"We are constantly seeking and getting feedback from our consumers and over the past year we heard loud and clear that our customers desired – and often needed – to eat gluten-free products as part of their healthy lifestyle," said Sarah Crowley, al fresco senior brand manager. "As nearly all of our products were gluten-free already, it was an easy decision to make."
al fresco replaced the Mango Chipotle Fresh Dinner Sausage with the new Spicy Chipotle Fresh Dinner Sausage, keeping the smoky chipotle flavor but eliminating the gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that causes a toxic allergic reaction in those with Celiac Disease, a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition.
Demand for gluten-free products has greatly increased in recent years, as general awareness and interest in gluten-free dining and cooking has increased, becoming a mainstream lifestyle. Cases of Celiac Disease have doubled every 15 years since 1974, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in September 2010. In addition, many Americans without issues digesting gluten have adopted a gluten-free diet as part of a healthy lifestyle.
"As more Americans adopt a gluten-free lifestyle, we felt it was important to offer an entire line of healthy, delicious products they could enjoy worry-free," Crowley said.
al fresco All Natural is manufactured by Kayem Foods Inc., the largest meat processor in New England, which makes more than 500 products under eight brand names.