Foster Farms has released survey findings measuring Millennial’s attitudes towards food issues, grocery purchasing behavior and preferences. The 2015 data reveals that Millennial parents are driving the tidal shift in consumer demand for responsibly raised products and are largely influenced by traditional family values and peer/community feedback when making household food decisions. While availability and pricing are cited as potential challenges, nearly one-third of respondents consider “organic” or “no antibiotics” to be the most important factor in choosing fresh chicken.
Conducted in 2015, the survey of 1,872 West Coast Millennial parents found that once Millennials have children, traditional family values and peer/community influence are the primary factors influencing everything from grocery purchases to cooking and consumption habits – with 74 percent reporting their criteria has changed “a lot”due to these factors. Millennials report their purchasing standards for fresh chicken differ significantly from their parents or previous generations. Yet, while demand for these products is at an all-time high, West Coast consumers report confusion on labeling terms and perceive these products to be niche in category.
The independent survey conducted by MetrixLab also found that 85 percent of Millennial parents indicated that their criteria for buying meat and poultry has changed over the last several years; 42 percent cited having a child as the primary reason, while 32 percent credit becoming more educated on how food is produced. More than three quarters of Millennial parents surveyed agreed that they are much more concerned than their parents’ generation about chemicals, antibiotics and ingredients used to produce food, while 78 percent say they are more concerned than their parents’ generation about nutrition. Use of antibiotics in meat and poultry production (54 percent), hormones and steroids in meats, poultry or dairy products (60 percent) and food safety (68 percent) are the top three food issues that survey participants were very concerned about. Nearly four out of five of them said that buying humanely raised meat and poultry is more important to them now than it was in the past, and 81 percent of those surveyed agreed that they try to buy poultry that is raised in their state.
Four out of five respondents cook dinner at home four or more nights per week, and nearly half of respondents cited family members as having the greatest influence on cooking habits. Most said that when making decisions about the food they feed their families they rely on information from friends and family to help inform those decisions (versus expert chefs, cookbooks, blogs, and other influencers in the food category).
Overall, the survey found that West Coast Millennial parents are actively seeking more antibiotic-free and organic options, with “no antibiotics” and “organic” rank among the top three fresh chicken purchase drivers among those surveyed. However, many consumers are still uncertain of what these terms actually mean: 42 percent of those surveyed who occasionally or always purchase antibiotic-free poultry are still at least somewhat confused about the term “antibiotic-free poultry,” while 37 percent of respondents are either unsure or do not understand what “certified organic” means when it comes to poultry.
“This survey aligns with our own data emphasizing the overwhelming demand for organic products and need for more education about labeling,” noted Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. “While the largest sector of organic growth is in fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry products are the next frontier for significant adoption. Foster Farms’ entry is an important step in providing greater access to USDA certified organic poultry products in mainstream grocery stores.”
Price is also perceived as a barrier to widespread adoption of antibiotic-free and organic poultry: 75 percent of West Coast Millennials view antibiotic-free chicken as expensive. Nonetheless, a significant proportion of consumers are willing to spend more: while 87 percent of those surveyed report concern about the cost of food, nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they have purchased organic chicken three or more times out of their past five purchases. In fact, 82 percent of those surveyed who purchase organic chicken do so for a routine family dinner, as opposed to a special occasion.
Availability is a priority for many of those surveyed: 60 percent believe antibiotic-free chicken is hard to find. Many consumers say it is extremely difficult to make several different grocery stops. An overwhelming majority – 94 percent – of West Coast Millennial parents agree they want as many product choices in the supermarket as possible, with 56 percent preferring to make one stop for all groceries. For many respondents, the societal expectation to choose organic foods is unsettling: 59 percent of those surveyed report feeling scrutinized over their food choices, with 29 percent feeling pressure to say they purchase organic foods often, even when they do not.
“Consumers expect a new generation of responsibly raised poultry and meat products,” said Ira Brill, Foster Farms Director of Communications. “Demand for these products is not a trend; it is an absolute priority for Millennials and for our customers who want more choices when it comes to organic, antibiotic-free, locally grown and humanely raised poultry.”
