Premium chocolatier Lindt USA introduces EXCELLENCE Lemon into its dark chocolate collection as the most recent innovation to join the brand’s sophisticated offerings. The new bar will first be featured at the 2014 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen from June 20-22, where Lindt EXCELLENCE will serve as the Official Chocolate Sponsor.
The Lindt EXCELLENCE collection is the world’s most exceptionally crafted premium chocolate, and with the start of the summer season, EXCELLENCE Lemon is a timely addition. Created with passion by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers and made with the finest ingredients, its bright citrus flavor is pure and nostalgic of summertime year-round. EXCELLENCE Lemon masterfully combines silky dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of lemon and the delicate crunch of almond slivers. The thin, refined profile and harmonious duo of elegant contrasts offer consumers a unique sensory experience.
“EXCELLENCE Lemon tantalizes the five senses with its vibrant citrus flavor, smooth dark chocolate and crunch of almond slivers,” said Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. “We’re excited to share this new fruit innovation, offering consumers a refreshing and palate-pleasing experience just in time for summer.”
EXCELLENCE at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
During the three-day FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Lindt will host a special seminar and tastings, showcasing its premium dark chocolate collection to culinary experts, tastemakers and consumers. In addition to formally introducing EXCELLENCE Lemon during Grand Tastings, Lindt will also offer attendees an exclusive first taste of EXCELLENCE Pineapple with Toasted Hazelnuts, developed with fine wine partner J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to pair perfectly with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The “Perfect Pairing” will be available to consumers nationwide in the fall.
The Perfect Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To celebrate the summer season and J. Lohr’s 40th year of family winemaking, Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja and J. Lohr Red Winemaker Steve Peck worked together to create the perfect dark chocolate and wine pairings, elevating the tasting experience. Exclusive pairings will be highlighted at the Classic, including the newest Lindt EXCELLENCE offerings and limited-edition J. Lohr anniversary varietals:
The 3.5-ounce Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon bar will be available at retail locations nationwide including Target, Lindt Chocolate Shops and www.Lindt.com. To learn more about the Lindt EXCELLENCE collection and perfect wine pairings, visit www.Lindt.com. For additional Lindt news and images from the Classic, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter.
Cowboy Toffee Company‘s toffees are the kind your grandma would have made, if that’s the kind of thing she did. Fortunately for me, that’s exactly the kind of thing my grandma did, although mostly at Christmas time. Those memories were brought back by the taste of The Mustang, a classic toffee from Cowboy Toffee that’s made from butter, sugar, chocolate and almonds, in that order.
The company also offers its toffee-take on s’mores with a toffee called So Much S’mores, which is made from butter, sugar, milk chocolate and, you guessed it, marshmallows and graham crackers. The So Much S’mores toffee offers is gooey and wonderful, just like campfire s’mores, but it has the advantage of being much neater to eat. With this candy around, serving s’mores to your family doesn’t have to come with the warning to tie the long hair back first, since the traditional version isn’t so much something you eat as something you wear.
The third variety tasted today by the staff of Gourmet News is called Miss Bonnie, a choice for sophisticated tastes that’s flavored with the minty floral taste of lavender buds and white chocolate.
Thanks for sending along the samples, Cowboy Toffee Company. They were so good that we (mostly) don’t even want to take issue with your claim that Oakdale, Calif., where you make these treats, is the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” But that’s because our Gourmet News editorial office is located in Tucson, Ariz., where we have our own western traditions to keep alive, and we certainly don’t begrudge you a share of our wonderful western America heritage, especially if the result is these wonderful confections.
Brownie Brittle™ will debut its newly designed packaging early this summer, and attendees will have an exclusive sneak peek at the Summer Fancy Food Show held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, June 29-July 1 at booth 5153. The art deco-inspired designs are classy and eye-catching, and will be a standout on grocery shelves across the country.
“These sleek and sophisticated designs elevate our product image, and make it easy for customers to select their favorite flavor at a glance,” said Brownie Brittle founder, Sheila G. Mains, known in the food industry as “Sheila G.”
Brownie Brittle is available in Chocolate Chip, Toffee Crunch, Salted Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip flavors at major retailers andonline at browniebrittle.com. These new packages deliver five ounces of Brownie Brittle, one more mouth-watering serving for all to enjoy.
Additionally, the company will showcase its award-winning Brownie Brittle in 2-ounce. and 1-ounce snack sizes, available in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Toffee Crunch and Salted Caramel. The 2-oz. bags are sold in case packs of 24. The 1-ounce bags are sold in case packs of 48. The bags are 120 calories per 1-ounce serving and first appeared on store shelves in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Mains noted, “Many of our loyal fans requested a snack-pack size and we are excited to make it available.”
