Pictured: Vincent Healy, Dunnes Stores, Section Buyer, Dry Grocery Department
Joanne Kett, Dunnes Stores Dry Grocery Buyer
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those who are coeliac or gluten intolerant, especially with all the gluten-loaded foods being passed around throughout the month. But Coeliac Society of Ireland and Dunnes Stores have just the plan to help you get through the festive season.
Over 500,000 people in Ireland are coeliac or gluten intolerant, which means that the Christmas holidays can be a challenge when deciding on what to eat and how to avoid becoming ill via the munching and crunching that are synonymous with this time of year.
The Coeliac Society of Ireland have teamed up with Dunnes Stores to offer coeliacs and people with gluten intolerances a hub where they can demonstrate how you can have a tasty enjoyable festive season with friends and family without the fear of being ill as a result.
Dunnes Stores lead the way in gluten-free products in Ireland, and in 2022, they were the very first store to take the Crossed Grain Trademark licence, a registered trademark that can only be used when foods or products meet a specific gluten-free criteria.
The Crossed Grain Trademark represents safety and integrity, providing certainty that what is purchased at Dunnes Stores is manufactured to the highest standards. It also provides a quick reference point for customers when out shopping, removing uncertainty about the gluten-free status of a product. Providing the highest quality and safest food products, giving reassurance to Gluten Free shoppers.
James Wilson, Food Director at Dunnes Stores, said “In 2022 we were first retailer in Ireland to receive the Crossed Grain Trademark, and we continue to honour this status in 2023. All our customers are important to us and being able to reassure those who suffer particularly from coeliac disease and gluten intolerances of the highest quality and safest food products is a priority. We want to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy Christmas, for those who are hosting and may have someone who needs gluten-free solutions to those who suffer from coeliac disease and gluten customers but want to enjoy the festive season to the maximum”
The Christmas Hub 2023 is available online to all those who are gluten intolerant. The hub is packed with information and practical advice from health and nutrition experts as well as tips, recipes, and videos. It also provides helpful hints about staying healthy over the festive season. Most importantly, there is clear information on how to prepare food safely to avoid cross-contamination with foods that contain gluten.
Louise Ryan, Marketing lead for the Coeliac Society of Ireland, said “We are excited to partner with Ireland’s leading grocer, Dunnes Stores, for a second year running. Christmas is a time of celebration and indulgence, and it should be no different for those who cannot eat anything containing gluten, for medical reasons. Even a small amount of gluten can make someone living with coeliac disease very ill. Our goal is to demonstrate that it is easy to thrive during Christmas, despite the many difficulties avoiding gluten poses. We are delighted that Dunnes Stores are leading the way and demonstrating how achievable this is. We are here to support our community.”
As part of their campaign, they will be running a charity Christmas raffle to raise much-needed funds for society, and the top prize is a voucher sponsored by Dunnes Stores.
The Christmas hub can be located at www.coeliac.ie/christmas-hub/