Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before… I fear I may be sounding like a stuck record.
I nipped to my local Sainsburys in Macclesfield yesterday morning. There were only two things I needed to buy:
- Nut free Easter Eggs, and
- A nut free birthday cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday later this month.
It should have been a quick trip.
The Easter Egg hunt
I found the Easter Egg aisle (pictured, right).
Wow – what a vast selection! Eggs by Cadbury, Bon Bon Buddies, Sainsbury’s own brand, Thorntons and more.
However, each and every one carried a “may contain nuts” (or equivalent) warning. I know, because I checked them, whilst grumbling to myself about nut warning labels and the appalling lack of choice for nut allergic children (a habit I had vowed to break…).
The only options for nut allergic children were:
Namely, Kinnerton’s Thomas and Peppa mealtime gift sets plus Cadbury creme eggs. (There were a handful of the Kinnerton single eggs too). Fortunately, my children still love all things Thomas and Peppa, so these are sure to be a hit – but what are older children and adults meant to do? And more worryingly, this is a much reduced nut safe selection, both in terms of volume and choice, compared to last year.
Birthday cake quest
I then headed to the cake aisle. The nut free options consisted of a couple of the Just Love Food Company’s chocolate and vanilla tray bakes plus a solitary “Princess Castle” cake.
Now, I have nothing against the tray bakes, far from it. We buy them regularly for family get togethers or if I have 8 children coming for a playdate. However, for that reason, I wanted something a little different for my daughter’s birthday. I was disappointed by the depleted number of nut free options. You can normally count on the Sainsbury’s cake section to have, for example, a couple of nut free Gruffalo cakes, and, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen a nut free pirate cake there too. Today’s offering felt quite sparse. So I decided to try elsewhere.
More fool me. I headed to our local Tesco superstore and found precisely ZERO nut free celebration cake options. So guess who is now heading back to Sainsbury’s, keeping my fingers crossed that the token girlie nut free birthday cake is still there.
Where are the nut free options?
So, in two large supermarkets, I could buy:
- One brand of large Easter Egg.
- One brand of small chocolate egg.
- One brand of celebration cake in Sainsbury’s (either a tray bake or a princess castle – there were no “boy’s” options on display), but NO safe options at all in Tesco.
Yet 1 in 50 children in the UK have a nut allergy? What’s more, to my eye, the selection of both nut safe chocolate eggs and large cakes in Sainsbury’s was reduced compared to last year. Surely nut free food choice can’t be decreasing, as nut allergies are on the rise?
If you are still searching for nut free Easter eggs, there is a list of safe options here. For nut free cakes, check out the Nutmums nut free food directory. And if you’ve noticed a decrease in nut safe products in your local supermarket – be it chocolates, cakes or any other type of food – do post a comment below, I would love to hear from you.