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CrossCountry Marketing Celebrates 20 Years

CrossCountry Marketing, a quality food broker company located in Central Virginia, is this year celebrating 20 years in the specialty food industry. The company was started by Tom Rankin in 1994. Tom retired in 2012, and at that time, Sharon Britton, who had worked for CrossCountry since 1999, became the company’s new owner.

Specializing in representation of small/new to mid-size companies, CrossCountry is currently representing 18 vendors, and is always on the lookout for unique lines that have impressive packaging and remarkable taste.

CCM works diligently to expand its vendors’ business in the wholesale and distributor arenas. The company’s wholesale territory for independent retailers covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of North Carolina. Products represented by CCM are being distributed by DPI Mid-Atlantic, Haddon House, UNFI, First Resource (formerly Wythe Will Tzetzo), and Hautly Distributing. “We are also working on developing a regional specialty distributor network in an effort to expand the presence of our vendors’ products,” Britton says.

CCM continues to offer its vendors exceptional service with integrity. For information on CrossCountry, email Sharon Britton at sharon@xcmarketing.com.

 

“Free From” Food Show Back for Second Year

Free From Food Expo 2014 is Europe’s focused trade show for, and initiated by, the ‘free from’ industry. It’s a key trading platform where top-level decision makers come to source new products, meet new and existing suppliers and keep up-to-date with trends and innovations in the fast growing ‘free from food and beverage’ industry. The show is scheduled to take place June 3 and 4 in Brussels, Belgium. 

This two day exhibition and conference will see more than 2,000 buyers and specifiers from small and large retail and food service sectors as well as bio, health, convenience stores and catering companies and nearly 150 exhibitors from across Europe including ‘free from’ food (and ‘free from’ ingredients) manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and traders. Visitors will have an opportunity to attend 25 seminars covering a wide range of topics such as Product Development from Consumer Perspective, Gluten Free Market in Five Years’ Time, Labels and Certifications, Free From Food Market From the Retail Perspective and Importing and Exporting Trends.

Free From Food 2014 is supported by the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS), an independent, non-profit organisation aiming to raise awareness of celiac disease and to promote research into the diagnosis and management of this illness.

This year, to recognize the growing importance of ‘free from’ food and ingredients, the organizers are also launching the Free From Food Ingredients 2014 Expo. Ronald Holman, Exhibition and Sales Director says: “Free from food solutions are becoming more and more important for the R&D departments and food technologists working with food manufacturers. Retailers and consumers simply demand higher standards, better taste, quality and healthier alternatives. Free From Food Ingredients 2014 will provide the most dedicated platform with exhibitors like Döhler GmbH, Solanic (AVEBE), Meurens Natural, Ernst Böcker, Erbacher etc.”

Hamish Renton, one of the founding partners of the show says: “The first exhibition of Free From Food was a great success for exhibitors and visitors alike. The trade show attracted a high quality buying and decision making audience from Europe’s best retail and food service companies. This year we have a variety of high calibre speakers at the Conference, as well as world famous brands exhibiting and supporting our event. We are expecting hundreds of delegates from across Europe… a sure recognition of the importance of this fast growing sector of the food retailing sector. ”

Free from food categories cover all food and beverage products which are gluten free, lactose free, dairy free, yeast free, wheat free, egg free, GM free, sugar and fat free and vegan.

This year’s exhibitors include: ABS Food, Allergenen Consultancy, Allergy Service Suisse, Bauckhof, Dohler, Dove’s Farm, Dutch Spices, Ernst Bocker, Farmo, Fria, Genius Gluten Free, Hi-Food Ingredients, Nestle, Nielsen, Orgran, Semper, Warburtons.

 

Korbel Brandy Celebrates 125 Years Of Handcrafted Excellence

Founded in 1889, Korbel Brandy celebrates 125 years of brandy excellence this year. Like the smooth, award-winning flavor of Korbel Brandy, it is a milestone to savor. So, for the rest of the year, Korbel Brandy will mark the occasion with weekly 125th Anniversary Sweepstakes drawings and invites everyone to join the fun!

