Most of you by now have already heard about Betty Crocker’s new line of Gluten Free Baking Mixes. Many of you were probably so excited by the news that you went straight to your local grocery store to find them as soon as possible. And, after searching the aisles up and down, you scratched your head, because these baking mixes were nowhere to be found.
I had a similar experience this afternoon. I called a few grocery stores, and only one, a Safeway in Falls Church, claimed to have the mixes in stock. Every other store put me on hold for five to ten minutes before telling me the mixes had yet to reach their store.
This lack of availability, said a General Mills media representative, will persist until July or August, when General Mills finally ships its long-awaited Betty Crocker gluten-free product line to grocery stores nationwide. The mixes received rave reviews from one blogger, who said that a few of the mixes tasted even better than the originals.
A customer service representative said these mixes were the result of a broad customer feedback response. People wanted more gluten-free products, and so General Mills provided.
It’s definitely an encouraging sign to see such a large company debuting products that cater so specifically to the gluten-free community. The words “Gluten Free” are even plastered across the front of the box, directing these mixes toward a very narrow audience. When a company wants to go gluten-free, they sometimes use words like “flourless” to describe the variety, so that the brand will appeal to the company’s entire range of consumers, not just the celiacs. Or, as Starbucks has done, they’ll simply leave the words gluten-free out of the product’s name and indicate that the product is gluten-free on the front of the packaging.
There’s nothing wrong with this sort of marketing, but the fact that General Mills has shied away from it indicates that they believe these gluten-free mixes will see reasonable demand from consumers who shop solely for gluten-free foods. Let’s hope this is a sign that the gluten-free market has finally grown to the extent that other large companies will start unveiling more gluten-free products in the near future.
What do you think about this announcement? Have you been able to find the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes? Let us know!