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10 Reasons to Send Gourmet News a Press Release

1. You have a new product to introduce.

2. You have a new employee to introduce.

3. You have won an award.

4. You have promoted an employee.

5. You have opened a new facility.

6. You have made a major charitable contribution.

7. You have achieved something you’re proud of and want to tell the world, even if nobody’s giving out awards for it.

8. You want to issue an open invitation for members of the specialty foods industry.

9. You have a worthy cause that you’d like to publicize.

10. Your competitors are sending their press releases to Gourmet News!

Address all press releases to editor@oser.com. Here are some tips to guide you through your press release.

Gourmet News is a publication of Oser Communications Group.

 

How to Get Your News into Gourmet News

The press release you send to Gourmet News doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy — in fact, the less fancy it is, the better — but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances that we’ll grab your item out of the avalanche of mail we receive and publish your item.

Never add emphasis by typing words entirely in upper case, LIKE THIS, or by capitalizing words in ways that don’t follow standard Associated Press style, such as: the Best and the Most Wonderful Product on the Planet! In general, you should capitalize your brand names, unless your brand is properly spelled in lower case only, but other attributes of your products should be typed in restrained lower case.

Be sparing with adjectives. Sure you want to describe your product in lush, sensuous terms, but remember that you’re not writing for consumers, and if you go overboard with your adjectives, most or all of them will just be deleted before publication, and if you make that too difficult, you run the risk that your article will simply be discarded.

Trademark registration notices are appropriate on the first mention of the registered item in the body of your copy. Trademark and registration symbols are never used in headlines and will be edited out after the first reference.

If your press release is about a product, include a suggested retail price and the quantity contained in the retail package.

Send your press release either in the body of an email or in an attached Word document. If you send it to us in a pdf file, we may not be able to extract the text, and in that case, we’re likely to discard the release rather than asking you to send it in a format we can use.

Attach a print-quality image to your email whenever you have one you can share. If you send multiple images, either attach them to separate emails or compress them with a file-zipping utility. Or let us know that you need to send multiple images and ask for transmission instructions.

That’s all there is to it! Send all press releases to editor@oser.com. And remember, we love to get your news and we love to share it with the world. Don’t be shy about sending us your news — just make it easy for us to share it!

Writing Effective Fancy Food Show Marketing Copy

 

By Lorrie Baumann, Editorial Director, Oser Communications Group

Here are some quick tips for writing marketing copy that will start your sales conversation with prospective buyers even before they reach your Fancy Food Show booth.

 

  1. Remember whom you’re writing for! When you’re writing marketing copy to place in Gourmet News or a flyer to hand out at your booth, you’re writing for your customers, not for the general public. That means that you can use jargon or terms of art that you wouldn’t expect members of the general public to understand. However, you should also keep in mind that even your customers might not be familiar with abbreviations and acronyms that are specific to your company. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you mean when you shorten or abbreviate your company name, for instance.

 

  1. But also remember that the ubiquity of the Internet means that anything you write might ultimately be seen by anyone. That means that you shouldn’t put anything in your marketing copy that could embarrass you or your company if it’s seen online.

 

  1. Keep in mind that your marketing copy for your Fancy Food Show exhibit should reflect your goals for the show. There are many ways to focus your article, but you should start by picking one point to focus on and sticking with that through your entire article.
    • If you’re there to sell a specific product or to introduce a new product or product line, keep your focus on that. Be sure to mention how your product is distinguishable from the many others on the market. If your product has certifications or verified dietary attributes, mention all of them.
    • If you’re there to introduce your company to prospective customers who may not know anything about you, consider making your article a profile of one of your company leaders, either your CEO or someone who will be physically present in your booth during the trade show. Keep in mind that specialty food retailers want to know the story behind your products so they can share that with their customers.
    • If you’re there to remind your customers that you value your relationship with them, consider making your article a case study about how you solved a problem for one of your customers. That’ll remind your other customers that you’ve been there for them too.

 

  1. Don’t forget to include a call for action. That means making sure that your article includes an invitation to stop by your Fancy Food Show booth during the show as well as contact information for how you can be reached after the show.

