Monday, November 12, 2012

Loblaws/Superstore Now Carrying New Kinnikinnick Soft Breads & Buns

Canada's largest grocery chain is now stocking new Kinnikinnick Soft Breads (& Buns?)

It's been a busy couple of  weeks for announcements of major chains starting to carry our new Soft Breads & Buns. There was the announcement that Kroger family of companies were now carrying them in over 900 stores. Then the announcement that Sobeys Group stores as well as Metro Quebec were carrying them and now we're pleased to announce that the Loblaws group is now carrying the Soft Breads and possibly the buns.

We don't have any official word quite yet as to how many stores or which banners (Loblaws, Superstore, Supercentre) will be carrying the products but we do know that products are in the Loblaws warehouses and are starting to show up in stores. In fact, we've just had our first Spots of them in our BreadSpotter!  program. We'll update this post when we know more.



Don't forget that you can join BreadSpotter and earn chances to win our monthly $100 prize package simply by reporting where you find our new breads & buns.

You can also search for Spots of the new Breads & Buns using our Spot Search utility on the homepage of our website. Follow @BreadSpotter on twitter to get tweets of the location of every new Spot.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Kinnikinnick Soft Gluten Free Breads and Buns Launch in Eastern and Atlantic Canada

Products will be available at CO-OP, FoodLand, Price Chopper, Sobey's & Metro starting November 2012.



Following on the heels of our announcement last week about our launch in the Kroger Family of companies we are excited to be announcing that Kinnikinnick Soft White Bread, Soft Multigrain Bread, Soft Hamburger Buns and Soft Hot Dog Buns will be much wider distribution this November across Ontario, Quebec & Atlantic Canada.

You'll be able to find these products in:



CO-OP Atlantic
FOODLAND Atlantic
FOODLAND Ontario
PRICE CHOPPER Atlantic
SOBEY'S Urban
SOBEYS Independent stores
SOBEYS Maritimes
SOBEYS Newfoundland & Labrador
SOBEY'S Ontario
METRO Quebec
 


The products are already on the shelves of many of these stores. Price and availability will vary by region. Please check with your local store before making a trip.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kinnikinnick Soft Gluten Free Breads and Buns Launch in Kroger Family of Companies

Products will be available at over 900 Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC and Fred Meyer starting November 2012.
 




We're so excited to be announcing that Kinnikinnick Soft White Bread, Soft Multigrain Bread, Soft Hamburger Buns and Soft Hot Dog Buns will be available this November across the United States in stores of the Kroger family of companies.

You'll be able to find these products in most banners of Kroger which include Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC and Fred Meyer. Initially, the breads will be available in over 900 stores and the buns in over 450 stores.

The products are already on the shelves of many Kroger brand stores and will be full rolled out by the end of November. The products are priced nationally at $4.49 for the breads and $3.99 for the buns. Prices may vary by region.




Read the full Press Release 

Don't forget that you can earn entries to our monthly $100 prize pack draw by reporting when you see these 4 new products at Kroger brand stores (or any where else!). Visit our BreadSpotter page for more details. And follow BreadSpotter! on Twitter to see all Spots as they happen.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Live Streaming Gluten Free Cooking Class October 15


It's Holiday Party Time! Do you know what to bring to your next potluck? How about something gluten free that everyone will enjoy (and only know it's gluten free if you tell them!)


On October 15, 6:00pm MT (8pm ET) at we'll be hosting another Great Food, Gluten Free Cooking Class for the lucky few who can be there in person (tickets are already sold out) but everyone else can watch as we live stream to the internet.

UPDATE: We've just decided that we'll be doing some giveaways to those joining us on Twitter and Facebook during the broadcast. 

For those on Twitter, live tweet your questions or comments with the hashtag #GFInsiderLive You can also use #KinnikinnickLive if you can spare the characters :)

For those on Facebook, you'll be able to watch the class from our Fan page
so just post in the comments


We'll draw randomly throughout the broadcast. 
Prize packs will be in the $50 range and will include some of our new soft products. 




The theme for this class is 

Perfect Potluck Party




Traditional Caesar Salad
Start your party off with a traditional tangy Caesar salad with homemade dressing, served alongside a crunchy baguette crisp.
Featuring: Baguette

Artichoke & Asiago Cheese Dip
Be the life of the party with a fun and cheesy dip! A punch of flavor from the artichoke & Asiago cheese dip, served alongside golden garlic bread crisps.
Featuring: Baguette

Turkey Dijon Ginger Sliders
Not your average bar food! Even bite-sized food can be fancy… enjoy the sweet and tangy Dijon ginger sauce smothered on a fresh and juicy turkey burger.
Featuring: Panko Style Bread Crumbs & Slider Buns

Seafood Mac & Cheese
Comfort food is taken to new levels with succulent crab meat and creamy cheese. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Featuring: Panko Style Bread Crumbs & Tinkyada Noodles

