Being a food allergic family, we make phone calls to manufacturers almost daily. Recently when I called Unilever I was told that they do not label for allergens used on shared lines with non-allergic foods. Furthermore they stated that they do not offer allergen free facilities and food allergic consumers may or may not wish to consume their processed products. After hearing this I sputtered, “Well, you’ve just lost my business. I will not buy any Unilever products until you change your labeling procedures.”
After I hung up the phone, I logged onto their website to make a list of their products that I would no longer be purchasing. It was then that I realized Unilever owns 33 different brands. Of those 33 brands we used 11 of their products.
Some of the products were easy to get rid of. I had wanted to go organic with our soap and we never really used the mayo anyway. Other products have been harder to replace.
The biggest dilemma we had was their tea. Our entire family drank Lipton tea daily. This “addiction” was passed on to me from my mother and to her from her mother and so on.
As a child, it was a right of passage in our home to be offered a cup. I was now being trusted not to gulp down the hot liquid and burn myself. Finally, I was on my way to adulthood! My mother would add two teaspoons of sugar and enough milk to qualify it as a tea shake. I loved every sip. And so like my grandmother and mother, I passed this privilege down to my son. He often only has a few sips but he never refuses a cup.
In my search for a new brand of tea I found Bigelow Tea. They have a large variety of flavors. My only concern was their Vanilla Almond flavor. I wasn’t hopeful, but I thought I’d give it a shot and call.
The customer service representative at Bigelow Tea assured me that they are a peanut/tree nut facility. None of their products contain nuts. Before I could even jump in and ask about the almond flavors, she let me know that all the almond flavored teas are artificial.
Success! I am happy to say that our family has switched to Bigelow and we are very happy with the all the teas. Currently our favorites are Constant Comment and Peppermint. It was a great find for us. It’s nice that we can continue on with our family tradition of having “tea time”. All the normal food experiences that we can give our child are a big deal in our home. Our newest motto is “Mediocrity is underrated.” Any time we can be just like everyone else is a good day in our house!