gluten-free grocery shopping

At the risk of stereotyping... I think it's fair to say that most women like to shop. I'm one of them. Unlike most women, however, I don't like to shop for shoes...but I LOVE the grocery store.

Aisles and aisles of things to choose from, lots of interesting packaging to explore, lots of inspiration for new meal ideas. You probably think I'm full of it. Shopping for most things makes me feel guilty. Not food. Need it to survive.... can't be avoided.

Most of us have a favorite grocery store... it has the best butcher, the freshest vegetables, the easiest parking.... 

What if you could ensure that the same supermarket is also carrying the best line of gluten-free bread? Best assortment of crackers? Gluten-free sausages in the meat department?

It can be done. 

Start by connecting with the store manager. Ask at the customer service desk on your next visit. If they aren't in, leave a note or get their email address.

If they are already carrying a couple of items - THANK them for carrying these products and let them know that this is WHY you are shopping in their particular store. If you have to drive to two other places to get your gluten-free needs met... share this too. Let them know you'd prefer to give them all of your business.

In a highly competitive market, stores need to differentiate, and typically store managers of large chains have an option of what to stock so as to meet the tastes of the neighborhood where they operate. If they know that this is a draw, they will be open to giving more real estate on the shelves to gluten-free products.

I spoke to a store manager about two years ago who told me he had tried carrying gluten-free bread, but it didn't sell. I suggested that perhaps no one knew he had it after he admitted that they had been stocking it next to the frozen vegetables.This same store now has bread AND pretty much all of the other GF staples. This is not a big store... but they need to compete with some swankier ones in the neighborhood.

If you want gluten-free selection close to home - I suggest you get in touch with the people who can help make that happen. Never hurts to shoot an email to customer service at head office too.

The image above is for the tiny co-op near our place in rural Nova Scotia... admittedly, I haven't tried this tactic there...much of the current stock is pretty dusty. I recognize that not everyone lives in a metropolis - but if you live in a town large enough to have a couple of competing places to shop - that should provide enough incentive for shop owners and managers to please you (and the rest of the people like us that live in your town). 

Another gift - you probably never would have pulled a stunt like this before the diet eh? Add the word "advocate" to your resume.

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