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Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl Salad from Ready Pac

Ready Pac has just brought out its new Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro® Bowl —a completely vegan, superfood-filled salad with ingredients that reap ‘super’ nutritional benefits.

Broad access to nutritional information has helped superfoods sky rocket in popularity. These nutrient-dense foods have been popular with consumers seeking alternative options that meet their nutrition needs. Research also shows that that ‘superfoods’ like quinoa and wheat berries are capable of boosting protein intake, improving energy, preventing disease, and aiding in weight loss.

“More consumers are looking for foods that provide an array of nutritional benefits” says Tristan Simpson, Chief Communications Officer at Ready Pac. “The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl has soluble fiber, nutrients, and health-boosting phytochemicals. It’s also low in calories, sugar and sodium, which makes it ideal to incorporate into an active lifestyle and also tastes great!”

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is part of a growing line of products for the health conscious, on-the-go consumer. The salad contains several nutrient-dense ingredients, including:

  • 100 percent vegan ingredients and certified organic
  • 6g plant-based protein
  • Alternative grains (quinoa and wheat berry)
  • Spring mix greens, carrots, red cabbage, raisins, sliced almonds

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is only 260 calories and has a suggested retail price of $4.99. The new salad bowl is currently available nationally at Safeway locations and its affiliated banners.

For more information about Ready Pac’s Bistro Bowl Salads and fresh food offerings, visit http://www.readypac.com/products/.

United Fresh Seeking a Few Great Produce Managers

If you know an outstanding retail produce manager, nominate them for the 2015 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards. This program pays special recognition to produce managers on the front line, working everyday to increase sales and consumption of fresh produce.

This year, 25 produce managers will be honored for their commitment to:
  • Innovative Merchandising
  • Produce-Related Community Service
  • Company Recognition
  • Commitment to Customer Satisfaction
The winners and their Corporate Produce Directors will receive FREE travel and registration to United Fresh 2015 in Chicago and be recognized at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Dinner.
“The impact of this program goes well beyond the award.  We have seen first-hand the pride and confidence that our Produce Managers gain through this achievement for their hard work – it helps make them stronger produce professionals,” said Mike Tipton, Director of Produce/Floral Operations, Food City.
Click here for more information about the program contact Jessica Mosley, Director of Education, at 202.303.3417.

Avocados From Mexico to Promote Fruit and Vegetable Consumption to Teens

Avocados From Mexico (AFM) has announced it is a founding supporter of FNV, a new brand that promotes fruit and vegetable consumption to teens and moms using the same relentless, compelling and catchy marketing that major consumer brands do.

The collaboration was announced this week during the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) Building a Healthier Future Summit, one of the nation’s premier gatherings of health experts, policy makers and business and industry leaders committed to ending childhood obesity.

“AFM is proud to be a founding supporter of FNV,” said Alvaro Luque, President, Avocados From Mexico. “Mexico is the leading supplier of avocados in the United States, representing nearly 70 percent of all avocado volume, and we are proud to drive awareness of this versatile and nutrient-dense fruit.”

Support of FNV reinforces Avocados From Mexico’s position as a leading superfood brand in the produce category. AFM’s year around availability affords it the opportunity to continuously connect with consumers about the multiple benefits of consuming avocados. In February, AFM became the first fresh produce brand to broadcast an ad and implement a fully-integrated digital campaign during the most popular football event of the year; earning widespread acclaim and social media buzz while generating over 1 billion impressions.

Avocados From Mexico is committed to advancing consumer education about the benefits of avocados and their important role in a nutritious diet. As the category leader, it is incumbent upon AFM to reach out to consumers about this information in a variety of ways. The brand is partnering with a registered dietitian to reach consumers throughout the year, and recently launched interactive content to promote the nutritional benefits of avocados on its website and social channels.

“We know that avocados are a super food, so it’s no surprise that Avocados from Mexico is a founding supporter of Team FNV, which will change the way that fruits and vegetables are marketed to families,” said Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America.

To learn more, visit the Avocados From Mexico Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AvocadosFromMexico, or website, www.AvocadosFromMexico.com.

Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands Complete Merger

Tyson Foods, Inc. has completed its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company, a transaction that positions Tyson Foods as a clear leader in the prepared foods business. In connection with the merger, shares of Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted and cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange before the opening of the respective markets on August 29, 2014.

The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Tyson(R), Wright(R), Jimmy Dean(R), Ball Park(R), State Fair(R) and Hillshire Farm(R).

“As of today, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company,” said Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith. “Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary, proven brands as a new springboard and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own.”

The integration of the two companies is currently expected to generate synergy savings of $225 million in fiscal 2015 and more than $500 million by fiscal 2017.

Teams of people from Tyson and Hillshire have been working on integration plans since July to help make sure the combined company gets off to a good start.

“During this process, I’ve had a chance get to know many people on the Hillshire Brands team and the great work they’re doing, and I’m more convinced than ever that the future of our combined companies is bright,” Smith said. “As excited as I am about our new brands, I’m equally excited about the combined talent of the two companies.”

A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.

Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire’s retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including the legacy Hillshire consumer brands (such as Jimmy Dean(R), Ball Park(R), Hillshire Farm(R) and Sara Lee(R)), Tyson’s consumer brands (such as Tyson(R) frozen, value-added poultry and Wright(R) Brand bacon) and Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group.

Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson’s innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and to maximize global growth of our consumer brands.

Donnie King, former president-Prepared Foods, Customer and Consumer Solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson’s legacy poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him will include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses.

Those continuing to report to Donnie Smith will include David Van Bebber, who leads the Tyson legal team; Sara Lilygren, who leads corporate affairs; Dennis Leatherby, who continues as the company’s chief financial officer; Hal Carper, who heads strategy and new ventures; Mike Roetzel, who oversees operations services; and Russell Tooley, who heads the company’s business process and continuous improvement practice.

Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods’ human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands.

Malik Sadiq, senior vice president-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young who will be transitioning to Tyson’s Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months.

“This is an awesome team and they’re prepared to make this integration process smooth and efficient while we continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and consumers,” Smith said.

Sean Connolly, former president and chief executive officer of Hillshire Brands, has chosen to pursue other interests, but will consult during the integration process.

 

 

Naturipe Farms Blueberry Grower Honored as “Champion of Change”

Naturipe for webKristin Fritz Kubiszak of Brookside Farms, a grower for MBG Marketing – The Blueberry People, was one of only 15 national honorees named as a Champion of Change this year by the White House and the United States Department of Agriculture. The award honors agriculture leaders from across the country who are taking innovative approaches to support American farming and ranching—both now and in the future, by showcasing their actions that ensure and advance the future of agriculture.

Kubiszak is the retail manager for Brookside Farms located in Paw Paw, Michigan; and is a fifth-generation member of her family to operate a farm that distributes fresh blueberries through MBG’s cooperative marketing network under the Naturipe® brand. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social work from Cornerstone University, Kubiszak returned home to her family farm, which focuses on growing and packing top quality blueberries. Kubiszak’s involvement in the agriculture industry doesn’t stop with just her family farm; she also sits on the board of directors for the Van Buren County Farm Bureau as Chair of the Promotion and Education Committee. With this position she has dedicated her time to educating the community with trips to local schools, the Ag Venture tent at the local Youth Fair and other youth and consumer education programs. “Kristin is another member of the Fritz family farming operation that makes us proud that they are part of our MBG and Naturipe families.” said Bob Hawk, President and CEO of MBG Marketing.

Kubiszak’s primary goal is to educate, not only about agriculture, but also how families impact agriculture and how important it is to continue family farms. Brookside Farms started as a dairy farm in 1876 and Kubiszak’s grandfather planted his first blueberry bush in 1956. That was the same year the family joined Michigan Blueberry Growers Association, a grower-owned cooperative, and the year Kubiszak’s father, Bill Fritz, was born. Like his farming predecessors, he has continued the family tradition of active agricultural leadership, by serving on the boards of both MBG Marketing and Naturipe Farms of which MBG is an owner/ partner. “We were absolutely delighted when we learned that Kristin was selected for this program” said Bill. “She is a wonderful representative of the next generation that has the desire and drive to continue our commitment to family farming and the broader agricultural community”.

