SaltWorks® CEO Mark Zoske is warning retailers and wholesale buyers that an influx of lower cost, poorly processed, low-quality Himalayan pink salt has infiltrated the market, putting businesses and consumers at risk.
Prized for its beautiful gradient of color, trace mineral content and delicious flavor, Himalayan salt has exploded in popularity, especially as consumers seek all-natural salts that contains no artificial additives.
Responding to the increased demand, commodity importers have introduced poorly processed mineral salt that may contain undesirable and potentially harmful insoluble materials, such as dust, dirt, clay, stone, rocks or even plastic and metal fragments.
“Some larger retailers are pressuring suppliers to reduce costs. Using under-processed salt has become the only way to meet their price targets. This can have serious consequences,” said Zoske. “Ultimately, we’re concerned that this low-quality salt will trigger a recall. It will jeopardize consumers’ perceptions of this incredible, flavorful and versatile salt, because it contains stuff that isn’t salt, doesn’t taste as good, or work as well in their shakers and grinders.”
SaltWorks is a leading supplier of high-quality all-natural Himalayan pink salt. The company produces its own Ancient Ocean® and Artisan® Salt Company brands for retail and wholesale customers, and supplies bulk Himalayan salt to manufacturers, food processors and private label customers.
SaltWorks urges commercial buyers to ask their Himalayan salt suppliers about their quality benchmarks, processing facilities and exactly how the salt is processed.
It is important for buyers and consumers to conduct simple visual and taste tests, according to the company. Correctly processed high-quality Himalayan salt will range in color from light white to shades of pink and red. Every crystal should be translucent. Salt grains that are opaque red, white, gray and brown are inedible clay, stone or other materials.
The flavor should be salt-forward with a slight but distinct minerality. Gritty textures and a clay-like flavor indicate a lower-quality salt that includes impurities.
SaltWorks has engineered a chemical-free salt processing system with built-in redundancies to ensure that the salts it produces and sells are among the cleanest, safest and highest quality available.
This proprietary processing system includes sifters, aspirators, rare-earth magnets, metal detection and the company’s own highly advanced Optically Clean® color sorting technology.
Unlike older technology commonly used in the salt industry, Optically Clean analyzes salt grains in free flow using the full color spectrum with advanced HD cameras. Each grain is compared to SaltWorks’ stringent quality specifications. Optically Clean identifies materials that blend in with the salt but are inedible, like rock and clay particles. These materials, as well as grains that do not meet SaltWorks’ strict standards, are removed with a burst of air.
“We process all of our salts in our state-of-the-art facility in the United States. We’ve implemented multiple steps and QA checks along the way to ensure we are supplying the cleanest, safest, food-grade all-natural salt available,” said Zoske. “We never cut corners on our supply chain, equipment, processes or packaging.”
Discover the SaltWorks’ Himalayan salt processing difference and explore its all-natural salt selection online at www.seasalt.com/wholesale/best-himalayan-salt-processing.
by Micah Cheek
Home brewing kits are becoming a popular gift for hobbyists, but marketing and selling the kits poses some unique challenges. Patrick Bridges, Vice President of sales and Marketing at Cooper’s DIY, notes that holiday sales for the Mr. Beer kit are reflecting strong interest in the hobby. “It was a tremendous response, we experienced better sell though this year than many past years. By really identifying with the craft beer movement, I think it really resonated with consumers,” says Bridges. “People do it because they can create new beers and share. Beer is made for special occasions, holidays and birthdays. Typically, the purchaser is the foodie, they’re interested in cooking and natural ingredients.”
Part of the appeal of these kits is premixed ingredient sets that not only allow home brewers to make classic favorites like IPAs and stouts, but replicate award-winning and hard to find brews as well. “Many craft beers, they can’t distribute outside of their state, with a commercial system that isn’t always able to bring beers to where you live,” says Bridges. “We took a couple gold medal winners and cloned their beers. It’s a collaboration. If you can’t get it, make it.”
Bringing home brewing to retail spaces has presented some unexpected insights. “We sell in liquor stores and they don’t do very well. People are there for instant gratification. Any kind of kit doesn’t do well at liquor stores,” says Bridges. “Our kits are usually sold in the kitchen or housewares department. They’re often in the top 10 selling products during the holidays.” But the brick and mortar space still presents some marketing issues. “It’s a long process. You can’t make the beer there, plus you can’t serve it. It has unique challenges in that regard,” says Bridges. “Where possible we have videos we can loop to show how easy it is. The way to get people interested is to taste the beer, but we’re unable to execute that at retail for obvious reasons.”
