Survey of Allergy-Friendly Food Makers in Coronavirus Crisis

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in Food Allergy, News, Resources
Published: April 3, 2020
Young woman checking milk's labeling in supermarket.
Photo: Getty

Updated May 11, 2020 – Food allergy and gluten-free shoppers depend on our “friendly” brands for safe eating. But during the COVID-19 crisis, some go-to products have been harder to locate, causing concern, especially for allergy moms. But no need to panic! Allergic Living surveyed 13 key food-allergy brands to get a snapshot of the allergy-friendly food supply. Check the individual brands’ responses below.

Safe products’ sales turn out to be unprecedented, but you will be heartened by how hard these brands’ teams are working to restock shelves and make products available online. I know we all greatly appreciate their efforts and dedication to our community. – Gwen Smith, Allergic Living Editor

Cybele’s Free to Eat

Website: https://www.cybelesfreetoeat.com/
Product lines include: Protein-rich gluten-free pastas; range of cookies, chocolate brownie, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle etc.
Allergen FAQs: https://www.cybelesfreetoeat.com/faq Free of top allergens and gluten.

Cybele’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

We are working hard to replenish Cybele’s Free to Eat stock, which has been selling out all over the U.S. We are shipping product like crazy. I’m able to keep up with cookies, and so far have kept up with our Superfood Veggie Pasta. We did go out of stock on a couple top products in mid-April. But we’ve been replenishing in May!

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

There’s an 8-week lead time on my pastas, so it’s a little harder to replenish quickly on the fly to meet sudden spikes in demand. But we’re doing the best we can and so far, we are keeping up. 

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Thrive Market, Amazon, Vitacost (any day now), and we launched our own e-commerce platform at https://shop.cybelesfreetoeat.com. We have our new pasta shapes, Penne, Shells and Elbows, in stock as well as our cookies. 

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We let them know immediately.

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures? 

We are not anticipating any plant closures at this time. But our plants are working overtime!

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

In this time, do more cooking from scratch. Shop online for sure, if stores are running low of safe products. I’m hearing we are out of my cookies at lots of stores. But they’re coming back in as soon as the supply chain can process them!  

88 Acres Foods

88 Acres Foods

Website: https://88acres.com/
Product lines include: Seed-based butters, protein bars, granola and sample packs.
Allergen FAQs: https://88acres.com/pages/allergen-information Free of top 8 allergens, gluten, sesame.

88 Acres’ Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

Like many food companies, we have seen an increase in orders on our e-commerce channels. But we are fully stocked with inventory of all products.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

Not applicable.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Shop on 88acres.com for our full product offering.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

Our fulfillment team is fully operational with no delays. If a delay does come up for any reason, we will contact customers immediately through email. Orders are typically shipped within 3 to 5 business days. 

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?  

We’re following guidelines from Massachusetts and local officials to keep our employees and products safe. According to Boston’s “stay at home advisory,” food manufacturers are considered “essential” so we don’t foresee any closures at this point. Things could change, but we have plenty of inventory to continue selling through 88acres.com

6. Optional: Any other advice to allergy customers?

If you have questions about availability or concerns about safety, reach out directly by email to: hello@acres.com.

Enjoy Life Foods logo

Enjoy Life Foods

Website: https://enjoylifefoods.com/
Product lines include: Baking chocolate and chocolate chips, many styles of cookies and bars, protein bites, breakfast items, baking mixes. 
Allergen FAQs: https://enjoylifefoods.com/pages/faqs Free of 14 common allergens and gluten.

Enjoy Life’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

The team is working hard and doing their best to keep up with the increased demand we are seeing for our products. We are streamlining production and temporarily reducing the variety of products we produce, so that we can speed up production for the most popular ones across Baking Chocolate, Cookies, Breakfast Ovals, Protein Bites, and Chewy Bars. 

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

Some retailers have been out of stock. Since things are so fluid right now, we are not able to provide timing on replenishing. Though again, our team is doing their best. 

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

In addition to our products being available at retailers across the country, Enjoy Life Foods products may be purchased directly at Enjoylifefoods.com, and they are available through online retailers such on Amazon, Thrive Market and Vitacost.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

On our website, we’re making customers aware upfront that current processing time from placing an order to being shipped is approximately one week.

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?  

Our manufacturing, sales and distribution operations are continuing to run. We have put in additional, enhanced protocols and procedures to help protect our workers and workplace, while continuing to provide our snacks to customers and consumers as part of the “critical infrastructure” industry, which the U.S. food supply represents at this challenging time. 

