Sunday, 7 October 2012

An open letter to express my anger at IKEA

I dont rant on this blog, in fact this is the first time I have ever posted an 'open letter'.  The reason I am targeting IKEA is because I like the brand, I genuinely do, they have cost effective yet stylish furniture, the showroom provides great inspiration, I don't even mind when it's busy, and I USED to love the restaurant.  This is the basis for my rant, my husband is a long time lover of the meatballs and chips and I used to happy go along with his requests to 'pop in' to IKEA knowing we would be headed straight to the restaurant because I was kept happy with the gluten free kids fish and chips, well labelled on big white boards, followed by gluten free almondy cake, a delight! Even when I had a small baby we still loved going, the private baby feeding area in the restaurant did even more to enhance my love for the brand.  Then one day I arrived at IKEA and gone was the gluten free kids fish and chips, gone was the clear gluten free labelling and gone was the Almondy cake!! I asked one of the staff what was gluten free for me to eat and was told he 'couldn't guarantee anything' I turned away angry and upset, my husband and son were already loaded up with meatballs making their way to a table, then I got mad, I asked to speak to the supervisor, a young guy looked a bit scared and went to find someone but within minutes he explained I would need to go downstairs and talk to someone in the bistro, I politely explained that my family were in the restaurant gobbling up meatballs and I just wanted something to eat, the supervisor finally came to speak to me and I again explained I just wanted to join my family with some food, and just wanted to know what was gluten free, he said he would need to check so went away (I had been waiting a LONG TIME by this point, when he came back, he told me the chips, veg and soup, as well as the IKEA version of the Almondy cake were gluten free and safe for me to eat.  I went ahead and ordered some chips with a side order of veg along with some IKEA almondy cake.  I am pretty disappointed with the service I received that day by the staff, and am angry that IKEA have gone backwards in terms of labelling and choice for people needing a gluten free diet.  I hope that this rant might go some small way to inspiring IKEA to go back to the time when there was a clear option for people needing to avoid gluten, that the previously clear labelling be reinstated and if cross contamination can't be avoided any longer in their kitchens well why not bring in some Fria gluten free products that are Swedish and amazing? Sort it out IKEA, I will be resisting my husbands pleas in the meantime. 

This open letter has also been emailed to Martin Hansson, UK MD of IKEA 

10 comments:

  1. Appalling. ! really hope IKEA sort their act out pronto. xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the same rant at Bristol Ikea recently, spoke to a supervisor who told me the chips most definitely were not GF. I think clarification is needed one way or the other! I agree it's very poor for Ikea, as Sweden seems so clued up on coeliac disease.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You should know IKEA Restaurant is not a gluten-free food seller. Celiacs thinks that places like IKEA, who sometimes have some options for celiacs, or diabetics, are forced to have an exclusive menu for them. Same for diabetics, or some allergics. When the supervisor can't guarantee that, is because the kitchen is not conditioned to prepare gluten-free food 100%. Although ingredients are 100% gluten free, there could be crossed contamination on cooking for different reasons. And they're not forced to guarantee, they're not a pharmacy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ikea does not Cook food they defrost so basically staffed by morons. Today they could not even tell me what was gluten free and sent me to their food computer, that did not have most of the food served listed in it. The cold salmon was almost frozen and way to much salt, disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. but they are a business, they have no obligation to cater to people unless they want to, and what that means is if it will make them more money. I am gluten free 8 years now and I think it is great when a company accommodates me, but in no way do I feel entititled to get angry if they dont end up catering to me. Its a business, so they decide on dollars, not hollars.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I recently had a similar experience at Ikea-- the staff wasn't even able to tell me which foods had been exposed to overly entitled patrons! You see, I've got a terrible allergy that causes me to lose my appetite whenever I and my meal are exposed to these folks.

    How dare this chain furniture store not cater to our dietary idiosyncrasies?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You ARE aware that not everyone avoiding gluten is doing it for some misguided dietary foible? Some are Coeliac, some suffer anaphylaxis (yes, THAT anaphylaxis - it's not reserved for nut allergies) when they have gluten. And as of late 2014 it's a legal requirement to clearly label the key dietary allergens.

      Stick that in your sarcastic pipe and smoke it.

      Delete
  7. As you describe the scene, I can feel your frustrations coming off the page. To be honest, I wouldnt foist blame onto the company, though disappointment is understandable. For me, the responsibility to eat well and safely is mine. I dont know that I would undertake such an epic and emotionally stressful trip without back-up eats; but we live and learn!! Free from foods are becoming wide spread, but this is savvy business sense not a legal requirement.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Watch out for the almond cake if you have gluten issues. I've had cross contaminated cake 2 times over the last year or so. I know it was gluten since I get stomach pains within 15-30 minutes of ingesting gluten. My wife (no gluten problems) ate the same thing and was fine, so it wasn't the cake. Now I won't eat the cake from the cafeteria anymore, it's simply not worth taking a chance and ruining my day. The same cake from the store in a sealed box is great though.

    ReplyDelete