As far as replacement gluten-free foods go, the Super Target stores in our area are not very impressive. If you call the toll-free Target phone number for the gluten-free status of a product by Archer Farms, their store brand, they might be able to answer on the spot or they might have to call you back. In the past it has taken them as long as four weeks to reply to me, but it seems to be much faster to get answers these days. It was so bad in the past that the company sent out coupons to apologize for the fact that they took so long to reply to questions.
While browsing the grocery part of a Super Target near us last weekend, I stumbled upon quite a gluten-free value. Five gluten-free Chex cereals were selling for $2.04 a box, including Honey Nut, Chocolate, Rice, Corn and Cinnamon flavors. Since the cereal retails for around $3.50 a box at the other stores we shop in here, finding them for only $2.04 was a wonderful surprise. As nutritional values go, Chex cereals are not the healthiest options around, but the more nutritious gluten-free cereals we’ve come across run $5 (or more) for the same amount of product as the Chex boxes offer. My husband prefers eating gluten-free cereal and he often mixes higher end cereals with Chex cereals to keep his cereal costs down. He eats a little more than a half a box of cereal five days a week. He likes cereal – a LOT!
Some of the newly labeled gluten-free soups from Progresso were on the shelves at Target and they also had the Betty Crocker gluten-free baking mixes and some of the newly gluten-free labeled Betty Crocker canned frostings. There were a couple of gluten-free Thai Kitchen items as well. However, no gluten-free crackers, cookies, pretzels, pasta or even corn tortillas without wheat in them were to be found in our store. Mainstream chips were available, many of which are gluten-free, of course. While on the chip and snack aisle, we came upon a tasting table for pita chips that are not gluten-free. However, I was impressed by the sign on the sample table suggesting people ask about ingredients in the food before sampling. That is something I’ve never seen before, but it’s an excellent idea.
In the regular freezer section at Super Target, there were a few Amy’s gluten-free meals but the prices were higher than most other stores that also carry them here. In the organic/natural foods freezer, there were several items from Ian’s including both gluten-free and wheat based items. Also, the four Blue Horizon Organic gluten-free seafood appetizers were all available in the organic freezer at Super Target. We picked up the Salmon Bites this time around and found them to be exceptional tasting. We’d previously had the Fish & Chip bites and the Crab Cake bites. Probably my favorite of the three were the Crab Cake bites but all three are really tasty. We have not tried the Ahi Tuna Bites.
I was able to use coupons from the company and if the Blue Horizon gluten-free appetizers are sold in your area (try Whole Foods and Super Target), you can get a discount coupon ($1 off) to try them for yourself. Send an e-mail complete with your mailing address, asking for a gluten-free product coupon to firstname.lastname@example.org. The gluten-free products from this company are tested for gluten to ensure their safety for those with celiac or gluten intolerance. If you see malt listed on a product in your store, it is made from CORN, not barley. The formulation was changed in August 2009 and now the product is made with apple cider vinegar instead of corn malt. The product never contained any form of gluten.
Super Target could do better in terms of their gluten-free alternative product offerings, but it was nice to see the special pricing on the Chex cereals and find the excellent gluten-free seafood appetizers there as well. We also picked up a box of Archer Farms Bacon Wrapped Scallops, which were in the normal freezer. Presently, there are no gluten or questionable ingredients listed on the package. I called Target to double check the gluten-free status of the item and they had to call me back. It only took four hours to get an answer – a record for Target. The company does have a gluten-free list on hand now, but if something is not clearly labeled gluten-free, it doesn’t seem to be on the list. I’m happy to report that the Bacon Wrapped Scallops are in fact, gluten-free. We’ll be brushing them with a little Dijon mustard before popping them in the oven!