GF Jules

Website: https://gfjules.com/
Product lines include: Gluten-free flours, GF mixes for bread, pizza, cookies, muffins.
Allergen/GF FAQs: https://gfjules.com/faq/ Free of gluten and top 8 allergens.

GF Jules’ Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

We had just produced new batches of gluten-free flour and mixes to restock right before the crisis hit, as part of our ordinary course of business. That said, we have seen a significant spike in orders well above typical numbers, so we are producing more inventory quickly to continue to meet demand. 

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

We never want to leave our customers without the products they need, so we try to never run out of inventory. But there is no precedent for this kind of order volume, so it’s hard to predict. Yet, even at unprecedented volumes, if we do go out-of-stock on some items, they should be available again within a week or so. 

We will email our customers and let them know. There shouldn’t be much of a delay.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Fortunately, we are primarily an online company, so folks can always find my products at gfJules.com, as well as at Amazon.com.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We provide shipping timelines at gfJules.com so customers can select what shipping speed they prefer. This includes expedited shipping, which always moves their order to front of the fulfillment queue. 

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?  

I don’t foresee any facility or plant closures, but nothing with this crisis has been totally predictable. We do try to plan ahead as much as possible and over-produce wherever possible. So we are continuing to produce more gluten-free and top-8 allergen-free products to try to stay ahead of consumer demand in the event of a continued increase in need.

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

Now is a great time to learn a new skill: baking at home! Take this time at home when you may have fewer food options to make the most of it, not just the best of it. You may find, when all is said and done, that you actually have a knack for making homemade gluten-free pasta or homemade gluten-free bread. You and your kids may discover a love of baking cookies together that you would have never known. Here’s an article on staying safe and sane while Getting Through Emergencies, Gluten-free.

Good Karma Foods

Website: https://goodkarmafoods.com/
Product lines include: Flaxmilk from lunchbox to half gallon sizes; dairy-free dips, sour cream and yogurts.
Allergen FAQs: https://goodkarmafoods.com/allergens/ Dedicated dairy-free, no top allergen ingredients, see allergen control process.

Good Karma’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

Consistent with the trends in the food industry, Good Karma Foods is experiencing a significant increase in demand for our products to both retail customers and distributors, as well as on Amazon. In addition to consumers filling their pantries, we’re clearly seeing a big shift from food dollars consumed away-from-the-home (i.e. restaurants) to in-home.  

Fortunately, Good Karma Foods’ supply chain has been able to react to meet this increased demand, and we are shipping larger orders to retail customers and consumers. Our team here is very proud to be part of the broader natural foods community serving such a critical role in these difficult times.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

We recognize that our retailer partners and grocery store personnel are on the front lines of this pandemic, and we are doing all we can to keep store shelves stocked. Our manufacturing partners and ingredient suppliers have ramped up their production output to meet the increasing demand for food products. We’re proud of how the entire food industry has responded to this crisis.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Good Karma Foods’ Flaxmilk Omega-3 + Protein line is available on Amazon Prime on our Amazon storefront. The line comes in two ready-to-drink Lunchbox Cartons, as well as in quarts that are perfect for using in recipes or adding to cereal. Both of these options are shelf-stable; meaning, they can be stored in your pantry until you’re ready to pop them in the fridge to drink, or use in a recipe.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We do not sell our products on our website, but rather we partner with Amazon and other online retailers, including Thrive Market, to distribute our products direct to consumers. Fortunately, Good Karma Foods’ supply chain has been able to react to meet increased demands, and we are shipping larger orders to retail customers – online and brick and mortar – to meet those needs. 

5. Some allergy-aware consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?  

Food manufacturers are considered essential businesses within any of the state level stay-at-home orders. All of our manufacturing partners are staying open and employees are allowed to travel to their workplace. 

In addition to following their existing allergen safety protocols and practices, all of our manufacturing partners are following federal, state and local level guidance on the Coronavirus and have incorporated COVID-19 procedures to ensure their environment, employees and the products they make are safe.

This includes steps like more frequent cleaning/sanitation of key high contact areas, screening employees for fever, requiring sick employees to stay home in quarantine, increasing social distancing within the facility, etc.

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

Good Karma is the inspiration behind everything we do. We know this is a trying time for families, especially those with food allergies. We recognize the challenge you face and are doing all we can to make sure you continue to have access to our products. 

