BJ’s Wholesale is a membership-only warehouse club that offers a wide variety of grocery items, household goods, and other products in bulk. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, an important consideration is whether BJ’s carries gluten-free options.
Yes, BJ’s Wholesale does offer a selection of certified gluten-free products. These include gluten-free baking mixes, pastas, snack foods, frozen meals, and more. BJ’s indicates gluten-free items with special tags on the shelf.
Overview of Gluten-Free at BJ’s
BJ’s carries over 150 different gluten-free products across its grocery, frozen foods, and household essentials sections. Some of the major brands represented include:
- Canyon Bakehouse
- Betty Crocker
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Enjoy Life
- Annie’s Homegrown
Types of gluten-free items stocked include:
- Breads and baked goods
- Pizzas and frozen meals
- Crackers and pretzels
- Snack bars
- Chips and popcorn
- Pancake and baking mixes
- Soup mixes
BJ’s also carries specialty gluten-free items such as hamburger buns, bagels, waffles, desserts, and more. The selection provides solutions for mealtimes, snacking, baking, and other occasions.
Locating Gluten-Free Products at BJ’s
BJ’s uses shelf tags and signs to help shoppers easily identify which products are certified gluten-free. Bright green “gluten free” tags are placed below items on the shelves. Larger overhead signs that say “Gluten Free” in big letters designate certain sections with numerous options.
Some locations have dedicated gluten-free sections where many items are stocked together for convenience. But in general, gluten-free products can be found mixed throughout the regular displays. Following are some of the key areas to browse for gluten-free items:
- Bakery section: Gluten-free breads, bagels, muffins, etc.
- Pasta aisle: Gluten-free pasta, noodles, rice blends
- Crackers and snacks: Gluten-free pretzels, crackers, chips, popcorn, bars
- Cereal section: Gluten-free oats, granola, cereal
- Baking aisle: Gluten-free flours, pancake/baking mixes, cookies
- Frozen foods: Gluten-free frozen meals, pizza, waffles, etc.
New or seasonal gluten-free products may be displayed in a special display. And helpful BJ’s employees are available to assist with locating items.
Availability of Gluten-Free Products
The availability and selection of gluten-free items can vary across BJ’s locations. Larger clubs tend to carry a bigger assortment. Stock can also fluctuate from day to day or week to week as items are restocked.
If a specific gluten-free product is not in stock, customers can speak to a store manager to request it be ordered. BJ’s also has a process for members to special order products directly through their local club if they don’t carry it already.
BJ’s Private Label Brand Gluten-Free Items
In addition to national brands, BJ’s offers some gluten-free options under its own Wellsley Farms and Berkley Jensen private label brands. These include:
- Wellsley Farms gluten-free bread
- Wellsley Farms gluten-free bagels
- Wellsley Farms gluten-free pizza crust
- Wellsley Farms gluten-free cookies
- Berkley Jensen gluten-free rice pasta
The BJ’s private label gluten-free products provide affordable options for staple items like bread and pasta. The packaging is clearly marked “gluten-free” and products are certified by organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
Accuracy of Gluten-Free Claims
BJ’s has strong processes in place to ensure the accuracy of gluten-free labels on products sold in their clubs. Items designated gluten-free are verified through third-party certification and/or documentation from the supplier.
Certifications like GFCO require stringent testing of products to under 10 parts per million of gluten. This gives consumers confidence in the integrity of BJ’s gluten-free labels.
Those with celiac disease or sensitivity should still check labels carefully, especially for potential cross-contamination warnings. But BJ’s stringent requirements provide assurance of accuracy.
While BJ’s sells genuine gluten-free products, there is some risk of cross-contamination through shared equipment and facilities. People with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerances should use caution and check labels closely.
Some products will indicate on the label if there is risk of traces of gluten from manufacturing lines. Choosing certified gluten-free items can provide more assurance, since certification processes assess and control for cross-contamination.
As a warehouse store, BJ’s does not have dedicated gluten-free preparation areas. So there is a chance of trace gluten exposure from in-store bakery items, deli meats/cheeses, or prepared fresh foods. People with celiac concerns may wish to avoid those higher-risk areas.
Organic and Other Dietary Options
Along with conventional gluten-free products, BJ’s also carries various organic, non-GMO, vegetarian/vegan, low-sodium, reduced sugar, and other specialty dietary options. These attributes can often be found combined with gluten-free items.
For example, shoppers can find brands like:
- Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free and organic oats
- Annie’s gluten-free and vegan mac and cheese
- Enjoy Life gluten-free and nut-free cookies
- Crunchmaster gluten-free and multi-grain crackers
The availability of these specialty options varies. But BJ’s tries to cater to multiple dietary needs and preferences where possible.
Gluten-Free Savings at BJ’s
While specialty gluten-free items sometimes come with higher price tags, BJ’s members can take advantage of savings opportunities:
- Bulk sizes: Buying bigger packages, bags, or multi-packs reduces per-unit costs.
