To commemorate World Baking Day on May 17, celebrity cake artists Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” Mich Turner, who has baked cakes for the likes of the Queen of England, and Ron Ben-Israel, renowned for his $10,000 cakes, recently gathered to prepare for The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair, coming to Orlando, Florida, this September.
The international cake and sugarcraft expo, hosted by Satin Ice, is open to both trade and the public and will feature multi-day appearances by Valastro, Turner, and Ben-Israel, in addition to Roland Mesnier, former executive pastry chef to the White House. This event is the first cake fair of its kind in the United States to attract these four world-renowned cake artists under one roof.
Valastro, Turner, and Ben-Israel toured both Ben-Israel’s private cake studio in New York City and Valastro’s cake factory in Jersey City, New Jersey, where they had the opportunity to share their excitement and talk about plans for the upcoming Cake Fair. Turner, who was visiting New York from the U.K., recently launched her fifth book in the U.S., “Mich Turner’s Cake School.”
All four artists will share the high-caliber stage September 18, 19 and 20 at the Orange County Convention Center before an anticipated crowd of 30,000 cake professionals and enthusiasts. The show will also feature Cake Central’s Sugar Arts Fashion Show; a Live Global Cake Challenge; traditional cake competitions; more than 75 hands-on classes and demonstrations taught by 40 of the world’s best cake artists; and a wedding, chocolate, kids, and sugar art zone.
Registration for hands-on classes, demonstrations, competitions, Cake Central’s Sugar Arts Fashion Show, and admission is now available. An early-bird admission special rate will be available through June 1: one-day badges will be on sale for $45; 2-day badges will be $70, and 3-day badges will be $95. For more information, visit www.cakefair.com.
Liberty Richter, a division of World Finer Foods, has added Valor Chocolates to the company’s comprehensive assortment of premium products. For more than 130 years (since 1881), Valor Chocolates, based in Spain, has crafted some of the most exquisite chocolates and bonbons, using the finest cocoa beans from various parts of the globe including Ecuador, Panama and Ghana. The master chocolatier has been honored with accolades such as the “2011 European Candy Kettle Award,” one of the most prestigious awards in this sector.
Produced with the very purest raw materials, specially selected from the best harvests, and by a unique, traditional manufacturing method, Valor Chocolates offers indulgent, “pleasure-igniting” flavors. Valor also offers more health-conscious yet equally delightful no sugar added, lactose-free and gluten-free versions. Among the artful chocolate treats now available in the U.S. exclusively through World Finer Foods and its Liberty Richter division are:
“We continue to focus on growing our portfolio of premium brands and Valor Chocolates is the perfect addition to our mix,” stated Susan Guerin, CEO of World Finer Foods. “The quality of their products, innovative recipes and unparalleled manufacturing capabilities deliver a premium range of chocolates. We look forward to raising awareness and expanding distribution of the Valor brand. We’re especially excited to promote the no sugar added assortment which offers consumers not only a healthier option but also the same great taste as the traditional line of chocolates.”
As a premier confectioner, Valor has adopted the quality strategy and focuses on continual innovation to bring the highest quality of chocolate goods to the customer. The Company’s latest creation of a range of no sugar added chocolates, blends an exclusive recipe developed by Valor’s Master Chocolatiers which preserves the richness and unique taste of its traditional chocolate products. Valor’s All Natural range is free of artificial flavoring and preservatives and is made with the finest cocoa grown, guaranteeing the full “from bean to bar” confectionary process. These all natural products have been specifically developed for the U.S. market where 100 percent natural products are increasingly appreciated and demanded by consumers.
Gonzalo Sanchez, Export Director of Valor Chocolates stated, “Valor Chocolates has been successfully marketed in the U.S. for the past 15 years and has a strong and loyal consumer following. We believe now is the time for expansion and in order to take our brand to the next level, we needed a partner that understands our heritage and offering, as well as one with an extensive nationwide reach. Liberty Richter, with their distribution capabilities, customer relationships, and sales and marketing support services is the perfect partner, and we look forward to working with them to bring our assortment of specialty chocolates to those consumers who demand and crave the very best.”
