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Hidden Valley Going the Extra Mile for Gluten-Free Logo

When word got out that Domino’s new gluten-free pizzas could still be a problem for those suffering from celiac disease, the pizzamakers goodwill efforts fizzled. The big problem is cross-contamination; gluten-free pizzas are made side-by-side with gluten-filled items so only those with a “mild intolerance” should bother to order a special pie.

While it’s nice to get a little buzz for adding options or giving customers perks, it can all just look like a ploy if you’re not going the extra mile to make sure target customers can actually take advantage of what you have to offer.

We recently got a note about Hidden Valley, which has added “gluten free” labeling to its Ranch dressing. According to the company, rye, barley, and wheat were never ingredients in the company’s salad dressing, but only in the past couple of months has it decided to add the logo to its packaging.

“In addition to adhering to labeling requirements, Hidden Valley has taken the added step of auditing its supply chain and securing guarantees that there are no ingredients that contain or are derived from gluten-containing grains,” said Shaunte Mears-Watkins, Hidden Valley’s marketing manager, in an email to PRNewser.

“The facilities manufacturing Hidden Valley products have stringent allergen-control programs to prevent cross-contamination and all of the products listed as gluten free undergo scheduled testing to ensure that the quality of the claim matches the quality of the products,” she added.

The company has also partnered with the Celiac Disease Foundation to raise awareness of the condition.

Gluten-free food is a multi-billion dollar business. But more than that, it’s meant to address an actual medical problem. Companies must be responsible, thorough, and transparent in order to make good on their label’s promise and keep people from getting sick. This is serious business folks.

Another less-serious selling point is taste. To be gluten free, Hidden Valley has the benefit of keeping its proven recipe. But in the case of gluten-free beer, a major ingredient is the source of trouble. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives a shout-out to a new gluten-free beer, Omission, because it manages to be both gluten-free and tasty. But to do so, the Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. had to come up with a proprietary beer-making process.

In other words, if you’re going to do something, do it all the way.

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