The Problem Shoppers Have With Trader Joe's Seasoned Waffle Fries

Despite offering a more limited selection of products compared to other grocery store chains, Trader Joe's still turns out new items frequently (via Forbes). This may have something to do with their somewhat seasonal model or the fact that items will disappear from shelves when certain ingredient costs skyrocket, according to Forbes. There always seems to be an army of passionate supporters though that are excited to see new and returning items like the chain's ube mochi pancake mix, artichoke timbales, and pickle-flavored seasoning blends.

According to Instagram page Trader Joe's Aficionado, one of their newest items is their seasoned waffle fries. The Aficionados post describes them as perfect items to go in the air fryer, and serve up next to a burger this summer. While many are happy about the new product, some fans are feeling frustrated after scanning the product's ingredients list and lamenting Trader Joe's choice to add a certain ingredient.

TJ's new waffle fries are not gluten-free

Wheat flour may have been used to help the waffle fries hold their seasoning, but sadly, the addition of flour means that anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity will not be able to enjoy these new treats. 

While countless commenters on Trader Joe's Aficionado's post are excited to try the new seasoned waffle fries, others are frustrated by the inclusion of a particular ingredient. "Ugh why do they have to add the wheat flour," commented Instagram user Passthetreats.

As Live Science explains, wheat flour contains a natural protein called gluten, which is vital when baking bread to give the dough its structure, and elasticity. Gluten is a normal part of most common forms of wheat and is safe to consume for most people. 

However, for those diagnosed with celiac disease, food containing gluten causes an immune response in their small intestine, explains the Mayo Clinic. There are also less severe forms of gluten sensitivity as well that limit what some people can eat (via Live Science). According to the Mayo Clinic, for those with celiac disease, eating gluten can cause diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and anemia. That's a pretty heavy toll to pay for some waffle fries. Maybe someday Trader Joe's will hear the cry of shoppers with celiac disease and release a gluten-free version.