Why is it that, as soon as you find a particular product or brand that meets your needs and that everyone enjoys, it gets discontinued?
I’ve experienced this many times in my life from a favourite pair of shoes to G’s blanket, but none of these has been as frustrating as the disappearance of foods that not only taste good, but are also M-friendly. It’s a hard enough challenge to feed M and G at the best of times, but when facing the prospect of losing a product purely on the whim of a supermarket, it really takes the proverbial (M-friendly) biscuit.
The latest item to disappear from the local shelves has been Tesco’s frozen free-from pizza bases. These have been a godsend to us as they have been the only pizza bases I have found that are not just wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free, but are egg-free also. I only discovered them around 8 or 9 months ago, but they were a welcome addition to our monthly groceries. M enjoyed feeling “normal” again – as normal as you can be when your pizzas can no longer be covered with cheese – and all was well, for a short time at least. Fast forward 7 months, a quick trip to Tesco to stock up and not only were the shelves bare, but there was not even a hint that these bases had ever existed outside of my very own over-active imagination.
I have been assured by Tesco that this product is still in their free-from range, but sadly my local stores disagree. It may just be that it didn’t sell enough for them to continue to stock it, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere within a reasonable radius of our house. Well, it was a great 7 months whilst it lasted. Thanks Tesco for bringing such joy to our household; and for then snatching it away without a moment’s notice. I’m back to perfecting my own pizza base recipe, but have lost the opportunity of deciding to have pizza for lunch and having it ready 20 minutes later.
This hasn’t been the first food to disappear without warning from our lives and I doubt it will be the last. I understand that supermarkets are focussed on their profit margins and that our dietary needs are out of the ordinary, but I am left frustrated when something that is, for us, life-changing, vanishes.
Of course, sometimes there can be a way round the missing item. It is possible to order a far wider selection of M-friendly foods from on-line shops than I will ever be able to find in my local supermarket, but then I am hit by higher prices as the retailer is dealing with a captive market. Once you add on postage costs and allow for delivery time, you’re back to a scenario that involves a lot of planning and little spontaneity. I’ve even encountered an on-line retailer who requires me to order a minimum of 6 refrigerated items to make it cost-effective for them and I understand that, really I do; but seriously, who needs 6 everything-free cheeses when really you just want one to try?
So, this post is in memoriam of those wonderful treats that are now gone, but not forgotten: the pizza bases, the sausages, 2 types of mayonnaise and the list goes on.
And, if anyone has a recipe for the perfect everything-free pizza base, or even an everything-free mayonnaise, please let me know!