Today I went to my first gluten-free market! Lured by discounts up to 50% on our favorite gluten-free items, we made the long trip (*cough* 10 minutes by car *cough*) to the warehouse.
Oh the surprises we were in for.
It was like walking through a normal supermarket; but then everything is gluten-free! And from afar, it looked like a dream, but up close it wasn’t so much. Why, you’re wondering? No prices. The shelves had no listed prices, but had barcodes instead and throughout the whole warehouse there was one person that had a price scanner. So how did I shop? Exactly, by buying special sales that did have pricetags or by considering the normal price I would pay. It didn’t feel like shopping on a ‘shoestring’ and the whole time I was in line (a long time, I’ll get to that in a second) I was contemplating on just putting half back and running out.
This is what it looked like in the warehouse.
The second interesting fact was the line and the cash registers. Clearly no one expected the event to be so big (even with 100 guests and 300 interested on Facebook) there were only 2 cash registers to begin with (about half way through they added a thrid). This resulted in lines that lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. Not too cool.
One corner of the line.. this was the shortest wait.
A positive point is that they gave out free bags of kruidnoten, Dutch spice cookies especially for Sinterklaas, to whoever checked in on Facebook. We were with the three of us, so three free bags, whoop!!
In the end we bought a LOT, a full bag of gluten-free things for €23,-. I think the normal prices would be around €35,- but I’ll get back to that.
My verdict: the gluten-free market was ok. There were almost no new products to discover, not the best organization when it comes to cash registers or prices. They did however take care of the guests (that there were probably way too many of considering fire hazards) with products you can taste such as apple pie, deep fried cod and cookies. But even there I’m a nitpicker: there was only one stand that had tongs to pick up testers, everything else was done by hand (which isn’t the cleanest option or safest considering hands that may have touched gluten). Next year I’ll go to a different one in the north of the Netherlands, this one wasn’t my favorite.