Ahold and Delhaize have ended months of speculation with an announcement that the two companies will merge. The merger, valued at $29 billion by the Wall Street Journal, will create one of the largest grocery operators in the U.S., with more than 6,500 stores worldwide. In the U.S., Ahold owns Peapod as well as the Stop & Shop and Giant chains, while Delhaize owns the Food Lion and Hannaford banners.
Mats Jansson, Chairman of Delhaize Group, will become Chairman of Ahold Delhaize. Jan Hommen, Chairman of Royal Ahold, and Jacques de Vaucleroy, Delhaize Group Director, will become Vice Chairmen of Ahold Delhaize. Dick Boer, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Ahold, will become Chief Executive Officer. Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, will become Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Integration Officer.
The transaction is expected to be completed mid-2016, following regulatory clearances, associated consultation procedures and shareholder approval.
John Kelly Chocolates, known for its award-winning truffle fudge, walnut caramel clusters and other handcrafted chocolate delights, has substantially expanded its product offering by introducing a line of solid chocolate bars, in six different flavors, at the Summer Fancy Food Show. The line serves as a complement to John Kelly’s existing products, and will appeal to customers who enjoy solid chocolate in addition to its signature creamy, unique gourmet chocolate fudge.
Each flavor is a proprietary recipe developed by the company in-house. The bars will be offered for sale at John Kelly stores and online, as well as offered as a wholesale item for its extensive list of customers nationwide.
The bars are packaged individually in a highly designed premium box, sealed in gold foil. Each bar is also custom molded with an intricately branded design in the chocolate, marking the bar as undeniably a John Kelly creation. For wholesale customers, the bars will ship 12 to a case, in a self-contained point of purchase box ready to be placed on-shelf.
Apart from packaging and presentation, the bars themselves are in keeping with John Kelly’s driving mission to create the most delicious-tasting chocolate that adheres to the highest quality standards. Each flavor has been carefully balanced with notes that complement each other and the underlying chocolate. And each bar is gluten free, soy free, non-GMO and all natural. The bars also contain fair trade ingredients.
The product line is the result of years of tinkering, and should satisfy pent-up demand. As co-owner John Kelson states, “Many of our customers have been asking us to create a solid chocolate bar line, but we wanted to do it our way and ensure it would be simply the best on the market. That’s what our customers expect, and that’s what we feel we have achieved.”
The makers of Wholly Guacamole® brand have added Avocado Verde 45 cal Minis to their line of products. The new minis pack all the flavor of tomatillos, hand-scooped avocados, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro of the brand’s popular Avocado Verde dip in 2-ounce containers. The Avocado Verde 45 Cal Minis are the seventh flavor in Wholly Guacamole brand’s lineup of fan-favorite mini cups.
“Consumers are continuing to explore the variety of Mexican flavors and recognize the health benefits of avocados, so we asked ‘What’s the next thing they need?’” said Terrill Bacon, Senior Brand Manager of Wholly Guacamole brand. “Our fans love our Avocado Verde dip, so creating a mini cup was the perfect solution to help them continue exploring the culinary landscape at home and on the go.”
The new minis will appear on grocery shelves in the coming months and can be purchased in 4- or 6-pack product sizes. The 4-count suggested retail price is $3.99-$4.99 and the 6-count is $5.29-$5.99, depending on the retailer. Like all Wholly Guacamole products, the Minis are all natural, gluten free, dairy free and kosher certified.
McCormick & Company, Incorporated has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of One World Foods, Inc., seller of Stubb’s barbecue sauces, a privately held company located in Austin, Texas.
Alan Wilson, Chairman & CEO of McCormick stated, “We are pleased to announce this agreement to acquire Stubb’s. Based in Texas, Stubb’s is an authentic, craft brand with an enthusiastic and loyal consumer base. Through marketing and innovation, we intend to build this base, increase household penetration and expand retail distribution in the U.S. and internationally. The Stubb’s products round out the range of grilling products currently marketed by McCormick under the Grill Mates, Lawry’s and McCormick brands. We look forward to working with the Stubb’s employees to drive increased sales and profit for this business.”
After opening his first Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q restaurant in 1968, C.B. Stubblefield began selling his popular sauces to retail grocers in 1992. These products feature bold flavors made of high quality ingredients. McCormick intends to maintain the headquarters of this business in Texas. With newly expanded distribution and product offerings, annual sales growth exceeded 20 percent in both 2013 and 2014. Annual sales of the business are projected to reach $30 million in 2015.
The acquisition should be completed by the end of July 2015, subject to regulatory approval. The purchase price for Stubb’s is approximately $100 million subject to certain closing adjustments. Due to the estimated impact of transaction, integration and financing costs, McCormick expects no earnings per share impact in 2015 from this acquisition. However, with plans to achieve strong growth and significant cost synergies McCormick expects incremental EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of at least $10 million by 2017.
