By Zach

Here we go, gluten-free eaters. There’s another company trying to make a rift and a ruckus in the gluten-sensitive community, and it’s name brand is Wegmans Food Markets. Alright alright, all joking aside, I just want to state as a disclaimer that this post is simply an informative news report about a new “gluten-free” line of foods at Wegmans. Wegman’s has informed Triumph Dining that all gluten-free mixes and gluten-free pastas are being produced in dedicated gluten free facilities. They also mentioned that “gluten-free ingredients are investigated and verified, including processing aids and incidental additives and manufacturing environment, processing, scheduling, and  also that good manufacturing practices are evaluated for the potential for cross contact/cross contamination with gluten.”

Since the Domino’s Pizza gluten-free crust didn’t go over very well with a lot of you, this may not please everyone either, but we feel compelled to bring you up to speed whether you love it or hate it.

Without further ado, Wegmans Food Market, a Northeastern grocery chain with about 80 stores, has just announced that in honor of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month they have introduced, what they’re calling, four new gluten-free favorites into their stores. One of these is their corn-based pastas, which supposedly have an appetizing texture and hardly tastes any different than regular pasta. As an added bonus, shoppers can download a dollar-off coupon for the pasta from the Wegmans’ website. All four family favorites are Wegmans’ own brand and include:

  • Gluten-free spaghetti, fusilli, penne and elbows, in one-pound boxes that sell for $2.49.
  • A vanilla cake mix and chocolate cake mix. Each mix makes one 8-inch round cake layer and sells for $3.49.
  • A gluten-free sugar cookie mix, which sells for $3.49 and makes 22 cookies.
  • A double chocolate brownie mix for $3.49 that makes one 8-inch square pan of brownies.

This information comes straight from Wegmans’ latest press release (read the whole thing by clicking the link), which was instated May 14th, 2012. Also, the following statements come from the same press release from Wegmans:

“’We see more gluten-free products every year and the quality keeps improving,’ says Charlie Gardner, category merchant for the Nature’s Marketplace area of Wegmans stores. ‘The gluten-free area has grown from a 12-foot section to several aisles in the Nature’s Marketplace department of the store. In fact, gluten-free foods are found all over our stores – there are about 1,700 different Wegmans brand items alone, from orange juice to ketchup, and they’re easy to spot because there’s a gluten-free wellness key on the package.’

Improvements? I know this addition to Wegmans doesn’t apply to a lot you, but for those of you whom it does, maybe this new line of gluten-free goodies can galvanize you in some way.

I can’t speak for Wegmans’ intentions, but it seems like they wanted to launch these family favorites as an effort to raise Celiac awareness and provide more options to the rising demand for gluten-free foods. One of their nutritionists, who is on a gluten-free diet, points out the benefit of more glutenless foods as it allows families to still bond over eating the same foods and not hinder the experience of such quotidian dialogue as, “Mom, could you pass the spaghetti?” or “Dad, could get me a brownie?”

What do you all think the pros and cons are about Wegmans’ new “gluten-free” products?