Consumers with Autism Seek Gluten Free Products

Mathew Cox is the reigning world porridge making champion.

Recently, I spoke with Matthew Cox of Bob’s Red Mill manufacturers. This company is the maker of the natural line Bob’s Red Mill products. Matthew is committed to the company’s goal of changing the way people eat and has played an instrumental role in the growth of Bob’s Red Mill as a leader in whole grain foods.

Bob’s Red Mill manufactures over 300 whole grain products that are available in the U.S. and throughout the world. The company uses as few ingredients as possible and has attracted strong support from the autism community. As people began to order things online, the company noticed the rapid demand for gluten free products. Matthew told me, they “never sought out the autistic community,” but supports the cause and is happy to provide high-quality gluten free products.

Bob Moore, who, according to Matthew, enjoys “things that are the soulful elements of the past”, founded Bob’s Red Mill. His venture into whole grains came, after a surge in processed foods, at a time when his wife had gotten into whole wheat. Then, just as Moore was about to ditch the project, he stumbled across a mill in Oregon City. Shortly there after, he made the move to Portland.

The first shop was opened in Redding, California. In the last decade Bob’s Red Mill went from a hobby to successful brand, as the public perception of wheat grain changed. Founder, Bob Moore likes that he is doing something different with his life.

Then, their niche market took on a broader realm. According to Matthew, it seemed like there was  more of a desire homemade than the processed corporate food push cycle.  There was a surge in awareness of food as a preventative health cycle.

“It’s something that people can feel good about eating,” Matthew told me.

Bob’s Red Mill carries many different grains including wheat, spelt, Ethiopian grain and more. “If there is a whole grain out there, we’ve got it” said Matthew.

Photo of Bob's Red Mill Founder, Bob Moore. courtesy of Seattle Times photographer: Dough Beghtel

Overall, the company feels good about its mission of bringing quality foods to customers. They even go the extra mile and completely segregate the gluten free products from those that may have gluten. And, according to Matthew, many variations of gluten free people “swear that it works for them” and that’s something that they “feel good about.”

In 2009, Matthew traveled to Scotland with other staff at Bob’s Red Mill, to compete in an annual Porridge making contest. This traditionally Scottish competition only allows 15 a select persons to compete. Matthew took home the win and was the first American to ever win this competition. His winning porridge used dried Oregon cherries, pears, and roasted hazel nuts on toasted grains (with heavy creams in preparation for the oats). He then toasted it    with Pear Brandy, lit it on fire, made a brule’ top and added hazelnut.

For more information on Bob’s Red Mill, CLICK HERE to visit the official website.

* This article was originally published in the Spring 2010 Issue of I Care 4 Autism Magazine to view: CLICK HERE.

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