Double Duo of Chicken Wings
Whet your appetite with an offering of two different flavours of chicken wings, prepared two different ways. Enjoy the juxtaposition of sweet and sticky hot wings, next to wings that are lightly breaded and simply tossed with sea salt and pepper. Served with artichoke & Asiago cheese dip.
Featuring: All Purpose Flour Blend

Sampling of Dessert Creations
Enjoy the traditional holiday favourite of pumpkin, and indulge in the tangy and tart flavour of tropical key limes.
Featuring: Ginger Snaps & Graham Style Crumbs


 
The show will be available on our UStream channel

or directly on our Facebook Page

We'll be hosting an online chat during the broadcast on UStream so you can ask questions and we'll pass them on to the hosts.

Can’t watch the live show? Don’t worry… the show and all our previous classes are archived on UStream.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Donuts are Back + Free Stuff!

In what has become a much anticipated fall tradition we're pleased to announce that our Pumpkin Spice Donuts are available again right now!



"a wonderfully spiced circle of heaven,"
"delights my insides and fills me with joy"
" It is like fall wrapped up in a neat little package"

As always these are available exclusively on our website.

While you are ordering these, make sure you add some of our new Soft Breads & Buns

"When the box arrived I rushed in the house to open it. Through the cardboard box I could smell the bread - the smell of fresh bread filled the room. I actually found myself sniffing the box before I sliced it open. Inside was a loaf of white bread, multi-grain bread, hamburger buns and hot dog buns. All were soft and looked (and smelled) freshly made."


PLUS!

For the rest of September (or while supplies last), every web order will receive a free package of our new Soft Dinner Rolls. Perfect for the holidays.


"These are fantastic!... You'll want these for Thanksgiving for sure."




Monday, August 13, 2012

Texas Eagle Scout Raises Over $10,000 for Local Gluten Free Food Bank.



We were so pleased to be able to support this great project. We asked Carey to be a guest blogger so he could tell his story and to perhaps inspire others to get involved in local efforts to making gluten free available to those in need. Fantastic job Carey!


Two years ago, at the age of 14, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Since then I have been placed on a very strict gluten free diet which has improved my health greatly. This new diet has taken a toll on my family. Our monthly family grocery bill more than doubled, and my mom had to get complete new sets of kitchen supplies and designate sections of drawers to hold them. Not to mention, gluten free food can be very expensive and is not found in many common stores.


After speaking with my dietitian, I realized that celiac’s from lower income families choose to live with the symptoms because they cannot afford gluten free food. This is when I made it my mission to start a gluten free food section at the Montgomery County Food Bank in Conroe, Texas - and I would use my Eagle Scout project to make this a reality! After talking with my Eagle Scout advisor and talking through various options for achieving Eagle badge, the most prestigious rank in Boy Scouts, I decided that I wanted to try to start a gluten free section at the local food bank in my town. I had set a goal of filling a truck full of food - hoping to get $3000 worth of GF food.


I started my project by sending letters to family and friends asking them for monetary donations to purchase GF food. I held two food drives at the local Kroger grocery stores. I was able to collect over $2500 in food and money donations at these food drives. Needless to say, I cleared shelves taking nearly all the gluten free food from our 2 Kroger and HEB grocery stores!! After the food drives were completed I reached out to businesses to achieve even more funds and food. With the generous donations of family, friends and even strangers, we raised over $3600 in additional cash. Gluten Free Houston also donated 13 cases of food.


Having been on a gluten free diet for the past 2 years, I have developed a strong preference for certain brands of GF foods. I decided to contact several of my favorite gluten free companies trying to get donations for the food bank. Surprisingly, Mr. Jay Bigam from Kinnikinnick was the only company to respond and graciously agreed to support my project. Mr. Bigam and the team at Kinnikinnick were nothing short of miracle workers. Kinnikinnick supports many food banks in Canada and the Edmonton area so I should not have been surprised to find them willing to support our efforts in Montgomery County, Texas!


After many emails and working the details between Mr. Bigam and the food bank, I received a generous donation of 120 cases of Gluten Free Food from Kinnikinnick this past week. Delivery day was so exciting! On Thursday, August 9 my family and I loaded my Boy Scout troop trailer with the food I had purchased and collected and went to the food bank. After unloading my trailer, the truck from Canada showed up with a pallet of gluten free food donated from Kinnikinnick. The impact of the project was evident when the food bank staff came outside to watch. A reporter from the Conroe Courier showed up to take my picture with all of the food and write a story. It was a very exciting time for me. After all the food was weighed, the food donations weighed over 1600 pounds with a value of over $10,000!!!


