Butterball Now Offers Gluten-Free Gravy!

turkeyWhile doing research for an article about gluten-free turkeys, I called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line just to make sure their turkeys were still gluten-free as long as you threw out the gravy packet that comes with their frozen and fresh whole turkeys. Both the fresh and frozen whole turkeys are gluten-free, by the way. They make a stuffed turkey that is not. But the big news is that the Butterball gravy concentrate packets were recently reformulated to be gluten-free! The representative explained that some gluten packets are likely still in the stores so you have to read the ingredient label before using  the gravy packet.

It’s my bet that there might be a lot of gluten gravy packets out there and we might have a situation like we did a couple of years ago when Honeybaked Hams changed their glaze to be gluten-free. It took well over six months for all the existing gluten glazed products to be sold. In fact, it was a bit of a PR nightmare for the corporate office. So, please don’t rush out and expect that all the gravy packets that come with some Butterball turkeys are going to be the new gluten-free gravy version. That is likely not the case.

The gluten-free gravy concentrate ingredients include rice flour instead of wheat flour. There is no rye, barley or oats in the new formulation and the company considers it to be gluten-free. But this new gravy item is not available in the old fashioned frozen Butterball turkeys, according to the Turkey Talk-Line representative I spoke to at length about it.

The woman I spoke to made it clear that this new gravy concentrate is only available in some of the Butterball specialty items like Ready to Roast turkeys, ‘Lil Butterball turkeys and whole turkey breasts. You would think the company would include this item in the traditional frozen whole turkeys, but for now they are not doing so – unless the person I spoke to was confused. I let her know that this information is nowhere to be found on the Butterball website, nor is there a press release about it. She explained that this is very new information.

After confirming this information with two other calls to the Turkey Talk-Line, I called Butterball’s Consumer Affairs office as well. The person I spoke to in that department gave me the new gluten free gravy ingredients over the phone but I did finally locate them on the Butterball website (with the stuffed turkey ingredients).

NEW Butterball gluten-free gravy ingredients:

Modified Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Salt, Rice Flour, Cooked Turkey, Onion Powder, Caramel Color (yes, it is gluten-free), Garlic Powder, Spices.

The consumer affairs representative also said that many of the old formulation gravy packets are in stores so we MUST read the ingredient list before consuming any gravy related items from Butterball. Additionally, she told me the new packet is included with the stuffed whole turkeys. That’s right – a gluten turkey with a gluten-free gravy packet. There is a learning curve for companies too when it comes to the gluten-free diet.  I give them credit for trying. When I mentioned that they might want to offer the gravy with a whole turkey that is not stuffed, the representative explained that if the response to this gravy is positive, that might be something the company will do later.

I’m familiar with the ‘Lil Butterball turkey but have never seen the Ready-to-Roast version. You can bet I’ll be looking for it on my next trip to the grocery store, even though I don’t care that much for gravy. I just want to check it out because I can. For me it’s kind of like the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ – make gluten-free gravy and they will come!

The Turkey Talk-Line toll free number is 1-800-BUTTERBALL, in case you have questions or just want to thank the company for making gluten-free gravy.  I am very thankful that a company like Butterball is paying attention to the gluten-free market and this is the season to give thanks, after all.

If you want to make your own gravy from scratch, you might want to check out the gluten free gravy recipe that Kay secretly serves to glutenoids!

Gluten-free News Roundup

Gluten-free News Roundup
It seems like everywhere you turn these days, gluten-free news is popping up. Of course, if likely only seems that way to those of us who are living a gluten-free lifestyle. Some people don’t like that term, but being on the gluten-free diet is way more involved than simply following a diet. If being gluten-free during every meal (or snack) of every day, week, month and year was easy, family members of people with celiac would not avoid being tested for celiac. Doctors would not avoid testing patients for celiac. Following the gluten-free diet successfully requires a lot of time and even a little skill at times. One has to be a label reader, ingredients expert and product investigator – among other things. There is so much to keep up with that at times, my head is spinning from all the gluten-free news coming at me. Here are a few stories that might interest some of our readers.
Late in December 2009, we found out that having celiac disease is “in” for 2010.  Interesting that a disease can be considered “in”, I think. Here is the Washington Post article in case you missed it.
In January, a rumor about Redbridge beer being discontinued sprouted, but to date, Anheiser-Busch that makes the beer, reports that there are no plans to stop making Redbridge. The representative I spoke to stated that some beverage distributors are choosing not to purchase the gluten-free beer, and suggested people contact their local distributor with questions. Two Publix stores near us have been out of Redbridge for over a month. However, Wildfire (in Atlanta) had it two weeks ago. Here is what Gluten-Free Living found out about the situation.
Zach over at Gluten-Free Raleigh broke a big story that is quite upsetting, but also comforting to know that charletons can’t fraudently sell gluten containing foods as gluten-free and get away with it. At least they can not do this in the state of North Carolina. Zach will continue to cover the details of this unfolding story, which we should all appreciate very much. How this case turns out will no doubt, have an effect on our community at large.
Twitter was abuzz a while back about the fact that Honeybaked Hams are now gluten-free. However, since they have been gluten-free for over two years in my market, I had no idea that was news to some people. Just like Butterball did with their gravy packets, Honeybaked Ham removed wheat from their glaze. Honeybaked Ham and Turkey are gluten-free and the company feels that none of the older products (with gluten in them) are in the market at this time.

