Warburton’s: Another Fail…

Ever the optimist, I decided to give Warburton’s another go after trying their gluten free white rolls. You can read my review here.

My local Waitrose has taken to stocking the Warburton’s gluten free white and brown sliced loaves in place of their usual stock of Genius bread. So I decided to pick up a sliced brown loaf and try.

What a let down!

The bread had some kind of air pocket in the top of the loaf which meant that each slice was impossible to remove from the loaf. The top disintegrated and detached from the rest of the loaf.

These are the ONLY 2 slices from the whole loaf I managed to remove from the packet with some possibility of eating.

I have never written a complaint letter before. Normally I just chalk these things up to experience but this time I was so annoyed a company could sell a product in this state, I decided to write to Warburtons. I don’t work in the manufacturing industry but I would have thought it’d be usual to have a quality control function ensuring consistently high standards are met? I can only assume Warburtons are not doing this since I have seen so much traffic of gluten free blogs and Twitter about exactly the same problem as I experienced with the Warburton’s loaf.

I sent a message online about the poor quality of the gluten free bread via the Warburtons website contact form as I could not find an email address or telephone number on their website to contact them directly. After a couple of weeks they emailed me back and thanked me for bringing the matter to their attention and requesting my address so that they could send me some vouchers as compensation. In the letter I later received Warburton’s said, “This matter has been reported to your local bakery and will be thoroughly investigated.” Umm.. “YOUR local bakery”?? The Warburton’s website states they have a dedicated bakery specifically for baking their wheat and gluten free goods? So looks like they sent me a standard response! They did also send me 5 x £1 off vouchers but at the moment I am unlikely to be buying any more Warburton’s gluten free bread.

The frustrating thing is that the Warburtons loaf actually tasted really good. But what’s the point of having a good tasting bread if you can’t get it out from the packet because it disintegrates so completely? Luckily the vouchers until 2013 so perhaps Warburtons will have sorted their air pocket issues by then.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Annie
    April 17, 2011 / 7:35 am

    I have to say I’ve also found the quality of Genius bread to have gone drastically downhill over the past few months. Every sliced loaf I’ve had is full of huge holes, falls part, and in two loaves the bottoms hadn’t risen/cooked.

    It feels like quality is definately being sacrificed for quantity….

    I hope the same doesn’t happen for the Sainsbury and Tesco “soft” loaves which at the moment I feel are the best mass-market gluten free loaves available in the shops.

    • April 17, 2011 / 7:42 am

      That’s an interesting comment about Genius sacrificing quality for quantity. I haven’t noticed that level of deterioration in the Genius bread but I’ve had a couple of loaves with small holes but certainly not like the Warburton’s loaf.

      Haven’t tasted the Tesco fresh loaf but I have tried the Sainsbury’s white fresh loaf. Completely agree, it’s taste and texture are really good. I’m not keen on white bread and even I like it!

  2. April 17, 2011 / 6:56 pm

    I too was disappointed with this bread, and Genius in the past. It almost tasted burnt too. However the last loaf of Genius white bread I bought was brilliant. My husband even liked it and polished off the loaf with a fish finger sandwich. He usually turns his nose up at any special diet foods I have to eat. Have you heard of Fria? I new bread launching soon in the UK. Not found it yet but they say it’s good… well they would wouldn’t they ;o)

    • April 18, 2011 / 7:04 am

      Thanks for commenting- interesting your husband liked the Genius white bread (and fish fingers!). Must’ve been good!

      I have of Fria but I haven’t tried it. I saw that Fria (who I think are Swedish?) were trialling some of their products in the UK at a couple of outlets including John Lewis in January / February. As far as I know the gluten free bread is the sealed package / long life sort? Heard their cakes etc were good. Will be interesting to see if they bring something new to the gluten free market.

  3. Petra
    April 18, 2011 / 10:20 am

    That is very disappointing – with one of the bread brands here I have to slice the bread again before I put it in the freezer so that I can separate the slices when needed – even then it is hard so I assume it has to do with the ingredients they use.

    I also know that a lot of retailers don’t know how best to store the gluten free breads and good loaves can taste really bad or crumble etc if this is the case.

    • April 18, 2011 / 9:21 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I hadn’t thought about whether the transit / store process from bakery and warehouse to store might be affecting the quality but you could have a point there.

  4. July 28, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    Oh i agree with you, this bread was disgusting, i went to the lengths of buying brown aswell as the white, and both disgusting, expensive, total rip off, i would have got more fibre eating a cardboard box, and the bread fell to crumbs~! they should be ashamed, they are exploiting us!!