I am amazed at the response of the community during this project. With the use of Facebook (liking Kinnikinnick, Montgomery County Food Bank, Gluten Free Houston), family, friends and strangers alike have become more aware of the prevalence of Celiac Disease and gluten intolerances and I don’t feel so isolated as I confront this life challenge. In fact, with the experience of this project and having met many wonderful people, my life is enriched and we have helped to educate a community on how to take care of its own.


The food bank was overwhelmed with the amount of food they received from my Eagle Project and are excited about being able to help many families in the community suffering with celiac disease and gluten intolerances. Thank you Mr. Bigam and Kinnikinnick. Your generosity is overwhelming and I appreciate all the help you provided - helping me exceed my goal!!


If you would like additional information on my project or the Montgomery County Food Bank please email me at Ulrichcarey@yahoo.com.

Carey Ulrich

The Woodlands, TX

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Introducing Bread Spotter! Report Sightings of Kinnikinnick Soft Breads & Buns & Win

So many people want to try our new soft breads & buns, but can't find them in stores yet. We want to use the power of social media and "crowd sourcing" to help.

With that in mind, we've developed Bread Spotter!


It's simple to use. If you see one our our new breads or buns, you can report it using the Bread Spotter! app and once verified, we'll reward you with Spot Points.


How It works

You can sign up & login on Facebook or on our website. If you are on Facebook, go to our Fan Page and click the Bread Spotter! tab (Note: Facebook does not allow page tab apps in Facebook Mobile so you can only use the Desktop version of Facebook at this time. You can still use the website link to sign up and submit spots. It's not optimized for mobile but it does work. A fully optimized Mobile App is under development.)


Once you've logged in, you'll see a map centered on the Postal/Zip code you entered when you signed up. If there are spots nearby, they'll show up as an Icon you can click. This will show the store's address, what was spotted & a price if it was reported. To see areas outside your immediate location, you can pan around the map by clicking and dragging or use the zoom buttons in the upper left hand of the map. You can also enter other locations using Postal/Zip Codes, Address or Area (neighborhood, landmark, airport code, etc.) to see what's available in those areas. Want to see what stores close to Disneyland are carrying one of the soft products? Just enter Disneyland in the search box and click Find Spots.

In the Store
When you're out shopping and you spot one of our new bread products, make note of the store name & as much address information as you can and the regular price. Take a picture of the product on the shelf with your phone if you can because we award 10 Bonus Spots Points for images.

Submitting a Spot
  • Register if you haven't already and Login
  • Click the Report a sighting button from your home screen.
  • Select the product you sighted from the I Spotted list
  • Enter the Price of the item.
  • Enter store & address information.
  • If you don't know the specific address of the store you are shopping in, add as much detail to the address field as you can. ie: 5th street & 6th avenue, Edmonton, AB
  • Press submit and your Spot will be saved.
  • 10 Spot Points are awarded for a Spot.
  • 50 Bonus Spot Points are awarded for being the first to spot a product at a store. "First Spots" are subject to verification..
  • 10 Bonus Spot Points are awarded for uploading a picture of the item on the shelf.
  • Spots need to be verified so we don't have multiple entries in the system. You will be credited for every spot you make even if it's been made before. However you can only get a credit for a spot for one item at one location. If you return to that location at a later date, you won't be able to submit a spot for the same product again.
  • Spot points are converted into contest entries at a rate of 1 entry per 10 pts.
  • Once you've submitted your spot you can submit another product at the same location. (max 4 total per location)
  • Important Note: Spots at the Kinnikinnick Fresh Retail store in Edmonton are not eligible for participation. 
What's in it for me?

Bread Spotter! is a tool to help people find our products and this is very helpful to our customers and to Kinnikinnick. As a Bread Spotter! you will earn points which are converted into entries in our monthly draw for $100 worth of Kinnikinnick products.

There's only one store near me and I've already Spotted everything!
You can report spots from anywhere so if you are on holidays you can earn points from those Spots as well. Even if you only have a few Spots, you'll still be entered in the monthly draws (you just won't have as many entries/chances to win). Your name remains in the drawing until the end of the promotion (but you can only win once every 90 days).

Don't want to be a Spotter?
You'll miss out on some great prizes but you can still use the Spots collected by others by going to our website Homepage and use the interactive search tool. Whether you are home or planning a vacation, you can check to see if there's a store carrying one of our soft products near you.




Let's Get Spotting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Health Canada Releases New Guidelines for Gluten Free

As readers of this blog may know, we write a lot about gluten testing, dedicated facilities, and cross contamination. Readers may also know that, unlike the US, Canada has had regulations for the labelling and sale of gluten free foods for at least 20 years. This has been a huge benefit to Celiacs buying gluten free products made in Canada as there is rarely a question that a product labeled gluten free is safe (ie: contains less than 20ppm gluten).

The regulation was short and sweet consisting of one line.

"A food is not permitted to be labelled, packaged, sold or advertised in a manner likely to create an impression that it is "gluten-free" unless it does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye, triticale or any part thereof."


