Tuesday 30 October 2007

The Irresistible Gluten Free Wheat Free Food Show - Report

The Show has come and gone and was definately bigger and better than last year.

Like many hundreds, if not thousands, of others, we were at Jeffs Shed well before opening time of 10:00am on Saturday and lined up. The photo shows some of the eager showgoers who were lined up after us. This line, extended OUT the door and on to Clarendon St! (There were many hundreds in front of us.)

Once the doors opened, we were soon inside and the circulating and sampling began.

Some of the samples we tasted included:
  • Chocolate Soy Milk
  • Pizza bases
  • Beer
  • Biscuits
  • Maple syrup. Much like creamed honey
  • Several Dips
  • Falafel balls
  • Spam (Who knew that Spam has been gluten free for a very long time?? The Spicy Spam certainly had a kick to it!! I suspect it upset my stomach though.)

It was great to catch up with Rick & Rhonda of Uncle Ricks (Now part of Patties) We asked if there was any chance of some of our old favourite products turning up under the Patties label? Consumers, like us, will have to convince Patties that there is a market for the products so get your emails, letters etc. in to Patties. That is only the first hurdle though. Then the supermarkets have to stock the product. That can be difficult also. The more people that put in their requests, the higher chance that the product will get into production.

Very similar story over at the Healtheries stand where we asked about their Simple Bread mix that we love as it produces a great tasting loaf of white bread. It has disappeared from the supermarket shelves.
Seems that the supermarkets weren't selling enough and have now dropped the product. Healtheries are looking at maybe selling the mix via their website but that is not a certainty. Again, if you like the product, make sure that you let them know. We will.

There were several producers of pizza bases with their wares for sampling and sale. This was great to see. It has been difficult to find a pizza base that is both gluten and dairy free that has a decent taste and texture. Hopefully that is about to change with all these new offerings. (I still think that Uncle Ricks pizza bases were the best I've ever had. I hope they will bring them back)

This year seemed to be geared more towards manufacturers and suppliers of products, but few (if any) local restaurants and cafes had stalls this year. Which is a shame, as finding somewhere suitable to eat out that is gluten free is both difficult and stressful.

A big Thanks to Sue Shepherd and her team for putting this all together. It must be a hell of a job. We look forward to next years show.

Sunday 14 October 2007

Irresistible Gluten Free Wheat Free Food Show

The Irresistible Gluten Free Wheat Free Food Show is on at Jeffs Shed (aka the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre) this weekend, 20 & 21 October, 2007.

This show is the creation of Sue Shepherd, a Melbourne based dietian specialising in coeliac disease (and fructose malabsorption). (I am sure you will read more about Sue in this blog as she has published some great recipe books and also produces a range of lollies)

Get full details of the show (and Sue Shepherd) at http://www.coeliac.com.au/

2007 will be the second year of the show. 2006 was a one day event in Melbourne and was huge. We attended along with several thousand others all circulating through the displays and sampling many of the products that were on offer. (It was shoulder to shoulder!)

We look forward to seeing all the new products that have just hit the market or will be in the future. (Last year, Freedom Foods were giving out samples of their crumbed chicken and fish products that were not available in stores until well after the event)

If you are a manufacturer/supplier then my tip is to make sure that you have PLENTY of samples available to give away. I believe that many suppliers ran out very early in the day last year.

See you there!!

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