Charity Coeliac UK has launched a campaign urging supermarkets to improve the availability of gluten-free foods in their smaller stores.
The Gluten-free Guarantee campaign is designed to put pressure on retailers to stock eight core gluten-free food products in all stores, not just large supermarkets, making it easier for people with the condition to manage their diet.
From 12-18 May 2014, the charity is asking people across the UK to tell them how many of the eight gluten-free staple items they can find. The items are: white bread, pasta, cereal, flour, cereal bars, rolls, crackers and other bread (brown or seeded).
In a recent survey on shopping habits, 74% of Coeliac UK members, who responded, said that they had to visit more than one supermarket to complete their shopping.
“Supermarkets generally have a good range of free-from products in their larger stores, but it is more of a problem in smaller stores,” said Norma McGough, Coeliac UK’s director of policy, research and campaigns “You won’t find any gluten-free products at all in some convenience stores and local supermarkets. We want to accelerate the progress that retailers have made, so that core gluten-free products are available in all stores.”
According to Coeliac UK, one in 100 people in the UK have the condition, which is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten. Half a million people with the condition are currently undiagnosed.