With skyrocketing sales, Brownie Brittle has reinvented snacking with its thin, crispy treat, created to honor Sheila G.’s favorite part of the brownie.
2013 was a banner year for Brownie Brittle, LLC, as it was named the second-fastest-growing company in Florida and received many additional accolades from industry publications and associations. Brownie Brittle was also recognized by the National Confectioners Association as the “Best New Snack 2012,” and as a finalist for “Most Innovative Product.” Brownie Brittle is made with natural ingredients, certified kosher, and peanut free.
Brownie Brittle has an extremely loyal and engaged following of over 280,000 Facebook fans.
“We’re excited to be launching our new packaging,” Mains said, “while still offering that same crisp brownie taste our fans have grown to love.”
Moonstruck Chocolate Co. introduces a new look for its Tumbled Chocolates collection, providing fans of these baubles with a more portable and practical pouch than previously available. The new 4-oz. stand-up pouch is re-sealable, making it easier than ever to snack on a handful now and save the rest for later without compromising freshness, aroma or flavor.
“We drew inspiration for our Tumbled Chocolate collection from the ancient Egyptian technique of panning ingredients, or slowly drizzling, rolling and tossing centers like fruit and nuts with chocolate,” explains Julian Rose, master chocolatier for Moonstruck. “The result is a bite of rich, layered chocolate followed by a beautiful burst of flavor and texture from a well-paired interior. With our new packaging, these pearls of decadence are easier than ever to enjoy on the go or in the comfort of home.”
Moonstruck’s Tumbled Chocolate collection offers premium Belgian milk and dark chocolate surrounding all-natural centers sourced locally whenever possible. Each batch is hand-tossed to perfection for a true artisan chocolate experience. The new pouches are ideal for a quick snack or treat, and the 4-oz. size is just the right amount for a taste of indulgence without overdoing it. Moonstruck offers four varieties:
Moonstruck’s Tumbled Chocolate collection is available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select retailers nationwide, at its St. John’s store and in its four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon. The 4-ounce packages are offered at a suggested retail price of $4.99 each.
By Lorrie Baumann
Marty Palmer, President of Palmer’s Candy Company and Bob O’Neill, Vice President of Sales took a break from setting up their booth at the Sweets & Snacks Expo to talk with me about how the Palmer’s products can add incremental sales for the bakery department of the grocery store.
With five generations of family ownership, Palmer’s Candy Company is the oldest continuously-operated family-owned candy company in the U.S. “At Dairy-Deli-Bake, we’re unique in being a confectionery firm that’s really figured out the bakery world, and as a result, we have a very large market share of the business in the bakery segment,” O’Neill says. “We’re one of the last of the general-line manufacturers. We do most everything. We do everything from peanut brittle to divinity to fudge – everything the bakery world is looking for. We’re one of the only candy companies that manufacture all those products.”
That makes Palmer’s Candy Company a one-stop shop for bakery departments that don’t have either the labor force or the equipment to make products like peanut brittle themselves, they way they might have done in the old days when the bakers came to work at 4 a.m., and with its complete line, Palmer’s provides an easy way to regain those incremental candy sales without cutting into sales for the traditional bakery items. “It’s also been a way for them to get better quality. We can deliver a consistent product that meets the high specifications that today’s grocery store market demands. We have a long shelf life and a high margin,” Palmer says. “The average bakery department assumes there are going to be some stales. With our shelf life of greater than six months, there are very few stales, which means a very high profit margin.”
Barks are a hot item in the confectionery world this year, and Palmer’s is offering new bark items that grocers and bakers aren’t going to find anywhere else, including Red Velvet Bark, Birthday Cake Bark, and the Creme de Menthe Bark. “It’s fabulous,” Palmer says. “And there’s the Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bark. It’s a mouthful of a name, but it’s really tasty.”
“We also will be introducing new items for fall harvest. There’ll be Caramel Apple Pretzels and Cinnamon Roll Pretzels,” O’Neill adds. “We’ll be adding new items to our Bakery Delight packaged line, such as Pumpkin Pie Pretzels and Drizzle Caramel Corn.”
