Placement of gluten-free products in a store depends on the individual store and its customers, but there are a few general rules that can help you navigate and establish realistic expectations. Because natural foods stores usually carry a range of gluten-free products, it is not uncommon to find a store that dedicates an entire aisle or section to showcasing the gluten-free brands they carry.
In most natural food stores, you will typically find they stock the gluten-free products they carry manufactured by dedicated gluten-free companies next to the category you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for gluten-free pasta, it will be next to the wheat pasta, and the same goes for soup, sauces, canned foods, etc. A similar formula applies to finding baking mixes, cereals, cookies, flours, grains and salad dressings. Gluten-free bread and prebaked products are usually found in the freezer section. Some fresh gluten-free bread, cookies or muffins from a local bakery may be found in the bakery aisle of a natural foods store. Of course, products that are naturally gluten-free like eggs, butter, milk, fruit, and fresh meat will be found in their general category. In mainstream grocery stores, gluten-free products are becoming easier to find and are sometimes interspersed throughout the store, but they are typically found together in a small dedicated shelf area of the store geared for special diet needs.
When looking for gluten-free products for the first time it can be challenging because you are multi-tasking. You’re busy looking for the products, reading labels, and recognizing and discovering certain brands. But after you shop a few times you become more familiar with locating the products and how to find new ones, and the process moves more efficiently.