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Applegate Announces Partnership with Autism Hope Alliance


Bridgewater, N.J.

Brand offers a wide variety of Autism Approved products that adhere to the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) diet

Applegate, the nation’s leading natural and organic meat brand, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Autism Hope Alliance, the first non-profit foundation for Autism to emerge from the natural foods industry. As Applegate continues to fulfill its mission of bringing consumers high-quality, worry-free foods, the brand proudly offers more than 65 Autism Approved products – providing a variety of delicious options for families searching for gluten-free, casein-free options.

A GFCF diet is recommended for individuals with autism looking to reduce inflammation as a reaction to gluten and casein. These reactions may link to the brain and intensify behavioral symptoms of autism, such as mental difficulties, anxiety and mood abnormalities.

“When you have a child with Autism so many things change, but mealtime shouldn’t be one of those things,” said Kristin Selby Gonzalez, Autism Hope Alliance president. “Bringing the family together for a meal is so vital, which is why we look to partner with brands like Applegate that offer gluten-free and dairy-free options for our families. We feel if a child can feel good, then they can do good.”

Applegate offers GFCF products that can be incorporated at breakfast, lunch, and dinner such as Applegate Organics® Chicken and Maple Breakfast Sausage, Applegate Naturals® Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets, and Applegate Naturals® Beef Hot Dog.

“We recognize that allergens are a serious matter for many families and is one of the motivating factors as to why we choose to keep our ingredient lists simple and clean,” said Nicole Glenn, Applegate vice president of marketing. “Transparency is one of our core values, which is why we make it easy to search for specific allergens on our website in addition to labeling common allergens on product packaging.”

To search allergen-friendly Applegate products – peanut, egg, shellfish, wheat, tree nut, soy, fish, and milk – visit


The Autism Hope Alliance is the first non-profit foundation to emerge from the natural foods industry. Their mission is to embody hope for families facing the diagnosis of autism through, education, financial support and volunteerism. Autism Hope Alliance has donated over $450k to help support other non-profits, which has helped over 3000 families nationwide. The Autism Pantry Program introduces families to special foods, supplements, books, cleaners, toys and other crucial supplies, which are donated by natural products companies and the Autism community. To date over $750k in retail has been given to families nationwide. The Autism Hope Alliance has helped give education, resources and spread hope to over 49,000 families.


Autism Approved is a partnership program that AHA developed to raise dollars, bring awareness, create standards and ensure companies do their due diligence by being socially responsible to our community as each partner or affiliate must donate to our community as well.


Founded in 1987, Applegate produces high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products. Our products are made without GMO ingredients, and we source from farms where animals are treated with care and respect and are allowed to grow at their natural rate, all part of our mission – Changing The Meat We Eat®. Natural can mean many things, but to Applegate natural means our food is:

  • From animals raised humanely without antibiotics, hormones or growth promotants
  • From animals fed a vegetarian or pasture-centered diet (our beef is 100 percent grass-fed)
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

Applegate became a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods in July 2015. For more information about our products, visit or talk with us on or