Friday, January 25, 2013

Nut-Free Valentine's Day: Supermarket Finds



This Valentine's Day "candy bank" from Tootsie Roll Corporation (R) has
clear allergen labels. Labels like this are becoming easier to find.

 I love the convenience and selection I get with online ordering for seasonal candy and nut-free items, but isn't it great when you can just stroll into the supermarket and find what you need? Here is a selection of nut-free (and other free-from) candy selections, cookies and treats for Valentine's Day.
 
Please note: You and your doctor are the best judges of what is safe for you and/or your allergic child to eat. This is meant as a guide, so please consider your own specific needs and check with your doctor about any foods or potential allergens that concern you. For additional product questions, check with the specific companies. Safety first! Thanks!
I discovered the following items at my local supermarket (a Safeway owned company), SuperTarget, Wal-Mart and Meijer. The following items were all marked as peanut and tree nut-free.

Not all items will be available in all locations, but in general, you will find these items in well-stocked stores:




Anything from the Tootsie Corporation, including pops, chocolate chews, and Andes Candies mints. Many of the seasonal varieties (such as the item pictured above) have Valentine's messages included. Andes Chocolate Mint Candies have a heart shape and message embossed on each chocolate. Sweet! See: http://www.tootsie.com/


Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers Fruit Chews
These heart shaped candies are made by the Gimbal's company--top 8 allergen-free and gluten-free. Here's a link to the item on the Meijer website: http://www.meijer.com/s/gimbals-fine-candies-cherry-lovers-fruit-chews-1-bag-11-50-oz/_/R-173085;jsessionid=078083B9B44CC0FF3727B1CC134B3F0F.instance04 
See: http://wwww.gimbalscandy.com

Pez Candies
Everybody's favorite! Peanut-free, tree nut-free and gluten-free. See: http://www.pez.com/allergy/

Dum Dums lollipops with Valentine's Day Messages
The time-honored kid favorite, free from peanuts, tree nuts and the most common food allergens. See:  www.spanglercandy.com

Back of Dum Dums package.
 
Skeeter Snacks cookies made in a nut-free facility -- great flavors and taste! Available at many Costco stores and supermarkets. See: www.skeetersnacks.com

The following are available at Whole Foods/Natural Foods Stores/Some Supermarkets

 
Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts
Seasonal gummies in an adorable heart shape from this all natural, organic candy company. Watermelon and cherry flavors. See: www.surfsweets.com
Great out of the bag or as cupcake decor!
 Sha Sha Ginger Cookies
Heart-shaped Ginger Snap cookies, made in a peanut and tree nut-free facility and made with healthy, whole ingredients. The heart shape makes them perfect for V-Day. See: http://www.shashabread.com/snaps-cookies/

Lucy’s Cookies
Nut-free, gluten-free and free of many top allergens. Delicious flavor varieties, too. (Be advised, for the peanut allergic also allergic to legumes, Lucy's does use some legume flours). See: http://www.drlucys.com/

Enjoy Life Cookies/Candy Bars
Great variety of nut-free, gluten-free and top 8 allergen-free cookies and dairy-free chocolate bars. See: http://enjoylifefoods.com/#page=page-1

Yum Earth gummy bears/lollipops
Valentine's Day-themed packs of organic gummy bears and lollies free of peanuts, tree nuts and the top 8 allergens. Also available at Target stores across the U.S. See: http://yummyearth.com/

Nut-Free Facility?
The following item was unclear if made in a nut-free facility but does not appear to be made on shared equipment. However, many Dove Promises items are made in a nut-free facility, so see the link below/call the company for details.

Dove Promises Chocolate Hearts. The rep said their candy would be labeled for shared equipment (i.e., if no warning, the item is not made on shared equipment) but due to the hearts being a seasonal candy, couldn’t tell me if they were made in nut-free facility as these facilities may change. Here is a link to nut-free facility product info for Dove Chocolates: http://www.dovechocolate.com/aboutDove/AllergenFreeFacilities


Remember, check with companies for more info if you require it, but I hope this gets you off to a good start!

4 comments:

Jennifer B said...

Great rundown of the supermarket peanut/nut free candies, Jenny. With budgets being tighter the last year or so, I have basically stopped ordering nut-free chocolate online altogether. I cannot justify the expense. The heart shaped Junior Mints were an exciting treat for the kids, and it seems we can get by without chocolates just fine. :)

Jenny said...

Jennifer--OMG! Heart shaped Junior Mints? Junior Mints are my daughter's favorite. I'm finding those today. Thanks! And they're by the Tootsie Corporation so they are nut-free. :)

Amy said...

Beware - Just had a mom from my son's class email me she got Dum Dums from CVS (CVS Gold Emblem Assorted Dum Dums) and the package says made in a facility that also has nuts. Shocked other companies package a candy that we consider safe. Out of the package how would we know which facility if came from?

Jenny said...

Hi Amy, What the mom in your son's class saw was a "rebag." If you don't know the origin of a candy and the rebags concern you, then make sure you give your child only candies you know came from the source. Here is info from the Spangler web site regarding "rebags." It appears that the candies are not taken out of wrappers, but they are packaged in a facility that packages other foods, so the label can't say "made in a nut-free facilty, etc." Such as CVS. Here's the language and contact Spangler for more info:

Allergen Statements on Re-bagged Items

In today’s candy market it is a regular practice for retailers to have their own store’s private label bag. In most of these situations, we do not pack these items ourselves but the retailer or a customer of ours purchases and repackages our items.

The allergen free claim may be different as these companies often package other items that may contain peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, fish, shellfish, or soy in their facilities. Trace elements of these allergens could come into contact with our items.

To be confident that you are getting an allergen-free Spangler candy item, check the back of the item you are purchasing for the allergen statement. Spangler Candy bags manufactured and packaged in our facility will have the following identifiers:

(1) Graphics of bag as shown on the Spangler Candy company website at www.spanglercandy.com.

(2) Current Spangler allergen statement: "This product does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, or gluten. It has been manufactured on dedicated equipment."

(3) Address line on the back of the bag: Manufactured by Spangler Candy Company, Bryan, Ohio, 43506 USA.

(4) UPC code begins with “0 30800”. This is the code for our manufacturing facility.

Families with allergic children take great care to determine the origin of the food their children consume to protect against an allergic reaction. Families should ask the origin of any candy or food product that is in an open bowl or container to ensure what their children consume is free of allergens.

If you have questions, please contact our Quality Assurance department at info@spanglercandy.com or toll-free 888-636-4221.