- Coupons: Print/digital coupons are frequently available for many brands.
- Promotions: Items are discounted for weekly Member Savings Events or other sales.
- Price matching: BJ’s will match the current price of identical items locally advertised.
- Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on most BJ’s purchases with the rewards membership.
Stacking discounts and buying bulk on shelf-stable gluten-free pantry items can lead to major savings over time.
Tips for Shopping Gluten-Free at BJ’s
Here are some top tips for finding gluten-free products on your visits to BJ’s Wholesale Club:
- Look for the green “gluten free” tags on shelves to easily identify products.
- Scan overhead signs for sections designated as gluten-free.
- Talk to employees if you need help locating items.
- Tell the staff about desired gluten-free items you want the club to carry.
- Check BJ’s weekly Member Savings book and app for gluten-free deals.
- Consider special ordering cases of gluten-free items not normally stocked.
- Carefully read labels for gluten-free certification and manufacturers.
- Avoid higher-risk areas like the in-store bakery and fresh prepared foods.
BJ’s Gluten-Free Bakery Items
While BJ’s sells packaged gluten-free baked goods, the in-store bakeries do not offer fresh gluten-free items. The shared equipment and environment poses a high risk of cross-contamination.
So for fresh gluten-free baked goods like breads, bagels, cakes, cookies, and more, customers should purchase pre-packaged items. Or visit a dedicated gluten-free bakery. BJ’s in-store bakeries focus on traditional gluten-containing items.
Deli Meats, Cheeses, and Prepared Foods
BJ’s delis and prepared food sections also pose cross-contamination challenges for gluten-free shoppers. Items here are typically not labeled or guaranteed gluten-free.
While many deli meats and cheeses are naturally gluten-free, the slicers are shared. And prepared foods/salads often contain gluten ingredients like croutons. Those with celiac concerns should avoid these areas or verify ingredients with staff.
Is BJ’s Pizza Gluten-Free?
No, the pizza served at BJ’s in-club eateries is not gluten-free. It is prepared in shared facilities and contains gluten from the crust and toppings.
However, BJ’s does sell packaged gluten-free pizzas from brands like Against the Grain and Calise & Sons Bakery. These can be found in the frozen foods section and are safe gluten-free options to enjoy at home.
Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
Many alcoholic beverages like wine, spirits, and some ciders are naturally gluten-free. BJ’s sells a variety of these drink options that fit gluten-free diets.
There is also an increasing number of specialty gluten-free beers. While availability fluctuates, BJ’s sometimes stocks popular gluten-removed brands like Omission, Redbridge, and Glutenberg in their clubs.
Is BJ’s Membership Worth It for Gluten-Free Shoppers?
A BJ’s membership can provide great value for gluten-free households. Benefits include:
- Wide selection of certified gluten-free grocery and household products
- Ability to buy foods in bulk at lower unit prices
- Member-only coupons and savings on brands
- Access to special order items not normally carried
- Option to price match for additional savings
The bulk sizes, savings, and convenience of finding many gluten-free items in one place make the membership worthwhile for many. BJ’s caters well to specialty diets including gluten-free.
Comparison to Other Warehouse Stores
How does BJ’s gluten-free selection compare to other similar bulk retailers? Here is a brief overview:
BJ’s vs Costco
- Both carry 100+ certified gluten-free products
- Costco highlights gluten-free callouts on its website; BJ’s currently does not
- BJ’s marks gluten-free items clearly in-club; Costco relies more on manufacturers’ labels
- Costco carries more major national brands while BJ’s has more private label
- Overall quality and prices comparable for pantry staples
BJ’s vs Sam’s Club
- BJ’s carries a wider range of brand name gluten-free items
- Sam’s selection more limited to just 1-2 offerings in each category
- BJ’s gluten-free signage in-club more prominent
- Sam’s highlights some gluten-free items online; BJ’s does not
- BJ’s pricing and bulk sizes tend to be more budget-friendly
For the widest gluten-free variety at warehouse prices, BJ’s generally compares favorably to both Costco and Sam’s Club.
Contacting BJ’s About Gluten-Free
BJ’s provides multiple ways to contact them with any questions or requests regarding gluten-free products:
- Call 1-800-BJS-CLUB (1-800-257-2582)
- Start a live chat on BJs.com
- Visit Contact Us page to email support
- Reach out to club management in person
Connecting with customer service can help get info on product availability, submitting special orders, assistance shopping in-club, and any other gluten-free topics.
BJ’s Wholesale Club offers an impressive assortment of gluten-free products covering meals, snacks, baking needs, and more. Convenient identification with shelf tags and signs makes it easier for gluten-free households to shop. And BJ’s members can realize savings buying bulk sizes of grocery staples as well as taking advantage of regular coupons and promotions. With its wide selection and accommodating policies, BJ’s is a worthwhile club for gluten-free living.