Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
The grocery store holiday gift basket is a great concept! We love being able to grab a basket to bring as a hostess gift or provide as a party door prize, but the food in a grocery store gift basket can be challenging when it comes to food intolerances, allergies, or sensitivities.
Gift baskets often contain various products that relate to the holiday season. These products are all individually packaged and contain their own ingredient information. This is fine, except that these separate products are then wrapped together inside a basket in such a way that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to read all of the ingredient labels. To make matters more difficult, the exterior packaging of the gift basket may not contain any ingredient information (because all of the products inside provide their own information).
If all the ingredient information for the products in the basket isn’t visible, it is much harder to verify that the food is allergy or intolerance-friendly. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy a gift basket for someone if you knew they couldn’t enjoy the food.
What should you do if you find a gift basket that you like, but need to verify the ingredients?
- Check different baskets to see what ingredients you can see. Small variations in wrapping allow for different ingredients to be seen in different baskets. Find a basket where you can see the ingredient labels that you can’t see on the basket you plan to buy.
- Find the products in the store separately. Gift baskets often highlight items that can be found in the store (this is especially true for baskets from the grocery store). Finding each item separately in the store allows you to check their ingredients.
- Ask an employee if it is okay to open the basket to check the ingredients. Re-wrapping the basket may be a simple job, so the store may be willing to open a basket for you to check the ingredients.
- Make educated guesses about ingredients. Use your knowledge of the 5 places to avoid soy to identify which foods in the basket may contain soy; then you can target your investigation to those foods.
- Build your own gift basket! It can be relatively simple to build your own gift basket (or replicate an existing basket) by selecting similar foods that you can verify are soy-free, purchasing a separate basket, and wrapping it all together in a basket bag.
While gift baskets present minor food intolerance-related challenges, there are several ways to overcome these challenges to make it easy to use a gift basket as a low-stress gift option.