Kubiszak and the other honorees were congratulated by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack of the USDA and recognized at a ceremony in the White House by Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden and Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Munoz. They were given a tour of the First Lady’s Garden at The White House by Sam Kass, who is President Barack Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy and Let’s Move Executive Director. “It was a true privilege to represent the blueberry industry as a Champion of Change. Since we grow blueberries, which are known for their great flavor and incredible health attributes, I was especially pleased to learn first-hand about some of the efforts by the First Lady to encourage children to eat a healthy, brighter array of fresh fruits and vegetables” said Kubiszak. “It was great to share the story our family blueberry farm. It has always been a passion of mine to educate others about what we do, and this was another great opportunity”.

To learn more about Kubiszak and the other “Champions of Change” visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

 

Pereg Gourmet Offers Lineup of Beans and Grains

Pereg Gourmet, a family-owned company offering a wide array of all-natural and exotic pantry staples, is introducing a lineup of premium ancient grains, rice and beans that are easy to prepare and ideal for rounding out a meal.

One hundred percent pure and naturally rich in health benefits, the new products include: white quinoa, red quinoa, farro, wheat berries, chickpeas, basmati rice, pearl couscous, traditional couscous, bulgur, soup mix, black beans, French lentils, Texas chili beans, orange lentils, green lentils, an autumn lentil blend, yellow split peas, green split peas, red kidney beans, and white beans. Of these 20 different varieties, each are completely free of preservatives and OU kosher certified. Most of the new items are also gluten-free certified and non-GMO verified.

PeregPackaged in a stand-up, re-sealable pouch to maintain freshness, each bag measures in at one pound and features recipe ideas on the back. The new grain, rice and bean lineup is now rolling out at select retailers across the country and online. The suggested retail price is $2.99 to $3.99 for everything but the quinoa and $5.99 to $6.99 for the quinoa items. Visit www.pereg-gourmet.com for detail on the company.

Bella Sun Luci Offers Healthy Sun Dried Tomato Snack for Grocery

Mooney Farms has launched a healthy and bold snack line that delivers. The BBQ variety offers a double-dose of sweet and spicy, or choose the Smokey flavor, slow roasted over an open flame just long enough to infuse a rich aroma and taste. This one-of-a-kind snack line combines premium California sun dried tomatoes and select spices to bring you a fat-free, lycopene-rich snack that is full of flavor.

Bella Sun LuciThe launch of the new Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Snacks makes it easier for anyone who has ever faced the dilemma of choosing between a healthy and delicious convenient snack.

“The new Bella Sun Luci snack bags unites the much-loved barbecue spice and smoky flavors with our premium sun dried tomatoes, and packs layers of great flavor in every bite,” said Mary Mooney. “We found that fans of one flavor are often fans of the other — so we made it easier to enjoy them together as the ultimate savory and sweet snack combination.”
    


The suggested retail price is $2.99 for a 3.5-ounce bag. The Bella Sun Luci snack bags are available at Safeway banner stores nationwide.

 

 

 

Sabra Dipping Company Campaign Features Singing Farmers

Salsa_16oz_LABEL_Homestyle Medium_AngleIf you don’t already sing to tomatoes, you may soon find yourself rethinking your salsa. Known for its freshly flavorful dips and spreads, Sabra® Dipping Company has relaunched its eight refrigerated salsas to the sweet sound of farmer serenades. To underscore the loving process with which Sabra prepares its line of salsas, the brand is featuring in-field farmers singing to vine-ripening tomatoes in its first salsa advertising campaign. Salsa fans are invited to join the fun by sending sweet nothings by way of social media with the hashtag #SalsaLove

Farmers 1“The commercials are a fun take on nurturing growing tomatoes for a delicious product that is filled with love,” said Eric Greifenberger, Director of Marketing at Sabra. “From our ripe red tomatoes to our crisp onions and peppers, our farmers and chefs are meticulous in their care and selection of vegetables for a fresher-tasting salsa. Believe it or not, research has shown singing to plants makes them grow better. We certainly don’t see any harm in that.”