Palmer’s will also be talking to folks at Dairy-Deli-Bake about a line of Bakery Delight To-Go Cup Kits that have both the product and the cups all in one box, so the store can fill the cups at store level. “It’s a very easy way for the store to get impulse buys. It appears to be a bulk item, but it’s already got packaging that contains the nutritional information on it. It’s high margin and easy to do. We have counter racks, spinner trees and hanging racks available to make it easy,” Palmer says. “This seems kind of goofy, but it’s been a huge item. People grab them as they’re going out the door and take it with them in the car. It’s just a cup full of goodness.”
Palmer’s Candy Company will be exhibiting in booth #1463 at Dairy-Deli-Bake, June 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. After the show, call 800.831.0828 or visit www.palmercandy.com.
KRM Chocolates of Salem, N.H. is quickly becoming the choice for gourmet chocolates and truly delicious confections. In the 1980s Kevin Miller began making his chocolates and cookies from his home north of Boston. It started as a hobby to give to his friends and co-workers. After suffering a debilitating stroke Miller continued to make chocolates and fine-tune his recipes, all the while hearing from everyone how much better his chocolates tasted than any available at trendy chocolate shoppes.
Soon his interest turned to making chocolate with his new invention, a solid filling made from fruit wines complete with real fruit in the candy. The accolades grew louder and louder. “You should sell these chocolates. They are too good not to share with the world,” people said. Today Miller continues to make his chocolates and cookies the old-fashioned way, by hand, making America’s finest gourmet chocolates and cookies for everyone to enjoy.
KRM Chocolates offers its exclusive Fruit and Wine Chocolates in three different, tantalizing flavors. Peach Wine and peaches in Milk Chocolate is a chocolate delicacy with a solid center of delightful fruity, real peach wine combined with chocolate and a piece of peach. Cranberry Wine and Cranberries in White Chocolate has real cranberry wine and chocolate in a solid center, featuring sweet dried cranberries as a finishing touch. Strawberry Wine and Strawberries in Dark Chocolate brings dark chocolate and strawberries as an aphrodisiac to a new level. Each piece delivers a decadent filling of real chocolate with real strawberry fruit in a strawberry wine and chocolate solid center.
Other truly delicious confections include out of this world White Chocolate Raspberry Wine Truffles, Chocolate Crème de Menthe Liqeur Truffles, Peach, Cranberry and Strawberry Truffles, and Peppermint Bark in white, milk or dark chocolate. KRM’s Gourmet Chocolate Bark is the most scrumptious, handmade chocolate bark you’ve ever tasted and is made using premium milk, dark and white chocolate. The bark is loaded with raisins or sweet dried cranberries and a choice of pecans, walnuts, almonds or peanuts. Kevin’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark is a mouth-watering combination of fine chocolates, decadent peanut butter and crunchy bits of real peanuts. KRM’s Sandwich Cookies smothered in chocolate take America’s favorite vanilla cream center cookie and smother it in the finest white or dark chocolate. The result is an absolutely yummy dessert.
KRM chocolates and confections are available in individual flavor packages or a large selection of variety packages. They can be purchased at gourmet and specialty retailers, food and gift catalogs, gift and gift basket retailers, up-scale department stores and gourmet food retailers or online at www.krmchocolates.com. Email email@example.com or call 617.945.3263.
By Zach Calvello
Hammond’s Candies has come a long way since Carl T. Hammond first founded the company in 1920 after leaving school to apprentice for a local candy maker. Today, Denver-based Hammond’s Candies is one of the best known confectioners in the country, renowned for its outstanding quality and dedication the craft of candy making. The company handcrafts all its confections in open kettles and small batches. All ingredients for its candies are sourced locally, and supplies are purchased from American companies.
Since welcoming Andy Schuman to the team as the President and CEO of Hammond’s Candies, the company has seen enormous growth. “When I first started with the company in 2007, we were primarily known as a Christmas confectioner. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to begin branching out,” says Schuman. “I wanted Hammond’s Candies to be known for everyday candies, not just for its holiday ones.”
With this in mind, the company began to expand its horizons in all areas of candy making, sales and distribution. Hammond’s Candies now delivers its candies throughout the nation. The company’s products are primarily found in “mom and pop” shops across the United States, but distribution expands far beyond this. “We are found in larger retailers as well, but because of how our products are crafted, it makes sense that smaller retailers like to carry our products,” said Schuman.
As Hammond’s has increased the scope of its distribution, the company has had to develop a precise distribution plan. To get ready for the holiday season, for example, Hammond’s Candies now prepares nearly a year in advance, ensuring that all orders are met with exceptional veracity.
Social media has been hugely important to Hammond’s as a tool for attracting business. The company regularly updates its Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Schuman says, “Pinterest has been a great place to show consumers what they can do with our candies.”
