gfco2There has been a lot of buzz about the new gluten-free pretzels from Snyder’s of Hanover. If you missed the buzz, please take a moment to read this interesting post about the new Snyder’s pretzels from Teri over at About.com. News of the gluten pretzel king of mainstream food companies getting into the gluten-free market should be good news, of course. However, the company took a while to finally decide that the new product should be certified gluten-free. The good news is that the ink is finally dry on the contract between the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America and Snyder’s of Hanover. You can read the press release here.

Snyder’s of Hanover has been in negotiations with GIG since September 2009. However, they have not had a signed contract since then. As Cynthia Kupper, GIG’s Executive Director, explained to me “as you know contract negotiations take time and during the process sometimes people walk away from the negotiations to do further research. At times this process can take months. We are thrilled that Snyder’s has certified their new gluten-free pretzels and is helping this community live healthier.”

Snyder’s checked into different certification programs that were available and chose to go with GIG’s extensive GFCO program. It’s really exciting news that the pretzels were able to be confirmed gluten-free, since they are made on lines that also process wheat. It’s a myth that products not made in a dedicated gluten-free facility can’t truly be gluten-free. As always, people can make up their own minds about what to eat or avoid. I am certainly going to look for the new Snyder’s item when it hits the Whole Foods stores in mid May.

Snyder’s of Hanover hopes to roll out their new gluten-free products to mainstream grocery stores, that already carry their other snacks, in mid summer 2010. The company might also introduce some “no gluten ingredients” snacks, which will not be certified gluten-free. It’s unclear why consumers would buy such a product but there are trendy shoppers out there that might pick up something marked gluten-free to try something different.

Though I’ve personally tried some items labeled “no gluten ingredients” before, they were from companies like Amy’s that does test products for safety. Several gluten-free companies when through a phase where they changed their labeling while waiting for the magic FDA labeling law that never materialized. Maybe if the certified gluten-free pretzels sell really well, Snyder’s will consider having some of their “no gluten ingredients” products tested for gluten as well.