There was an article in the New York Times in December about going gluten free. The reporter had attended a gluten free food fair, which included a representative who mentioned that Nature Valley bars are gluten free. Concerned about their use of oats, I contacted the company. This is the response I received:
Thank you for contacting us about gluten in Nature Valley granola bars.
General Mills offers several products that are labeled gluten-free. Please check the package label for the gluten-free statement on the front/side/back of the package. Only products that can be verified to be gluten free will be declared as gluten free on the label. It is important to check the product label each time you purchase a product because it has the most accurate information about the product in the package.
Because we constantly strive to improve our products′ quality and nutritional value, the most up-to-date product information is on the package the product is purchased in. For that reason, we do not distribute product information lists as they could quickly become outdated. A current list of products on the market that are gluten free can be found by visiting www.glutenfreely.com. It is important to check the package label before purchasing for the gluten-free statement on the front/side/back of the package to verify that the package you choose is gluten free.
For products not labeled gluten free, we will always declare gluten containing ingredients if they are added to the product. If the ingredient declaration lists wheat, oats, barley, rye, or derivatives of these grains, then the product contains gluten. Examples of derivative ingredients include: malt, barley malt, organic malt, semolina, Durham, triticale, and spelt. We do not include gluten containing ingredients in the ′Natural Flavors′ or ′Spices′ on the product ingredient list. If there are gluten ingredients in our products, those ingredients are always clearly listed.
If there are no gluten- containing ingredients listed in the product ingredient label, but the product does not make a gluten free claim, it is because we cannot fully assure that this product is gluten free. While we have not added gluten-containing ingredients, factors such as sourcing, conditions of manufacture, etc. do not allow us to provide the full level of assurance that a gluten free claim requires.
Additional information regarding gluten may be obtained by contacting your health care professional or one of these organizations.
Celiac Sprue Association
PO Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131-0700
Or toll free: 877-CSA-4-CSA
Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. #1
Studio City, Ca. 91604
We hope this information is helpful.
I grabbed a box of these at the grocery store the other day. I was curious to read the label after receiving the email above from General Mills. The bars have 10 grams of protein, which is more than any of their other products.
They were really good! They have chunks of peanuts in them and the bottom is coated with chocolate. They didn't make me sick, which is always an awesome plus. I'd give them four out of five stars because they are a little high in calories, but that's what happens when you're a peanut junky like me.