 

Finally, if you’re writing an article for insertion into Gourmet News, remember that Oser Communications Group has an experienced editorial staff ready to help you out. Whether you get stuck and need a friendly suggestion about how to get started or you’d like to have someone glance over your draft and give you suggestions about how to smooth out your article’s flow, a five-minute phone call to our editorial staff might save you hours of stress. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 520.721.1300 and ask for the editorial department.

 

Gourmet News is a publication of Oser Communications Group, and it’s not affiliated with either the Fancy Food Shows or the Specialty Food Association.

 

Red Rocker Candy

If you’re a fan of snack mixes based on breakfast cereals and pretzels, but you’ve been thinking that snack mix just doesn’t seem decadent enough to serve your friends at your next party, Red Rocker Candy has a thought for you. Rocking Chair Mix is the company’s crunchy mix of cereals, pretzels and roasted almonds, all covered in white chocolate. Or, as one of my colleagues put it, “It’s not that unsatisfying yogurt coating.”

The letter that Jennifer Monges, a Manager at Red Rocker Candy, enclosed with the samples she sent our way says that the Rocking Chair Mix is often described as addictive, and Kitchenware News Associate Editor Amber Gallegos, the colleague who appreciated the white chocolate coating agrees. “Yeah, oh yeah,” she says. “Pretty bombalicious.” Rocking Chair Mix is offered in 7-ounce and 21-ounce cans.

Red Rocker Candy also offers Peppermint Bark from October through December. It’s a seasonal favorite that’s a feast for the eyes with white chocolate swirls and crushed peppermint candy on dark chocolate. The bark is sold in 8-ounce and 16-ounce boxes.

Cashew Toffee with White Chocolate is a classical buttery toffee topped with white chocolate and cashew bits. The company also offers Peanut Brittle and Pecan Brittle and promises that Pistachio Brittle will be available at the end of the year. The Cashew Toffee is offered in an 8-ounce bag and 16-ounce box. The brittles are offered in 8-ounce bags. Peanut Brittle also comes in a 16-ounce box, and Pecan Brittle comes in a 14-ounce box.

Red Rocker Candy was founded in 2002 and is based in Troy, Virginia. For more information, visit www.redrockercandy.com.

 

– Lorrie Baumann

 

World Olive Oils and “Second-Tier” Countries: A Tunisian Tasting

 

I cut short lunch today, and found myself standing at the counter of an always-busy local bread and sandwich shop, mulling what seemed like a good dozen and a half varieties of delicious-looking whole wheat loaves. The stakes were high. The occasion? I had promised my coworkers a “booth-style” tasting of a collection of extra-virgin olive oils from Tunisian olive oil producer CHO, that brought this North African country’s first branded oils to the world market two and a half years ago. While you have probably tasted Tunisian olive oil many times – as the world’s second largest net exporter of EVOO, the country’s bulk olive oils have long been rebranded or used in mixes from leading exporters Spain and Italy among others – we took a little test drive of CHO’s attractively-bottled EVOOs to give you a heads up on oils that are found in 4,000 retailers nationwide.

As my booth guests picked bread slice quarters and dipped into a selection of oils, I decided to start my taste excursion midstream, opting for the lemon-infused EVOO that gave plenty of citrus essence against a hearty, viscous golden oil. After cleansing my palate a bit with CHO’s original organic EVOO, which all agreed would make for fine cooking use, I finished my tour with the basil and garlic-infused oils. The basil was quite strong, enjoyable and definitely for the consumer with a dipping-type purpose in mind. The garlic also firmly announced its infusion and was quite tasty.

CHO is one of a growing number of producers world-wide that have been making inroads to the U.S. market; Tunisia accounts for nearly 11% of U.S. EVOO imports, behind only Spain and Italy. Nearby Morocco also registers in the top 10 suppliers of U.S.-consumed EVOO. Along with award-winning producers in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Australia and a number of countries in and around the Mediterranean, these “second-tier” producing countries are giving an increasingly discerning American gourmet food consumer more and more EVOO choices at their local Whole Foods or specialty food shop.

