On the Street -- GM Launches Gluten-free Website

December 8/Food & Beverage Close-Up -- General Mills announced it has created liveglutenfreely.com to provide consumers with information on gluten-free products and gluten-free recipes.

According to a release, the site lists General Mills products labeled gluten-free and features kitchen-tested recipes for preparing an array of gluten-free foods.

"One of the most frequent inquiries our customer service department receives is 'What products are gluten-free?'" said Katie Lay, marketing manager, General Mills Health and Wellness division. "Consumers should always consult product labels prior to purchase, but our new website can give them 24/7 access to information about General Mills' gluten-free products. We also created an electronic newsletter by the same name that consumers can subscribe to when they visit liveglutenfreely.com. Gluten-free product information and gluten-free recipes will be sent directly to their inboxes.

"General Mills is one of the leading food manufacturers responding to consumers concerned about gluten," said Lay. "We recently launched a line of Betty Crocker gluten-free dessert mixes, and we have many additional products labeled gluten-free. For example, our Yoplait yogurt, LARABAR fruit and nut bar, Betty Crocker Fruit Snack, and Chex cereal product lines all contain several gluten-free items. All this information is included on our new site. Anyone who has adhered to a diet of any kind knows that it's easier when there are a variety of foods to choose from and recipes to help you."

Michelle Tucker, M.S., registered dietitian and senior scientist of the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, said, "The web site is an excellent tool to help the growing number of consumers seeking information on gluten-free foods," says Tucker. "But consumers need to remember that it's essential to always read ingredient listings and look for the words gluten free near the nutrition and ingredient list on package labels before adding a food item to their shopping cart."

From the December 21, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition