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Over the past 12 months Co-op Members have partnered with our teams to develop and improve our Free From range.

At first, members joined in #TheCoopWay to tell us which Free From products they would like to see in stores and most recently over 5,000 members joined in to review the changes we’ve made to the range, to help us develop our offering.

Matching Co-op Members with our new Free From products

Members who joined in were matched with new products added to our Free From range this year, which fit with their own personal requirements of gluten free, dairy free and egg free.

With 10 products to choose from, members who joined in received a choice selection of:

  • Free From Muesli
  • Free From Rolled Oats
  • Free From Salt & Pepper Crackers
  • Free From Choc Pops
  • Free From Grab Bag Flapjacks
  • Free From Grab Bag Brownies
  • Free From Chocolate Digestives
  • Free From Chocolate Buttons
  • Free From Pasta
  • Free From Rocky Road Stackers

What other gluten free products are available?


Co-op Free From Oats ranked the highest

Co-op Free From oats received an impressive 8.4 out of 10, the highest mark of any of the 10 products that were reviewed by members

“It resembled a non-free from porridge which is key for coeliac. The porridge cooked perfectly in the microwave and had a pleasant texture. You could also prepare overnight oats with this product for a quick and nutritious breakfast when you are on the go.”
Charlotte, Co-op Member, Deal

Co-op Free From gluten free porridge oats

Our Free-from chocolate products were also widely appreciated by our reviewers, with our Rocky Road Stackers, Chocolate Digestives and Chocolate Buttons delighting the palates of our tasters.

“These are absolutely delicious and are just as good as regular chocolate buttons. I absolutely love these as a little snack or to use in baking. The flavour is rich and chocolatey but still ‘milky’ and they melt in your mouth.”
Charlotte, Co-op Member, Greenwich

Better Free From displays in stores

To help us develop the Free From range members also visited Co-op Food stores from Bristol to North Shields, to locate the Free From range in their local Co-op and feedback first impressions, signage, Free From products that stood out and ideas for range development.

Members also visited smaller stores and reflected on which Free From products stock in a smaller capacity

“Your own brand are competitively priced, good quality and more than a match for branded products.” Andrew, Co-op Member, Brecon

How Co-op Members have helped us

We received some amazing insights and will now be looking at what more we can do to give our Free-From displays more exposure within our stores.

Members are providing us with useful insights and feedback in this journey to help us improve our Free From range, including advice on product lines, packaging and displays.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part so far and we look forward to working with members again for our next Free From opportunity this September.

join in #TheCoopWay

Lisa Sullivan
Brand Manager, Planning

Read more about how Co-op Members shape our Co-op;


Join the conversation! 25 Comments

  1. As a coeliac of 14 years I find I have to plan well ahead if I leave home to eat, I always have an emengency back up cereal bar/fruit in my bag as a back up if coffee shops etc sometimes have minimal or no gluten free products. A cafe where you went last week “have had a run on gf cake eaters “and have run out of food . The Coo-op have a small selection of gf goods which I find more expensive than larger supermarkets but it’s good to see some products.

  2. I found the best free from fish fingers in the co op by my Grandparents house and went back to buy more a few weeks later and the cashier said they don’t sell them so was very disappointed (couldn’t find them so asked a cashier when paying). They were a lot chunkier than the fish fingers from other supermarkets and they tasted so much better.

  3. I’m coeliac and have just had the free from spaghetti and have been violently ill. I had no sauce and there was no cross-contamination possible. I am very confused.. Have any other coeliacd experienced similar problems with this product?

  4. Does the Co op have a lactose free range apart based on cows milk with lactase? I am aware of Arla lactose free milk, but would love to be able to get lactose free plain yogurt for example.

  5. I bought a french stick from my local Co-op yesterday, My husband suffers from a severe sesame allergy. I was disgusted that the packaging only said gluten free and “may contain other allergens”. This is not acceptable to just put a blanket statement like this to cover yourselves, giving absolutely no hint as to what other allergens the bread may contain. He felt unable to eat the bread in case it had been made alongside other bread which had sesame as an ingredient but most stores state this possibility specifically on the packaging. To merely put “may contain other allergens” as a blanket get-out clause just to cover yourselves is most unhelpful for anybody struggling to find products that are safe to eat. I am surprised at the Co-op’s stance regarding this especially in light of the recent publicity regarding the need for explicit allergen advice in the media after the unfortunate incident where a girl died after eating sesame that was not properly mentioned in the labeling.

