As I was reading my Live Gluten Freely newsletter this morning I read that the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Mixes won gold at the 2010 Edison Best New Products gala in April of this year. How exciting!! Betty Crocker was the first nationally recognized brand to manufacture gluten-free mixes to be sold in mainstream grocery stores. You can view the awards here. Betty Crocker is under the “Consumer Packaged Goods” division.
While there are many gluten-free mixes on the market these days, most of them are not as readily available as the new Betty Crocker mixes. To be able to walk into your corner grocery store, whether it be a Kroger, Publix, Wal-Mart or Piggly Wiggly, and have the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes on the shelves is a huge breakthrough.
Talking about this topic brings me back to Celiac Awareness. We need to keep up the talking, blogging, writing, phone calls and comments (both good and bad) to anyone that will listen. Praise those companies that are making strides in gluten-free food and awareness. Thank them. Take a few minutes out of your day to shoot an email letting them know how they have helped you or your family. Also, make sure to let these companies know when you have a problem. Most of them will go above & beyond to make it right. How else can we expect progress to be made if we don’t give feedback? This goes for packaged goods and restaurants, too. I look at mistakes as a learning opportunity. What can I let that person or company know that could help them improve their product or service to make it better for everyone? On the same note, making the product taste better makes it perform better, which makes the company more money. It is a win-win situation. I sample new products & write reviews so that I can help both sides – the consumers find new products that taste good and won’t be a disappointment and a waste of money and the company/restaurant – by getting their name out there and giving them feedback on taste, price, etc.
Earlier this year a local/regional restaurant rolled out a gluten-free menu at their restaurant. I was excited as I had family & friends that enjoyed dining there and now Jon & I could safely join them, or so I thought. After 3 separate meals, I think we may finally have gotten to where they will succeed with the gluten-free menu. I told the regional manager that I wasn’t there to find problems and bad mouth their establishment, I was there to give an honest review and to hopefully steer other gluten-free people in their direction. The more options out there for those on the gluten-free diet, the better. Not only is it easier to eat out, but prices go down, too. The more competition, the better for everyone involved.