Thursday, 2 May 2013

Heinz goes gluten free

Heinz's PR company got in touch and asked if I wanted to review a couple of their new gluten free products. As this is my first 'product' review as such, I feel the overwhelming need to justify it! Not everyone agrees with receiving free samples but I've promised an unbiased review. Can a review be unbiased when you've received a free sample I hear you ask, well you'll have to be the judge of that I'm afraid. If it helps other gluten free people understand their options, then so be it.

The fact that companies such as Heinz are joining the gluten free market clearly demonstrates it's become big business. Currently, the small 'free from' section in supermarket aisles is full of smaller niche brands you don't find elsewhere during your shop. So what do Heinz bring to the mix? Well a tasty pasta for one thing. I tried the penne (they also sell macaroni and spaghetti) and it had a good texture and taste. For those who don't have access to the brands available on prescription it also gives you more choice than the handful of brands available at the moment. It cooks well too, gluten free pasta likes to stick together - literally - but this posed no problems. I found Heinz's choice to launch a range of gluten free pasta sauces a slightly strange foray into this market. We rarely buy ready made sauces but I can certainly understand the convenience, but more often than not are most pasta sauces not gluten free anyway? It seems particularly strange when there are other areas so severely lacking in options (a quick ready to eat pasta salad?). I found the sauces a little sweet for my palate, The Tomato Frito reminding me slightly of one of Heinz's most popular products, tomato soup. The Tomato and Oregano one was more flavoursome. They would provide a decent base sauce if you want to add more ingredients, some roasted Mediterranean veg or some smoked streaky bacon would go well. Its not gourmet food, but what it does provide is convenience, which the gluten free market so often lacks. With the sweetness, I think Heinz's pasta and sauce will especially appeal to people with gluten free children, providing a quick and tasty meal.

So judge the review how you want. After all, that's all I've tried to do with the products in it.