Tonawanda News

May 28, 2012

Wegmans releases line of gluten-free food products

Staff reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — To coincide with Celiac Awareness month, Wegmans Food Markets has introduced a new line of gluten-free products, including pasta, cakes, brownies and cookies. 

Over the past decade interest in the gluten-free food industry has increased, and sales have gone from $1 billion to $2.6 billion in the past six years, Wegmans said in a news release.

After a year of testing and preparing recipes, Wegmans is contributing to the growing selection of gluten-free foods by releasing its line of wheat-free products. 

Pasta comes in several varieties including spaghetti, fusilli, penne and elbow noodles, all sold in one-pound boxes. Those with a sweet tooth can find vanilla and chocolate cake mix, sugar cookie mix, and a double chocolate brownie mix. 

These products are available in the Nature’s Marketplace section of the store and with the regular pasta and baking products, the company said.

“The gluten-free area has grown from a 12-foot section to several aisles in the Nature’s Marketplace department of the store,” said Charlie Gardner, a category merchant for the Nature’s Marketplace area of the stores.

Throughout the stores, customers can find about 1,700 different gluten-free Wegmans-brand items that can be identified by the gluten-free icon on the packaging. 

The store prides itself on the taste of this new line, Wegmans Nutritionist, Trish Kazacos said. 

“When everyone around the table eats the same foods, it makes the meal a better experience. And when gluten-free foods taste this good, everybody can enjoy them,” she added. 

Over the past year, Patty Fowler, an artisan baker for the supermarket chain, has been working a variety recipes and formulas for her new dessert mixes she said are successful.

“My vision of what the brownies should be was dark and decadent — like the best brownies you ever had. We worked hard to get to that point an I’m very pleased with the result. The cakes and cookies are really smooth, not grainy, and the brownies are just amazing,” she said.