Why I Love to Hate Tesco

You have seen me whine many times about Supermarkets and their free from ranges. I pick on Tesco as that is where I do my weekly grocery shop. I don’t particular like any one supermarket it simply boils down to convenience. In recent months I have started free from shopping at Holland & Barrett. The selection for dairy and egg free (vegan) food outweighs what Tesco and Sainsbury's has to offer. FYI to save any confusion I am allergic to dairy and eggs and I choose not to eat meat so Vegan food is a nice easy safe option as far as I am concerned.

This week my local Tesco, which is a considerable size, stocks Bessant & Drury dairy free ice cream and Food Heaven dairy free cheesecake.  Wait a minute don’t get too excited you will only see one flavour in each product even though each range offers three flavours. Tesco you give in one hand and take from the other. You remember the chilled dairy free range I was happy to blog about finding? Oh boy those yoghurts and dessert are disgusting.  Yes you read that right, disgusting, who on earth taste tests these products? Stick with Alpro I know I will never stray from that path again.

Hold on a minute I cannot live on dessert for the rest of my life. What about main courses? Where are the dairy and egg free (vegan) foods Tesco? You keep tweeting me that you stock them but all I see is the gluten free aisle expanding.   Classic example, this week I spotted a new range of sauces they are all gluten free but not dairy free.

The newly launched chilled free from ready meals has one vegetarian option but its cheese pasta.  As for the chilled vegetarian section, my store fills it with Quorn which contains milk and egg.  Tesco own brand vegetarian sausages and burgers all contain milk and egg.  I can find  Cauldron  Tofu but what about giving them some more shelf space? Cauldron’s range includes more than Tofu.  The freezer section is equally annoying.  Thankfully Linda McCartney sausages are vegan friendly along with Cauldron Aduki Bean Kievs (if I can get them as they sell out fast). When it comes to Tesco own brand the choice is vegetable fingers, whoopee thanks Tesco (I am being sarcastic just in case you were unsure). Imagine the joy when I see Amy’s Kitchen in the frozen aisle, that has been short lived excitement.  Not a single vegan option from the range can be found.  Oh and this goes for Sainsbury’s as well, you are guilty of this.

I have a question for those with dairy allergies, what cereals are you buying? I stood in the breakfast cereal aisle last week in tears.  I'm sick of Cheerios but couldn't find a replacement.  Okay I am a little fussy I hate Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and the types loaded with sugar.  Also what is with all the chocolate breakfast cereals? That is wrong on so many levels. I don't want to pay over £2 for the Free From varieties because I don't need to remove Gluten from my diet. 

I have heard fellow allergy sufferers discuss the Supermarket hop.  Free From food is blooming expensive and at one time my weekend food shop took me from Tesco to Waitrose to Sainsbury’s to Holland & Barrett and finally a local independent health food store.  This ended up costing me my sanity as well as my petrol. Now I know I am better off cooking from scratch but I am only human and there are times when I come home from work and want to bung something in the oven.  I also require lunches for work during the week.  Packed lunches when you have allergies are a freaking nightmare, something I still struggle to master.  I have managed to perfect the art of Vegan baking, far tastier than the Supermarket free from offerings, come to think none of those are Vegan.

I had to laugh Tesco offered to send me their Vegan stock list.  Honestly what a joke this document was.  Apparently vegetables and salad are vegan friendly.  Really, am I stupid Tesco?
If you are reading this Tesco my weekly shop at H&B is worth £20-£30. That’s on top of the £50 I spend in your store on other essentials. Are you interested to know how I spend my hard earned cash? then take note.  Frys Vegetarian and Redwood Foods have a nice selection of vegan meat replacements. Tofutti have cheese slices and spreadable cheese much nicer than Tesco offerings. Of course I can buy my beloved Amy's Kitchen.  Dairy free burritos and a Vegetable Korma perfect for lunch times and lazy evenings.  Tesco only stock vanilla Swedish Glace but at H&B I can indulge in Raspberry & Blueberry. If I am peckish I can grab a vegan sandwich from Cranks.  Imagine that Tesco, Vegans like sandwiches, wow who would have thought it.

I suppose I should be grateful you brought back the dairy free buttons you took away from me.  Thank god they came back I could no longer stomach another mouthful of that own brand free from imitation you market as chocolate.

So there you go Tesco that pretty much sums up why I hate you. Unlike your other customers I can’t protest with my feet because my diet is limited. If I boycott you I would probably starve (Okay slight exaggeration but you get the idea). You have me where you want me cashing in on Clubcard Deals.  I don’t care what you say Tesco you are rubbish at catering to multiple allergies. I am guessing you don’t give a s**t what I say as I keep spending my money with you anyway.

Sarah x

P.S - I respect that a gluten free diet is difficult to manage, my Sister is a coeliac but recently I think the tables have turned. I now struggle to find replacement foods and feel she has more options.  I am aware some of you may disagree.