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Ireland is a country with a lot of choice when it comes to food. And, as is happening everywhere, a growing awareness of the role of food in health. Now, of course, you know that together with our retail partners we make every effort to offer fresh, healthy food choices and are together building ouroffer when it comes to advice on healthy eating and lifestyle.

But some health needs are not about what is good for keeping fit and lowering weight but about coping with allergies, intolerances and illnesses. We know a lot more about how the body works these days than ever before and can see a relationship between, say, tiredness or stomach problems and what some people eat – food that may not affect the vast majority of the population but does affect a significant minority.

Coeliac intolerance is an example. It’s better known these days through the term gluten-free, highlighting a largely wheat-related intolerance that could affect as many as one in 100 people in Ireland, many of them undiagnosed.

Many stores countrywide now offer a gluten-free range, but one of our partners has gone much further. Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty has become the first supermarket in Ireland to launch a designated in-store gluten-free bakery and food production facility.

Thirty gluten-free products certified for coeliacs will be prepared in a separate bakery and kitchen at Scally’s and independently tested and certified. And that’s just the start. The new facility is a big investment at €500,000, but let’s be clear, this is a very big market made up of many people who would like a bit more choice and locally made products, which we like to think, is something that SuperValu is rather good at.

If you’re coeliac intolerant, please come along if you can. If you can’t and your local suppliers don’t stock the right products then let them know what Scally’s is doing. And if you think gluten intolerance might be relevant to you or just want to know more go to http://www.coeliac.ie

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