Until our next selection of freshly-baked artisan bread and tasting session (unofficial word out of the newsroom has chocolate spreads leading slightly over tapenades as the next product category in the tasting booth), may all of your olive oil choices be infused with flavor and enjoyment.

David Bernard
Associate Editor

 

Baked Beans with Pendleton Barbecue Sauce

I used Pendleton© Brown Sugar+Molasses Barbecue Sauce the other night to make a batch of baked beans that turned out fabulous! I started with a couple of cups of cooked Anasazi beans. I put that in a pot with about half an onion that I chopped finely and browned in the fat I rendered out of a couple of strips of bacon. I drained the grease and added the browned onion and chopped bacon bits to the beans, then added enough of the barbecue sauce to moisten it well — probably about 3/4 cup. Then I just let it simmer for about 45 minutes while I baked some chicken and dressed some cole slaw. And the best thing is that I managed to stop eating while I still had some leftover beans and cole slaw for today’s lunch!

The Anasazi beans are a Southwest heritage variety that I bought at my local farmers market. They’re a gorgeous bean with cranberry and cream speckles, and they have a creamy texture when cooked. The Brown Sugar + Molasses sauce is one of a pair of new flavors from Pendleton, which also makes new Hot+Spicy flavor and Original and Mesquite flavors. The sauces are made by Oregon Growers & Shippers in partnership with Hood River Distillers. The Brown Sugar + Molasses Sauce was created for consumers looking for a sweeter flavor profile and is made from premium quality molasses and dark brown sugar for a caramel flavor accented with hints of citrus from coriander and some mild heat from black and chipotle peppers and a backdrop of hickory smoke that add some spicy tang to that sweetness for a result that didn’t taste anything like candied beans.

 

– Lorrie Baumann

 

A Playful Take on an Italian Classic

 

By Lorrie Baumann

A colleague of mine at Oser Communications Group has asked me to review a recipe for Pasta with Jam Sauce concocted by Mr. West Collins and demonstrated in a YouTube video that can be seen at http://youtu.be/90tZUltzRBc. She asked me to respond to the video as a professional writer on matters of culinaria, based on my experience as editorial director of Gourmet News, the business newspaper of the specialty food industry, and Kitchenware News & Housewares Review magazine, as part of her participation in GISHWHES as a member of Team CommorientLoves6RMartial Arts.

Collins’ recipe calls for canned pasta sauce, carrot juice, Goldfish crackers and a whole apple with several bites out of it, which of course does not adhere to our traditional notions of how to make a great pasta sauce. It must be said, though, that there are certainly more recipes for pasta sauce out there than there have ever been pasta cooks to concoct them, so we must not accept without question the notion that Collins’ recipe is entirely new to the world.

We recreated the recipe in our editorial office with Hunt’s all-natural tomato sauce, which does not include added sugar; Polaner strawberry spreadable fruit, which is sweetened only with fruit juice; Bolthouse Farms carrot juice; Pepperidge Farm’s Baked Goldfish crackers, flavor blasted with “Xplosive Pizza + Parmesan” for a little bit of Italian flavoring; and a Red Delicious apple, which was removed when the pasta was served on elbow macaroni from a carton of Kraft macaroni and cheese.

The results admittedly fall short of our expectations for a fine Italian pasta sauce, due primarily to the ingredient choices, which could have been improved. However, ingredients are just one element in a successful culinary experience. Other necessary elements include technique and tools. Collins’ video demonstrates that he had available to him the essential tools of a modern American home kitchen, although it is also apparent that his technique with them is not expert. Clearly, that will benefit from future experiments in the kitchen and additional instruction from a knowledgeable cook with more culinary experience than he.

With quality ingredients, adequate tools and a firm grasp of basic technique, any cook can put an edible meal on the table. But putting an exceptional meal on the table calls for something else: the creativity born of imagination and a willingness to experiment. And that, Collins brings in abundance.

That being the case, the actual taste of the dish that results from Collins’ recipe is almost irrelevant. In any case, the sauce made from his recipe is not all that different from a nationally distributed brand that has certainly turned a profit over the years. What Collins is really serving up here, along with his Pasta with Jam Sauce, is fun. That the adults around him encouraged his experiment fostered his creativity and culinary courage. That they recorded it and shared it with us allows us also to have a taste of the fun.

