Publix is working on bringing in gluten-free chicken nuggets, at least in the Atlanta area region. It will likely be the Applegate Farms brand, even though a company that makes this type of product is based in GA. The Publix manager I spoke to explained that several years ago they carried a gluten-free battered chicken nugget product which did not sell well at all. It was from the GA based company. Their breaded chicken products happen to be very good so my guess is that they didn’t sell because the gluten-free customers didn’t know it was available. Publix was actually ahead of the gluten-free gravy train for a change but since no one knew about the item – it really didn’t matter.
The Publix stores in the Atlanta area are being revamped and all of the gluten-free items are being placed together. This is a very nice feature of the store design overhaul, I think. However, the wheat free Erewhon rice cereal that contains barley is in the specified gluten-free section, at all stores that have gone through the transformation. After multiple complaints from me and a couple of other people that checked their stores and found the same problem, the corporate office of Publix finally responded. They admitted the mistake and are trying to replace the wheat free cereal with the gluten-free version. Presently, the wheat free (gluten containing) cereal is still in the gluten-free section at stores near us.
Some Publix stores have very nice selections of gluten-free products while others have very little to offer. However, the corporate office is presently working on bringing in new gluten-free items. The store near me that has the most gluten-free items now has Glutino crackers and Mrs. Leeper’s box pasta dinners. That store already had several products from Pamala’s, Gluten-Free Pantry, Mi-Del and Ancient Harvest, to name a few. The Publix near us that once had a pitiful gluten-free section now even has some shelf stable Ener-G breads.
Even though the Publix stores in this area are a bit behind the gluten-free times, anyone who shops there might want to put in a call to the corporate office and ask for items you’d like to see in your store. I’d tell you to ask your manager for the items but I did that for over two years – or rather I filled out product request forms they directed me to. Not one item I asked for ever made its way into the store. However, a call into the corporate office about the gluten-free product (cereal) mistake got my local manager’s attention. In fact, I heard from two different store managers in three phone calls. I’m thrilled that Publix is finally figuring out there is money to be made in our market and other grocers in the area are way ahead of them in terms of catering to gluten-free consumers. Better late than never, I guess.
If you shop at Publix, consider calling the corporate office (1-800-242-1227) and ask for your favorite gluten-free products today! You will need to give them your Publix store number which is found on the store locator page on the Publix website.