“As the pioneer in specialty products, we have extensive relationships nationwide across all retail channels and see tremendous opportunities to bring Valor Chocolates to consumers who demand the very best,” said Guerin. Our team is committed to delivering an unparalleled customer experience to both our brand and distribution partners, and the combination of Liberty Richter and Valor will be a powerful recipe for success in the premium chocolate market. We look forward to showcasing the product line at the Summer Fancy Food Show and meeting with our customers and partners to further drive innovation.”
Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets has made a new $5,000 donation with the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Farmers Market. The new partnership marks a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the organic chain and the community surrounding its Tarrytown location.
“At Mrs. Green’s, we are constantly looking for ways to serve our communities, and the local farmers market is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Not only does it introduce families to great tasting, locally-sourced food, but nurtures a greater sense of community,” said Pat Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Natural Markets Food Group, the parent company of Mrs. Green’s. “We are thrilled to sponsor this amazing event and look forward to deepening our partnership with the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow community.”
Organized by Rivertowns Village Green, Inc., the weekly market features an impressive array of local vendors offering quality foods and products, as well as entertainment and activities for children of all ages. The market aims to improve access to quality locally produced foods, stimulate community conversation about sustainability and provide the local community with a safe, fun place for families to explore.
David Kiser, Mrs. Green’s in-house chef, will be on site on opening day – Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. in Patriots Park, Tarrytown – for a cooking demonstration using some of the store’s most popular products. The market will run every Saturday throughout the summer.
“We are delighted with the range of vendors we have attracted,” said Tammy Abraham, Co-President of the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollows Farmers Market. “The market will host local growers of produce and organic meat, fishermen who pull their catch from Long Island Sound and cheesemakers crafting their artisan wheels from animals pastured in the fertile Hudson Valley. We will have breads baked from locally milled grain, pizza grilled in a mobile wood-fired oven, an international array of prepared foods and many more amazing vendors who will help make the market a local and regional destination.”
The summer harvest season for the five species of wild Alaska salmon officially kicks off today with the first sockeye and king salmon of the summer, followed quickly by pink, keta, and coho salmon, and continues through October. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has predicted 2015 will yield the largest sockeye salmon harvest since 1995 – an expected increase of 33 percent from the 2014 harvest – additionally they have posted the largest pink salmon forecast on record. Overall, this year is expected to be the second-largest Alaska salmon harvest on record, with a 40 percent total increase over 2014.
More than 90 percent of the wild salmon caught in the United States comes from Alaska and the epic harvest season will create more widespread availability nationwide in frozen, fresh and canned forms just in time for summer grilling season. All species of Alaska salmon are available frozen year-round due to flash-freezing techniques which preserve the pristine quality and nutrition of the salmon while sealing in rich flavor.
“This banner harvest year will enable more consumers nationwide to purchase wild Alaska salmon and experience the exceptional flavor,” said Tyson Fick, Communications Director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “When consumers see the Alaska name, they can trust their salmon is wild, sustainable, and of exceptional quality. Alaska’s constitution mandates sustainability and our science-based fishery management practices are considered a model for the world.”
The USDA has reported eating seafood two to four times per week can improve health. Wild Alaska salmon, in particular, contains a higher level of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than most seafood species, which has been linked to improvements in, or prevention of, certain kinds of cancer and other diseases.
From the rich, robust flavor of king and sockeye salmon to the delicate, milder flavors of coho, keta and pink salmon, the five species appeal to all preferences and budgets and can be incorporated into a wide array of recipes available on www.WildAlaskaSeafood.com.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, commends the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for drafting a strong, evidence-based Scientific Report outlining recommendations and rational for the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Academy supports these recommendations that will improve how and what Americans eat.
“The Academy applauds the evidence-based systematic review of the literature, which is vital to the DGAC’s assessment of the science,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Sonja L. Connor. “We commend the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture for their commitment to the Nutrition Evidence Library and their ongoing efforts to strengthen the evidence-based approach for assessing the scientific literature for future dietary recommendations.”
In comments recently submitted to USDA and HHS, the Academy supports the DGAC in its decision to drop dietary cholesterol from the nutrients of concern list and recommends it deemphasize saturated fat from nutrients of concern, given the lack of evidence connecting it with cardiovascular disease.
