Meeting the Gluten-Free Need

Lunds and Byerly’s continue to add allergen-friendly foods.

Over the last decade, the desire for gluten-free products in mainstream restaurants and grocery stores has increased steadily. In order to meet that need, Lunds and Byerly’s have partnered with the Gluten Intolerance Group and their Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a leading third-party gluten-free certifier.

Janice Cox, the registered dietitian and nutritionist for Lunds and Byerly’s 23 grocery stores in the Twin Cities, says the goal of this partnership is to help individuals easily and confidently purchase items that are gluten free. “We currently have about 1,000 certified gluten-free products in our stores today, and we continue to add more every week,” she says.

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that damages the lining of the small intestine and makes it difficult to absorb nutrients in food, affects about 3 million Americans, according to the Gluten Intolerance Group. Another 1 to 3 million have a wheat allergy; 18 million to 21 million suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. All of these can only be treated with a gluten-free diet (a diet that eliminates proteins in wheat, rye and barley, and products made from them). “We want our customers to be assured there are products in our stores that meet their strict dietary needs and also help them more quickly and easily locate them,” says Cox.

Customers can now look for the gluten-free tag next to items in Lunds and Byerly’s for products that have been certified to have below 20 parts per million of gluten, per FDA guidelines.