Francis Korbel must have seemed exceedingly optimistic when he built his first brandy still inside the brick tower at Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1889, but just four years later, Korbel Brandy was the surprise hit of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, perhaps the largest assemblage of brandies up to that time. His handcrafted approach – premium grapes, meticulous distillation, slow aging in hand-coopered oak barrels and careful blending – has guided Korbel Brandy ever since. In 1954, when the Heck family purchased Korbel Brandy from the descendants of Francis Korbel, it did so with the promise to continue this tradition of quality and two generations of Hecks have kept that promise. Today the Korbel Brandy portfolio encompasses four distinctive brandies: flavorful Korbel California Brandy, complex Korbel V.S.O.P. Gold Reserve, uniquely infused Korbel XS and rare, elegant Korbel 12.

The Korbel Brandy 125 Years of Handcraftology® Sweepstakes will begin on February 17, 2014 and continue weekly until December 28, 2014. Entries for each week’s sweepstakes drawing may be submitted either through the Korbel Brandy website at www.korbelbrandy.com/125years or through Korbel Brandy’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/korbelbrandy. Each Monday, a sweepstakes winner will be drawn from the previous week’s submissions. The weekly winner will receive an embossed, limited edition Korbel Brandy 125th Anniversary tin bar sign. Official rules for the Korbel Brandy 125 Years of Handcraftology Sweepstakes are available at the Korbel Brandy website, www.korbelbrandy.com.

Unique among United States brandy producers, Korbel Brandy controls production from grape to bottle. Handcrafted in small batches, Korbel Brandy is aged to perfection in premium fire-toasted oak barrels to achieve golden amber color, generous butterscotch aroma and extra smooth taste.

Chobani to Donate Fresh Greek Yogurt Intended for Team USA to New York and New Jersey Food Banks and Charitable Organizations

Chobani announced today it will donate more than 5,000 cups of fresh Greek yogurt originally intended for Team USA athletes competing in Sochi, Russia, to food banks in New York and New Jersey.

“As a proud supporter of Team USA over the past four years, we’re disappointed our athletes won’t be able to enjoy Chobani while they compete in the games as we all hoped, and are deeply appreciative to everyone who tried to help get it there, especially Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and various officials here at home,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chobani. “It’s been a long, cold winter and we’re happy incredible organizations in New York and New Jersey, who share our vision to provide nutritious foods, will be able to serve fresh cups of Chobani to those in need. We’ll be waiting for our athletes when they come home while cheering them on every step of the way,” he added.

As the official yogurt of the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, chefs and nutritionists serve Chobani to athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers. To naturally power Team USA and provide food they enjoy from home, Chobani intended to deliver 5,000 fresh single-serve cups of blueberry, strawberry and peach Chobani, and multi-serve containers of plain Chobani yogurt for smoothies, to Team USA athletes in Sochi.

For years, Chobani has frequently donated products to organizations in New York and Idaho and through its foundation is actively focused on making good food more accessible to all, especially youth and underserved communities. Since Chobani’s earliest days, it has made a pledge to give 10 percent of its profits to charity and supports grassroots organizations all over the world. Chobani will deliver the 5,000-plus units of fresh Greek yogurt intended for Team USA to food banks in New Jersey and New York City.

Chocolate Industry Joins Forces With Danish Foundation To Push Support For Cocoa Farmers

The World Cocoa Foundation and Denmark’s Toms Foundation are joining forces to convene later this year a cross-section of representatives from the chocolate and cocoa industry, cocoa-producing countries, development agencies, donor groups, non-governmental organizations and cocoa certifying bodies. The gathering, to be held on October 15-16, 2014, in Copenhagen, will focus on improving efforts to boost incomes, production levels, quality of life and technology for the world’s five million-plus cocoa farmers.

Bill Guyton, President of the World Cocoa Foundation, said that the partnership with Toms Foundation is a natural choice for his organization. “Toms Foundation and WCF share a commitment to helping cocoa farmers improve their livelihoods. WCF’s membership of more than 110 companies from around the world possesses some of the world’s best expertise about sustainability in the cocoa sector.  We look forward to learning more from them, and from our friends in Denmark, about practical steps that can be taken to advance the sustainability agenda,” he said.