One year ago, the Mediterra® team launched its first nutrition bars based on the Mediterranean Diet. “From the nutritionals and flavors, to variety and packaging, we have received enthusiastic feedback from retail buyers, retail dietitians, the media and consumers,” says Telemaque Lavidas, Founder of Mediterra. “This has been an exciting year filled with much growth and many milestones, and we look forward to what this next year will bring.”
“Having worked for nearly two decades in the food business, Mediterra is one of those rare brands that continue to accelerate at a record pace,” says CEO Paul Pruett. “This year Mediterra carved its space in the category and now our goal is to be a leader.”
Mediterra bar ingredients are native to the Mediterranean region and all six bars adhere to the Mediterranean Diet, considered by scientists as one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world. Mediterra’s savory bars with low sugar and plant-based pea protein have helped to catapult the company into retailers nationwide.
First year anniversary highlights include:
Mediterra’s six bar flavors come in three specific varieties:
Savory Bars with flavors that include Tomato/Basil/Capers and Olive/Walnut/Chives; Sesame Honey Energy Bars featuring Sesame Seed/Pistachio/Greek Honey and Sesame Seed/Orange/Greek Honey; and Yogurt and Oat Bars in Yogurt/Oat/Cherry Pistachio and Yogurt/Oat/Apricot Pistachio flavors. All bars are all-natural, non-GMO and Gluten-Free. The suggested retail price $1.99.
Annie’s, Inc. President John Foraker was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 in the Retail and Consumer Products category in northern California. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Foraker was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented at a special gala event at the Fairmont, San Francisco on June 11.
“This award is a tremendous honor to me, my family and the entire Annie’s team,” said Foraker. “Annie’s’ success lies in the decision to do business differently. From our sustainable business practices to offering consumer products made with the best ingredients nature has to offer, we are committed to doing well by doing good.”
Foraker came to Annie’s in 1998, when the company’s only offering was macaroni and cheese. His vision was to extend the loved brand into additional categories beyond pasta and to build real depth and leadership into the company’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts. Today, Annie’s offers a robust product portfolio with a variety of offerings in categories like snacks, meals, frozen, condiments, dressings and more. Annie’s corporate culture remains strong as a leading purpose-driven brand in the industry.
After taking Annie’s public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012, Foraker built the company to $200 million in revenues. In October 2014, General Mills acquired Annie’s in an all cash transaction for $820 million. Foraker remains Annie’s President and continues to leverage this partnership to strengthen product distribution and make organic and natural products more accessible to consumers.
As a northern California award winner, Foraker is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 14, 2015. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, a gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
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The Gourmet News special issue for the Summer Fancy Food Show is here! Just click the flipbook to read!
Under the umbrella of their Eat Y’all brand, Marianna and Andy Chapman will open their first wholesale showroom at the Dallas Market Center next week in conjunction with the Dallas Total Home & Gift Show.
From small-town farming backgrounds and with entrepreneurial success spanning two decades, the combination of Marianna and Andy Chapman’s diverse experiences mean profits for their wholesale customers.
Marianna grew up on a farm in the hills of Mississippi where she spent summers assisting her father in farming and her mother in the gardening and canning efforts that would feed their family of six over the winter months. Later, she owned her own business consulting firm that advised retail businesses and made her a popular speaker at retail business events such as AmericasMart University and the National Main Street Conference. With an appreciation for fresh flavors and local ingredients and an understanding of food production and retail business, Marianna’s love of food met her love for business when she married Andy in 2008.
From a programming and Internet business background and as a self-taught expert griller and food connoisseur, Andy launched a marketing experiment called Eat Jackson in 2009 that went on to become Mississippi’s most influential food media company. He went on to expand the company with the birth of the Eat Y’all brand in 2013 to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor.
Andy grew up as the middle of seven children, and as such developed a masterful ability to be creative with available groceries. In 2012, his skill saved the day when Marianna discovered just moments before guests arrived that she’d forgotten to buy the sauce for a neighborhood barbecue party. A few minutes later, their six-year-old daughter, whose nickname is Sugar Taylor, was standing on a stool stirring Andy’s concoction with a wooden spoon before serving it to the rave reviews of guests who were eager to take home the leftovers of the newly dubbed “Sugar Taylor Sauce.”
For months afterwards, Marianna used her farm upbringing to can enough Sugar Taylor Sauce to satisfy the seemingly endless demands of friends and family who would repeatedly leave their empty Mason jars on the Chapman’s back porch with refill requests. As the versatility of Sugar Taylor Sauce became apparent, demand continued to expand until early December 2013 when the Chapman’s three children canvassed their neighborhood promising Christmas delivery of commercially packaged Sugar Taylor Sauce. The children sold enough in one afternoon to pay for the first bottling run!
