Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My gripe with product placement

I was out with a girlfriend yesterday and we wandered into one of the big supermarket chains to get some munchies. She headed straight for the biscuit aisle to get some Tim Tams, unfortunately full of gluten!! So I trudged off to the 1/4 aisle of gluten free food. I shouldn't really complain, I know that in the past 5-10 years the range and availability of gluten free products has greatly increased, BUT it still has a long way to come!

Anyway as I was browsing through the various products, sadly none were as tasty as Tim Tams, something caught my eye. In a very good play of product placement was two very long rows of home brand rice crackers, the Japanese kind.  I started to get excited, this was something that I loved to eat BD (before diagnosis) but all the products that I had found contained gluten.

I picked up the packet and read the bag, I'd learnt my lesson from previous mishaps!. Low and behold it contained wheat flour and wheat starch! What makes it even more infuriating is that in bold letters and the bottom of the ingredients list is contains gluten!!!

Let me clarify in the middle of the gluten free products, which only make up 1/4 of a very large supermarket aisle, with rather large ticketing (the product was apparently on sale), is gluten filled snacks!!! Seriously, did anyone think to read the ingredients before placing the products in this aisle in prime location!!!! Obviously not!

Most people who have been diagnosed or are aware that gluten has some affect on them have learnt over time after various mishaps that you need to read the labels even if the product or the product placement looks okay. But what about those poor people who have only just found out! Think they are doing the right thing and end up in agony with the puffer fish emerging! Or indeed the family and friends of people who are gluten intolerant and think they are doing the right thing, buying some food that their beloved can eat!

Argghhh!!! Just really annoying. So please if you work in a supermarket or somewhere that sells gluten free food, please ensure you read the ingredients list before placing the product in prime position for gluten free buyers.

And yet another warning for the coeliacs and gluten intolerant readers, please don't be lured in by clever product placement and marketing ploys! It's a sucky part of not being able to eat gluten and shopping takes longer but PLEASE read the ingredients list of everything you buy, even if the positioning and labelling looks okay (use common sense though, it can't claim it's gluten free if its not, so the GF wording on the front means less reading for you!).

Recipe of the Day
This is another recipe from the 4 Ingredients Gluten Free Cookbook
The additional ingredients of the extra carton of cream, vanilla essence, icing sugar and jam is things I have added, for serving with scones.

Makes 12
4 Cups GF self raising flour (I ended up using the entire box)
2 tsp GF baking powder
2 x300ml cream
375ml can lemonade (sprite for US readers)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Sift self raising flour into a bowl, mix thoroughly and make a well, pour in cream and 3/4 of the lemonade. Mix with hands to make a firm dough (I added more flour as it is very sticky and wet, you won't get the consistency of gluten scones). Roll onto a GF floured surface and knead into a high round mound. Cut with scone cutter (I didn't have one so just formed small round molds), onto a greased baking tray close together. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

While scones are baking, pour second carton of cream into a bowl with vanilla and icing sugar, beat with electric mixers until cream has thickened (this is how my grandma made cream, lovely and sweet). Put into a serving bowl.

Remove scones from oven and serve warm with jam and cream, and a nice cup of tea or coffee.


p.s My profile picture is going to be my blog logo, its my design of the puffer fish, rather appropriate I thought!.