Over the past couple of years or so, Health Canada has been consulting with the medical community, researchers, industry and consumers. It has come up with new guidelines to replace the old one line entry and modernize the regulations.

As of August 4, 2012, section B.24.018 of the Food and Drug Regulations will state that:

It is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition "gluten" in subsection B.01.010.1(1).
Subsection B.01.010.1(1) reads:
"gluten"
(a) any gluten protein from the grain of any of the following cereals or the grain of a hybridized strain created from at least one of the following cereals:
(i) barley,
(ii) oats,
(iii) rye,
(iv) triticale, or
(v) wheat, kamut or spelt; or

(b) any modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, that is derived from the grain of any of the cereals referred to in subparagraphs (a)(i) to (v) or the grain of a hybridized strain referred to in paragraph (a). (gluten)

Along with the regulations, they have published guidelines which offer interpretations of what this actually means.

The Mostly Good

One of the problems with the old one line regulation was that there have been some instances where the regulations were not entirely clear or conflicted with other regulations.

For example, it was not clear if seasonings that had some gluten containing carrier would have to list that carrier as an ingredient since one part of the food and drug regulations exempted companies for having to list components of seasoning, natural flavours and other similar ingredients. This has resulted in most Celiacs considering anything with these types of ingredients as off limits.

The new guidelines state:  "Based on the enhanced labelling regulations for allergens and gluten sources, any intentionally added gluten sources, even at low levels (e.g. wheat flour as a component in a seasoning mixture which makes up a small proportion of the final food), must be declared either in the list of ingredients or in a "Contains" statement. In these cases, a gluten-free claim would be considered false and misleading."
 
Yay!

Health Canada has done a fairly extensive review of the literature and based on this, they have determined that the maximum safe level of gluten in a product is 20ppm. This has been the accepted standard in Canada for years, but this is a reaffirmation of that level.

Based on the available scientific evidence, Health Canada considers that gluten-free foods, prepared under good manufacturing practices, which contain levels of gluten not exceeding 20 ppm as a result of cross-contamination, meet the health and safety intent of B.24.018 when a gluten-free claim is made.

Now I know a lot of people will say that 20ppm is too much and that the number should be much smaller. I believe Health Canada is taking a view to risk vs. benefit; that for most Celiacs, the broader availability of products with the higher threshold outweighs the risk to the portion of the population that react at a lower level. For those who do react at lower levels or those who feel that level is too high, the only option is to look for companies like Kinnikinnick who test to < 5ppm.

One thing, that as a Celiac, I have some reservations about is "With respect to gluten-free foods, only those foods that have been specially processed or formulated to meet the needs of individuals, including individuals with Celiac disease, who need to follow a gluten-free diet in order to protect their health, are considered foods for special dietary purposes and are allowed to carry a gluten-free claim."

On one hand this is a good thing as it eliminates plainly silly claims such as water labeled gluten free, which I have seen. However, taken strictly, this might prevent a mass market company from labeling a product gluten free even if it is.

The guidelines do go on to say "If a food is determined to be protective of the health of people with Celiac disease, and meets the other requirements of Division 24 (specially processed and formulated), it follows that such a food should be able to use the claim "Gluten-free", as long as it is being done in a manner that is truthful and not misleading."

This seems to give companies who are not specifically targeting people with Celiac the ability to label a product gluten free, provided they meet the standards. If that is the intent then I think that's a good thing for Celiacs.

The Not So Good (possibly, actually quite bad)

The one thing in the regulations that raises some red flags is: "If, however, a manufacturer using a cereal-derived ingredient includes additional processing steps which are demonstrated to be effective in removing gluten, then the food may be represented as gluten-free."

My interpretation of this is that companies could be using ingredients based on gluten containing grains such as wheat starch, provided they test below the threshold of 20ppm. If this is the case, this is concerning from 2 perspectives.

Firstly, do we really need to add more confusion to what is gluten free by saying "completely avoid wheat, barley, rye and oats, (except if they are specially treated and contain less than 20ppm gluten)". What are newly diagnosed Celiacs to make of that? How is it regulated, tested and enforced?

Secondly, do we know that intentionally adding gluten based grains to gluten free foods isn't going to be harmful to more sensitive individuals? As with our position with oats (more on that in a minute), we think that intentionally allowing gluten containing grains to be added to gluten free foods is a very bad idea. Our position is that if it isn't safe for all celiacs, it shouldn't be allowed.

The Really Good

As readers will know, Kinnikinnick has been opposed to allowing the use of oats in gluten free foods (even when specially raised and harvested) due to confusion, unknown risks and a clinically proven number of Celiacs who can not tolerate oats in any amount. The link above, along with the comments to the post formed the basis of our submission to Health Canada opposing any change allowing oats in gluten free foods.

