nathans662021143_2075_1685101Gluten can be found in the most surprising places. When I heard that some hot dogs contained wheat, I thought the idea of that was simply ridiculous. Eventually I picked up a pack of Nathan’s hot dogs after my celiac diagnosis and saw the word wheat clearly listed on the package. About two years ago a Nathan’s shop opened up around the corner from us. By then, I had forgotten if their hot dogs contained gluten but a quick call to the company confirmed they were indeed not gluten-free. They don’t have gluten-free buns anyway but it might have been possible to get a safe dog - sans the bun – if the franks were gluten-free.

We prefer turkey dogs to beef or pork franks and don’t have a problem finding gluten-free turkey dogs. Still, it would be nice to have a Nathan’s dog every once in a while, as they are pretty tasty as hot dogs go. Well, now those that like Nathan’s hot dogs can enjoy them again! In the fall of 2009, the company began processing gluten-free hot dogs. There are still some gluten containing products in the stores so for now you need to check the package. If it’s a new package, you’ll see Gluten Free right on the front. See the post from Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom here with photos!

There was no other source of gluten in Nathan’s dogs before except for wheat. If you find a package with wheat listed in the ingredients, then those will have to sell out before the gluten-free items will be stocked. It’s not exactly hot dog season (in most areas) so by the time people get ready to fire up their grills in the spring, they should be able to find gluten-free hot dogs from Nathan’s. Wouldn’t it be GREAT if Udi’s had gluten-free hot dog buns by then? Talk about exciting!

It seems like every week there is a new item we find out about that no longer contains gluten ingredients but did in the past. Companies don’t often make waves with the news to the mainstream shoppers because they don’t want people to stop buying something just because it’s now gluten-free. We are still a minority market so companies have to be careful to keep their existing customers while adding the gluten-free set to their customer base.

For one, I’d like to thank Nathan’s for seeing the change in the market place and being smart enough to take advantage of it. With approximately 1 in 10 shoppers buying gluten-free food for someone in their household these days, we’ll likely see many more companies taking notice of our growing buying power. There are already eighteen companies that produce gluten-free hot dogs and franks in the Grocery Guide. If you used to enjoy Nathan’s hot dogs in your gluten eating days and are excited to try them again – please leave a comment below so the company will know how much we appreciate their decision to remove gluten from their hot dogs.

Special thanks to the celiac listserv member, Alyssa, who first announced this great news!