Photo Credit: CallawayPhoto.com
I love shopping for gifts for my loved ones and I love receiving them! For someone with multiple food allergies like me, food gifts are typically out of the question due to how complicated food labels can be for those without food allergies. I recently came across Tasterie allergy-friendly subscription boxes in Allergic Living Magazine’s Allergy-Friendly Gift Guide 2018 and had to learn more. I spoke with Alison Coutts Chateauneuf on behalf of the company – check out our conversation below.
Q: What is the story behind Tasterie?
A: Tasterie was founded by a pediatrician mom of a toddler and a newborn who had multiple food allergies. The lack of allergy-safe and great tasting food products was difficult. All she wanted was to find something to eat that would not cause a reaction in her newborn. As her newborn grew, she stuck with what was safe. This was so boring because she wanted him to discover and explore flavors and textures like other kids. Thus, Tasterie was born. Tasterie was built on three things: 1. Great tasting foods from vendors all over the world that meet rigorous allergen testing/manufacturing protocols (require higher than FDA ppm gluten for our gluten-free); 2. Encourage a healthy and nutritionally balanced lifestyle for kids and adults, regardless of food allergies; 3. Provide a service that is so easy, convenient, and delightful that it would seamlessly become part of their daily lives.
Q: How does Tasterie work?
A: We have subscription box options for Gluten Free, Gluten Free/Dairy Free, Nut Free, and Top 8 Allergen Free (gluten/wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish free). Subscription box price is $32.95 and includes shipping. There are 1-, 3-, 6- and 12-month subscription options available. We also have an OMG!!! Box. This is a one-time box that includes 9 lbs. of snacks, mixes, and aids to help in achieving success in your allergen-free lifestyle. It is based on the Top 8 allergens. If you don't have problems with some of the allergens, you can add the ingredients that are safe for you. Recently, we also created a new product called Allergen Friendly Snack Pack, which covers the Top 8 allergens and contains 14-16 items that you can grab and take with you so you can have a safe snack while you are out. We curated this for your student away at school for safe snacking during crunch time, for you at the office for safe snacks to have on hand, for campers, or just to have around the house. Lastly, we have a Marketplace where any of the items we have in our boxes are available.
Q: Which box is your most popular subscription? How often do the contents of the specified boxes change?
A: Our most popular alternates between Gluten Free/Dairy Free and Top 8 Allergen Free. We change the items in the boxes monthly; some snack items may be similar, i.e., popcorns and chips but we try to make them interesting. For Easter we are setting up to do a cake mix with a recipe on how to make a bunny cake that everyone would enjoy. Our plan is to do this for all our boxes, but using different mixes in accordance with the allergy limitations.
Q: What has been the response to your allergen-free business? Do you find that you have patrons who do not have food allergies, but simply prioritize healthier food options?
A: We have had very good response. Most importantly, they are safe options for the patrons who do not have food allergies but want to stay allergen free, as well as the serious food allergy patrons who want to have safe options available to them. We love to hear suggestions from our members on what they found to be good alternatives/products.
Q: What are your goals for Tasterie over the next five years?
A: To continue to research and provide safe alternatives for the allergen-free community and bring awareness that good foods are available that everyone would enjoy. To strive to eliminate the sense of being different by finding things everyone enjoys – be it in foods or activities. To create a marketplace where you can shop safely and not have to buy a case of products to get a realistic price per unit. To continue to add a sense of safety to everyone we touch. I was recently talking to a past member. She bought a Top 8 Allergen Free 6-month subscription for her 3-year-old niece. When it expired, she did not renew. Recently, after six months, her now 4-year-old niece asked, "Can you get me the blue box again? I can eat everything in it!" A 4-year-old remembering what she can safely eat...this is what makes us do what we do.
Check out Tasterie.