This is the supermarket round-up of Christmas food that The Allergy Team delivered in 2021.
Our busy elves (slightly frazzled team of allergy parents) searched the in-store and online offerings of 10 supermarkets to bring you a selection of Christmas fare. The list is from 2021 so please let us know if you have found any gems this year.
Whether you’re wondering where to buy dairy-free chocolate coins, hunting for a nut-free Christmas cake or looking for a gluten-free Christmas pudding, we really hope this is a starting point of where to shop for something that you and your family can enjoy.
We visited Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, checking the ingredients on mince pies, Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, chocolate coins and Christmas biscuits. Sometimes we found allergy-friendly products on the shelves that aren’t listed on the supermarkets’ websites, other products were online but not in store.
When we say a product is “free-from” an ingredient this means we can’t see it listed on the ingredients’ list or in a may contain warning. We understand people have different attitudes towards may contain, but for the purposes of these listings, if a product says “may contain” or any other version of it, we have not included in our “free-from” list
We hope that you find this round-up useful and that it saves you a little bit of precious time this festive season – a Christmas gift from our home to yours!
Please always double-check the ingredients are safe for your family before you buy any of these products.
We have lots of mince pie options. We selected 14 of the most allergy-friendly: all of them are egg-free, 12 are milk-free, 9 are gluten-free and two are nut-free. The prices varied, with the best value found at Lidl (12.4p a pie) and Asda (14.5p a pie). Waitrose Essential 6 shortcrust mince pies are 16.7p per pie and are milk-free, egg-free and soya-free. The choice is limited for nut allergies, but we did manage to find two: M&S Made Without and Tesco Finest Free From.
Despite our best attempts, we were disappointed to find only one allergy-friendly brand in stores, The Free From Kitchen Chocolate Coins – these were in both Tesco and Asda. They are milk-free, egg-free, nut-free and gluten-free and selling for £1.
The Co-op website shows “Free From Choc Coins”. They are dairy and egg-free but may contain nuts, peanuts and soya. Because we couldn’t find this in store we were not able to photograph the package and ingredients.
The good news is that if you look beyond chocolate coins there are more Christmas chocolate options. We found a good selection of Nomo chocolates which are free of the top 14 allergens in both Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas chocolate range (including their Free From Chocolate Snowman and Free From Chocolate Reindeer) are also free of the top 14 allergens.
Nut-free Christmas chocolates include Kinnerton Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol Milk Chocolate Treats found in Asda, Co-op 100g Kinder Surprise and Asda Christmas Lollipops.
We’ve selected 24 Christmas Puddings, all are milk-free, egg-free and soya-free and 10 are also gluten-free. But we were gutted that we couldn’t find a single nut-free Christmas pudding in any of the 10 supermarkets. (We did see an Asda alcohol and nut-free Christmas pud online, but it is showing as “unavailable”). Tiptree and Matthew Walker both make nut-free Christmas puddings that are sold online.
We looked at a vast range of Christmas Puddings, everything from 6 months matured, 12 months matured and alcohol free to organic, different sizes and different price ranges. The best value pudding we discovered was the Lidl Favourina 6 Months Matured Christmas Pudding which is selling for £1.79 for 400g, or Asda’s Christmas Pudding and Co-op’s 6 Month Matured Christmas Pudding which are both £2.00 for 400g. All three of these puddings are milk-free, egg-free and soya-free.
We found that Sainsbury’s had the best selection of “free-from” Christmas cakes. They have a 450g Taste The Difference Free From Christmas Cake which is milk-free, soya-free and gluten-free and is selling for £5. Waitrose also has a Free From Christmas cake which is milk-free, soya-free and gluten-free and is 480g which is also £5.
We also found some cute smaller bites like Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas Cake mini bites, these are milk, egg, nut and gluten-free. Tesco’s gold lustre brownie bites also look good. They are milk-free, egg-free and gluten-free.
Whilst we couldn’t find a classic Christmas cake that is nut-free, we did find some other good options: Tesco have three different Christmas cupcake platters that are nut-free and Morrisons also have a nut-free Christmas cake platter.
We found a delicious variety, including biscuits with cranberries, orange, ginger and dark chocolate and our top picks include gingerbread men, shortbread and tiffins.
The good news is that they’re all egg-free. 8 of the biscuits are milk-free, six are nut-free and four are soya-free. We also sneaked in M&S Gingerbread Snowflake Pretzels – we know they’re not really a biscuit but hey, it’s Christmas and they are high on our allergy-friendly list because they are milk-free, egg-free, soya-free and nut-free.
Merry Christmas from The Allergy Team