Hammond’s Candies enjoys keeping its social media sites entertaining and exciting, driving recurring visits from followers. Throughout the year, Hammond’s Candies holds polls on its Facebook page in order to get direct feedback from its fans. This is a method that Schumann finds particularly useful in determining new product direction, and he has employed social media in a number of ways, including recently seeking advice about names for his newly adopted dog. “It was exciting to see how many names we received from this poll,” he says. “We were getting names like Butterscotch, Cupcake, Taffy—just all sorts of fun ones.”
Plant tours have also been crucial in whetting consumers’ appetites for Hammond’s Candies. The company offers free tours throughout the year and attracts a wide audience. With more than 100,000 people coming through Hammond’s Candies facilities every year, the company has the opportunity to introduce new candies to the public and get immediate feedback. Schuman particularly enjoys these tours, saying, “I want people to see the hard work that goes into our creation process, and it’s an ideal way to see what’s working and what’s not.”
Hammond’s Candies has launched a line of cotton candy that is currently shipping out, and the company is readying its new Whoopie Pie Chocolate Bar for distribution starting in the next few months.
Hammond’s Candies has taken a legendary fairground and circus treat and made it simple to enjoy anytime. Hammond’s Cotton Candy stays melt-in-your-mouth fresh in the company’s signature, award-winning packaging, making it easy to grab from store shelves. Each package includes three unique, distinct flavors — banana, cherry and blue raspberry – carrying on Hammond’s tradition of applying a modern twist to a nostalgic candy.
“Everyone loves cotton candy and we thought it was about time to make it available without a ticket to the circus,” said Andrew Schuman, Hammond’s President and CEO. “The flavors are rich and fun and it’s all wrapped up in great-looking packages. We think it’s just the right amount of reinvention of a classic.”
A Denver staple since 1920, Hammond’s is renowned for its beautiful, high quality and inventive candies that pay homage to tradition, but wake up taste buds with fun flavors and formulas. Hammond’s Cotton Candy joins a diverse selection of candies that includes the classic Mitchell Sweet (caramel-wrapped marshmallows), award-winners such as the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Chocolate Bar and the company’s signature stunning, hand-pulled lollipops and candy canes. All are available inHammond’s award-winning packaging that showcases the “specialness” of candy. Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in 3-ounce bags (about three paper cones-worth) with a suggested retail price of $1.99 to $2.99.
Hungry for more? Visit Hammond’s in May at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago to try all of Hammond’s new products including not only cotton candy, but new flavors of brittles and chocolates bars, too. More information is available atwww.hammondscandies.com, or by calling 1-800-CANDY-99 (1-800-226-3999). Follow Hammond’s Candies on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hammondscandies and now on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hammondscandies/.
Torie & Howard, a producer of organic, Non GMO and kosher hard candy, has named Chris Lockwood as the company’s inside sales manager effective immediately.
Lockwood is responsible for in-house sales management, assisting National Sales Manager Rod Bambach, and handling independent accounts and Torie & Howard’s marketing and advertising programs, said Torie Burke, company Co-founder. “His experience with food and supply sales, catering, hospitality, and foodservice along with his training as a chef give him an in-depth understanding of the needs of the specialty food and foodservice industries,” Burke said. “We’re happy to have him on board as we continue to grow in those areas.”
Lockwood most recently was a territory manager for U.S. Foods of Norwich, Conn., for three years with responsibilities for managing customer accounts and new business development. Previously, he was director of purchasing and handled accounts receivable for Embassy Suites Hotel for two years and also served as assistant purchasing manager for Myriad Restaurant Group, both in New York City. Lockwood also has a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute of New York and has worked as a chef for Riverbank Farm in Roxbury, Conn., as a cook for Match Catering & Event Styles in New York City, and completed an internship with Gramercy Tavern in New York City. Lockwood has a master’s degree in food systems from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Torie & Howard organic hard candy is available in four flavors: California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine, Italian Tarocco Blood Orange & Wildflower Honey, D’Anjou Pear & Ceylon Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey. The candy is USDA organic and kosher certified and contains no GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, casein, soy or gluten, Burke said. The 2-ounce recyclable steel tins have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 and the handbag gift package is $7.99 to $8.99. A new 10-ounce Halloween package of assorted, individually wrapped candy has a suggested retail price of $7.99 to $8.99. The candy also is sold in bulk. More information is available by calling 1-888-826-9554 or online at www.TorieAndHoward.com.