As the sponsor of this year’s Allergy & Free From Show North, and one of my favourite gluten free brands, I was mega excited to quiz Schär on their fabulous free from philosophy. Formerly branded as DS in the UK, you may have seen their vibrant new look in your local free from aisle (especially if you basically live there like I do!) Thankfully, I’ve finally found someone who’s just as excited by free from as I am: introducing Mehdi Barani, Head of Marketing at Schär!
What were the reasons you decided to re-launch yourselves in the UK, what did you hope to achieve?
Bringing Europe’s favourite brand in gluten free to the UK will allow us to access a wider range of products allowing us to offer variety and innovation to the gluten-free aisle whilst continuing with everyone’s favourite DS products in new packaging.
What is Schär’s ultimate goal as a brand when it comes to gluten free?
Our mission is to make life more enjoyable for those following a gluten-free diet. We are dedicated to gluten-free and don’t produce any mainstream products therefore we can fully focus on creating high quality, delicious, nutritious products made in the safest environment.
But we do much more than just great gluten-free foods, to achieve our mission we also:
- Work closely with farmers who grow gluten-free grains just for Schär
- We’ve created an app and a website, glutenfreeroads.com so that our customers can find gluten-free outlets worldwide, because we know eating out can be difficult
- We’ve worked with hotels and holiday providers so that people can enjoy a gluten-free holiday without worrying about what they’re going to eat
- And so much more http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-living/gluten-free-diet/99-reasons-why-schaer-is-no-1
What made Schär decide to sponsor The Allergy & Free From show?
We’ve always enjoyed attending the Allergy Show in previous years and becoming headline sponsors of this year’s north show is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the launch of Schär in the UK. We love going to events, they are fantastic opportunities to meet our customers and hear what they have to say about our products first hand, our own employees volunteer for these events so we really do take comments on board.
Your latest range includes some wonderful biscuits. What’s your favourite biscuit from the new selection and why?
That’s a tough one, we have 9 biscuits in our range so it’s hard to choose a favourite. I’ve asked some of the team what their favourite biscuit is and why…
Becky “I love our Chocolate Fingers, they look and taste just like the real thing and you get so many in a box!” http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-products/biscuits/chocolate-fingers-uk
Sean “ The new Breakfast Bakes, definitely, the portion packs are so handy for when you get to work late and haven’t had time for breakfast, they keep me going til lunch” http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-products/biscuits/breakfast-bakes
My personal favourite is the new Chocolix, I know lots of people really like it. It’s the perfect mix of chocolate, biscuit and caramel, the bars are individually wrapped too so ideal when you’re on the go. http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-products/biscuits/chocolix-uk
What would be your one piece of crucial advice for someone who is newly diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, Gluten Intolerance or a Wheat Allergy?
Don’t panic, life is not over! Although it may seem that way to start with there are so many fantastic information resources available including Coeliac UK’s subscription and our free Schär Club which provides a fantastic range of services and information from our expert dietitians, as well as the opportunity to talk to others in the same situation as you. The best part is, you get a £2 money off coupon when you join. http://www.schaer.com/en/schaer-club
If you could describe your new range in three words what would they be?
Deliciously exciting life-savers! (Is that four?!)
Cross contamination in gluten free products is extremely important to customers. To what extent can Schär guarantee there is zero cross contamination with gluten in products?
As I mentioned earlier, gluten-free is our sole focus so safety has to be our upmost priority. We test every single batch of our products at every step of the production process – we don’t let raw materials into our factories until they have been fully tested and all finished products are tested in our in-house lab by our expert, Karen.
Our US colleagues have created a short video which demonstrates the steps we take and our commitment to safety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFU37zM4NYU
If someone is debating whether to visit The Allergy & Free From Show this year, what would you say to convince them to go?
If you’re just starting out on a gluten-free diet the Allergy Show is the perfect day out to do some research and try some products before you buy. And if you’ve been gluten-free for a while you’ll know that there’s always something new to try in the gluten-free world so you’ll have a great day out getting some of your favourite products at bargain prices, trying new products and meeting people who understand what it’s like to be gluten-free.
Anything exciting we can expect from Schär at The Allergy & Free From Show in Liverpool?
Of course! We’ll be sampling our new range of products and some of our old favourites including our new Italian ready meals, pizza, chicken kievs, chocolix, cream crackers, wholesome loaves, sweet brioche rolls and breakfast bakes.
Our lovely home economist Gill will also be showing visitors how to make some delicious recipes using our products in the Sainsbury’s kitchen.
There will also be a fun selfie competition at the back of our stand where you could win a gluten-free holiday and of course some great show deals.
Schär has such a vast product range, what’s the most exciting way to use a Schär product in a recipe?
We have a huge range of recipes for every meal occasion on our website (http://www.schaer.com/en/gluten-free-recipes) – from breakfast on the go, a quick lunch or a dinner party where you need to impress.
But if I had to choose one, I’d go for our low fat fish and chips recipe using the Schär Wholesome Seeded Loaf. You can follow a step-by-step guide or watch this quick video.