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Exciting Options for Today’s Home Cooks

By Lorrie Baumann

KeHE prides itself on offering products to help grocery retailers get out in front of emerging trends, so it was no surprise to see that many of the vendors who came to KeHE’s Holiday Show came prepared with options to help home cooks add a punch of flavor to a meal that’s easy and quick to prepare. The KeHE Holiday Show was held June 12-13 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Meal kit services have been making bank by providing consumers with a scratch-cook experience that doesn’t require a lot of last-minute thought, much time or advanced cooking skills. Grocers have watched aghast as these services have elbowed their way into this market with offerings of premeasured grocery products and a recipe card delivered to customers’ homes. Grocers have responded by finding ways to offer home delivery themselves, but Blue Apron in particular has turned the tables on grocers by marketing itself as a healthier alternative to the food that consumers might otherwise buy in their local supermarket. KeHE’s Holiday Show vendors brought the goods to help grocers ante their way back into that game, proving that there’s more than one way to appeal to a consumer with a sense of adventure and an urge to cook at home along with limited culinary skills and no set recipe repertoire.

The Spice Hunter, for instance, has some good ideas that make it easier for a home cook to roast a moist, flavorful holiday turkey with its Original and new Lemon, Garlic & Herb Turkey Brine & Bag. One 11-ounce pouch that retails for $7.99 to $9.99 provides the necessities for brining a turkey up to 25 pounds. The home cook stirs the brine mix into a gallon of boiling water to dissolve it, then chills the brine before submerging the turkey into it. After the turkey has brined for 12 to 24 hours, it’s ready to be patted dry and roasted, smoked or deep-fried.

KoreanBBQ ImageThe Spice Hunter is also launching this year its new Korean BBQ and Mango Habanero Global Fusion Rubs. These versatile rubs season grilled proteins and vegetables, but they can also be used as seasonings for dips or salad dressings or even as a popcorn topping. These rubs join a line that includes Mild Sriracha, Coriander Lime, Chipotle Cinnamon, Smoky Chile, Smoky Turmeric, Spicy Garlic and Tandoori. The Spice Hunter Global Fusion Rubs offer home cooks a convenient way to add a hit of flavor to everyday foods, and the range of spices has something to appeal to consumers with varying tolerances for heat.

Cook’s All-Natural Pantry offers pickled vegetables that provide an easy side dish, particularly for consumers who are following the trend to include more vegetables in their diets. A line of organic pickled vegetables packed on farms in the area around Krakow, Poland, will appeal to consumers looking for ethnic authenticity and includes Organic Whole Beets, Organic Sliced Beets, Organic Polish Dill Spears, Organic Polish Dill Slices, Organic Polish Dill Pickles (which are packaged whole), Organic Spicy Sauerkraut (spicy with red peppers and garlic), Organic Beet Sauerkraut and Organic Sauerkraut.
Cook’s Pantry also offers Organic Medium Red Enchilada Sauce, Mild Red Enchilada Sauce and Mild Green Enchilada Sauce. The enchilada sauces retail for $7.99 for a 16-ounce jar.

Tasty Bite is offering new hot and spicy Asian vegetarian dishes in pouches that serve two. The dishes are microwaved for just 60 seconds and retail for around $4.
Indian Coconut Vegetables is vegetables and sweet potatoes simmered in a spicy coconut yogurt sauce. Indian Vindaloo has vegetables and tomatoes in a spicy curry sauce. And Thai Vegetable Curry has potatoes and vegetables stewed in a spicy curry. All of them are GMO- and gluten-free.

Spice & Simmer Promo ShotTasty Bite is also launching out a line of Spice & Simmer entree kits that takes its inspiration directly from those boxed meal kits. Each Spice & Simmer peggable package includes whole spices, a marinade and a simmer sauce to make an Asian specialty entree by marinating vegetables or protein, heating spices in oil, adding the marinated vegetables and/or protein and then adding the simmer sauce and simmering. The line includes kits for Korma, Tikka Masala, Kashmir Curry, Thai Green Curry, Szechuan and Teriyaki. The kits are all vegan and have an 18-month shelf life. They contain no preservatives, additives or MSG, and they don’t require refrigeration.

GourmetJalapenoPicklesPickled Pink is a line of Southern-style pickles made according to old family recipes of friends and business partners Jim Lawlor and Charlie Stephenson, who both spent many years in the restaurant business. They launched their company in 2013 and pointed out at the KeHE Holiday Show that their pickles have been successful because they sell year-round and are popular for grilling and tailgating season as well as for the winter holidays. They work well as part of a charcuterie platter, as an accompaniment for a pork tenderloin or over vanilla ice cream, Stephenson said. “A lot of them taste like Christmas,” he added.
The line includes Sweet Heat Jalapenos, Spiced Watermelon Pickle, Gourmet Jalapeno Pickle, Smokin’ Okra, Perfectly Pickled Peaches and Vidalia Onion & Peach Relish. Coming later in 2017, we can expect to see Spicy Pickled Green Beans and Garlic Dill Pickles join the line.

Lemon & Vine, offered by Erotas Enterprises, a woman-owned family company in Napa, California, is a line of entrees and appetizers made from Greek family recipes given a modern twist. These will work well either for family meals or for a party. Vegetable Pastichio is pasta layered with savory vegetables and tomatoes and baked in a creamy custard – rather like an Italian lasagna with a custard instead of cheese. Packaged in a family size to serve four or in a one to two serving size. The family package retails for $15.99, and the smaller package retails for $9.99.

Meat Pastichio has pasta layered with beef, lamb and tomato baked in a custard. This is also offered in a family size or a single size. The family size, again serving four, retails for $19.99, while the one to two serving size retails for $11.99.
Lemon & Vine Keftethes are savory beef and lamb entree-size meatballs baked in a red wine tomato sauce. A package that serves four retails for $21.99.