Specialities, Inc. will be introducing France’s legendary all natural Bayonne Ham at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City to complete the “trilogy” of the finest cured meats in the United States. The Bayonne Ham is crafted to the highest standards using a unique process handed down by centuries of meticulous care, time and knowledge. Bayonne Hams are the standard by which all other French hams are judged. Specalities, Inc. will be showcasing both the traditional tasting Bayonne Ham and a flavor of Bayonne Ham that has been cured and coated using France’s world famous AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) Espelette Red Peppers.
A ham can only become a Bayonne Ham if it’s produced in the very specific, clearly defined areas of the Adour basin in the heart of French Basque for salting and the south of France for rearing. All Bayonne Hams are assured by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) since October 7, 1998 and protected under the European Union PGI label. The PGI label informs consumers about the specific characteristics of products and protects their geographical names from imitation and usurpation. Bayonne hams have only four ingredients; specially-bred and fed French pigs (corn and cereals), salt from the natural springs deep beneath the Pyrenees Mountains, air and the most important ingredient, time.
Bayonne Hams are air-dried, dark in color, with a very tender mild flavor with only a hint of saltiness. All Bayonne Hams have stringent levels of production requirements (breeding, slaughter and butchering, salting and distribution) all approved by officers from the Consortium du Jambon de Bayonne.
Specialities, Inc. was awarded the prized cured ham from France last July by the Delpeyrat Bayonne Ham Company based upon their expertise and experience to source, distribute and create sell-through of “Best of Class” specialty brands in the United States. After a two year approval process, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put its stamp of approval to begin importing the Bayonne Ham with the first shipments arriving in August of this year.
“We are honored to have been selected as the exclusive purveyor of the Bayonne Ham in the United States,” said Richard Kessler of Specialities, Inc. “We can’t wait for show attendees to experience the exceptional taste and smooth texture of this legendary ham.
All Bayonne Hams are cured by rubbing with 100 percent all-natural Adour basin salt and then covered with a thick layer of salt and placed in the salting room. The hams are suspended in a room where they are dried at a low temperature in artificially created winter conditions. Then the hams are hung in drying rooms where the long maturing process begins, gradually enhancing their flavor, aroma and tenderness. The next step is a process in which a mixture of pork fat and flour is applied on the muscular parts of the ham, making for a gentler drying process during the long maturing period. In the last step, the ham acquires all of its qualities and revels its personality: a mild flavor, balanced saltiness and delicate aroma. Then the hams are tested by experts who define the hams’ taste qualities and are approved to wear the Bayonne branded tattoo. On average, it takes nine to 12 months to make a Bayonne Ham.
Specialities, Inc. will also be showcasing other “Best of Class” specialty brands Le Bistro French Recipe Ham, Noel Spanish Serrano, Solera Spanish Cheeses and Meats, Bellentani Deli Meats, LactAcores Portuguese cheeses and Ermitage French cheeses at its Summer Fancy Food Show booth.
Owl’s Brew, the tea crafted for cocktails, has added a fourth flavor to its growing lineup of premium tea-based mixers. White and Vine, the brand’s first white tea-based product, expertly blends fine white tea with all-natural watermelon, pomegranate, and lemon peel, for a tart and refreshing taste. As with every Owl’s Brew variety, White and Vine is versatile and can be poured with a range of spirits, beer, wine, and champagne, to create a range of effortless craft cocktails with sophisticated taste profiles, and refreshingly modest calorie counts. White and Vine pairs ideally with tequila or gin.
White and Vine is available now on Owl’s Brew’s website and from select online retailers such as Craft & Caro, Goldbely, Food52 and Brit & Co, and will soon be found at specialty food grocers, supermarkets, home and wine and spirits retailers throughout the U.S.
“White and Vine’s white tea profile makes the perfect addition to the current Owl’s Brew line—and is a delicious base for summer cocktails,” said Jennie Ripps, Founder and CEO of Owl’s Brew. “We’re thrilled to be continuing to innovate and introducing new twists on the at-home cocktail through our crafted-for-cocktails tea blends.”