We are very pleased the new regulations continue the status quo and do NOT allow oats to be included in products labelled gluten free in Canada. As a Celiac, you will still have the ability to buy and consume oats if you choose to, but they won't be labeled gluten free. As we outline in our previous post, we believe it is a very good thing that Health Canada has kept oats off the gluten free table.

Not Perfect but Not Bad.

Overall, I think Health Canada has done a pretty good job of balancing all the various factors in coming up with the new regulations. For us as a company, it's business as usual. We'll keep producing products in our dedicated gluten free facilities, testing incoming ingredients and outgoing products to <5ppm and providing consumers the safest and best tasting products we can make. As a Celiac, I look forward to being even more confident in products acceptable for sale in Canada that are labelled gluten free.

Now, FDA, about those regulations due in 2008......






Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kinnikinnick Soft Multigrain Bread Wins SELF Magazine's 2012 Healthy Foods Award - Best Gluten Free Bread

18 months ago, when we first started the development of our new soft breads and buns, we outlined three objectives.

  1. To make a gluten free bread that was soft and tasty even out of the freezer.
  2. To make a full size loaf gluten free bread with a price that was below $5.00
  3. To make a gluten free bread that was at least as nutritionally sound as standard whole wheat bread
Your amazing comments on Facebook, Twitter and in blog reviews have shown us that we were pretty successful with #1.

Our suggested retail price for the new Soft Multigrain and Soft White is $4.99 so we nailed #2. 

The new soft breads and buns became the first Gluten Free Bakery Products to qualify for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada TM Health Check TM Program and we are very proud of that fact.

And now, we're pleased to announce that the new Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Soft Multigrain Bread has been voted by SELF Magazine (circ. 1.5 million) as Best Gluten Free Bread in the Healthy Food Awards 2012.

According to SELF Magazine:
SELF experts Willow Jarosh, R.D., and Stephanie Clarke, R.D., of New York City created the criteria to help select food awards contestants, ensuring that winners are low in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar, and are free of artificial sweeteners. Take this list along with you when you shop (or to audit what's already in your kitchen) and feel good about digging into any product that meets the guidelines!

And the award details





Kinnikinnick Soft Multigrain (150 calories, 6 g fat per 2 slices)
Made with brown rice and quinoa flours versus wheat flour, these slices are great for gluten shunners. Carb lovers were pleased with the fluffy factor. And unlike many no-gluten foods, this loaf is high in fiber: A serving supplies 5 g.







We are so pleased that we are being recognized for being the first company to disprove the notion that gluten free has poor taste and texture, is expensive and is not healthy.

We love the fact that the taste and texture of the new breads and buns are what people have been looking for and that we've been able to keep the price down.

Most of all though, we are pleased that we've been able to produce a product that you and your family can feel good about eating. I think we knocked #3 out of the park.



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to get your local store to carry the New Soft Gluten Free Breads & Buns from Kinnikinnick

It's been just about 2 months since we launched our new Soft Breads & Buns and almost all of our distributors now have them in their warehouses. There are quite a few stores now stocking these products but our next big task is to make all retailers aware of them and this is something that you can help with.

We've developed a handout you can give to your local store. There's room on this letter for your comments, so you can let the store know you'd like to see them stock the New Soft Breads & Buns and why.

If you belong to a support group, photocopy this letter, distribute to your group and hand them to the store manager. A stack of letters can really make an impact on retailers deciding whether or not to stock a product..

Download Now

Right now, the most frequent question we are being asked on Facebook, Twitter & in emails is "where can I get these products?"  It's always a challenge to answer that as most of the time, we don't know who carries what. However, we'll be launching a tool to help with that in the coming days. We'll make an announcement here when it's available.

In the meantime, if nobody close has the new products you can always order directly from us.

If our best in the industry, $10 flat rate shipping fee to most areas still is a barrier to ordering directly, don't forget that as long as the order is less than $200, is shipped to one address and is paid for with a single credit card you can combine your order with friends or family!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Please Stop Dismissing the Gluten Free Diet

An Open Letter to Main Stream Media

Let me get this out of the way first. A gluten free diet for weight loss is probably no better than any other diet for weight loss. There are short term, quickly reversible results if it works at all. Let me repeat this part. No better than any other diet. More on this later.

We've been a gluten free manufacturer for over 20 years and as a family of celiacs, we are very familiar with the blank stare received when talking about gluten, gluten free, celiac disease & gluten intolerance. Hands up how many have said "I have a wheat allergy" because it's easier than explaining what being gluten free means.  In the last couple of years, we've seen exploding diagnosis rates for celiac disease from 0.9/100,000 in 1950 to 20 per 100,000 in 2003 *, a 400% increase in the actual rate of celiac disease since the 1950's.* , evidence that non-celiac gluten intolerance may affect as much as 6% of the population * and evidence that as many as 15% of people are gluten sensitive.  It's hardly any surprise that awareness of a gluten free diet is growing.

