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On Sunday 5th November I took my boys who both have dairy allergies to the Allergy and Free From Show. We went to the 2016 Allergy and Free From Show and they both enjoyed it.
When we entered the show it looked much bigger than last year and had a different layout. One of the first stands we came across was Pizza Express.. Now if you follow me on social media you will have seen I shared their post a few weeks ago regarding making pizzas with dairy-free cheese which I would have expected them to be sampling but they weren’t. They were only offering gluten free brownies which I was quite disappointed by.
We walked past the GOSH! stand and I was shocked when the boys wanted to try them as they usually prefer to try ‘snacky’ items. The women on this stand were lovely and they chatted with the boys & giving them lots of tasters. They were offering 4 packets for £5 which is a great deal and I’m gutted now that I chose not to buy them at the time as these retail for around £2-£2.50 per pack.
We continued through the stalls and there was a lot on offer. The majority of stands were aimed at those that are Gluten free and there were quite a few Skincare stalls including Eczema UK who had a dermatologist available to talk to. Schar held a café in the middle of the room, which was very busy.
I was a bit disappointed to find that Tesco were the only supermarket that had attended this year. Last year I remember there was both Tesco, Asda and if I remember correctly Morrison’s as well. It came as a bit of a shock that these supermarkets weren’t there as the choice in Free-From options has increased massively in their stores. The Tesco stand was very busy and as soon as a taster would be laid out they would be gone. Luckily I was able to get the boys a chocolate cake taster each and they were so pleased. I have promised them a dairy free chocolate cake from Tesco to share over the Christmas Period.
As we made our way through the stalls we came across the Naked stall, now I know Tristan loves their bars as he had them for a snack at school. The man on this stall was very chatty and the boys were made up when he gave them a packet of raisins each which he said tasted like cola bottles. (They have both taken these to school today as a snack so I’m sure they’ll be raving about these later). The man also gave them a packet of Naked nibbles which he recommended adding to porridge to give it some flavour.
We spoke to The Happy Snack Company stall several times around the Allergy and Free From Show and were given lots of their Nut Free Roasted Fav-va beans which the boys loved. We stopped by the Kirsty’s ready meals stall and the boys shared a spicy meatball kids meal and tried a Spanish chicken sample each as well. Kirsty’s stall offered 4 ready meals for £5 which again is a good deal as the kids meals retail at just below £2 and the adult portions are t below £3 each. Unfortunately they only had 1 type of the Kirsty’s Kids meal available.
The boys loved the free tasters they were allowed to try. When they approached a stall they were asked about their allergies before being offered to try something. I know how disappointed they are when we’re in the supermarket and we walk past a samples stand and they’re not allowed. They tried KOKO milk and their butter on some crackers, the butter was on offer 2 for £2.50 and the woman on the stall said they retail for just under £2 each, so again a great saving.
Tucked away at the back of the Allergy and Free From Show was the goody bag queue, it was quite a long queue but it was worth the wait. They gave out not 1 but 2 bags per person and were full of free full sized packets, sample sized snacks, coupons and leaflets. Our Goody bag and free tasters we collected from the Allergy and Free From Show have filled the boys snack box. They both excitedly went into school and told their teachers all about the food they had tried and showed them their snacks.
There are 4 Allergy and Free From Show’s each year. Upcoming Events are as follows:
3-4 March 2018 SECC, Glasgow
2-3 June 2018, STATION, Berlin
6-8th July 2018 Olympia, London
3-4th November 2018 Exhibition Centre, Liverpool
More information can be found at http://www.allergyshow.co.uk
You can read more about our experience with Allergies in my previous post here.