Owl’s Brew’s three original flavors include Coco-Lada, sweet with a spicy kick, rounded out by coconut and sweetened with natural agave; Pink & Black, a robust darjeeling, with a hint of hibiscus, sweetened with agave; and The Classic, English breakfast with a tart twist, sweetened with agave, with each serving 20 – 40 calories. All four flavors are available in both 8-ounce and 32-ounce sizes.
Owl’s Brew’s light flavor profile allows it to complement a wide range of spirits, and each of its flavors can be combined with multiple liquors, such as vodka, bourbon, tequila or even beer. The tea is fresh-brewed in micro-batches. Owl’s Brew is currently available at leading national retailers including BevMo!, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Williams-Sonoma, and West Elm.
Burnett Dairy Cooperative introduces fun new ways to snack. New String Whips, Artisan Cuts and new flavors of String Cheese will add excitement to the retail cheese case by offering on-trend flavors and convenience to entice cheese lovers of all ages.
String Whips are Burnett Dairy’s award-winning natural mozzarella string cheese in a fun, spaghetti-like shape. They are the perfect snack for kids and adults and are available in Creamy Original and Homestyle Ranch.
String Cheese is a favorite go-to snack for kids and adults. Bringing some fun to the category, Burnett Dairy’s three new varieties of natural mozzarella string cheese are blended with meats and spices to create protein packed fun flavors: Zesty Teriyaki, Hot Pepper Beef and Pepperoni Pizza. These flavors join Burnett Dairy’s Smoked, Ranch and Creamy Original. Each piece is individually wrapped for easy, on-the-go freshness.
Artisan Cuts are flavorful and convenient for snacking, entertaining and cooking. These cracker-sized pieces have a hand-cut appearance in a variety of sizes making them ideal for crackers, sliders and cheese trays – without the cutting and mess! Available in seven fun varieties, each in a resealable bag: Bacon & Onion Colby, Roasted Garlic Monterey Jack, Rosemary Herb Cheddar, Italian Sun-Dried Tomato Monterey Jack, Aged Cheddar, Colby and Fancy Jack. Artisan Cuts are available in select markets only.
Burnett Dairy Cooperative, farmer-owned since 1896, is a place where farm families work side-by-side with crop and dairy experts to produce the highest quality milk, from the ground up. A place where a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker then creates cheese in inventive flavors and crafts new varieties in limited batches.
The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), a non-profit trade association committed to the promotion and advancement of quality cheese production in Vermont, signed its 50th principal member, Sweet Rowen Farmstead, located in West Glover, Vermont, to its membership roster.
“It’s a great milestone with a lot of history behind it,” said Jeremy Stevenson, Cheesemaker at Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids and former VCC President. “It is very encouraging to see the VCC growing with the community of cheesemakers and working with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to facilitate growth and stability into the future.”
Founded in 1996 with 19 original members, the Vermont Cheese Council helped to establish the Vermont brand in the cheese industry through quality production, safety training and the promotion of Vermont cheesemakers.
Allison Hooper, Owner of Vermont Creamery and Past VCC President added, “In 1997 the Vermont Cheese Industry was comprised of about 19 cheesemakers but we were invisible. Forming the Council changed that and even attracted people to Vermont to make cheese.”
“The VCC is a huge success story,” commented Laini Fondiller, Cheesemaker at Lazy Lady Farm and Past President of the organization. “It has done all that it set out to do and then expanded into having the ability to provide even more through the annual cheese festival and has now garnered world-wide acclaim with its great cheese,”
Since its creation, Vermont cheesemakers have earned hundreds of awards and accolades for their world-class cheeses. “I congratulate the Vermont Cheese Council on their 50th member,” said Chuck Ross, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture. “Our state is well known for producing world-class cheeses, thanks in part to the critical role the Vermont Cheese Council plays in supporting our cheesemakers. The growth of the cheese production in our state benefits our working landscape, our economy, and helps build Vermont’s reputation as producer of outstanding artisanal foods.”