Hungry Harry’s

Website: https://hungryharrys.com/
Product lines include: Pancake/waffle mixes, muffin and cake mixes, flour blend.
Allergen FAQs: https://hungryharrys.com/pages/faq Free of 14 common allergens and gluten.

Hungry Harry’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

Hungry Harry’s has more than sufficient stock to meet demand. This is including the increase in sales that we have experienced since the coronavirus situation began.  

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

We don’t expect any “stockouts,” and we will have additional stocks coming into our warehouses in May. While some gluten-free flour brands are selling out completely, we want consumers to be aware that we have lots of gluten-free, allergy-friendly flour available.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

The community can purchase our products in two ways:
• Our website, https://hungryharrys.com/pages/shop, using the code HH20 for a 20% saving. Shipping is free after $60 in purchases. 
• On Amazon.com, search under “Allergy-Friendly Baking MIxes”. Here is the direct link.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

To date, we haven’t experienced that. Our fulfillment partner remains working, as is UPS, which handles most of our shipping. If delays do occur, we will communicate with customers via the email supplied at time of purchase.

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures? 

We are in constant contact with our manufacturing partners, and they have been unaffected by the developments to date. There are, of course, no guarantees in this climate. The good news is that we have plenty of stock already distributed to four different warehouses across the U.S. 

Partake Foods logo

Partake Foods

Website: https://partakefoods.com/
Product lines include: Variety of Top 8-free cookies – double chocolate chip, carrot cake, ginger snap, soft-baked and more.
Allergen FAQs: https://partakefoods.com/pages/faq Free of top 8 allergens and gluten.

Partake’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

We have seen an 80-90% increase on our e-commerce sales, and our Chocolate Chip cookies and new Soft Baked cookies are sold out. We have plenty of inventory on the other items. 

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

These products are now back in stock.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Go to our website https://www.partakefoods.com or Amazon

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We will make customers aware of that within 24 hours. 

5. Some allergy consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?  

No, we do not anticipate any facility closure. 

Ripple Foods logo

Ripple Foods

Website: Ripplefoods.com
Product lines include: Plant-based (yellow pea), dairy-free milks, cream, yogurt, sour cream.
Allergen FAQs: https://www.ripplefoods.com/faqs/allergens/ Free of top 8 allergens; see forward-looking allergen statement.

Ripple’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

Ripple products inventory is strong and we have a healthy supply of all key items such as our milks, protein shakes, protein powders and more. The Ripple Foods team is hard at work to increase our production capacity to keep pace with this unprecedented demand.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

Our retail partners are also experiencing unprecedented foot traffic in their stores and online. We are fulfilling large orders every day for our customers, who are working tirelessly to move that product through their supply chain and onto their shelves. 

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

You can visit the Ripple Store on Amazon to purchase our shelf-stable products, including Ripple Milk in Kids Packs of four 8-ounce cartons. Online retailers are also experiencing unprecedented traffic, so please understand that our partners are working tirelessly to move product through their supply chain. Update: Ripple Foods has now added direct online shopping from its website.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

To ensure that families, especially those with allergies, are able to stay healthy during this difficult time, we have just added a direct-to-consumer store page on our website www.ripplefoods.com. This will allow consumers to order directly from us.  

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with stores shutting, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures? 

We understand how difficult this time is, especially for families with food allergies. We are doing all we can to keep supplying Ripple products through multiple channels, to help you and your family stay healthy. 

So Delicious and Silk

Websites: https://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/ and https://silk.com/ Both are Danone brands.
So Delicious product lines: Dairy-free, vegan beverages, creamers, frozen desserts and yogurt alternatives.
Silk: Plant-based dairy-free beverages, creamers, lattes and yogurt alternatives.
Allergen FAQs: https://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/about-us/allergen-information and https://silk.com/faqs/

So Delicious and Silk’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

We are doing our best to keep product in-stock across retailers.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

Answer not provided.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

Consumers can find local availability of our products at either brand’s product locator: https://silk.com/where-to-buy/  and https://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/where-to-buy/

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We do not offer direct-to-consumer online purchases. Consumers can find local availability of our products at the brand’s product locator (links above).

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures? 

We do not foresee any plant closures across Danone North America. We have one manufacturing plant that is currently inactive, since their production focuses on restaurant / food service. As a proud B Corporation, we prioritize employee wellness, and the employees of that plant are being paid and supported. All other Danone North America plants are continuing normal operations.