Jesper Moeller, CEO of Toms Confectionery Group, said “At Toms we are proud to enter this partnership with the World Cocoa Foundation. We look forward to welcoming the participants to Copenhagen in October and value the opportunity to share our experiences from Ghana in areas such as traceable cocoa, farmer training and primary school programs.”

The meeting, which is expected to attract 200 attendees, will include sessions on new strategies for providing improved planting materials to cocoa farmers; plans for making fertilizers and other essential inputs more readily available to farmers; updates on efforts to establish widely agreed upon standards for quality and sustainability; defining and measuring success in programs that support cocoa farmers; the importance of educational, gender equality and child labor reduction programming in cocoa-growing communities; and recent innovations in technology and program implementation that can hasten improvements in the lives of cocoa farmers.

About Toms Foundation
The Toms Group Foundation was established December 12, 1974 and is the sole owner of Toms Confectionary Group, a midsized producer of chocolate and candy with production facilities in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.

Fairway Introduces Tamales and Empanadas to Latin Table

It may be freezing outside, but inside Fairway Market it is hot and spicy. Indeed, Fairway is now offering home style tamales and empanadas through its new Latin Table line in all 14 stores in the tri-state area.

FairwayTamalesThe line debuts with three types of tamales — beef, chicken and black bean — and three empanadas –Argentine-spiced beef, spicy chicken and spinach-Portobello mushroom. Loaded with flavors, these pre-cooked items are made with the finest ingredients and are produced from traditional recipes. There are four tamales and two empanadas in a pack and each comes with a chipotle dip and an avocado-tomatillo sauce. They are available in the stores’ deli pack-out cases.

Fairway empanadas“For Fairway’s new Latin Table line we have created very delicious tamales and empanadas – two traditional and beloved foods- that are perfect as appetizers or for lunch and dinner,” said Bill Sanford, Interim CEO  of Fairway Market. “Here’s another option for busy families who want to enjoy affordable, convenient foods made with top quality ingredients.”

The tamales are made with masa –a corn meal dough –then wrapped in a cornhusk and steamed. The stuffed empanadas, which are baked, have a wheat-based pastry shell. Each pack sells for $4.99. For more information go to www.fairwaymarket.com

Roland Truffle Mac & Cheese Impresses

By Lorrie Baumann

If you ever have one of those occasions when you need to bring a dish to a potluck dinner with friends who’ve already had your signature dish so often that they’ve begun just to assume that’s what you’re bringing, it’s time to think yourself back into the box. American Roland Food Corp. has just introduced Truffle Mac & Cheese, if once you’ve tried it, you’re going to suspect that the company’s product developers had you in mind when they came up with this idea. As easy to make as that macaroni and cheese that comes in the blue box, this has been given a gourmet twist with truffle, and the result is easily good enough to take to a party. Whether you confess the role of the box or merely claim it as your own is totally up to you, because neither flavor nor the texture of the sauce is going to give you away.

packagesRoland was kind enough to let us at the Gourmet News editorial office sample a box each of the regular and whole wheat pasta varieties of the Truffle Mac & Cheese, and popular demand from the folks who saw the boxes come into the office required that I cook it up and bring it in for all to sample.

Cooking

 

The box contains the pasta and a packet of cheese sauce mix – you add your own butter and milk to the sauce mix and fold it into the cooked pasta. I brought it into the office, set it out in our break room with paper plates and plastic utensils and stood back to avoid being trampled. The verdict: yes, this would definitely pass muster on the buffet table. And no, most of us aren’t mentioning that it came out of a box. Nor do we expect to have the question come up.

Mac & CheeseIf you really want to put on the dog, you could add a little sriracha sauce; you could follow a Roland suggestion and drizzle some Roland White Truffle Oil over the dish just before serving; you could top it with some crispy bits of chopped bacon; or you could follow Top Chef contestant Dave Martin’s cue and add a little Tabasco Chipotle sauce. But you definitely don’t have to.