However, if you are looking for your own opportunity to cook up a playful take on an Italian classic, I would suggest some experiments with the Maple Bacon Aioli recently released by Stonewall Kitchen, a premium product that you’ll find in a specialty grocery or gourmet store. Stonewall Kitchen sent me a couple of jars to sample and review, and I recently tried it out as a pizza sauce with good results. I used a prepared pizza crust from Trader Joe’s, rolled it out and spread it with the aioli, then topped it with chopped roast chicken and mozzarella cheese and baked it. Delicious!

 

 

 

Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever

Stonewall Kitchen’s Maple Bacon Aioli adds a delicious fillip to a grilled cheese sandwich. Just spread the aioli on the outside of the bread, in place of the usual butter, and grill the sandwich as usual. The bread browns beautifully with a crispy surface texture, and the maple flavor adds a long finish that’s just fantastic. Glorious!

– Lorrie Baumann

Cooking with Stonewall Kitchens Maple Bacon Aioli

I first tasted Stonewall Kitchens Maple Bacon Aioli at the Summer Fancy Food Show this June, and my first thought was that this might be good to slather on some chicken breasts and bake. So when a couple of jars of the aioli arrived in the mail from Stonewall Kitchens today, there was no question but that I was going to race home and see what I could do with it.

I stopped first at Trader Joe’s, but the chicken breasts were expensive, so I got turkey cutlets instead. This is an experiment, after all, and we’re talking about $6 instead of about $11 for enough poultry to make dinner for two.

So, okay. I dipped out a few tablespoons of the Maple Bacon Aioli onto a saucer and dragged the 1/2-inch cutlets through it to coat them on both sides, then laid them onto the foil-lined baking pan that fits into the countertop oven. About 18 minutes at 400 degrees, and the cutlets were nicely browned and ready to serve.

OMG! Spectacular! Juicy, luxuriously unctuous, fantastic. You could totally serve this to all your pickiest gourmet friends without missing any of the conversation. I think that next time I’ll make it with some roasted Brussels sprouts and I’ll lay the baked cutlets over some mashed potatoes, so that the Maple Bacon Aioli will lend its bacony goodness to the potatoes. No reason to spend the extra money for chicken breasts unless you want to.

–Lorrie

Taste the Maple-Bacon Flavors at Stonewall Kitchen #SFFSF14

By Lorrie Baumann

Stonewall Kitchen is showcasing the flavors of maple and bacon in two new products that will put a stamp of excellence on holiday entertaining events. See them in booth #3914 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Maple Bacon Onion Jam has the sweetness of maple and onions combined with the savory umami of bacon for a flavorful and versatile product. Put it on the cheese tray during the cocktail hour or use it to glaze the dinnertime ham. There’s even a pizza recipe — just use the jam as the base sauce on the crust and then top with cheese. For a super-easy appetizer, pick up some flatbread at the grocery, spread it with this jam and toast it in the oven. That would be fabulous, and there’s no requirement at all that you tell anyone at all how easy that was to pull off.

DSCN0460[1]The other new maple-bacon product is a Maple Bacon Aioli that’s made with canola oil, real bacon bits and pure maple syrup. Try it as a sandwich spread, especially on a BLT, just use a dollop on grilled meats to add some extra flavor, or you could even use it as a dip for fries or vegetable sticks. After tasting it, I can hardly wait to slather it over some chicken pieces, bake that in the oven and serve it to somebody I love.

Stonewall Kitchen is also introducing a second aioli — this one a Cilantro Lime Aioli. Use this one to top fish tacos of other summertime Mexican dishes. Remember that commercial in which the hamster in the plastic ball points out that the dinnertime tacos aren’t going to eat themselves and then the young woman bounces in anticipation? “Oooh, tacos!” Well, that’s the reaction this Cilantro Lime Aioli would get.

The Maple Bacon Onion Jam retails for $7.95, and the aiolis retail for $7.50 for a 10.25-ounce bottle.

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