Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical reasons or simply as a lifestyle choice. For those who need or want to avoid gluten, navigating food labels and asking questions about ingredients can be challenging. One question that often comes up is whether Kroger’s store-brand pie crust is safe for gluten-free diets.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can trigger a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity can cause digestive issues, fatigue, joint pain, and other problems after consuming gluten. The only treatment for celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is strictly and completely avoiding all food and products containing gluten.
Why checking for gluten in pie crust matters
For those who need to follow a gluten-free diet, pie crust is a product that must be evaluated closely. Pie crust is often made using wheat flour, which contains gluten. Some brands will offer gluten-free pie crust mixes or pre-made crusts, made with alternate flours like rice flour or almond flour instead of wheat. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming wheat-based pie crust could cause illness or other issues. Checking labels carefully and looking into brand manufacturing practices is important to avoid accidentally consuming hidden sources of gluten.
Kroger’s gluten-free labeling practices
Kroger is a major grocery chain that produces thousands of store-brand products, known as “Private Selection,” “Simple Truth,” and others. Kroger offers several gluten-free products, like bread, snacks, and baking mixes. When a Kroger product is specifically labeled as “gluten-free,” this means it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Any products not marked “gluten-free” may contain gluten. Kroger trains their employees on gluten-free protocols and notes when manufacturer equipment is shared with gluten. However, ils generally recommended that those with celiac disease or sensitivity contact manufacturers directly for queries on sourcing and shared equipment.
Ingredients in Kroger pie crust
To determine if standard Kroger pie crust contains gluten, we need to look at the ingredients list:
Kroger Private Selection Pie Crust Ingredients: Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, vegetable shortening (palm oil, soybean oil), salt, dough conditioner (l-cysteine, ammonium sulfate).
The main ingredient is enriched bleached flour. This indicates the flour is made from wheat. Wheat contains gluten, so this means Kroger’s standard pie crust is not gluten-free.
Some Kroger pie crust varieties may have different ingredients, so it is always essential to read each label carefully rather than assume.
Verdict: Kroger standard pie crust contains gluten
Based on the ingredients list, Kroger’s original pie crust made with enriched bleached wheat flour contains gluten and is not safe for a gluten-free diet. Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid Kroger’s standard pie crust and other products containing wheat flour.
Gluten-free Kroger bakery options
While the standard Kroger pie crust is not gluten-free, Kroger does offer some gluten-free bakery products that could be used as a pie crust alternative:
- Kroger Gluten Free Chocolate Graham Pie Crust
- Kroger Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Pie Crust
- Kroger Gluten Free Vanilla Cookie Pie Crust
These ready-to-bake pie crusts are made with gluten-free ingredients and labeled as certified gluten-free, containing less than 20 ppm of gluten. Those following gluten-free diets could use these Kroger gluten-free pie crusts to make pies at home.
Kroger also carries other brands of gluten-free pie crust mixes and refrigerated pre-made crusts, like brands such as Pillsbury gluten-free and Wholly Wholesome. Offerings may vary by location. Check your local Kroger bakery to see their selection of gluten-free pie crusts.
Other gluten-free dessert options at Kroger
In addition to gluten-free pie crust, Kroger offers an array of other gluten-free bakery items:
- Gluten-free cakes
- Gluten-free cookies
- Gluten-free muffins
- Gluten-free breads
- Gluten-free doughnuts
Kroger also carries gluten-free baking mixes, flours, and baking ingredients so those on gluten-free diets can bake their own items at home. Shoppers can find a variety of gluten-free snacks, desserts, pasta, cereal, and other grocery products on Kroger shelves. Kroger’s “Simple Truth” line has an array of gluten-free choices.
Always carefully read the label to confirm items are certified gluten-free and free of cross-contamination. Contact manufacturers for any questions.
Tips for baking gluten-free pie crust
While Kroger carries gluten-free pie crusts for convenience, some may want to bake gluten-free pie crust completely from scratch. Here are some tips:
- Choose flours like almond, coconut, tapioca, or gluten-free oat
- Combine 2-3 flours for best texture
- Add xanthan gum or guar gum to bind
- Use butter or shortening instead of wheat-flour dusting
- Freeze dough thoroughly before rolling
- Use milk or egg wash to create flakiness
- Pre-bake empty crust before filling
Gluten-free crusts can be trickier to work with. Allowing time for the dough to chill and using gentle handling will give the best results.