As a manufacturer of gluten free products, this has been a good thing. Our products are not only in health food and specialty stores where they were typically found for 15 of our 20 years, but in mainstream grocery chains. We've grown from selling products at a farmer's market in 1991 to 2 facilities with over 150,000 ft2. in production space.

Since our business -is- gluten free, we monitor trends in consumer awareness, retail and non-traditional and mainstream media. In the last year or so, I'm noticing a trend in mainstream media. Headlines like "Is a gluten-free diet a good idea?", "Is a gluten-free diet safe?, "Is a gluten-free diet bad for you?" and "Gluten-free diets may be overused". Now, on one hand celiacs have been clamouring for raised awareness for years and almost every article finally has the talking points around celiac correct and that's a very good thing. What I find disturbing is that every one of these headlines and in large part the articles that accompany them, are either dismissive of, or show outright hostility towards the diet for those who are not diagnosed with celiac. What's going on here?

 Major Themes

"A gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily a healthy one if you don’t need to be on it"  

OK. Hard to argue with this. Oh, but wait, a gluten free diet isn't necessarily NOT a healthy diet either. It's not as if the gluten containing diet of the majority of North Americans is a paragon of health. All one has to do is walk down the frozen foods, bakery section or cookie aisle of a major supermarket to see what I'm talking about. In fact,the gluten consumer has a 50 fold chance of picking an unhealthy choice because there are 50 times the amount unhealthy choices. Donuts everyday for breakfast are not a healthy choice whether or not they contain gluten. (and let's not even mention the gluten & sugar filled cereal aisle)


"People are going gluten free without a doctors diagnosis because it makes them feel better"

I want to be very clear here. If you think you have a problem with gluten you need talk to your doctor about it. Undiagnosed celiac disease can be life threatening. For a celiac, a gluten free diet is not a choice, it's a life long requirement. Let's however, speak to those who have been tested and are told that they do not show antibodies and do not have intestinal damage; those that do not have celiac. Should these people simply go back to consuming gluten in all it's sundry forms? Should they go back to bloating, headaches and some of the over 100 symptoms linked to gluten sensitivity? Should they stop eating gluten because it makes them feel better? Do we really even need to comment on this? Yet dozens of articles seem to imply this is inappropriate.

Medicine only knows what it knows.

50 years ago doctors told us that celiac disease was a children's issue to be grown out of, 20 years we were told it was rare, today it's classified as a growing public health issue *. When mainstream medicine says there's no evidence for what you're feeling. it may simply be that they haven't found the evidence yet. That's how science works. It doesn't mean that what you are feeling is in your head.


"Gluten free food lacks essential nutrients and often contains refined ingredients" 

Again this tars all gluten free products with the same brush and ignores that the exact thing can be said for gluten contain products. Pick up 20 gluten filled & gluten free products in any grocery store and compare the labels. You'll find a range of good, bad, and awful in terms of processed ingredients and nutritional value. I'd bet you'll find the gluten free products at least comparable. This idea that all gluten free foods are lacking in nutrients is plainly wrong. We've been adding vitamin and minerals, fibre & protein to our products for over 10 years. Our newest soft breads & buns were designed specifically to be the most nutritionally sound gluten free products on the market and they are at least as good or better for you than many of the mass produced "whole wheat" breads out there.

UPDATE: October 11/ 2013 I've added this table to illustrate my point. (Dempsters is one of the top selling mass produced wheat based bread lines in Canada)


Per Serving
(2 slices)
Kinnikinnick Multigrain
Gluten Free Bread
Dempsters Original
Whole Wheat Bread
Calories 150 170
Fat* 6 2
Saturated Fat 1 0.4
TransFat 0 0
Cholesterol 0 0
Sodium 180 350
Carbohydrates 20 32
Fibre 5 4
Sugars 1 2
Protein 3 7
Vitamin A 0 0
Vitamin C 0 0
Iron 10 10
Niacin 10 10
Riboflavin 8 4
Folate 8 15
Thiamine 10 15
Calcium 4 4

* > 2g grams of fat comes from "healthy sources" in flax oil, sunflower seeds, quinoa & teff

The Dempsters Bread also contains the following preservatives and dough enhancers: calcium propionate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, monoglycerides, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, sorbic acid. May contain calcium iodate, calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate, ammonium chloride

The gluten free bread in this case wins the nutritional battle in Calories, Sodium, Carbs, Fibre, Sugar and has mostly equal values in the vitamin content (both are enriched). I think it’s very possible to make the case that in this example, the gluten free bread is the better choice than one of the top selling whole wheat breads in Canada.



