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Update: I have now started a Tumblr called Empty FreeFrom Shelves, hoping to highlight this problem on a larger scale.
We’ve had a good run, Tesco, you and I. Fond memories back from when I was at school, going out for snacks, you were so convenient. You were so good to me.
You could never quite accept that I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. “But you can still eat organic bread, right?” you insisted. “Oh, sorry, we won’t be restocking our FreeFrom shelves until tomorrow – THAT’S OK RIGHT?”
I’ve put up with the abysmal treatment as a FreeFrom customer, and the don’t-give-a-shit attitude of your staff for too long. It’s over.
Today I needed plain flour – a staple food, you might think. But no, there was only self-raising flour, pretty useless if you’re making anything other than cakes. Once again, the shelf was bare. Last Autumn, when I was writing my gluten-free Christmas baking book, this was a frequent occurrence. And I’ve had enough. I explained to the man “you do realise that I can’t have any of the other flours in this entire store?”. He shrugged at me. This in a Tesco Extra, one of your largest stores.
I haven’t seen your FreeFrom section decently stocked in the last 6 months and this isn’t good enough. So it’s over. I won’t be giving you any more of my money and I will actively encourage everyone I know to do the same. I will make the longer walk to Waitrose specifically to avoid you (which, by the way, actually works out cheaper for our weekly shops).
The sad thing is, you won’t care about losing one customer. Or even several of your FreeFrom customers. We’re just an inconvenience to you, aren’t we?
Petros Constantopoulos says
wouldn’t call any grains/flours “staple” foods; being “paleo” myself, I do not regularly eat grains or grain-related products.. but yes the stock levels should be good in a tesco extra…
Waitrose is better anyway like you said; wish we had one near Stafford 😛
Couldn’t agree more re the attitude and stocking levels and so-called choice (which seems to be take it or leave it) in most supermarkets. Afraid to say that our local Waitrose, which was never brilliant, is now not much better than Tesco. Our supermarket of choice for free from is Sainsbury’s or Ocado if we’re feeling strong enough to risk an online order and take our chances with the pathetic packing and ridiculous substitutions!
I rant on all the time about reliability of availability… as you say, many on special diets don’t have the range to choose from that others do, so the least that could be relied on is that the lines the supermarkets deign to carry remain with stock for us to actually buy!
The Happy Coeliac says
Very well said!
Wendy Boother says
My local store has often run out of the one thing I wanted especially at seasonal times … E.g. plain flour or pancake mix for Shrove Tuesday, Oh, except at Christmas… Hey had loads of GF Christmas puds for one!
My shopping is now split and surely Tesco will soon note our reduced bill these days? No vouchers for FreeFrom ever get used within date- because they are out of stock!
After asking at the butchers in Tesco if their beef mince was gluten free and given an answer of ” don’t know” by two of their employees, can assure you that I will do everything possible to avoid shopping there!