Rachel Fritz Schaal, current President of the Vermont Cheese Council and co-owner of Parish Hill Creamery added, “We are excited to welcome our 50th cheesemaker to the council. Vermont has a vital community of producers who continue to support one another and thereby strengthen the group as a whole. The results are evident – and delicious.”
Through collaboration and marketing for all cheesemakers of all sizes, and with the added strength of Vermont’s agricultural brand, Vermont cheesemakers have made significant in-roads into the artisan, farmstead and large-scale commercial cheese industries. “Vermont cheesemakers have worked hard to develop a reputation for quality, safety and consistency, whether in artisan or large- scale cheesemaking,” said Tom Bivins, the Cheese Council Executive Director. “I am very proud of our cheesemakers whose work supports Vermont’s dairy farming families and our working landscape.”
The Vermont Cheese Council’s primary mission is to promote and advance the production of quality cheese. The council coordinates The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, named a “Top Ten Summer Food Festival in the US” by Fodors in 2014, and publishes The Vermont Cheese Trail Map. More information about the Council and its members can be found at vtcheese.com. Information on the Seventh Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, to be held July 19, can be found at vtcheesefest.com.
By Micah Cheek
Rare Edibles is a specialty foods distributor based in Dallas Texas. Founded by Bryan Dunn and Borz Azarian, now the Director of Operations, Rare Edibles opened in 2012 after a year of research and sourcing. Azarian says, “We started with a handful of wild mushrooms. It took a while for chefs to trust us.”
As business increased, the team found that some products had never even been shipped to Dallas before. Azarian says, “When we started, we were dealing with more seasonal, wildcrafted items. It was a little difficult getting the products. A lot of the products didn’t have channels here. It took lots of research and hard work, and involved talking to our freight people about how to do it. We’ve learned a lot along the way and established good relationships.” Those relationships made it possible to negotiate the movement of products that had a lifespan of only a few days. Rare Edibles is now able to ship the products of multiple distant vendors in one load, reducing costs and shipping time. Some areas are avoided, as they cannot fit the company’s carefully planned routes. Azarian notes, “We generally don’t source too much from California. We have heard that there are issues with water, but we forecast ourselves to avoid things like that. If produce was our game, we would definitely be hurting. There’s another thing about California that you wouldn’t expect. It’s not easy to get products from California with freight, because the mountains make it complicated. It’s just way too expensive to ship it out. We’re very happy with the few things we do bring in from California, and there are many things we plan on introducing to Texas in the future.”
Ali Morgan, in-house Cheesemonger and Accounts Manager, joined the team a year ago. “I look at everything that comes in and goes out and make sure it’s up to our standards. My job entails that, and we’ve got staff that’s trained what to look for. Sometimes chefs need to be educated. They need to hear, ‘Hey, these are good molds! They’re supposed to smell that way!’ As a cheesemonger, it’s my job to make sure the people we give products to are educated, so people know what they’re dealing with.”
Keeping up with the needs of Dallas also requires a finger on the pulse of food trends. Morgan says, “All the accompaniments that come with buratta are coming into season. The seasonal stuff is getting more popular every year. Buratta has blown up a lot down here, especially the traditional style. We sourced one out of Connecticut out of Vermont milk, and we can’t keep it in stock.”
As Dallas looks to the future, Rare Edibles is beginning to see more competition. Other vendors are starting to emulate the company’s portfolio. Azarian sees this as a good sign, an indicator that they picked the right place to start. Rare Edibles is depending on its strong community relationships and unyielding standards of quality to hold the company up above the rest. “We try to have our products in such good quality that they speak for themselves,” Azarian says. “The way we sell our products, we have to believe in them and the people behind them. In our level of industry, you can’t hide behind good branding. Otherwise, our clients will realize it by tasting their food.”
By Richard Thompson
KIND, LLC was served a warning letter by the FDA for mislabeling its products and is now facing numerous class-action lawsuits after the letter went public. KIND is just the latest in a swarm of lawsuits to allege false advertising with regards to mislabeling claims, most notably “all natural.”