The dietitian and the diet

The strange thing about these articles is that many of them are written by dietitians. Unfortunately, the viewpoints the seem to be expressed in the articles often come across as the Gluten Free Diet Versus The Ideal Diet. Don't get me wrong, dietitians are hugely important to the gluten free community. They are often the first people that a newly diagnosed celiac will see and can be a huge help to in those first traumatic days of "what do I eat now". Everyone's favourite gluten free dietitian, Shelley Case has been a major reason why we started enriching our breads over 10 years ago and is a major reason why we've created our new breads with such great nutritional values. She wasn't a consultant. She simply bugged us every time we saw her at trade shows, conferences and other events over the past 15 years. "Why aren't you enriching? Why aren't you adding fibre? Why aren't you using whole grains? There's no reason a gluten free product needs to be any less nutritious." And she was right.

That being said, not all dietitians appear to give gluten free the same consideration. Most of the time what these articles say is true; a gluten free diet can be unhealthy if you eat too many carbs, too much sugar, too much sodium, not enough fibre and on and on. But frankly that can be said about every manufactured food on the market today. At least the gluten free consumer reads every label every time and has a much better chance of knowing what they are eating. Whether they care is what the dietitians should be focusing on.

A gluten free diet for weight loss, celebrities on gluten free and the athlete connection

Here's where things get a bit murky. Does a gluten free diet work for weight loss? In and of itself, probably not. But there are plenty of anecdotal claims that it does. For some. Why? It's impossible to know. Certainly, switching out gluten free 1 for 1 in a diet that's unhealthy to start with isn't likely to make any difference. Perhaps it's because the drive through window and most fast foods are now off limits. Maybe there is a metabolic reason for some people (see note on what science knows above). My personal theory? Perhaps it's merely a case of reading every label and being aware of what they are eating.

Celebrities going gluten free may signal the pinnacle of the "gluten free fad". Or perhaps they are simply some of the most visible examples of people with gluten sensitivity. Just because they are famous doesn't mean they don't have health issues like the rest of us.

The latest trend seems to be athletes going gluten free. An article by 5 time Canadian Rowing champ Matt Jensen on our blog outlines some of his reasons for going gluten free. Since that article, there are now 5 rowers on the Canadian team that are on gluten reduced diets. Novak Djokovic's credits some of his recent tennis success to a gluten free diet. Other athletes are eliminating or reducing the amount of gluten they are consuming because they see tangible results. Do they have gluten sensitivity? Hard to say, but the traditional gluten filled carb loading of pasta before an event may start to become a thing of the past. Remember that pasta is made from "hard wheat" which has higher than "normal" gluten content. Perhaps a finely tuned body doesn't deal with that as well. Perhaps it makes no difference. Science doesn't know yet. The diet is not easy to follow especially when you travel like athletes do but I imagine the athletes know pretty well what makes them perform better. 

Today's gluten isn't the same as your grandmothers. (well it is, but there's a lot more of it) 

According to some estimates, wheat has been bred to have an increased gluten content of up to 50% compared to wheat from 100 years ago. Gluten is seen as "a good thing" by the conventional baking industry. It makes "better" bread. Not only that, but as anyone on a gluten free diet knows, it's in -everything-. But do we really have a good idea what all that hyper gluten consumption is doing to us. Could that be the reason the incidence of true celiac disease is up 400%? We're often told that humanity evolved eating wheat and are asked how could it be a problem for us. Yet no one mentions that humanity did not grow up eating -this wheat-. Have we reached a tipping point in terms of how much gluten a person can tolerate? Is it a real problem? Science can't say right now. All they can say is based on best evidence, today, wheat is ok for the majority of people; the majority being somewhere around 80-85%.

Let's focus on Healthy Eating, gluten filled or gluten free

The Gluten free diet is a fad for some, a necessity for celiacs, and a benefit for others. Don't belittle us by making broad generalizations on topics that can be just as easily applied to gluten containing products. Talk about proper, life long nutrition without a qualifier. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
 
So please. Can we stop with these articles. The other 15-20% of us will appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Jay Bigam
Executive Vice President
Research, Development & Innovation
Kinnikinnick Foods Inc.




Monday, February 6, 2012

Kinnikinnick Soft Breads & Buns are now available!



After over a year of research and development, we are pleased to announce the launch of Kinnikinnick Soft Breads & Buns. These products were developed not only to provide great taste & texture but the best nutritional values possible. With this post we're going to highlight why we think these new products set a new standard in gluten free bread products. These products have been available in our Toss Your Toaster Exclusive Preview for about a month so we've added some comments from people who have tried them.