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, gluten-free news is popping up. Of course, it likely only seems that way to those of us who are living a gluten-free lifestyle. Some people don’t like that term, but being gluten-free is way more involved than simply following a diet. If being gluten-free during every meal (or snack) of every day, week, month and year was easy, family members of people with celiac would not avoid being tested for celiac. Doctors would not avoid testing patients for celiac and tell people that “you don’t want to have celiac”, as if people had a choice in the matter.

Following the gluten-free diet successfully requires a lot of time, planning and even some skill at times. One has to be a label reader, ingredients expert and product investigator – among other things. There is so much to keep up with that at times, my head is spinning from all the gluten-free news coming at me. Here are a few stories that might interest some of our readers.

  • Late in December 2009, we found out that having celiac disease is “in” for 2010. Interesting that a disease can be considered “in”, I think. Here is the Washington Post article in case you missed it.
  • In January, a rumor about Redbridge gluten-free beer being discontinued sprouted, but to date, Anheiser-Busch that makes the beer, reports that there are no plans to stop making Redbridge. The representative I spoke to stated that some beverage distributors are choosing not to purchase the gluten-free beer, and suggested people contact their local distributor with questions. Two Publix stores near us have been out of Redbridge for over a month. However, Wildfire (in Atlanta) had it two weeks ago. The folks over at Gluten-Free Living were given the same information that I got from Anheiser-Busch.
  • Zach over at Gluten-Free Raleigh broke a big story that is quite upsetting, but also comforting to know that charlatans can’t fraudulently sell gluten containing foods as gluten-free and get away with it. At least they can not do it in the state of North Carolina. Zach will continue to cover the details of this unfolding story about Great Specialty Products, which we should all appreciate very much. How this case turns out will no doubt, have an effect on our community at large.
  • Twitter was abuzz a while back about the fact that Honeybaked Hams are now gluten-free. However, since they have been gluten-free for over two years in my market, I had no idea that was news to some people. Just like Butterball did with their gravy packets, Honeybaked Ham removed wheat from their glaze. Honeybaked Ham and Turkey are gluten-free and the company believes that none of the older products (with gluten in them) are in the market at this time. However, just as with the Butterball gravy, read the ingredients. If you don’t see wheat (the only form of gluten in either item before) listed, the item is gluten-free.
  • Jens Gluten Free blog posted an interesting L.A. Times story about how gluten-free is still a huge buzz word in the grocery trends. It seems clear that the gluten-free market will continue to expand for a long while. Keep in mind that less than 90% with celiac in the U.S. know they have the condition.
  • Just this week, the news from Gluten-Free Philly about Whole Foods discontinuing their gluten-free baking mixes came as a bit of a surprise to some of us. The mixes were not being made by Whole Foods and were rumored to be Gluten-Free Pantry mixes. However, neither company would confirm who was making (or buying what) from whom. There are such things as non disclosure agreements, after all.

If you enjoyed the Whole Foods brownie mix, buy the Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie mix and use 6-7 tablespoons of butter instead of 4. The ingredients are the same – the difference in the taste has to do with the amount of butter called for in each mix. If your local distributor drops Redbridge from their line-up, check out Bard’s Tale, which is now more available than it was when Redbrdige was introduced.  If you don’t like the fact that the U.S. has no gluten-free labeling laws yet (which allowed the NC scenario to happen), please complain directly to the FDA. The toll free number is 1-888-463-6332.