With expanding home brewing interests, options other than beer are getting attention. “Last year we introduced Hacked Root Beer. Things like that and some of these hard sodas are trending now. Those seem to be really driving the trends rather than ciders,” says Bridges. “The big trend now is barrel-aged beers. We add wood chips, so you don’t have to put it in a barrel.”
Ronald “Trey” Braswell, III has assumed the presidency of the family-owned egg and feed producer headquartered in Nashville, North Carolina. In accepting the mantle from his father, Trey Braswell acknowledged the visionary leadership that delivered the company through many challenges and changes since its founding in 1943. “Each generation before me has had new ambition, new desire, and new energy to take the company to the next level,” said Trey Braswell. “I am indebted to them for the firm foundation they established and to the hundreds of team members that get the job done every day for our customers.”
Scott Braswell has served as President of the company since 1991 and made the announcement at a company-wide meeting. “I am excited that I will be able to watch our company evolve and grow in the coming years,” he said. “I will focus my attention on our mission and ministry projects and on enjoying my grandchildren – the fifth generation of Braswells.”
In recounting the Braswell Foods history, heritage and values, Trey introduced the new name for the company: Braswell Family Farms. “This brand recognizes our deep roots and our commitment to family. It will become our flag as we build and expand relationships with the premier grocery retailers we serve between New York and Florida,” he said.
Braswell Family Farms is one of the foremost producers of premium and specialty eggs and feed on the east coast. Braswell was one of the first producers to go to market with Eggland’s Best premium eggs in the 1990s. “When my grandfather bought the rights to produce for Eggland’s Best, a lot of people thought he was crazy,” said the younger Braswell. “It turned out to be a brilliant move that my father was able to use to grow our company from 30 employees in 1991 to around 200 today.”
The company will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2018. Operations are centered in Nashville, North Carolina, and Jetersville, Virginia.
Double Rainbow’s Strawberry Lemon flavor of frozen custard has been named the Grand Champion at the World Dairy Expo. Beating out more than 170 frozen desserts to claim the Grand Champion title, the award-winning Strawberry Lemon blends perfectly tart lemons and summer-sweet strawberries together in a delicious fruit ice, which is then swirled with Double Rainbow’s rich and creamy Original Vanilla Custard, a classic blend of egg, cream and Madagascar vanilla.
Strawberry Lemon is one a a line of indulgent new flavors that also includes Chocolate and Vanilla Malt, Sea Salt Caramel, Original Vanilla, Vanilla and Blueberry Pomegranate, Mango Tangerine, Raspberry and Tart Cherry. The overall theme of the new line is that they combine twists on nostalgic flavor combinations and exciting new textures created by swirling rich and creamy custards together with refreshing fruit ices.
Founded 40 years ago in the heart of San Francisco, Double Rainbow continues today to make award-winning super-premium ice creams, custards and non-dairy frozen desserts.
Dean Foods Company’s Mayfield Creamery ice cream brand is expanding further across the southern U.S. to a collection of new markets in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico. Mayfield Ice Cream debuted in 1923, and can currently be found in grocery stores across the southeast in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana.
In conjunction with the brand’s expansion across the south, the company also announced a brand restage initiative that takes Mayfield back to its roots, including restoring the name of the 94-year-old brand to Mayfield Creamery, the original trademark. To bring this update to life, Mayfield Creamery has completely overhauled its packaging graphics to showcase the brand’s core values, reflected in classic iconography and its heritage as a family dairy. The new packaging prominently features a classic Mayfield delivery truck set against the foothills of the Smoky Mountains highlighting the brand’s authentic southern roots. The new Mayfield Creamery logo has been adapted from the iconic circular Mayfield Dairy Farms logo recognized by generations of loyal fans.
Dry Creek Vineyard announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. D779,938, related to the design of printed sustainable sourcing information on its wine cork closures. This is the first patent issued to Dry Creek Vineyard, which is celebrating 45 years of family winemaking in Sonoma County, California.
The innovative closure is laser printed with ornamental and detailed information about the source of cork material, including the age of the cork forest, the harvest date of the trees and the sustainable habitat these remarkable forests provide to the Iberian Lynx and Spanish Imperial Hawk.
This revolutionary concept was introduced with the release of Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel. President Kim Stare Wallace developed the idea in an effort to provide transparency and authenticity of the winery’s extensive portfolio.
“I wanted to provide valuable knowledge to consumers about our sustainability efforts and the benefits of cork closures,” said Stare Wallace. “Dry Creek Vineyard is one of the last truly private, family-owned, iconic wineries, and it is important to communicate our ‘no compromises’ philosophy on every aspect of our packaging.”
