21.1.14

ilumi - Dairy, Gluten & Nut Free Ready Meals



Ilumi are expanding their product range and they contacted me, asking if I would like to try the Lentil Dahl. I ended up receiving several products which included Spicy Butternut Squash Soup, Vegetable & Chickpea Jalfrezi and Spanish Style Rice & Vegetables.

I discovered ilumi at the Allergy & Free From Show 2013. They offer a range of convenience meals guaranteeing to be free of nut, gluten & milk. If you have other allergies, do not dismiss them entirely because you maybe in luck. The search function at the top of the shopping page allows you to filter the range of foods based on what you want to exclude. You can also narrow by vegetarian or vegan.

Reviewing foods is difficult because personal taste is involved, what I like you may dislike and vice versa. Out of the products I received the Butternut Squash Soup was my favourite. Vegan/dairy free soup is very difficult to track down at the supermarket, until Amy's Kitchen arrived I was making my own soup. Nothing wrong with that but sometimes I lack time or space in the freezer and I like to keep tinned soup in the cupboard for rainy days. I shy away from spicy food so I did worry the soup may not be to my liking but I found the chilli content to be mild and palatable. The soup had a nice consistency, not too thin, not too thick. It looked and tasted natural and fresh. 

When it comes to ready meals, I regularly buy Amy's Kitchen products, (Red Thai Curry & Vegetable Korma) from my local shop. I tend to favour curries which are mild, sweet and fruity so I'm not surprised that I found the Vegetable & Chickpea Jalfrezi and Lentil Dahl palatable but not tantalising to my taste buds. I wouldn't be inclined to purchase these for myself.

This is the second time I've tried the Spanish Rice as I was given a sample at the Allergy show. I have to be honest, I am not the biggest fan. I find it too sloppy and would rather it be a little drier and more along the lines of paella or risotto, just a little less sauce. I also find that paprika is the stand out flavour on my taste buds, not a bad thing but seems to overwhelm the other ingredients.



I commend ilumi for tackling an area of the free from market which has been lacking for many years. Putting ingredients on the front of the packaging is innovative and I wish more free from companies did this. I can not make up my mind whether I would order from ilumi because I do find the Vegetarian/Vegan range limited. I also have allergies which are outside the top 8 so this limits my choices even more. From where I'm sitting I think ilumi heavily promote towards the gluten free market. I feel Coeliacs are their target audience rather than me, the Vegetarian with every allergy but Gluten. I think if ilumi expanded their veggie soup range I would be more inclined to order because that is where the supermarkets let me down. During the colder weather I feel there is a place for ilumi in my lunchbox when I'm up for braving the scummy microwave at work. I can also see this as a handy option for camping or self catering holidays as the pouches have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration. 

Prices are reasonable, the products I tasted are between £1.50 to £2.75 each and currently UK delivery is Free. Meals are 100% natural and do not contain any preservatives, additives, fillers, flavourings or sweeteners. Have you tried ilumi? What did you think of the products and range?

Sarah x

UPDATE - ilumi contacted me via Twitter to say they control for 14 allergens (click here for info). I pointed out that this information needed to be clearer on the website as they only appear (from my viewpoint) to promote GF, DF & NF

UPDATE 29.01.16 - it has come to light that ilumi will no longer guarantee free from nuts. Please consult with them if you have concerns.



Disclaimer - PR Samples, 100% my own opinions, links are not affiliated

5 comments:

  1. It's a great insight to hear what you think of ilumi. I love the meals I've tasted and have ordered again. I can't fault their quality and ethos and I hope to see them thrive as a company.
    I agree that their vegetarian and vegan options are more limited and recently their advertising has lent towards gluten free over other allergens. I hope that they haven't been swayed by trends to earn more profit by targeting the gluten free market alone. Tackling other allergens is more difficult but is a gap that needs filling. More soups would be wonderful as they are so versatile. And offers which include desserts would still persuade me to buy more than alcohol.

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    1. After speaking with representatives at the Allergy Show I find it interesting how now they only promote themselves as gluten, dairy & nut free. I got the impression they were top 8 allergy free so can't understand what happened to that promotion. Glad you are enjoying the meals, I think Amy's Kitchen is better suited to my personal tastes. I dislike the free alcohol offers because I don't drink and also feel it can be insensitive to assume everyone does!

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  2. Exactly some of us react to alcohol in a bad way too. It is a very personal taste to be swayed by gluten free beer, unless their main customer is Kevin Gollop ;)
    I assume they found it too difficult to increase their range sticking to top 8 free. I hope they can return to that focus in the future as they grow.

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    1. I got informed via twitter that they control for 14 allergens but I did point out that this information wasn't very obvious on the website and they only promote a guarantee for NF, GF & DF. I find them a rather confusing company BUT maybe I'm missing something

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  3. Yes I spotted your tweets I hope they stick by their word and up their game on the other allergens!

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