Top 10 highlights from The Allergy & Gluten Free show 2011

This year’s Allergy and Gluten Free Show was the biggest and best yet. I’ve been going for years and it seems the allergy world is growing fast. It was positively buzzing with activity; loads more exhibitors, hundreds more visitors, broader seminar programme, demonstrations, cookery workshops and a whole lot more.

If you didn’t make it this year, here are my top ten favourite new products and highlights.

  1. Fria bread, cinnamon buns and chocolate cake are all gluten and dairy free. I have one word to describe these products – WOW! They are just so mouth wateringly amazing, I can’t believe they’re not made with gluten! Visit: www.gffdirect.co.uk to buy online
  2. Steph’s Free From Cakes and in particular the Lemon Drizzle cake was to die for. Having a dairy and nut allergy and not being much of a kitchen goddess, I haven’t eaten lemon drizzle cake for over 15 years. Steph’s cake is soft, moist, deliciously zesty and the best bit, the sugary lemon crust, is just too tasty. I bought a whole cake to freeze. Visit: www.stephsfreefromcakes for her full range and to buy on-line.
  3. Garbo gluten free breads were also fresh, moist and really tasty. Great for making sandwiches and they come part-baked in a sealed bag. This is a really innovate idea because it means you can bake the bread, in the bag, anywhere you want and it is safe from cross contamination.
  4. Alex Gazzola, health journalist, was manning the Foodsmatter stand, so I also managed to get my copy of “Coeliac Disease: What you need to know” signed! Check out free from (gluten)’s review of the book
  5. The Cake Crusader’s cakes were very very moreish and amazingly gluten, wheat, dairy, egg and sugar free. How do these bakers do it? Visit: www.thecakecrusader.co.uk to find out more.
  6. Genius Gluten Free bread didn’t fail to impress either. They have brought out a whole new range of seeded bread, rolls and toasted tea cakes. Very yummy and I did find myself passing that stand time and time again. Just on my way to another stand, honestly, but it would have been rude not to stop and try a sample ;o). Find out more about Genius products at www.geniusglutenfree.com
  7. Simply washing powder, high performance cleaning that doesn’t cost the earth, rinses out better than other non-bio washing powders and is good for the environment too. Look out for it in Tesco and find out more at www.simplywashing.com
  8. Estrella Daura gluten free beer, a very welcome refreshing beer. I love a pint of beer and have drunk quite a few pints in my time. This beer is really very very good and tastes just like normal beer to me. Visit: www.estrelladamm.com to find out more. You can buy it in Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose.
  9. Goodnessdirect had loads of their free-from products available to sample and lots of vouchers to use when buying products online. Check out www.goodnessdirect.co.uk next time you want to buy allergy foods and other products direct to your doorstep.
  10. pai sensitive skin natural moisturisers and lip balms are luxuriously delicate and only contain natural, organic, chemical-free ingredients. For a treat for your skin that won’t irritate visit: www.paiskincare.com to view their whole range and buy on-line.

I really found it hard to pick my top ten, there were so many other fantastic new products and established providers with new ranges and varieties to sample. Marks & Spencer’s new gluten free range of bread, buns and cakes, Nairns new gluten free oat cakes and in particular their chocolate chip cookie variety. Amazing bread flour mixes, chocolates, I could go on; there are too many to mention.

The seminar programme was packed and I only managed to see a few sessions each day, there was just too much to do, too many people to meet, chat to, share experiences with and stands to visit. Top marks to the show organisers for making this year so amazing.

Visit The Allergy and Gluten Free Show website to read the full exhibitor listing.

What were your highlights? Did you discover the most amazing new products or brands? Did you go this year or did you miss it? I’d love to hear from everyone who went. Do you agree this year was the best yet and buzzing with excitement?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She runs a support group for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and also writes regularly for Exchange, The National Eczema Society quarterly magazine.

Comments

  1. Hi Ruth – was good to see you there -and yes, I agree, the best show that we have attended. An excellent seminar programme too – did you manage to get to any of the talks?
    Onward and upward for next year!

    • Hi Michelle. Great to see you there too. I did make it to about four talks. I went the Allergy UK helpline live session and Adam Fox’s hay fever and allergic rhinitis talk which was useful. I don’t manage my hay fever very well but I refuse to stay indoors and the thought of not hanging my washing out on the line and having windows all shut makes my soul shrink in horror! I also went to a few on day one which were good. Tanya Wright’s Top tips for managing an exclusion diet and Sue Clarke on managing severe food allergies. Would have loved to have gone to more seminars but there were so many stands to visit and people to meet.

  2. Nice to see you, Ruth! And I don’t want to see that signed book on eBay any day soon… ;-)

    • Oh ye of little faith. I would never sell my copy of Coeliac Disease: What you need to know, by Alex Gazzola ;-). Nearly finished it by the way. Review pending… (PS. I liked that little smiley – see I even copied it)

  3. Great to meet you Ruth – sorry I didnt get too much time to talk but you’re doing a great job! Fancy dong some cake tasting for me at some point, I’ve got some more to develop soon? Liz

    • Liz – being a cake taster is my dream job! Count me in. Lovely to meet you too. You are doing a grand job too! I’m rubbish at baking. I can do a mean flapjack though!

  4. Good top 10: I’d have chosen several of those myself. I hadn’t spotted the beer-tasting though!

  5. I would also like to share my knowledge about Gluten free diet. its for free. I love sharing more ideas about treating of making the lives of others comfortable even you have allergy on gluten. By the way nice post…

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