By Micah Cheek
With gluten free diets making headlines, food companies are putting more focus than ever on their wheat free alternative products. Irene Gottesman, Director of Marketing and Sales at Blends by Orly, credits the shift to the new availability of gluten allergy testing, which has led to children being tested earlier in life. She adds, “When one child is gluten free, often the whole family becomes gluten free.” Parents will start consuming gluten free products make sure their child doesn’t have to eat a different meal than the rest of the family. An added benefit to this is a greater ease in meal planning. This increased consumption has placed gluten free breads, cookies and pastas side by side with their wheat filled counterparts in grocery aisles.
The pre-made foods being produced are a great help to people with gluten sensitivities or allergies, but they still suffer some significant shortfalls. The shelf life of unfrozen gluten free baked goods is generally shorter than baked goods with wheat. This causes many baked goods to come out of their package already stale. Some companies have to resort to using more preservatives to maintain shelf stability. Flavor and texture issues have also cast a bad light on the gluten free market, and discriminating consumers are now driving demand for products that match or exceed the palatability of wheat based baked goods.
Rivaling wheat products is where baking mixes most stand out from other gluten free products. Janine Somers, Director of Marketing at Stonewall Kitchen, says, “Using high quality ingredients and never sacrificing on taste, we develop our gluten free products with the same standards we use for every other Stonewall Kitchen product. Quality and flavor are never compromised.” Due to the popularity of these mixes, gluten free recipes from pizza crust to doughnuts are now being offered. The homemade aspect of these products offers a greater sense of quality and freshness. “Since everything at Stonewall Kitchen starts and ends with quality, we believe the rise in this category for us in particular is due to the fact that our gluten free products are just as tasty and satisfying as our traditional mixes,” Somers says.
The ability to replicate the texture and flavor of wheat based products is determined by the careful mixing of different flours. As the market for gluten free flour blends and baking mixes grows, producers are trying new combinations of grains and starches in an effort to more accurately replicate wheat’s behaviors. Somers says, “While most mixes use potato, rice and tapioca flours, developers are looking at oats which also offer a nutritional quality. Another trend in mix development is the use of bean flours and other grains such as sorghum, chia and millet, which are being used in a combination with other gluten free flours.” Blends by Orly has a collection of flour blends which are designed as one to one wheat flour substitutes in any recipe, rather than a single product mix. “The reason we’re able to say it rivals wheat products,” says Gottesman, “Is because we tested them against wheat recipes.” Blends by Orly baked classic recipes with their flours, taste testing them on people who regularly ate gluten. This helped to eventually match the familiar qualities of the original product.
The emotional motivator for making gluten-free products at home comes from how customers feel they are perceived personally. Buying gluten free products can make consumers feel like their eating habits or restrictions are on display. Gluten free packaging is often distinct from other packages, and is marketed primarily for health rather than flavor. Gottesman says, “When you’re buying something for a dietary issue, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a pharmacy all the time.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214.864.8060.
German baker Hans Freitag celebrates an orchard of flavor with a trio of wafer debuts. Named for its fruity goodness, the new line of wafers, called Fresh Lemon, Fresh Apple and Fresh Berry, blooms with delicious flavor. The square, crispy wafers are packaged in bags with appealing pastel hues of lemon, apple green and pink. Designed specifically for the U.S., the generous 10.6-ounce bags are well-priced at $4.49-$5.16. Imported by Carl Brandt, Inc., Fairfield, Connecticut. For more information, call 800.275.4326 or email email@example.com.
Holiday entertaining is not the same without Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies. The company’s Clementine Sandwich Cookies are made with real butter, pure cane sugar, cage-free eggs and fresh orange zest. The unique combination of crisp, buttery, orange-infused shortbread cookies sandwiched with a slightly sweet and tart butter cream creates a burst of unique flavors. As one customer said, “It’s like sunshine.” What better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing with a cup of tea and a Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookie?
Packaged in a new carton which is bright and beautiful, Vanilla Bean Clementine Sandwich Cookies make a great addition to holiday gift offerings. Customers love making lasting first impressions, which is easy to do with these cookies. Vanilla Bean Unique Clementine Sandwich Cookies are the perfect gift for any season.
For more information on Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies, www.vanillabeanuniquecookies.com.
Celebrate the joy of the holiday season surrounded by friends and family with The Invisible Chef’s Holiday Collection. The collection features flavors steeped in tradition in products that are designed to save time while creating new family memories. While the fire is roaring and the snow is falling, just add a few ingredients to The Invisible Chef’s mixes, and your holiday baking is complete. The mixes make a perfect gift and are sure to delight everyone, making the holidays sparkle with love!
Featured flavors from The Invisible Chef include Chocolate Peppermint Coffee & Tea Cakes, Cranberry Spice Scones, Red Velvet Cupcake Kit and Macaroon Chocolate Chip Blondies. Each mix is blended with all-natural ingredients and needs just a few items from your kitchen to bake and enjoy.
Other favorites from The Invisible Chef product line include the company’s Coffee & Tea Cakes, Blondies & Brownies, Frosted & Fabulous Cupcake Kits, Bake It Quick Breads, Simple Sweet & Savory Muffins, Bed & Breakfast Favorites (including scones, pancakes and waffles) and Cookie Jar Classics. With so many categories and flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite.