  6. Did anyone get to read my posting about having been a member since I was married in 1959 when everything we had, furniture food prays etc was from the dear old co op.Cheese was cut from a big block with wire as was butter,etc and your money shot up on a wire to a lady high above and then your change came back the same way.There was a particular smell when you walked in of bacon and cheese and the uneven floorboards were something else who else remembers those good old days when every co op. Had an upstairs assembly rooms where we could dance the night away.I believe so much in the ethics of the co op and long after I am go I know it will still be going from strength to strength. I wish all of you including staff a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas from Mrs Barbara o.Brien known as Ann aged 80 and still singingx

    • You are a loyal customer Barbara, i love the coop ethics own brand cleaning products that don’t contain animal ingredients and are cruelty free .
      And I also love the coop as that is where I met the love of my life .
      We worked together on the deli counter he’s my best friend and we have been married 23 years. X
      Would like more products to be labelled vegan when they clearly are

  7. Love the vegan mini Christmas cake bites ,why don’t you do a vegan Christmas cake? Would be a great seller I guess I will have to make my own

  8. My only problem with many of the Gluten-free products is that most of them nowadays contain Oats. I am a Coeliac and have to avoid gluten completely. I’m also one of the percentage of Coeliacs who cannot tolerate Oats. I know many Coeliacs seem to be ok with oats once they are certified free from contamination, however not all are and manufacturers do not appear to have taken this into consideration.
    While I agree with some of the comments about the sugar content, I do have a sweet tooth, but I don’t even have the option of trying many of your products, due to the oats used in them.

  9. More meat free options would be most welcome too

  10. I have not seen a free from section in my local co-op in Bramhall. As a vegetarian i am delighted that it exists and hope to see it soon.

  11. I too asked to join in and didn’t hear anything back.
    I don’t think people realise how expensive gluten free stuff is. It costs so much more than a normal diet. We don’t get more wages – the same as anyone but probably spend more than double for our weekly bits & bobs.

    • Luckily I can still get bread on prescription. I agree with you. I always look at the reduced sections to see if I can find something GF that’s different.

  12. My local store does not have a single item of GF Food in the frozen cabinet, never seen anything in the chilled counter either! They just have packeted things, which are expensive, so I only buy if I spot anything reduced! I usually buy from an alternative local store which has more items to choose from and their own brand items are fairly reasonably priced.

    I also asked to join in but never heard anything back.

    • I would also add that as someone who dislikes sweet things and prefers spicy there are very few GF products of this type, endless cakes and biscuits! I agree with other comments that for some reason GF products are far too sweet.

  13. I have raised my own personal matter with my local ccop but so far I see no change… as a diabetic, I would like to see more SUGAR FREE products and perhaps as part of a general move it would be good to see healthy products – permitted fruit eg – on sale at reasonable prices. It is rather unfortunate that sufferers of diabetes have to spend more on healthy options!

    • Do feel quite cross whenI look at the list of “frees” and do not see “sugar free”. Why not be the first to have these listed and sold as other super markets have not put “sugar free” on their list.

      • I agree wholeheartedy Eileen – Im sure it would make good economic sense as diabetes is so common now…

  14. All good, but when will the fresh and frozen ranges catch up? I’ve seen items disappear from the shelf in my local store and the GF pizza offerings compared with normal are woeful. Be good to catch up with other providers!

  15. I signed up I don’t remember being asked to try anything, it’s great to see more choices in store I just with the person treated my loaf of bread with a little more tlc … they usually squeeze it to scan at least he checkout which destroys the whole loaf 😢

  16. My biggest worry with Free From is the cost. I’m a Coeliac but cannot always afford to stick to the diet because purpose made Free From food is SO expensive. It also seems to have a constant ‘sweet’ taste due to alternative flours etc being used. Most of the time, to make it more palatable, extra fats & sugars are added….not exactly healthy.

    • I quite agree that free from food is too expensive.
      Also the sugars are not palatable, why do we need to suffer when we are already suffering due to not unhealthy eating.My problem derives from food poisoning !!! beware we are all susceptable to unscrupulous outside sources.
      Co-op free from spaghetti changed my whole family when they thoroughly enjoyed a great bolognese thought i had made the pasta myself, noone had digestive problems or bloated stomachs! Thumbs up CO-OP but please sell it in all stores not just a few!


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