Unbeatable Taste and Texture
The new Kinnikinnick Soft breads & buns are specially formulated so they don't require toasting and they remain soft after freezing. This means you can now make and take a sandwich, a hamburger or hot dog anywhere, anytime. You are no longer tied to the toaster. School or work lunches are no longer something to tolerate, but to enjoy.
 I have been eating incredibly delicious sandwiches for the last few days ... No toaster involved - Chere via Facebook
We have had sandwiches using this bread, and it was fabulous! I had stopped eating sandwiches much because the bread would dry out so badly. I made these in the morning and ate about noon. The bread did not dry out. It tasted great and had a fabulous texture. My GF-by-choice boyfriend loves it and said, "Please get this out in as wide of a distribution as possible" via the Web.
Love the breads! Especially the fact that they don't need toasting first, although I tried a slice toasted for breakfast yesterday. It was good toasted, too. via the Web.
Yesterday morning I packed a salmon salad sandwich on the new soft multigrain bread and it travelled stupendously. Great sandwich later in the day. And the loaf was a few days old! Amazing. - Susan via Facebook

Our Full Size Loaf compared to another brand.
Great Value
We've done something is rare in today's world. We increased the size of our loaf of bread and we reduced the price! Breads are a full size loaf with regular thickness slice. It looks like "real bread" and tastes and smells like it too. While they're about the same size, we've reduced the price of our buns too, by over a dollar per package.

With an industry leading price of less than $5.00 suggested retail for the line, the new Kinnikinnick Soft Products are as affordable as they are tasty.
  
I was so excited to see full loaves of bread! The bread feels soft like regular bread and smells heavenly!

Good For You
Good Nutrition and Gluten Free used to be mutually exclusive. We recognize our responsibility to not only create a product line that tasted great, but that is good for you. No more empty carbs & starches. Kinnikinnick Soft Bread & Buns have great nutritional values to go along with their outstanding taste and texture.

Soft Multigrain Bread With Brown Rice, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds Quinoa & Teff

 All of the new products (even the white ones!) :
  • Have at least 5 g of Fiber per serving
  • Have Zero Cholesterol
  • Have Zero Trans Fat
  • Have 1 g or less sugar per serving
  • Are Fortified with 5 essential nutrients
  • Are lower in sodium than our existing bread products and many other bread products on the market (even non-gluten free breads)
  • Have no Artificial Colours, Flavours or Preservatives
To highlight each product's nutritional benefits, we've provided an easy to read and understand Nutritional Summary on the front of each package.





We are very proud that these are the first Gluten Free Bakery Products to qualify for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation's Health Check ® Program. "To earn the Health Check symbol, every food or menu item in the program must meet nutrient criteria, established by Health Check, based on the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. The Health Check logo tells you the food or menu item has been reviewed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians and can contribute to an overall healthy diet."





Bright New Packaging And Suggested Retail Prices.




New Look Packaging for a New Taste and Texture.
Like all other nationally distributed gluten free bakery products, our new products are sold out of the freezer. (yes, even the products that are sold "fresh" on the shelf have been previously frozen in most cases). To help you find our new products in the freezer, we've completely redesigned our packaging with bright colours and a bold new design. The distinctive bright yellow body has a window at the bottom so you can see the great looking breads and buns and has, as we mentioned above, the easy to read nutritional summary panel.


Availability
We've already started shipping orders to our distributors and the word is spreading in the retail stores but the official launch date is in March. It will take some time for the new breads to hit the stores. You will be able to buy them directly from our website and a limited number of retail stores starting today.

The situation is a bit different with our new Soft Hamburger & Soft Hot Dog Buns. Starting, immediately, these new items will be replacing our existing hot dog & hamburger buns. If your store is currently carrying either bun, you'll know the new ones are in stock when you see the bright yellow package.


Soft Hot Dog Bun
Soft Hamburger Bun


















The new Bread and Hot Dog Rolls are AMAZING!!!!! - Monika, VA via Facebook

Without doubt the best GF hamburger bun I have ever tasted. Texture was perfectly 'bready' made for a fantastic burger. via the Web
 
This range of buns is sure to be a huge success. It is hard to believe they are gluten free. via the Web

Watch for these in your local restaurant, stadium, or on your next cruise.
To coincide with the launch of these new products, we are greatly expanding our food service program. All of these new items (and many others) are now available to restaurants, sports facilities, theme parks, cruise lines, healthcare institutions and schools, colleges and universities.Any food service customer interested in these new products can contact us at info@kinnikinnick.com for more information.
The new soft buns from Kinnikinnick are a hit at the pub! via Twitter
You Can Help
You can help get these products into your local store sooner by asking your local store manager for them. If you'd like you can print out our product information sheets for the Soft Breads & Soft Buns 
Absolutely LOVE LOVE the bread! I'm sold after having just 2 slices. Keep on makin magic! via Twitter

In closing, I'd like to say that we are very, very excited about these new products and we hope that you are too. I'll leave the final comment to a Toss Your Toaster Survey respondent:
"I've never had anything in my whole life that tastes so good!!!!!"


 ✝ The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians have reviewed these items to ensure they meet the specific nutrient criteria developed by the Health Check™ program based on the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. A fee is paid by each participating company to help cover the cost of this voluntary, not-for-profit program. See www.HealthCheck.org.