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For National Celiac Awareness Month — otherwise known as May — Sunflower Farmers Markets will roll out a range of in-store programs and events for customers with gluten intolerance. The grocer has also launched a microsite that advises visitors how to eat well on a gluten-free diet.
The site, www.sfmarkets.com/may, provides visitors with information on the condition, an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive tract by damaging the small intestine and interfering with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food; what foods to avoid; an exhaustive list of gluten-free products found in Sunflower stores; and several gluten-free recipes.
Additionally, Sunflower shoppers will be able to shop with a customized “celiac basics” booklet that includes the over 4,000 gluten-free products in its the Natural Living HBC department, since those who have celiac disease can’t take supplements or use body care products containing gluten. According to Sunflower, it’s one of the first natural grocers to offer such a list. Shoppers can download a copy of the booklet on the grocer’s Web site.
Sunflower also offers a unique labeling system, “Smart Tags,” which call out specific diet-related concerns many shoppers have. The bright-orange “Smart Celiac” tag highlights items that contain no gluten from wheat, barley, rye or oats, assuring shoppers that the labeled product is a safe option for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Other Smart Tags include “Smart Heart,” “Smart Carb” and “Smart Weight” designations.
Beyond Celiac Awareness Month, Sunflower hosts a Gluten-Free Store Tour at most of its locations at least once a month. The tour takes customers throughout a store to show them where to find each of the over 750 gluten-free food products the chain offers. Following the tour, customers can question Sunflower’s nutrition experts and taste some of the the company’s gluten-free recipes.
Boulder, Colo.-based Sunflower Farmers Markets operates 29 stores in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas (where they’re known as Newflower Farmers Markets).