In a letter sent to KIND in late March, the FDA accused KIND of mislabeling on four specific bars – Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, KIND Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein and KIND Plus Dark Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants – on which the FDA says KIND used the terms “healthy,” “low sodium,” “no trans fats” and “good source of fiber” incorrectly.
The warning letter was the result of a routine product check, according to Noah Bartolucci, Strategic Communications and Public Engagement, Food and Drug Administration. The FDA would not comment why the KIND bars were picked off the shelf. “We carry these out periodically, consistent with the agency’s charge,” said Bartolucci, “but honestly, it varies.”
The warning letter gave KIND 15 days to start taking steps to change the labels as well as its website to conform with FDA definitions. “KIND has, and will continue to take efforts to conform to all FDA regulations,” Joe Cohen, Senior Vice President of Communications at KIND, said, “We’ve submitted a plan to FDA outlining the steps we’ll take to modify our packaging and website in accordance with the issues raised in the warning letter.”
KIND says it is working with the FDA on how it can use “healthy” on its bar labels. “We are…working closely with the FDA to reach alignment on how we can use ‘healthy’ on our packaging,” Cohen said, “The regulatory definition of ‘healthy’ is complex.” The FDA regulates the use of the term as a nutrient content claim, but does not regulate more general use of the term.
KIND doesn’t plan to change its recipes for any of its products, but instead will focus on the labeling. “This matter relates strictly to the language on our labeling and our website,” said Cohen.
KIND maintains that its bars are good for you, even though the exact wording on the label may not be allowed. “We’ve received a great deal of support from medical and nutritionist communities,” said Cohen, “and many experts have spoken up to endorse…the benefits of eating nuts and nutritious fats.”
As soon as the warning letter became public, KIND was slammed with a number of lawsuits.
As of late April, KIND has been drawn into eight different consumer lawsuits from individuals in both California and New York, with all claiming that KIND’s mislabeling violated federal, state and consumer protection laws and caused them injury or damage.
One claimant, Brandon Kaufer, represented by Pearson, Simon, and Warsaw, LLP, alleges that he, and others similarly situated, had suffered injury by purchasing the KIND bars under the mistaken belief they were “healthier” and incurred losses of at least $5,000,000 dollars due to KIND’s deliberate deception.
Crumbzz Cakes were first created over 400 years ago in what is now Austria. Introduction to the New World came with the first wave of immigrants. First offered to the public in 1999, the Sadler family crumb cake found a welcome home in the tiny Hudson Valley hamlet of Highland Falls in upstate New York.
In 2001 J. Stephen Sadler decided to satisfy the many requests of out of town customers by shipping the Crumbzz Cakes across the U.S. In 2002 J. Stephen sold his bakery and moved to Dallas, Texas. Eleven years after the recipe was lost in a dusty old box, J. Stephen is again creating his famous Crumbzz Cake.
Each Crumbzz Cake creation is artisan-crafted to order using the world’s finest ingredients. Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar, Saigon cinnamon from Vietnam, dark Muscovado brown sugar from the Mauritius Islands, European low gluten flour, Origine chocolates from Tanzania, locally produced free-range eggs, premium unsalted butter from Guernsey cows and Hungarian Lekvar Preserves are all part of every Crumbzz Cake. No mixes, artificial ingredients, preservatives or chemical additives are used in the cakes.
Crumbzz offers several varieties of the 10 inch round cakes that include Old World Cinnamon Streusel, Fruit Of The Seasons, Chocolate De La Terre and Carmel Sea Salt. These decadent cakes are the perfect gift for an important business client, someone special or as treat for yourself.
All Crumbzz Cakes and Minizz Snack Cakes are exquisitely packaged in black belted leather finished boxes, wrapped in imported jacquard ribbons and finished with old-world wax seals. Personalized chef cards, individually signed by the creating chef, accompany each cake. Gifted cakes also receive gold leafed gift cards with personalized messages that provide the ultimate finishing touch.
For more information or to purchase, contact: Crumbzz, www.crumbzz.com. Email email@example.com or call 214.864.8060.