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

Please refer to our allergen controls information on both Silk and So Delicious. This provides details about our standards of safety and consistency: https://silk.com/about-us/allergy-information/ and 

SunButter

Website: https://sunbutter.com/
Product lines include: Range of sunflower butters and consistencies (peanut and nut butter alternatives)
Allergen FAQs: https://sunbutter.com/faq/ Free of top 8 allergens.

SunButter’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

With the pandemic, we have seen a large spike in orders and are working around the clock to fulfill everyone’s needs. At this point, we are maintaining a solid fill rate with only a handful of items out of stock at this time.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

We are producing and shipping product daily working around the clock with regular staff. We are producing at our capacity at this time.

If the product is out of stock on the shelf, which we are currently seeing, the store personnel are working tirelessly to get product back on shelf. This is a demand shock to the food distribution network, not a supply issue. The supply will catch up as long as we continue to work toward the common goal. 

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

To find SunButter products, even specific varieties, we urge our consumers to go to our website www.sunbutter.com/buy/ and type in your zip code (or postal code in Canada), that will pull all stores in the area selling SunButter.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We do not currently ship products directly, for online ordering you can buy at Amazon.com, Thrive Market or any of the grocery retailers that service Instacart or have their own online ordering capabilities. We are looking to have company-direct online purchasing available very soon!

5. Some allergy-aware consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?

No, SunButter has no intention of shutting down, now or in the future. Food manufacturers are considered an essential service. We have taken precautions to make sure our production and warehouse staff stay healthy, and we are able to keep product moving into distribution. We are a strong brand and look forward to our continued growth.

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

Read the labels. With SunButter, you can rest assured that we are Top 8 allergen-free – we’re a brand you can trust.

WowButter

Website: https://wowbutter.com/
Product lines include: Non-GMO soybean-based peanut and nut butter alternatives. (Contains: soy)
Allergen FAQs: https://wowbutter.com/docs/NutPolicy.pdf Free of top 7 allergens and sesame (contains soy).

WowButter’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

There has been a spike in sales. However, we have plenty of product available.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

If a product is sold out, it should be back within a reasonable amount of time.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

We suggest Amazon.com – our product is there. However, the processing times are longer during the pandemic.

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We no longer offer direct online purchasing at our website.

5. Some allergy-aware consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures? 

Food is essential and food manufacturing is an essential service. We have no intentions of closing down, unless mandated to do so by the government.

Zego Foods logo

ZEGO Foods

Website: https://zegofoods.com/
Product lines include: Protein bars: seed & fruit; fruit & chia; gluten-free oats, muesli and seed & fruit mix-ins.
Allergen FAQs: https://zegofoods.com/faqs/ Free of 12+ allergens and gluten.

ZEGO’s Survey Answers

1. How is your current supply of products? Have you seen a sales spike and are there currently top items that are sold out?

Yes, since the coronavirus period began, we’ve seen a 2-to-3 times increase in sales.

2. If there are sold-out products, how soon do you expect the stock to be replenished? 

Nothing is sold out, nor anticipated to sell out.

3. If a consumer is having trouble finding your products in stores in some cities, where online do you advise them to try?

We recommend the “shop” section of our website – https://zegofoods.com/ We have more inventory there than on Amazon. It’s also better for our company since Amazon takes about 25% of the price in fees. 

4. If your company-direct online purchases can’t be fulfilled immediately, what’s the timeline to make a customer aware of that?

We are still fulfilling orders within 24 hours. 

5. Some allergy/celiac consumers are worrying that with so many businesses closings, some allergy-friendly manufacturing will shut down as well. Do you foresee any facility/plant closures?

We never know what may happen in the future, but there is currently no health problem getting in the way of production. We are increasing our production just in case, as are others.

That means the facility is very, very busy. Should the warehouse that ships our product runs into a problem, we would have them ship a significant amount of product to our office – and we will fulfill from here.

6. Optional: Any other advice to food allergy customers? 

Please don’t panic. ZEGO has you covered for breakfast and snacks. We don’t want you to strain your budget. We’re offering free shipping during this time for orders over $25 to help out. 

Related Reading:

COVID-19 & Allergies Resources Hub
Empty Shelves: How Food Allergy Families are Coping with COVID-19
Allergy Shopping & Cooking Tips in COVID-19 Times