  5. Jonathan
    August 13, 2011 / 7:34 pm

    I’ve suffered the same problem with this bread and it’s worse if you freeze – it practically disintegrates. I’m a new reader of the blog and really appreciate all the hard work you’ve clearly put into it. As someone who is only a few months into this new way of life, it is very helpful. I’m just back from a trip to France which was a bit of a challenge for someone who used to enjoy croissants and baguettes! Thankfully we took a few GF supplies with us. I was able to track down some products at a Biologique Organic Supermarket including a Petit épeautre bread which is apparently a very low gluten content bread. It was pretty hard (weapon’s grade!) but helped me enjoy the cheese with everyone else. Despite containing some gluten it was fine with me.

    • August 14, 2011 / 2:03 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and for the nice feedback!

      I’m off to France soon so I was interested to read about your experiences over there. Whereabouts did you visit? I also miss proper pain au chocolat and crusty baguettes so much!

      I looked up the Petit épeautre bread as I’d not heard of this before. This is spelt bread and is definitely not gluten free. I guess you don’t need me to tell you that it’s not OK for Coeliacs to eat even low levels of gluten (lecture over!). Instead of bread, how about some gluten free oatcakes with your cheese? I tried some from Nairns at the Allergy show and they were pretty good.

  6. Bobby Plumbing
    September 15, 2011 / 9:43 am

    I thought the gluten free bread by Warburton’s was fine I haven’t noticed any problems with the taste or anything, but I have had a couple of loaves with small holes and a few slices which stuck together but apart from that no problems. London Plumber

    • September 16, 2011 / 2:32 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad that you like the bread and haven’t had any major problems with it.

      I think Warburton’s gluten free bread is interesting. There is such a split of opinion between us gluten free customers due to the seemingly inconsistent nature in the product. Some love it and some really can just leave it!

  7. Sarah Doran
    January 24, 2012 / 9:50 pm

    I agree with the comments about the Warburtons sliced bread disintegrating. The only good thing about it was that I was left with plenty of GF breadcrumbs to use in other recipes! We too have had similar issues with Genius bread. My husband likes the free from sliced breads from Tesco and Sainsburys which freeze brilliantly. We take it out of the freezer to toast as required.

    • January 28, 2012 / 2:40 pm

      I agree with you about the Sainsburys bread, it’s really good isn’t it? I haven’t tried the Tesco gluten free bread but I’ll keep a look out for that one. I really only eat gluten free bread at the weekends so it’s much easier to keep it in the freezer and defrost as needed. Have you tried Fria gluten frfee bread? It’s a Swedish company and the bread is very tasty and lower in fat than many gluten free breads on the market. There are some details of suppliers at the end of this post. http://www.glutenfreemrsd.com/2011/10/fria-gluten-free-pizza.html Their cinnamon buns and chocolate brownie cake are totally delicious!

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Shawne Shanahan
    June 30, 2012 / 10:15 am

    sadly I bought a glutr and wheat free sliced white loaf from the local supermarket as a first time tester there is a hole at the top that runs through the whole loaf exception the CRUST what I find more galling is the free phone number 0800243684 is no longer obtainable could it be that they have had so many compiants that they have removed the number from service dont worry warburtons I will not be purchasing any more of you products

    • June 30, 2012 / 12:43 pm

      Hello – sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the Warburton’s loaf as well. I am also amazed that the Warburton’s number is no longer working? Is that the customer service number for Warburton’s free from range?

  9. Alex UK
    October 4, 2012 / 12:26 am

    Has anyone else had a reaction to this? I had 2 slices today for the first time, everything else I have eaten today has been no different from any other day so I can only think that it is the bread, my stomach had been awful. It’s been good for many months now as I am very careful about what I eat and the only thing which I have had today which is any different is this bread!!

  10. Alex UK
    October 7, 2012 / 11:38 am

    Apologies to Warburtons! I had some sweets the same day which seemed perfectly innocent but had carrageenan which apparently can create the same symptoms for those who are gluten intolerant!
    The bread is great, the most alike to normal bread I’ve ever had.

    • October 13, 2012 / 6:09 pm

      No worries, Alex! I’ve never heard of carrageenan, what is this? Maybe I need to do some research on it.

  11. Sally Gregory
    March 25, 2013 / 10:25 am

    This problem obviously has not been resolved as I have just bought brown and white loaves, top crust broken away, large air pockets totally unusable and its March 2013!!!

    • April 21, 2013 / 11:11 am

      Interesting – I haven’t had this problem yet. Fingers crossed it’s a temporary problem.

  12. mrs judy mitchell
    September 3, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Cannot find wholemeal bread at my local morrisons only brown not happy

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