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Ranting

Waitrose stop stocking Isabel’s pizza mix, The Happy Coeliac revolts!

You may have noticed I’m a bit of a pizza fiend. Since going gluten-free almost a year ago to the day, Isabel’s pizza mix has given me the Sunday evening “pizza night” that has become a tradition in our household.

However, Waitrose are clearly not impressed with Isabel. They have dramatically reduced the number of stores that stock the pizza mix, without much explanation. I spoke to the guy at the Barbican branch, in which I complained about a nearly empty Free From shelf, and he was very apologetic but also seemingly angry at the Powers That Be. Turns out Waitrose often pull products and rearrange their stock, without notice or explanation, not even to their own staff.

I’m extremely disappointed, because I thought Waitrose were better than this. In my local branch, Worcester Park, they probably sell over a 100 different varieties of normal pizza, fresh, frozen, pizza mix, you name it. And how many gluten free pizza products do you think they now stock? That’s right, none.

Isabel’s Free From products are delicious and versatile, and have made eating gluten free an awful lot more bearable. I will continue to support them, as a small business (their products are available online), but Waitrose, you are on thin ice.

Consider me in the process of drafting a complaint to their customer service, but somehow I doubt it will make much difference.

About Yo Samdy Sam

Sam is an autistic advocate, renewable energy and EV enthusiast, mother to a toddler, living in the Netherlands but originally British. She makes YouTube videos as Yo Samdy Sam. Tip Jar ---> https://ko-fi.com/yosamdysam

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Waitrose stop stocking Isabel’s pizza mix, The Happy Coeliac revolts!

  1. It’s possible that the issue is with the manufacturer, not the retailer.

    In the long run, I’d bet that creating your own “mix” from scratch would be enormously satisfying. You could have it when ever you wanted (so long as you have the ingredients on hand) and it would probably be cheaper. There may even be a recipe for it somewhere online just waiting for you to try it out. I usually make my pizza from scratch just because I enjoy it. I admit that I’m not a coeliac and therefore use standard ingredients but I’m sure it can be done with gluten-free ingredients. 🙂

    Posted by Linda Sharlow | March 17, 2012, 9:27 pm
    • Hi Linda,

      Unfortunately the key ingredient that makes pizzas chewy and yummy is gluten. I have documented a few attempts at gluten free pizza bases (we used to make normal pizzas from scratch every week) and they have all turned out decidedly pie-like or with the consistency of cookie dough. Without gluten, dough has no elasticity. The pizza mix in question is made with ingredients not commonly found in the UK, and at £2.59 for a mix that makes 4 pizzas, would certainly not be cheaper to source it ourselves. Most other things can be made gluten free with relative ease, but bread and pizza are not one of them. Which is why it is so disappointing to have Waitrose stop stocking this brand in many of its shops.

      I don’t use the mix because I can’t be bothered to make it from scratch, I use it because the key ingredient, cassava starch/modified cassava starch is the only gluten free flour I have found that contains any elasticity whatsoever. As a coeliac, I have pretty much no choice to make everything from scratch anyway! Yes, it’s satisfying, but day to day it does get to be a pain sometimes.

      Sam

      Posted by samanthastein | March 18, 2012, 10:48 am
  2. I completely agree. It is so difficult to get good quality gluten free food. I have tried several lizza bases and the quality has bern very poor. Isabel’s mix is lovely and light. I contacted waitrose costomer services and they have stopped this line and my local store have also stopped Hale & Hearty products which I also like. Like you I am disappointed. The main supermarkets are now becoming ubiquitous in their free from offerings and frankly it is just not good enough. Just because you are restricted to free from products should not mean food choice and quality has to be poor.

    Posted by Angela Adams | March 19, 2012, 4:58 pm
  3. It is very sad, Sam. I agree with you, Izabel’s products are amanzing, its is a lost for all of us….

    Posted by Ingrid | March 20, 2012, 2:55 pm
  4. I haven’t tried isabels mix but have made good pizza using the “helens amazing bread mix” that sainsburys sell. Probably not as good value as isabels as only makes one big pizza, but I mix it with a little less water than suggested and then spread it out over a reusable silicone baking sheet instead of putting in bread mould. It is nice and soft and not like the cardboardy rubbish pre-made GF ones you can get….

    Also, just found a link to this homemade base recipe while flicking through GF forums, http://everythingtasty.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/cauliflower-crust-pizzayou-wont-believe.html Will def this one a try as sounds easy and looks good. Bit low carb tho maybe.

    I’ve been GF for 7 years and my son (21months) is now too. I get so frustrated with s.markets changing their stock so frequently and they often withdraw their own brand freefrom items just when I get into liking them, so I try to rely more on the little GF brands instead. Can’t believe how much postage you have to pay to get stuff online tho!

    My food own blog has lots of recipes I’ve created/adapted that you might like to try. Still can’t make decent bread/pizza bases myself although did make some amazing Pasta the other day.

    BTW asda sell great DS breadsticks (like the kind you get as an appetiser), though a bit expensive.

    Posted by Bridie | April 24, 2012, 6:55 pm
  5. Doh! Forgot my own blog link! http://gluten-freedairy-freemamauk.blogspot.co.uk/

    Posted by Bridie | April 24, 2012, 6:56 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Isabel’s pizza base mix will not be available at Waitrose stores from March. | isabel's - March 27, 2012

  2. Pingback: Not cool, Waitrose « The Happy Coeliac - April 2, 2012

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About me

I'm Samantha, a freelance writer from London, UK. Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in March 2011 I have embraced the gluten-free lifestyle, and am committed to finding delicious alternatives to my favourite foods!

I also have a personal blog.

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