As drinkable yogurts continue to benefit from the growing protein market, B’more Organic, a brand of creamy, no sugar added, Icelandic-style skyr smoothies continues to expand its retail availability and supports this growth by adding three new employees to its team and moving to a new, larger office location in the up and coming Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden.
As B’more Organic increases its distribution throughout the U.S. this summer, the brand has hired new staff to support manufacturing, sales, and marketing. The growing B’more Organic Team now includes Edward Townsend, Local Sales Manager, Denise Midei, Controller, and Amanda Sains, Marketing & Operations Manager.
This larger team motivated B’more Organic’s move to a new office space in the Union Mill side of Hampden, a funky, growing neighborhood in the Baltimore City Limits. Famous for exuding a unique charm and urban vibe, Hampden is home to the city’s hippest restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and art venues, as well as several other food businesses, including Salazon Chocolate, Mouth Party Caramel, and Union Craft Brewery. Native to the Baltimore area and rooted in the city’s urban culture, B’more Organic’s creamy, skyr smoothies satisfy the progressive population who actively seek organic, delicious, and nutritious grab-and-go beverages.
“At a time when Baltimore is undergoing some soul searching about economic opportunities, we hope to be part of the re-stabilization of our city,” says Andrew Buerger, Founder and CEO of B’more Organic. “By leasing space in the city and adding new job opportunities there, we aim to be a part of the solution while helping this city b’more healthy.”
Blended with Icelandic-style skyr made from organic grass-fed cow’s milk, B’more Organic offers quick grab and go, fat-free smoothies each packed with a minimum 32 grams of protein. B’more Organic smoothies are available in six mouthwatering flavors including: Plain, Mango Banana, Banana, Vanilla, Cafe Latte, and newly launched Strawberry. With a flavor for every palate, a highly-skilled team, and new urban offices, B’more Organic encourages all individuals to “B’more Healthy, B’more Giving, and B’more Green.”
Sweet and spicy lovers take note: A delicious combination of roasted poblano peppers and peaches create unforgettable flavor in the latest spread from The Gracious Gourmet. Roasted Poblano Peach Spread is the most recent addition to the award-winning line of spreads, chutneys, pestos and tapenades. Taste it at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
Roasted Poblano Peach Spread: The sweet flavor of luscious peaches is balanced with roasted poblano chile peppers and an accent of cilantro. This innovative and mildly spiced spread is sure to please a wide audience, especially when paired with cheese, or accompanying shellfish, chicken and pork. It can also be tossed in a salad with a lemon and oil dressing.
“Smoky and sweet flavors continue to rise among the latest food trends,” says Nancy Wekselbaum, founder of The Gracious Gourmet. “Roasted Poblano Peach Spread is a versatile condiment that can add excitement to a variety of meals. The spread isn’t hot in flavor, but does add a lot of spice and flavor to fish, pork or even a salad. I love to use it on a cheese plates with Spanish-style cheese like Manchego.”
Other New Products
Date Apricot Spread is packed with dates combined with apricots, spices and orange juice. It is great paired with cheeses like ricotta, fresh goat, brie and cheddar and is delicious served with chicken, duck or turkey and mixed into basmati rice. Also perfect for yogurt parfaits or as a topper for vanilla or caramel ice creams.
Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms contains white, crimini and shiitake mushrooms cooked with onions in olive oil and finished with a dash of lemon juice. It provides “essential” rich mushroom flavor to a variety of dishes, including risottos, pasta dishes, soups, omelets and savory pancakes.
Sweet Caramelized Onions includes the equivalent of 1 pound of raw sweet onions in every -ounce container. The fresh onions are cooked in olive oil with a hint of brown sugar to boost the onions’ natural sweetness — the taste is so good you can eat them straight from the jar! Use them to top all kinds of meat and fish as well as in salad dressings, soups, pasta and rice dishes.
The Gracious Gourmet’s all-natural products enliven countless menus with a wide variety of foodservice options for restaurateurs, chefs, cafes, caterers, event planners and wine bars. All three of the new products are available in 76-ounce foodservice containers. These affordable and time-saving accompaniments can be used for cheese plates, as sandwich spreads, in salad dressings and much more.