Are other Kroger bakery products gluten-free?
While Kroger’s standard pie crust contains gluten, Kroger does produce some other gluten-free baked goods in-store:
- Gluten-free bread loaves and buns
- Gluten-free bagels and English muffins
- Gluten-free cakes, cookies, and muffins
- Gluten-free doughnuts and cinnamon rolls
- Gluten-free pizza crust
However, many Kroger bakery items like standard breads, buns, bagels, cakes, cookies and pizza crust do contain gluten. Be sure to read labels carefully and ask questions to confirm gluten-free status. Cross-contamination is also a concern in bakeries, so those with celiac disease must be very cautious.
Shopping gluten-free at Kroger
In addition to the bakery, Kroger offers ample gluten-free options throughout the grocery store:
- Produce, meat, dairy are naturally gluten-free
- Gluten-free cereal, chips, crackers, bars
- Gluten-free pasta, rice, quinoa
- Gluten-free soy sauce, sauces, dressings
- Gluten-free baking ingredients
Kroger also allows shoppers to filter products by dietary needs online or in the mobile app. This makes it easier to identify gluten-free items while planning grocery lists.
Carefully reading labels and contacting manufacturers about processing practices are still recommended. Kroger notes that while they take precautions, cross-contamination is possible.
Dining out gluten-free with Kroger
For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, dining out can be challenging. However, Kroger does offer some gluten-free restaurant options:
Some Kroger locations have “Bistro” stores with expanded dining. Bistro stores may offer gluten-free sandwiches, salads, and meals. Check with your local Kroger Bistro for gluten-free offerings.
The Little Clinic
Kroger’s Little Clinic offers “Gluten-Free Made Simple” handouts with dining tips. The Little Clinic locations can also check for celiac disease with blood testing.
Murray’s Cheese Shops
Murray’s Cheese shops within Kroger may offer gluten-free crackers to accompany cheese samples. Always confirm gluten-free status when sampling.
Dining out with celiac disease requires extra care and caution no matter where you go. Call ahead to restaurants to understand their protocols and preparations. Check ingredient lists carefully for hidden sources of gluten.
Gluten-free meal ideas from Kroger
Kroger stores offer a wide selection of natural gluten-free foods to cook delicious meals at home:
- Eggs, cheese, gluten-free toast
- Yogurt with fresh fruit and gluten-free granola
- Cottage cheese with nuts and honey
- Gluten-free oatmeal topped with milk and cinnamon
- Roasted veggie and hummus wrap in a gluten-free tortilla
- Tuna salad with cheese on gluten-free bread
- Baby spinach salad with chickpeas and gluten-free dressing
- Bean chili with avocado and rice chips
- Chicken breasts roasted with gluten-free barbecue sauce and mashed potatoes
- Shrimp fried rice with carrots, peas, and eggs
- Ground turkey tacos in corn tortillas with cheese, lettuce, and salsa
- Grilled salmon with quinoa pilaf and steamed broccoli
- Fresh berries with whipped cream
- Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
- Gluten-free brownies or cake
Check Kroger’s gluten-free aisles and bakery for more meal inspiration ideas.
Gluten-free label reading tips
When purchasing packaged foods on the gluten-free diet, label reading is a must. Here are some tips for spotting gluten on Kroger product labels:
- Avoid ingredients like wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast, triticale.
- Check for “gluten-free” labeling, including a certification symbol.
- Evaluate risk levels for cross-contamination.
- Call manufacturers if any doubt remains about sourcing.
- Check labels each time before purchasing, as formulations can change.
Terms like “wheat-free” are not regulated, so avoid those products unless they are specifically labeled “gluten-free.” Oats should also be avoided unless labeled “certified gluten-free” due to contamination risk. When in doubt, leave it out!
Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity wanting pie crust and other baked goods can safely choose from Kroger’s selection of gluten-free products, including pre-made pie crusts labeled as certified gluten-free. However, Kroger’s standard pie crust made with wheat flour does contain gluten and must be avoided. Carefully reading all labels, verifying gluten-free status, and maintaining awareness of cross-contamination risk is key to safely shopping at Kroger. By sticking to naturally gluten-free whole foods along with certified gluten-free specialty products, Kroger can be a reliable grocery source for those on a gluten-free diet.