Over the last few years, the value supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl have shaken up the food shopping market in the UK, challenging the ‘big four’ on price and quality. Unfortunately, to date they haven’t stocked gluten free staple foods like bread and pasta, so customers on restricted diets who want to save money on their food shopping end up going to several different stores to get what they need.
I’m very excited by the idea of value supermarkets getting into gluten free foods and challenging the bigger stores on price. It feels like it’s been a long time coming!
Prescriptions for coeliacs are gradually on the way out and where reductions in quantity have been made, I doubt very much that they will ever be increased. I suspect in a few years, they will be gone altogether. So it’s crucial for people on restricted diets, especially those on a tight budget, to have access to affordable gluten free staples. Bread is not a luxury item and it shouldn’t be priced like one.
Regular white bread typically costs 90p for a large sliced loaf (roughly 11p per 100g), but in most supermarkets, gluten free equivalents are generally much smaller and cost £2.50 – £3 (50-60p per 100g).*
Of course, I appreciate it’s not so straight forward to make a gluten free loaf. There are more ingredients and cross contamination procedures to contend with, as well as smaller scale production without the economies of scale of big factories.
But at the moment, value supermarket Aldi has a fantastic promotion on 19 gluten free foods as part of their Specialbuys deals. They are selling a 535g Genius seeded loaf and a white loaf for 99p, which equates to 18.5p per 100g. It’s almost two thirds cheaper than other supermarkets.
I have been in touch with Aldi to ask how they can do this and the helpful ladies in the press office kindly gave me a quote from Tony Baines, Joint Managing Director of Aldi Corporate Buying:
“We’re constantly reviewing our product range to ensure we’re meeting and exceeding the expectations of our shoppers. They know Aldi offers the best quality at the best prices and these Specialbuys are another good example of this.
“We recognise there is a growing consumer demand for gluten-free products and that such products can often prove pricey for shoppers. In true Aldi fashion, we are simply offering fantastic quality products at the lowest prices, making them more affordable for shoppers.”
So, if Aldi are able to sell gluten free products at lower prices, what does it say about the other supermarkets? The obvious answer is that they are taking advantage of people on restricted diets and keeping free from staples at artificially high prices, to make a bigger profit.
I hope Aldi are testing the market with this month’s gluten free special buys with a view to creating a permanent gluten free range, as in other countries such as Ireland. And if they do, I’m fairly certain we can all look forward to more competitive pricing from the other supermarkets.
In the mean time, we’d best all get down there before stock runs out!
Products in the Specialbuy include the following, offering savings of 20-40%.
- Genius Seeded Bread – £1.89, 535g
- Genius White Bread – £1.89, 535g
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – 69p, 130g
- Yushoi Multipack Snapea Rice Sticks – 99p, 6x21g
- Bounce Energy Balls – £1.29, 42g
- Genius Gluten-Free Crumpets – £1.49, 4 pack
- Genius Gluten-Free Pancakes – £1.49, 6 pack
- Has No…Gluten-Free Pasta – 99p, 500g
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix – £1.49, 6 pack
- Seabrook Lattice Hand Cooked Crisps – 99p, 120g (Sundrenched Sea Salt or Black Pepper and Sea Salt)
- Trek Bars – 75p, 55g (Peanut Power and Berry Burst)
- Mrs Crimbles Large Gluten-Free Chocolate Macaroons – 89p, 6 pack
- Nestle Gluten-Free Cornflakes – £1.99, 500g
- Gluten-Free Maria Biscuit – 89p, 400g
- Has No…Gluten-Free Organic Porridge – £1.89, 500g
- Passions Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips – £1.29, 125g