Reporter's Notebook

Gluten-free exhibitors make pitches to restaurants

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They've come from California, the Northwest, Colorado and even Canada to

Kim Reiniger, marketing manager of Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. of Edmonton, Canada

They've come from California, the Northwest, Colorado and even Canada to pitch restaurants on buying gluten-free products for everything from pizza crusts to cookies.

There's Kim Reiniger, marketing manager of Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. of Edmonton, Canada, who said that with 10 percent to 12 percent of the population wanting gluten-free products it makes sound business sense to sell their company's products to restaurants.

"It's a challenge for those who want a gluten-free meal and want something to eat besides a salad," Reiniger said.

Venice Bakery's sales of its gluten-free pizza dough to restaurants have doubled in the past year, said Shanan Pritchett, sales manager for the El Segundo, Calif.-based bakery.

"A lot of doctors are prescribing gluten-free diets. There's so many more people who want gluten-free," Pritchett said.

Jen Pieknik of Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery came from Boulder, Colo., to recruit restaurants to buy the bakery's bread and hamburger buns.

And Yvonne Wiliams, chief executive of StoreHouse Foods in Rancho Santa Nargarita, Calif., said Cisco is distributing her gluten-free products to restaurants.

"The demand has increased and it has created a ripple effect for us to meet that need," Williams said.

Contact Alan Snel at alan.snel@penton.com
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN

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