“Despite some criticism suggesting that changed recommendations illustrate concerns about the validity of the nutrition science upon which the Dietary Guidelines are based, the DGAC should change its recommendations to be consistent with the best available science and to abide by its statutory mandate,” Connor said.
The Academy also expresses concern over blanket sodium restriction recommendations in light of recent evidence of potential harm to the overall population. “There is a distinct and growing lack of scientific consensus on making a single sodium consumption recommendation for all Americans, owing to a growing body of research suggesting that the low sodium intake levels recommended by the DGAC are actually associated with increased mortality for healthy individuals,” Connor said.
The Academy supports an increased focus on reduction of added sugars as a key public health concern. “Among the identified cross-cutting issues, the evidence is strongest that a reduction in the intake of added sugars will improve the health of the American public. The identification and recognition of the specific health risks posed by added sugars represents an important step forward for public health,” Connor said.
In its comments, Academy also emphasizes that enhanced nutrition education is imperative to any effective implementation. “It is critical to ensure that individuals making diet and behavior changes in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines have access to the resources and support necessary to succeed. HHS and USDA must have sufficient resources to commit to improving a number of initiatives,” Connor said.
“The Academy appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Scientific Report and to serve as a resource to HHS and USDA as they finalize the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and develop resources to implement and promote their use,” Connor said.
The final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are expected to be released at the end of this year.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, and CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. will speak about his latest venture, Daily Table, at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
Daily Table is a pioneering retail venture designed to provide healthy, ready-to-eat meals at fast-food prices, fresh produce and other items to individuals dealing with hunger. The first location opened last month in Dorcester, Massachusetts.
Rauch’s session, “How to Do Good While Doing Well in the Marketplace,” is part of a full menu of seminars and workshops at the show, North America’s largest trade event for the specialty food industry. Owned and produced by the Specialty Food Association, the show takes place June 28 – 30 at Javits Center in New York. The session is 10 – 11 a.m. Monday, June 29.
Also in the line-up is trend expert Suzy Badaracco who will discuss food and flavor trends across generations and examine the difference in consumer behavior between the generations.
“Thought leadership has become a growing part of our show and our culture,” said Ann Daw, President of the Specialty Food Association, owner and producer of the Fancy Food Show. “Every year we strive to present speakers who provide new insights into what drives our industry, which is constantly evolving.”
Show seminars are designed for all levels of the specialty food trade, from newcomers curious about turning their favorite recipe into a business venture, to veterans who are looking to create a succession plan. Highlights include:
Cementing its place as California’s most important agricultural commodity by farm revenue, California farms sold about $9.4 billion worth of milk while the dairy industry contributed approximately $21 billion in value added to the gross state product in 2014, according to a California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB)study conducted by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). Including sales of inputs to dairy farms and milk processors along with raw milk and wholesale milk product sales, the dairy industry contributed $65 billion in total sales to the California economy in 2014. The growing demand for dairy products like cheese and yogurt as well as strong dairy exports accounted for 189,000 jobs that are dependent on the state’s milk production and processing.
“The dairy industry’s contributions are vital to California’s economy, from creating jobs to stimulating local and regional economies to providing nutritious and enjoyable products to consumers everywhere,” said John Talbot, CEO at the California Milk Advisory Board. “A large number of California residents depend on the dairy industry for employment and these jobs would not exist without it.”
The $21 billion to California’s gross state product included $7.4 billion as income to industry workers and owners and $13.4 billion through related, outside industries such as feed, veterinary and accounting services used for dairy production and electricity, packaging, equipment and trucking services used by processors. The tax revenue generated from these jobs supported important statewide initiatives to improve education, health care, roads, community services and the environment.
Overall, 189,000 jobs in California are associated with the dairy industry. Of this amount, approximately 30,000 jobs are on the farm and 20,000 jobs represent dairy processing. For every dairy farm job, there are several more jobs that are tied to the business and create a linked chain of economic impacts.
California leads the nation in dairy production and dairy continues as the top commodity in the country’s top agricultural state. It has been the nation’s largest milk producer since 1993 and is also the country’s leading producer of butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate. California is also the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt.
Farm milk sales generated $9.4 billion gross revenue in 2014. Wholesale dairy product (cheese, fluid milk, ice cream, butter and other dairy) sales hit $25 billion in 2014.