For nearly 20 years, Sisters’ Gourmet has made baking easy and convenient with its eye-catching dessert mixes. As a gift, these mixes are attractive and unique, and the jars are reusable. Since the packaging is a key “ingredient” at Sisters’ Gourmet, the jars stand out on the store shelf. Customers love being able to see the ingredients in the jars, which are carefully measured and proudly packed by hand in the United States.
Using only the highest-quality ingredients available that not only taste good but are good for you, such as whole grain oats, sun ripened cranberries and select indulgent chocolates, most mixes require the addition of just eggs and butter to make about three dozen cookies.
Sisters’ Gourmet was founded by Lisa Sorensen and her sister Suzy. It is now owned and operated by Lisa and her husband Rob. They produce gourmet baking mixes which are sold directly to consumers via their website as well as to specialty shops worldwide. Products have been featured in the finest specialty shops and have been selected as some of Oprah’s favorite products on her coveted O-list. Everything is produced in a facility 45 minutes NE of Atlanta. All of the layered mixes are packed by hand and use only the best ingredients available.
DORVAL Trading Co. Ltd. has received the Non-GMO Project Verification seal for its DORVAL Premium Collection Cocoa. “We recognize today’s retailers and consumers have high standards and are becoming more aware of the use of GMOs in some products,” said Roberta Cappel, President at DORVAL. “At DORVAL, we strive to add superior quality to the market with our chocolate and cocoa products using natural ingredients. We are confident that this verification will increase distribution of our DORVAL Premium Collection Cocoa brand into more outlets that are committed to non-GMO products.”
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and is North America’s only third party verification and labeling source for non-GMO food and products. Once products are Verified, they are authorized to bear the Non-GMO Verification seal indicating that the item has gone through Non-GMO Project’s strenuous Verification process.
DORVAL Cocoa is available in 12-count cases as well as a 32-count shipper. The product’s packaging has an upscale, premium look that stands out among the rest.
For over 45 years, DORVAL Trading Co. Ltd. has been an importer of an extensive range of high-quality confectionery products from major manufacturers around the world. Dorval has grown into a significant presence in the confectionery and specialty distribution arena.
Seattle Gourmet Foods is a gourmet food manufacturer based out of Kent, Washington. It is comprised of 11 national brands, producing a variety of items ranging from breath mints to jams and preserves to soups, chocolates and baking mixes. One of the company’s brands, Coffaro’s Baking Company, specializes in traditional, Italian-style biscotti, including gluten-free options.
The Coffaro’s family base recipe for their biscotti has remained unchanged since it was first introduced in the early 1900s in Somerset, New Jersey. The main difference between Coffaro’s biscotti and other biscotti types is that Coffaro’s uses pure olive oil instead of butter. This allows the biscotti to be lower in saturated fats and cholesterol-free.
Gluten-free flavors are available in 6-ounce boxes and include cranberry almond, lemon vanilla and chocolate chip. Regular flavors available in 6-ounce boxes include cranberry orange, caramel, mocha hazelnut and chocolate cherry. Almond with anise, almond with cherries, hazelnut with orange zest and pistachio with lemon zest come in 8-ounce boxes. All flavors come 12 per case.
For more information on the products that Coffaro’s Baking Company and Seattle Gourmet Foods offer, visit www.seattlegourmetfoods.com.
Your classic Butter Rum cake just got better for all to enjoy! Wicked Jack’s Tavern introduces its Gluten-Free Butter Rum Cake. The traditional yet adventurous Gluten-Free Butter Rum Cake is available in a 4-ounce size.
Rum lovers and cake lovers alike will fall for the exquisite, rich, full taste of Wicked Jack’s Tavern True Jamaican Rum Cakes, and now Jack can add gluten-free food lovers to the company’s mix of devotees. A classic, delicious rum cake recipe does not happen overnight, and in Wicked Jack’s small Georgia kitchen, the company’s circle of rum starters drew on generations of Jamaican tradition. They toiled, mixed and shaped their way to a line of traditional, wheat-rich rum cakes so flavorful and powerful that they have quickly gained a reputation as the best-tasting rum cakes available anywhere.
Wicked Jack’s classic rum cakes are baked in five distinct and unforgettable flavors, including Red Velvet Rum, Chocolate Rum, Caramel Rum, Rum Raisin and traditional Butter Rum – all made with Jamaican Rum. The company also offers a line of hand-roasted coffees in ground, whole bean and new single-cup servings.
For more information, visit www.wickedjackstavern.com.
For fall 2014, Fast-Pak Trading is introducing new packaging for its Va-Va homemade, gluten-free Mediterranean specialties. The new packaging is better suited to conform to American shelf space, and the company’s new labeling is better suited to conform to American sensibilities.
Va-Va’s top performers, including the creamy roasted red pepper spread Ajvar, the smoky roasted eggplant spread Malijano and the chunky vegetable salsa Lutenica, have been joined by a new line of specialty jams, which feature the unique flavors of pumpkin, red pepper, beetroot and carrot. And all Va-Va products are all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly.
Also on tap for fall 2014 for Fast-Pak Trading are the frozen burek pies by Kadino. Baked fresh and immediately flash frozen, Kadino’s hefty burek (a traditional phyllo dough pastry filled with cheeses and vegetables) does a great deal of business at trade shows and in-store demos, and it fits perfectly in any freezer. Simply put the frozen burek in an oven and heat for 35-40 minutes, and you have a fresh-baked, ready-to-eat phyllo pastry.
You can find all of these products and more on the manufacturer’s website at www.fastpakstore.com.