“We make wines with integrity and soul,” continued Stare Wallace. “No detail is overlooked, including when and from where our corks are harvested.”
Founded in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard is 100 percent certified sustainable and a leader in the sustainability movement in the Dry Creek Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) and the wine industry as a whole.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been awarded the SQF 7.2 – Level 3 Certification by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI). SQFI is a globally trusted and recognized food safety and quality program. Level 3 certification recognizes suppliers that have implemented a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food quality plan in addition to a food safety plan and food safety fundamentals. It is the most stringent and highest-level certification awarded by SQFI.
The SQF program is administered by a division of Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and is one of several certification systems recognized by the Global Food Safe Initiative (GFSI), as well as retailers and foodservice providers around the world that require HACCP food safety and quality management systems by their suppliers. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) brings together food safety experts from throughout the industry to identify the best food safety management practices across the agri-food supply chain. Today, GFSI and its global partners audit and certify more than 100,000 food operations and facilities across 160 countries. Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification allows a company’s food safety and quality systems to be verified and validated, increasing brand protection, consumer confidence and loyalty.
Nielsen-Massey’s previous SQF Level 2 included food safety fundamentals and a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) approach to managing risks and hazards; this level is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The company’s new SQF Level 3 certification adds onto the Level 2 food safety requirements with additional quality requirements. To receive a Level 3 certification, Nielsen-Massey developed and implemented a quality management system that includes documented procedures, monitoring and measuring, corrective actions, internal audits and related processes.
“The awarding of the SQF Level III certification to Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is a demonstration of management commitment and our employees resolve to provide safe, healthy and high quality products for our customers,” said Terry Schindeldecker, SQF Practitioner.
A group of leaders in the American spirits industry gathered this week for the first-ever California Brandy Summit and pledged to restore the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.
Top tier brandy producers, mixologists, and national influencers met for two days of discussions, seminars and tastings aimed at assessing the current perception of California brandy and at steering the future of the spirit.
The result was the pledge, formalized in a “Declaration to Raise the Status of California Brandy,” that said, in part, “We are committed to heralding the exceptional brandy crafted by California producers. We are committed to restoring the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.”
“We do need to raise awareness of the world-class quality of California brandy,” said Dan Farber, Founder and Distiller of Osocalis Distillery. “And that takes all of us. We producers have to keep putting the quality product in the glass, and we need the community to get the word out about what our DNA really is, and about how outstanding California brandy can be.”
The Brandy Summit featured discussions facilitated by F. Paul Pacult, Editor and Publisher of Spirits Journal and one of America’s foremost spirits authorities, with premium California brandy producers on the art and science of brandy making.
The group examined the best practices in brandy making, including distillation techniques, maturation and blending, and discussed whether there is a need for more production guidelines in California brandy.
Elite mixologists and summit participants demonstrated California brandy’s versatility by creating brandy cocktails ranging from new takes on modern classics to bright, refreshing spring and summer-style drinks. The group also got a preview tasting of the new premium Argonaut Brandy, which has four expressions ranging from a cocktail-oriented blend to sipping brandies to a collector’s brandy blended from rare, aged brandy lots.
“Because it’s made from wine, California brandy has completely unique flavor notes and qualities,” said Rita Hansen, Head Distiller for Argonaut Brandy. “A few decades ago, the world learned about the outstanding wines in California. We all think it’s time people also learned about the high quality and craftsmanship in California brandy.”
The folks at Ford’s Gourmet Foods have known for years that consumers were using their Bone Suckin’ Sauce as the basis of their chicken wings recipe. Sometimes they did that with Bone Suckin’ Sauce by itself, sometimes by amping up the heat by mixing in one of the hotter Bone Suckin’ varieties.
Now Ford’s Gourmet Foods has bowed to customer demand with Bone Suckin’ Wing Sauce in a Honey & Habanero version that the company says has the right combination of sweet and heat to be poured onto chicken wings right out of the bottle.
Bone Suckin’ Wing Sauce – Honey & Habanero is gluten free, non-GMO, dairy free and kosher. It’s available in 4-ounce, 16-ounce, 78-ounce and 150-ounce sizes.
PS Seasoning & Spices announced that the company has recently received its SQF(Safe Quality Food) Level 2 certification. SQF is a comprehensive HACCP-based food safety and quality management certification system for all sectors of the food industry, from primary production to transport and distribution. As a Global Food Safety Initiative that is recognized world-wide, an SQF Certification demonstrates the supplier’s commitment to produce safe, quality food as well as to meet international food safety requirements and to comply with other applicable food legislation. The new certification attests to PS Seasoning & Spices’ ability to produce products that meet the highest level of food safety and quality standards.