EDMONTON – While the COVID-19 quarantine has resulted in some grocery stores dealing with food shortages, availability of gluten-free products remains at an all-time high.
“People are desperate for bread,” said store manager Frank Daggert. “Even flour and yeast are high demand items. But when people realize their only option is gluten-free bread, they decide to just have fruit for breakfast.”
This has led to some difficult customer-service moments, such as the time Daggert met a father who was desperate to restore a little normalcy for his son by barbecuing a hot dog.
“I told him the good news – that we had a literal mountain of gluten-free buns – and he just started crying.”
Daggert admits to being previously convinced that, when every item from the baking section sold out, people would finally choke down gluten-free products. “I couldn’t have been more wrong, even people with gluten allergies are passing,” said Daggert. “We sold one gluten-free loaf last week, but apparently the customer bought it by mistake. He even came back and stood in line for another two hours just to return it.”
Stocker Amy Rogers has become desperate to find space for the build-up of gluten-free products, designating an aisle way at the back of the store to pile the options knee-deep.
“Sometimes I have nightmares that when we go home at night, a supernatural force actually adds more gluten-free products to our shelves,” said Rogers. “I’m working on a screenplay about it, actually, a dystopian future where there’s nothing to eat but gluten-free products and everyone is starving to death.”
In the meantime, grocery stores are addressing shortages by limiting purchases of popular items per customer.
“But I want to be clear that does not apply to the gluten-free section,” added Daggert. “In fact, we have a promotion right now where we give you three dollars for every slice of gluten-free bread you take off our hands. You don’t even have to eat it, just get it out of the store.”