corn products (rice cakes, corn tortillas, etc.)
- Most condiments
- Click here for a more complete list of gluten free ingredients and products!
Last, but not least, we get to the bakery. Festival does not have a certified gluten free bakery, which is important to keep in mind when searching for sweet treats. However, our natural and organic department has endless options of frozen baked goods to enjoy! (I recommend Udi’s brand and Enjoy Life cookies!) New to a gluten free diet? Or have a nutrition question? Check out our gluten free resources and recipes, or ask our dietitians a question!