Adding flavor to a gluten free diet can be quite an undertaking for an individual who is newly diagnosed with celiac or gluten related sensitivities. At the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in Secaucus, NJ we had the opportunity to speak to many of the 3800 people that attended. Actually, I think we may have talked to them all twice.
Leaving TD (Tiny Dancer) aka Mookie my little dog behind and my sister in tow, I headed out to the Meadowlands Exposition Center to set up our booth. We laid out the tablecloth, hung up our banner, and displayed all the sauces one by one. Then we waited for the doors to open…
There were so many attendees seeking information, knowledge, and tasty treats. “Is this Gluten Free?” “Yes it is.” “What about nuts like peanuts and tree nuts?” “Well technically a peanut is a legume” … “What about sesame? Mustard? And soy?” And then our most common exclamation, “Where can I buy this awesome sauce?!” We directed them to which sauces they could have based on each individual’s dietary needs. The atmosphere was happy like a kid in a candy store; delicious food made with them in mind.
Dietary changes can cause confusion, depression and chaos. The expo is a great opportunity to sample new gluten free products and find what works for you, define your palette, and choose which food you like or dislike before purchasing. People were able to try all seven San-J Asian Cooking Sauces. If they didn’t know which one to try first I would ask “Do you like spicy or sweet?” and start from there. Spicy Szechuan was a favorite among many to give a gluten-free dish a kick with lots of flavor. If they preferred sweet, we recommend everyone’s favorite Teriyaki or our newest sauce, Mongolian. “I’m so happy I can have Asian food again,” a lady told me. “What stores carry these? I love them all!”
My sister and I handed out samples of our “Tamari to go” portion packs. “I can have sushi! I had gluten-free sushi at a restaurant but they didn’t have gluten-free Tamari/soy sauce,” someone exclaimed. My response, “Huh? Who does that?” Then we gave her a Tamari to go plastic carrying case to put the Tamari portions packs in, and I think she left right then to order sushi! “I don’t have to carry my Ziplock bag with packets in them or my bottle to the restaurant. Those cases are genius!” Some restaurants won’t let you BYOBOT (bring your own bottle of Tamari) so the cases were a hit!
Someone approached our booth and said, “You saved my life! Now I can eat Asian food again, thanks to San-J” This was one of the most gratifying compliments I heard. Many people walked by and said how much they love our products and thanked us for making them. Gluten-free products have come a long way. San-J was there in the beginning providing gluten-free diets with lots of flavor and taste!
We love participating in these gluten free, allergen friendly shows because they give us great opportunities to talk to people in person. It’s so rewarding to know that our products are loved by so many people. They also give us opportunities to discover people’s needs, wants, and thoughts on how we can better contribute to improve people’s lives. Thank you everyone who has come to our booth and talked to us. We are looking forward to connecting with even more people next year!
Interested in going to these shows? Here are some of the great gluten free, allergen friendly shows!
Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo
Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest
Learn more about San-J gluten-free products.