Mrs Crimble’s — gluten free or not?

Mrs Crimble’s make gluten-free treats — but they don’t only make gluten-free treats.

Three of their products are not suitable for coeliacs: Dutch Apple Cake, Stem Ginger Cake and Dutch Fruit Loaf.

Some, if not all, of these may occasionally be seen in the free from aisle in supermarkets.

As they are free from other potential allergens — namely milk, eggs, which might ordinarily be present in such products — then in my view it is perfectly reasonable that they are situated there. It is not a gluten free aisle, and people other than coeliacs have food hypersensitivities.

Some coeliacs don’t like this. Grumbles regularly appear on social media.

I think they’re wrong.

Some have made mistakes with, at least, the Stem Ginger Cake — though it does advertise its non-suitability for gluten-free diets quite explicitly now, as you can see above, on the right. As always, you have to read the label …

 

So what’s the problem?

I’m a fan of Mrs C’s, but I do have a few quibbles — which have been brought to light following a tweet by coeliac Glen today questioning the stocking of the Stem Ginger Cake in the free from aisle.

Glen rightly points out that the Mrs Crimble’s website makes a bold ‘gloriously gluten free’ claim, which is incorporated in their logo. This logo is not used on the non-GF products, and those products don’t appear to be listed on the website. Nevertheless, it’s easy to form the impression that Mrs Crimble’s is a fully GF brand across the board.

I also take issue with their statement that the 3 non-GF products “aren’t strictly gluten free”, which they make on their FAQ.

“Strictly”? These three products contain rye flour. They are not gluten free, period. No question of ‘strictly’. Mrs Crimble’s state the three are wheat free, but given that oat products are often contaminated with wheat flour I wonder whether the rye flour they use is protected from wheat flour contamination, or tested for wheat proteins, and if not, then I would be wary of experimenting with the products if you have a wheat allergy.

 

The good news

I asked Mrs Crimble’s about the issue of presenting themselves as a GF brand, and they responded positively:

We appreciate that there is still some confusion over their [the non-GF Mrs Crimble’s products] gluten free status. We are taking steps to change the packaging design of the loaf cakes completely so they will no longer be branded as Mrs Crimble’s. We hope this will clarify their standing as vegan friendly/egg/dairy free and result in no further confusion. This change is anticipated to take effect September 2018.

No news yet on the brand name, but I’ll keep you posted. An excellent result, I think.

2 Comments

  1. Dairy Free Baby and Me

    This is annoying on two fronts for me: first the gf issue, as you have pointed out, but secondly on the free from front. Vegan friendly maybe but NOT milk allergy friendly – their products usually state that they may contain traces of milk. So maybe they shouldn’t be in the freefrom aisle.

    Reply
    1. Alex G (Post author)

      Tricky one. Don’t think there’s a ‘may contain milk’ on this particular product (there is for nuts). Is it justifiable to put it in the free from aisle if ‘egg free’ only? I think it is when it’s free from at least one allergenic ingredient that would normally be present … but I’m happy to be convinced otherwise!

      Reply

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