A little belated, due to the arrival of the newest addition to the B family, I present my annual review of all that has happened in my gluten-free year just gone!
As well as big changes in my personal life, we have seen some major developments in the gluten free market. We have welcomed at least 2 major new high street brands to our supermarkets, seen some independent favourites hit the big time, the high street chains we’d least expect have courted the gluten free market, and as always there has been ongoing debate about the costs, misinformation and rationale for those following a gluten free diet. I hope you enjoy my little roundup, and I look forwards to sharing more of my ramblings with you in 2014!
I spent the start of the year pondering my relationship with some of the main gluten free manufacturers – were some of them acting a tad unethically in their marketing by taking advantage of January dieters? And what is the thinking behind some of the brands we know and love? This year, everyone seems to be intermittently fasting rather than jumping on the gluten free bandwagon to lose weight. Yup, we did that too (it didn’t work)!
February: A visit to Newburn Bakehouse
As the rest of the country worried about the horsemeat scandal, I had the opportunity to tour the facilities of the newly relaunched Newburn Bakehouse – a great opportunity to learn about what goes into making a high-street gluten free product; as well as getting a sneaky peak at some new products which have since become hits. The brand seems to go from strength to strength with even more new products launching this week.
March: It’s expensive for a reason – move on!
Throughout 2013, online debate and the press were keen to show their bile when it came to the cost of gluten free products compared to their normal counterparts. I wrote my 2p worth about the cost of gluten free products – still one of my most popular posts.
2013 was the year that gluten free really hit the high street, with every restaurant and their dog launching gluten free pizzas – great news for choice, but this left me speculating on what else us coeliacs would like to see on the GF high street. Pleasingly, GBK seem to have heeded our cry of ‘no bun no fun!’ and now have a gluten free menu! Let’s hope the changes are here to stay – it’s so welcome to be able to easily eat out with friends.
May: Guts and All
Coeliac UK’s awareness week was focussed on diagnosis. I wrote a rare personal blog highlighting my (bumpy) diagnosis story.
June: Allergy Show 2013
A crazy busy Allergy Show gave me the opportunity to try some new products, and meet up with fellow coeliacs. Check out my picks for 2013, some of which have become firm favourites!
July: Goodbye to Clerkenwell & Islington
August: What’s for Breakfast?
As my attention turned to personal matters, it seemed I just had one thing on my mind when I woke up at 6am every morning – yup – a big indulgent breakfast! I munched my way through a whole lot of granola and porridge to make sure you know which the best is in two of our trademark ‘Bread to Bread’ challenges.
September: News & New Home
October: Even More Breakfast!
7 months into pregnancy I was still obsessed with breakfast – but by this point of the naughtier variety! We also started a new series of ‘Meet the Manufacturer’ interviews starting with stalwart brand Barkat. Look out for more in 2014.
November: Udi’s Launch in the UK
Another major launch for the UK market as Tesco continue to focus on branded gluten free goods – but can they hope to compete with home grown Warburtons and Genius? My teenage brother gave me his verdict on some of their products.
December: Mince Pies (again!)
Marks and Spencer rounded off a year of yummy surprises by launching a whole host of coeliac-friendly party foods. It was only right that they were crowned winner of our mince pie tasting. Let’s hope they continue to take the gluten out in 2014!