Tesco Free From Range
Now usually when a retailer or supplier brings out a free from product I am supportive and over the moon that there is more choice out there for fellow sufferers. However, I can't get my head around this offering from Tesco. I have been a Tesco shopper for many years and willingly spend money in their stores but not on this range. I hate to sound so ungrateful but here is what I think.
The comprehensive range includes soya milk (sweetened and unsweetened), soya yoghurt, soya cheese (hard - mild and medium and soft), soya and sunflower spread, a variety of chilled desserts and hazelnut, coconut and rice milk.
Apart from the obvious fact that people who cannot tolerate soya won't find most of these products any use what so ever, if you don't like soya they aren't great for you either. As a lactose intolerant who has previously eaten dairy I'm afraid I would still rather go without cheese than eat soya cheese. I reluctantly purchased Tesco hard, medium strength cheese in the hope that it would be an improvement on the existing market offerings. Unfortunately, it is still sat in the fridge with a small taster piece missing! I have to admit that I didnt't buy any of the other products as it would have cost me quite a lot of money and I was not willing to part with my hard earned cash for products that would replace some fantastic existing items already in my basket.
The price of each product is not out of the ordinary for free from food. However, has anyone noticed that these products are already being offered by existing companies at similar cost and better quality? We love Alpro, Provamel, Mrs Crimble's, Humdinger, Kinnerton, Bute Island, Pure, Lactofree (for lactose inloerant only) and many more smaller non supermarket suppliers. Some of these suppliers have been removed from Tesco shelves due to their new range being introduced. The second point I have noticed is that the new range is being stocked in just 178 of Tesco stores out of a massive 2318 (from wikipedia statistics). To be reviewed and rolled out to more stores on the back of its success.
It is quite obvious that the free from market is growing and Tesco want a slice of the pie. Its great that the supermarkets want to get involved but lets hope it isn't at the cost of the smaller, established specialist suppliers that we have already grown to love.