With a deadline set, the Chapmans found themselves in the artisan gourmet business just as unexpectedly as they’d found themselves in the food media business a few years earlier, this time with a sales team composed of their minor children leading the way.
Since then, they’ve experienced booming demand for their unique and versatile collection of pantry products and will share bold Southern flavors with the opening of their showroom in B14 at the Gourmet Market in the World Trade Center in Dallas, Texas, next week, an opening highlighted by two live cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Bar in the atrium of the World Trade Center at 4:20 on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25.
The Eat Y’all Southern Food Products collection featured in their new showroom will include Sugar Taylor Sauce as well as June Bugg Rub, the nickname of their 15-year-old son who helped create it. They will also be showcasing their curated collection of Southern-made artisan gourmet products including Bonney’s Hot Sauce, Delta Blues Rice (long grain rice, rice grits and brown rice) and Valine’s Famous Cocktail Sauce. In addition, Andy’s grilling expertise will come to bear as he presents a brand new premium ceramic grill and outdoor furniture line called the Gourmet Guru Grill along with a full line of grilling accessories. This is the Dallas Market debut for all of the products.
Eat Y’all exists to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor including farmers, chefs, food makers, pit masters, brewers, distillers, food writers and event creators through a weekly podcast called Let’s Eat, Y’all as well as a blog, YouTube channel, culinary events and a collection of curated Southern-made artisan gourmet and grilling products available through their Official Retailer Program. Follow them online at www.eatyall.com or @letseatyall on social media. Eat Y’all is a family business based in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) — a non-profit group that promotes the health, versatility and authenticity of all types of olive oil for North American consumers — announces registration is open for its inaugural Olive Oil Conference — “Spend Wisely on Olive Oil”— to be held Aug. 25 and 26 at the Westin O’Hare, near Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois.
“North Americans love heart-healthy olive oils,” says Eryn Balch, NAOOA Executive Vice-President. “Even though flavor and health benefits have led to its use in more than 50 percent of households, we still have a long way to go. Mediterranean consumers use 11 to 15 liters of olive oil a year, much more than North Americans who consume only about one liter per year. Communication is key: Surveys show many consumers still have questions about how and what type of olive oilthey should use when cooking— and what they should be looking for when purchasing olive oil.”
The conference, targeted toward olive oil enthusiasts including food industry and foodservice professionals; retail buyers, category managers and salespeople; chefs; nutritionists; dietitians; educators and consumers — will educate attendees about the health benefits of olive oil, techniques to incorporate olive oil into a range of recipes for home and restaurant cooks, and what to look for when tasting individual oils.
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Seamus Mullen will demonstrate the range of olive oils in diverse cooking techniques from roasting and frying to replacing butter in baked goods. He’ll show how olive oil works in various world cuisines as well. Chef Mullen, behind New York City hotspots Tertulia and El Colmado Butchery, is the author of “Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better” and a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef New York City. He credits olive oil as a tool in his fight against rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Connie Guttersen, R.D., New York Times-bestselling author of “The Sonoma Diet” and “The Sonoma Cookbook,” will be speaking about the health, flavor, and nutritional benefits of olive oils compared to other cooking oils and fats. She’ll also be demonstrating recipes and sharing tips for cooking with olive oil at home. Guttersen is a registered dietitian and an instructor at the world-famous Culinary Institute of America.
All attendees will have opportunities to practice olive oil tasting techniques and discover the finer points of sensory, or organoleptic, assessment based on methods from International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes. Simon Field, founder, is a producer of organic olive products and an olive industry consultant who has traveled to growing regions worldwide and tasted thousands of olive oils. Participants will experience olive oils through taste, sight and smell and learn how practice can educate the palate. Attendees may also choose to enter the North American Extra Virgin Olive Oil Taster’s Championship, which will test skills such as identifying different varieties and regions, ranking intensities, and detecting faults.
Hayley Stevens Miller, a graduate from the Corso Superiore at the renowned Italian culinary school, Alma, in Parma, Italy, will also be demonstrating olive oil in restaurant cooking. She honed her olive oil bona fides in kitchens from the north to south of Italy, including the two Michelin-starred restaurant Don Alfonso.
“People are returning in droves to diets of whole, natural and unprocessed foods. And olive oil fits in perfectly,” adds Balch. “It’s an oil that comes simply — direct from crushed fruit. Olive oil has such unique benefits as well — benefits that don’t come with any other cooking oil. The conference is a perfect opportunity to learn what makes olive oil so unique and to stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry. It’s all designed to help attendees grow their expertise and expand their use of olive oil to better connect with customers and meet the needs of today’s sophisticated consumer.”
For a complete schedule of events, additional information and to register for the Spend Wisely on Olive Oil Conference, visit www.oliveoilconference.com. For more about the North American Olive Oil Association, visit www.aboutoliveoil.com.