For further information, call 800.221.4030 x 222 or visit www.rolandfood.com.

Nocciolata Wins Kudos from Time Magazine

Having already taken Manhattan, the Nocciolata squirrel has now moved on to conquer taste buds in the editorial offices of Time magazine. Time’s reviewers found Nocciolata superior to alternatives from Barefoot and Chocolate, Natural ChocoDream and Hershey’s, among others. Least popular among the spreads reviewed by the panel: Nutilight, whose taste was described as, “extremely, dreadfully, wildly unfortunate.” Nocciolata, by contrast, was described as “a perfect blend of chocolatey and nutty flavors.” Read all about it here.

Murray’s Cheese Director of Program Development Wins Comté Scholarship

The Comté Cheese Association is delighted to announce the winner of the second Comté Scholarship for American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals™ . Amanda Parker, Director of Program Development for Murray’s Cheese, took home the first place prize in the blind essay contest. She has won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Comté region to learn first-hand about the region and production. There was a tie for runner-up between Jason Herbert, Assistant Specialty Team Leader of Whole Foods, and Leah McFadden, Associate Perishables Buyer for the northern California region of Whole Foods. They will each receive a special Comté care package.

The essays were judged anonymously on the basis of knowledge and creativity by a panel of three renowned cheese experts: Greg O’Neill (Board President of the American Cheese Society; Owner of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine); Cathy Strange (Global Cheese Buyer, Whole Foods Market, Inc.); and Max McCalman (Maître Fromager of Artisanal Premium Cheese Center, Author and Cheese Writer). The judges did not have access to the applicants’ names or information.

Amanda Parker states of winning the scholarship, “I am delighted for this incredible opportunity and the chance to see in person such an important cheesemaking region!” Her winning essay can be viewed here.

The Certified Cheese Professional™ (CCP) Exam was established by the American Cheese Society in 2012 to encourage high standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service for professionals in all areas of the cheese world. The exam is based on the knowledge and skills required to successfully perform cheese-related tasks in jobs across the board.

Made exclusively in the Jura Mountain region of France, Comté is an artisanal cheese with AOC (Controlled Appellation of Origin) and PDO (European Protected Denomination of Origin) designations. Each wheel of Comté reflects a unique terroir, a season of production, and centuries of cheesemaking and affinage traditions.

The Comté Cheese Association represents all those who are involved in the production of Comté—dairy farmers, cheese-makers, affineurs—and carries out activities in all fields of interest to the trade, including research and technical issues, economics, information and communications, marketing, law and promotion of the Comté appellation, defense of local traditions and protection of the environment.

Cool Down This Summer With The Republic of Tea

By Phillip Cahill

The Republic of Tea’s new Strawberry Basil iced green tea is hitting shelves around the world on March 1. This exciting flavor is one of many among the Republic of Tea’s line of bagged iced teas. A classic among tea enthusiasts for ages, this variation on green tea gets bold for a promise of a cool, refreshing summer.

The flavor is, in a word, satisfying. It is bold, sweet, subtle, and refreshing all at the same time, making for a beautiful and welcome guest to a hot summer day. Unlike in some flavored teas which sound good but get lost in translation, these elements work together in an unexpected way. No single flavor is the hero; they all work together to make something more.

Green tea is coming in to its own lately, not only with an array of flavors, but also with knowledge of its powerful health benefits. Enjoyed for centuries for how it helps the mind and body, green tea is growing in both popularity and variety.

Not satisfied to leave the mission at quality tea, The Republic of Tea’s bags boast an eco-friendly angle: these tea bags are unbleached and biodegradable, making for great nutrition in a garden once brewed. In a wasteful world, this is a welcome change.

With a commitment to flavor, health, and the environment, The Republic of Tea is a strong frontrunner for the emerging tea revolution; with popularity like never before, this amazing plant has found its home. This is a flavor that is not to be overlooked. Whether you’re new to tea and are looking for a relaxing drink for the summer, or you’re experienced and looking for something new, this is one drink that both promises and delivers.

Coming March 1 with a pack that makes eight quarts.