I am a stats geek. I love seeing why people visit this blog, where they have come from, and what search terms they have used to find me. The other day, I observed that someone has typed this question “whittaker’s peanut slabs gluten-free?”into Google and somehow ended up at my blog.
I love Whittaker’s peanut slabs, and consume them far more often than is good for my waistline. They’re an iconic Kiwi treat, and even if you can’t eat peanuts, there are a range of other Whittaker’s chocolates you can consume. I fondly remember toffee milks from my childhood. I hadn’t even questioned whether peanut slabs were gluten-free or not! I raced off to the website to check. What an experience awaited me! Talk about doing a website properly! The whole thing looks like chocolate, and if you follow the link to see how the website was made, you see that it was actually made of chocolate, then photographed, then “webbed”. The same playfulness and humour displayed in their TV ads permeates their website. The best thing? The website doesn’t just look good, it engages one, is easy to navigate and very informative.
Under each of the products is a Nutritional Information and Ingredients. There is also a very helpful FAQ page, which has a section covering the gluten-free question. It clearly states that all Whittaker’s products are gluten-free EXCEPT the Berry and Biscuits, Kiwifruit and Toffee Milks. Nice, I thought. Then I looked at the Hokey Pokey product page, because often hokey pokey has wheat in it (Crunchie bars for instance are not gluten-free).
Uh-oh. Glucose syrup is one of the ingredients for the hokey pokey, and it doesn’t state whether it is derived from wheat or maize. Now this doesn’t bother me, but I know that some of my readers are very much more sensitive to gluten than I am, so in the interests of them, and to satisfy my curiousity, I sent a polite, but pointed query through to Whittakers. Here’s their reply (which arrived less than 4 hours after my query):
Dear Lisa, Thank you for your email , on our web site under FAQ we state that the Kiwifruit block and Berry and Biscuit ( block and Mini) contain gluten however the Hokey Pokey block contains glucose derived from wheat . The specification from the Hokey Pokey suppliers says that no gluten is detectable in finished Hokey pokey but as I understand that everyone's intolerance or allergic reaction can be different I will arrange to get this updated to include this information for people to make an informed decision. Kind regards Megan Howard New Product Development Manager
Bravo Whittakers! What an excellent response and what an amazing attitude. Many other food manufacturers could take a leaf from your book.
I’m only saddened that I am currently having a month of giving up chocolate as part of a healthy challenge with workmates. Otherwise, I’d be out there, hmming and haaing over whether to buy a peanut slab or an almond gold. What’s your favourite Whittakers product, especially all my gluten-free friends out there? Now you know you can eat most of their products, you can go crazy!!
Believe it or not, this is an unsponsored post and Whittakers have not paid me in any way (not even in chocolate more’s the pity) to rave about them.