For party appetizers, Lemon & Vine offers Lemon Chicken Triangles, Spanakopita, Cheese Tiropita and Eggplant Artichoke Triangles. Each is made from crisp, flaky fillo dough and a filling that includes feta cheese. A 12-ounce box contains 12 appetizers for each variety, and the retail price for these is about $8.99.

Simply Asia is launching Vietnamese-Inspired Pho Broth that requires only the addition of noodles, beef and vegetables to make an authentic pho and Japanese-Inspired Ramen Soy Ginger Chicken Broth that can be turned into an authentic ramen soup with noodles, chicken and vegetables.

To make home preparation easier, Simply Asia also offers the noodles: Japanese-style Soba, Ramen and Udon noodles and Chinese-style Lo Mein. The Pho and Ramen broths will retail for about $2.99 for a package that serves about three. The 14-ounce boxes of Soba, Udon and Lo Mein noodles and the 8-ounce boxes of Ramen noodles will retail for about $2.49.
Southeastern Mills is offering Louisiana Gold pepper sauces in red and green, both made with tabasco peppers. Bottles holding 5 fluid ounces will retail for $1.99, and 2-ounce bottles will retail for $1.49.

The company also offers Better Than Bouillon food bases, and is launching a new Roasted Garlic flavor. The paste can be used right out of the bottle as a seasoning for meats or for grilled vegetables. The website at www.betterthanbouillon.com offers hundreds of recipes for the products, including a whole section devoted to 30-minute meals.

New Line of Gourmet Side Dishes from Royal Basmati Rice

Royal Basmati Rice is launching a new line of gourmet side dishes in eight globally-inspired flavors. Royal Authentic Adventures™ dishes are made with Royal’s Premium Basmati Rice.

Royal Authentic Adventures is available now at nationwide grocers including Harris Teeter, Kings Supermarket Inc./Balducci’s, SpartanNash, Tops Friendly Markets, Walmart (Calif. locations) and Costco, and will hit shelves at Shaw’s and Wegmans stores in May, followed by Weis Markets and Randalls stores in June.

Royal basmati riceEach variety of Royal Authentic Adventures delivers a global, gourmet adventure in a delectable side dish that cooks in only 12 minutes. Royal Authentic Adventures takes taste buds through a journey across the world’s most celebrated culinary cultures, encompassing authentic flavors and ingredients native to each region. Blends include:

  • Mexican-Style Basmati Rice – Fire roasted tomatillo and green chile flavor made with a special blend of tomatillos, green chiles, onions and other savory herbs and spices brings the warm and lively flavors of Mexico to family dinner tables. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • French-Style Basmati Rice – A medley of French Provençal vegetables made with red bell pepper, thyme, carrot, parsley, and garlic celebrates the beautifully balanced flavors of France’s far-reaching culinary influence. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • Thai-Style Basmati Rice – Basil lemongrass curry flavor infused with the mild-sweet yellow curries of Thailand, along with robust and spicy notes of citrus, lemongrass and ginger, combine to bring out the bright, fresh flavors of traditional Thai dishes in every bite. (Gluten-free)
  • Greek-Style Basmati Rice – Herb and lemon flavor made with a blend of classic Mediterranean spices and seasonings including lemon, oregano, parsley, garlic and olive oil is sure to become a family favorite. (Gluten-free)
  • Japanese-Style Basmati Rice – Shiitake ginger flavor made with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, green onion, soy sauce and toasted sesame flawlessly re-create the exotic and aromatic flavors of the Far East. (Vegan)
  • Moroccan-Style Basmati Rice – Herb tagine flavor made with slow-roasted tomatoes, mint, cinnamon, cloves and chili peppers provides an earthy, yet delicately nuanced taste of the Middle East. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • Indian-Style Basmati Rice – Wood-fired tandoori flavor made with garlic, paprika and turmeric offer an ode to India’s masterful culinary influence. (Gluten-free)
  • Argentinian-Style Basmati Rice – Chimichurri flavor is a vibrant and soulful blend of citrus juices, herbs and garlic, making this side dish a tango for the taste buds. (Gluten-free)

Abhinav Arora, President of LT Foods Americas, says, “Because rice is a celebrated staple in so many cultures worldwide, Royal is always looking for innovative ways to incorporate other traditions and backgrounds into our product lines. We are excited to offer our customers a tour of diverse flavors from around the globe with Royal Authentic Adventures. This line truly represents our brand values and commitment to diversity.”

Royal Authentic Adventures uses no artificial colors or preservatives and is made with basmati rice sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas. Overseeing the harvesting, milling, processing and distribution of its products, Royal Basmati Rice is dedicated to providing the highest quality of ingredients to its customers.

Sugarmade Completes Sriracha Seasoning Stix Manufacturing Facility

Sugarmade, Inc. has completed a California manufacturing facility that will produce Sriracha Seasoning Stix. The facility and an additional contract manufacturing site located on the East Coast will provide the company with an initial manufacturing capability of tens of thousands of bottles of Sriracha Seasoning Stix each week and a future capacity of tens of millions of Stix per month.

Already issued three U.S. patents, Seasoning Stix are a true innovation in the seasoning of meat, fish and poultry. Production of this new class of seasoning required the invention of several new culinary production techniques, which are now fully operational. Sriracha Seasoning Stixs are encapsulated Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce and other seasonings in the form of a “stick” that’s inserted into meat, fish and poultry prior to cooking. Sriracha Seasoning Stixs are a hard solid at room temperature, but as heat is applied, the sticks begin to liquefy, allowing the meat fibers to act like a sponge, absorbing all the spicy deliciousness of Huy Fong Foods, Inc. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.

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