Anne Morcone, founder of American Gourmet Foods in Washington, DC, was a pioneer in specialty food distribution, died March 31, 2015. She was 87. After emigrating from France in 1954, then raising six children: Annie, as she was affectionately known, went to work in the Washington, D.C. food industry during its infancy. Beginning with a small cafe she soon after went to work selling French bread for a local bakery achieving great success and getting to know all the chef ‘s in the city. She was then recruited by Patisfrance, a leading manufacturer of pastry ingredients in France that was just beginning its import distribution to the U.S. In 1985 she left to start her own import company, American Gourmet Foods. Under her guidance and with the help of her children, she built American Gourmet Foods into one of the largest specialty food import distribution companies in the U.S., supplying restaurants, hotels, caterers and distributors all over the east coast. In 2008, she sold the business to Chef’s Warehouse.
Jade Monk is redefining the ready-to-drink tea category with its first-to-market line of organic, cold-brewed matcha green teas. Now available in five regions of Whole Foods Market, Jade Monk’s new line of premium matcha tea is a delicious, authentic offering of some of the finest tea to ever hit the mainstream beverage set.
Utilizing a cold-brewing method, no heat is ever introduced during the production of Jade Monk’s USDA Organic and Non-GMO verified matcha beverages. To extend shelf life of the perishable tea, Jade Monk uses high-pressure-processing, a new method of cold pasteurization that applies high pressure (over 30 tons worth) to inactivate bacteria and other unwanted hazards without the need for high temperature pasteurization, which can be detrimental to matcha’s delicate flavor and whole food nutrients.
“Matcha green tea is unlike any other tea on Earth,” said Mike Fulkerson, Chief Commercial Officer of Jade Monk, LLC. “Because matcha is made by delicately grinding the entire tea leaf into a fine powder, all of those whole food nutrients and health benefits that regular tea bags carry away stay in the beverage and are consumed when you drink Jade Monk matcha.”
Although matcha may seem relatively new to the US, it has been consumed for well over 800 years throughout the Far East. For nearly a millennium, the Japanese have been honing and refining the art of matcha production, which has culminated in a distinct green tea that contains unrivaled flavor, nutritional properties and health benefits. Studies have shown that just one serving of matcha green tea contains the antioxidant equivalent of over 10 servings of traditional steeped green tea. Matcha drinkers also benefit from the whole food trace minerals and amino acids that the tea contains.
The Jade Monk ready-to-drink beverage line consists of four initial flavors: Unsweetened, Slightly Sweet, Mint + Honey, and Matcha Cleanse. The line can currently be found in the refrigerated beverage sets of Whole Foods Market stores in the Pacific Northwest, Southern Pacific, Florida, South and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Mars, Incorporated is supporting two important recommendations designed to help consumers limit their intake of added sugars and achieve healthier, more balanced diets.
The company has endorsed a recommendation by the world’s leading health authorities—including the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition—that people should limit their intake of added sugars to no more than 10 percent of total calorie intake.
Additionally, in comments provided to the US Dietary Guidelines Committee, Mars has signaled its support for a new U.S. government proposal to include an added sugars declaration in the Nutrition Facts panel on all food packaging. The company’s comments to the sugar daily value and added sugars declaration proposal can be viewed at Mars.com.
So called “added sugars” are sugars and syrups added to foods to improve sweetness, structure, texture, and shelf-life. These are distinct from sugars that are “intrinsic” to foods, such as lactose in dairy, or fructose and glucose in bananas.
“We want people to enjoy Mars brands as part of a well-balanced diet,” said Dave Crean, Global Head of Research & Development at Mars, Incorporated. “With this in mind, we support the recommendation of global health experts that consumers limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of their calorie intake. In the US, we have a further opportunity to help people achieve their dietary goals by supporting the government’s proposal to include added sugars in the Nutrition Facts panel. It just makes good sense.”
Mars makes a wide assortment of brands popular with consumers around the world, including M&Ms, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s Rice, Dolmio, and Doublemint. Mars’ commitment to help reduce intake of added sugars to less than 10% of total calorie intake, and support for the new transparent labeling proposal, build on steps taken over time to help consumers achieve their nutritional goals.