Gluten-Free at Wegmans: 5 Reasons I Love This Grocery Store (and You Will Too!)
*This post is not sponsored by Wegmans*
A brand-new Wegmans recently opened about 15 minutes from my house in Northern Virginia. My husband and I have bought our groceries at Wegmans for several years (often traveling out of our way to visit other locations), so we were both psyched about having a store so close. If you’ve never been to Wegmans, you may be asking yourself, “Why is Beth so excited about a grocery store?” If you’ve been to Wegmans, you probably already know the reasons:
1) Wegmans knows gluten-free.
Since the early 1990’s, Wegmans has invested countless resources to understand what it means to live gluten-free, how to safely manufacture gluten-free products, and how to support gluten-free customers both in learning how to live gluten-free and maintaining that lifestyle long-term. From hiring a team of dietitians to serve as advocates for customers with special dietary needs to consulting with gluten-free experts like Dr. Alessio Fasano to developing a comprehensive and strict definition of “gluten-free” (long before the FDA was on board), Wegmans has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to getting gluten-free right in order to best serve its gluten-free customers.
2) Wegmans has what you need.
Wegmans is the ONLY grocery store where I can buy everything on my list without spending a fortune.
- That weird GF ingredient that’s impossible to find? Got it. It’s probably in the dedicated gluten-free aisle.
- GF spices, sauces, marinades, canned goods, etc. you need for that new recipe you want to try. Got ‘em.
- The only brand of GF pasta/pretzels/chips your son will eat? You bet they got it. And if they don’t, make sure you suggest they order it—they will investigate and do their best to find it for you. Wegmans relies on customer product recommendations to ensure they offer the best possible GF products.
Wegmans prides itself on offering a huge selection of quality gluten-free ingredients at an affordable price. Anyone who has attempted to shop for gluten-free products knows that this “trifecta” of great-tasting, healthy, and affordable is a rarity in the gluten-free world. At Wegmans, not only will you find a variety of products that fit this criteria, but you actually may save time* as well!
*Yes, this store is enormous. This post details how to efficiently navigate the store without getting overwhelmed.
3) Wegmans makes it easier to live gluten-free.
Intended as a call to action for every customer, Wegmans’ slogan “eat well live well” is especially appropriate for its gluten-free customers. Long familiar with the concept of food as remedy, people who live gluten-free depend on what they eat to keep them healthy. In keeping with their mission to help customers live well, Wegmans launched its gluten-free Wellness Key in 2000 (!) to assist its GF customers with identifying which products meet a “gluten-free” standard equivalent to recent FDA regulations.
The gluten-free Wellness Key appears on over 1,900 Wegmans brand products in every aisle (including the enormous gluten-free aisle), on everything from hot wing sauce to body lotion to almondmilk. Yes, even on brownies in the Bakery Department!
Don’t see a gluten-free label or Wellness Key? Contact Wegmans to ask about that product’s GF status. They are happy to investigate for you, whether it’s their product or not.
Wegmans also offers gluten-free recipes and meal ideas, updated regularly, in its Menu Magazine and online to help you create yummy and nutritious gluten-free meals from all those products you found at the store!
4) Wegmans works hard to be inclusive.
Wegmans goes the extra mile to adjust the norm to be more GF-friendly. For instance, the Sushi Department uses no gluten containing ingredients—the soy sauce, crab stick, tempura and other traditionally gluten-full ingredients have all been switched to alternatives that contain no gluten ingredients. Since 2014, this is standard—every customer in every store buys sushi made with no gluten containing ingredients. Likewise, all meat and cheese sliced in the Deli Department and all rotisserie chickens are prepared in areas with no gluten containing ingredients.*
*Disclaimer: Wegmans differentiates between “Made with No Gluten Containing Ingredients” (MWNGCI) and “gluten-free.” Any product that is handled in a non-dedicated facility (i.e. a Wegmans store) is not considered gluten-free due to possibility of gluten contamination. Gluten-free products (including items in the Bakery) are handled in dedicated gluten-free facilities and sealed until opened by customers.
5) Wegmans partners with customers to make change happen.
Over the years, Wegmans has developed cutting-edge resources (e.g., Wellness Keys, No Gluten Containing Ingredients areas, and more) to save its gluten-free customers time, money, and unnecessary anxiety. How did they develop these resources? They listened to their customers and made practical changes to solve real problems.
Wegmans is the first grocery store I have found that demonstrates its commitment to customer wellness by:
- recognizing that customers require different solutions for wellness,
- determining what those differences are,
- respecting those differences, and
- partnering with customers to implement strategies for personalized wellness.
And that’s why this gluten-free lady is so excited to shop at Wegmans!
Next week’s post, Gluten-Free Resources at Wegmans, will provide details about all the wonderful resources* Wegmans offers its gluten-free customers. I am willing to bet you will be surprised by at least one of them!
*I was not compensated by Wegmans for my time researching and writing this post. I contacted Wegmans expressing interest in writing about their gluten-free resources because of my personal experience with the store. I was invited to tour the store with Wegmans Nutritionist, Krystal Register, RDN, to discuss resources that are offered for gluten-free customers. All opinions expressed are my own.
There are currently 88 Wegmans stores in six states (Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). Find your nearest Wegmans.
Don’t have a Wegmans near you? Contact them about future expansion plans.