Sabra’s line of refrigerated salsas includes Homestyle Medium, Homestyle Mild, Mango Peach, Restaurant Style, Roasted Garlic, Pico de Gallo, Southwestern and Garden Style. The newly relaunched recipes feature more crisp vegetables for a fresher, chunkier salsa bursting with flavor. The company uses only vine-ripened tomatoes, handpicked by Sabra’s farmers. The nature of the process inspired Sabra’s campaign theme of “Made with Love” developed with creative agency strawberryfrog.

“Sabra goes over and above to create a better tasting salsa. We were inspired by the passion Sabra has for their salsa,” said Ant White, strawberryfrog’s creative director on Sabra. “Known as the brand behind America’s favorite hummus, we wanted to help Sabra share its salsa story in an engaging way. Getting farmers to sing REO Speedwagon’s I’m Gonna Keep on Loving You is just the beginning.”

Sabra Salsa’s integrated campaign kicked off on June 23. It will run in the Northeast and include ads on Hulu and other video-hosting sites as well as radio ads, banner ads, social media and in-store activities. Sabra will also have four trucks crisscrossing the Northeast to share the Salsa Love with free samples.

The entire campaign directs consumer to the microsite SabraSalsaLove.com. Consumers can share their own love by posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Vine pages with the hashtag #SalsaLove. The best fan submissions will be shared on the site and may even make it into the next Sabra Salsa ad.

SabraSalsaLove.com is also the host to a summer sweepstakes. One winner will receive a four-day beachside culinary getaway in Southern California, and ten winners each week will receive other great prizes. On Pinterest, fans pinning their favorite recipes featuring salsa will be entered to win additional prizes.

 

Veggie Patch Launches Two New Vegetable Products

Veggie Patch, which makes vegetable-based foods, announced today the debut of two new unique creations: Roasted Red Pepper Falafel and Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes.

Veggie Patch’s new Roasted Red Pepper Falafel offers a tasty twist on one of the brand’s top sellers, its Classic Falafel.  Combining the palate-pleasing tastes of red pepper and hearty chickpeas with the brand’s unique blend of falafel spices, the new Roasted Red Pepper Falafel’s outstanding flavor profile allows it to be served on its own or incorporated into another dish.

The new Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes are a delectable and healthy snack made from 70 percent vegetables.  A blend of red lentils, carrots and zesty spices, the tasty cakes deliver a mouthful of flavor, while also providing an excellent source of protein (8 grams per serving).

Veggie Patch’s new Roasted Red Pepper Falafel and Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes have a suggested retail price of $4.49 and are rolling out this month in the produce section of grocery stores nationwide.

The two new vegetable products debut as attention increases on the benefits of vegetables. From the First Lady’s healthy school lunch initiative and revisions set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture stating that half of one’s plated meal should consist of vegetables, to recent obesity studies that have brought healthy eating to the forefront, increasing attention has been paid to adding more vegetables to American diets. Vegetable purchases have grown by 14 percent over the past five years and are expected to experience a double-digit increase over the next five years.

“These mouth-watering new products are as flavorful as they are exotic, and as healthy as they are convenient,” said Adam Carr, CEO of Veggie Patch.  “We’re proud to lead the way in introducing unique and great tasting items that excite and appeal to our consumers.”

Prior to these new product launches, Veggie Patch most recently introduced its Mediterranean Patties this past December.  The unique patties contain an exotic blend of Mediterranean spices combined with spinach and chickpeas.

In addition to its new products, Veggie Patch is also debuting a new look, including a modernized logo and updated package complete with mouth-watering photography and suggested preparations for the items. Each product now features a more descriptive name that better speaks to the item’s flavor profile, such as the full-bodied sweetness of the Roasted Red Pepper Falafel and the unique spices of the Moroccan Red Lentil Cakes.

“We know a lot of people eat with their eyes and for a product as distinctive and delicious as Veggie Patch, it starts with the product photography,” continued Carr. “We’re especially proud of our new look because it undoubtedly gets consumers excited about our products, both new and current.”

The complete Veggie Patch line consists of eleven products, including its well-known Savory Spinach Bites and Garden Broccoli Bites, which are two of the brand’s more kid-friendly products. All items are nutrient rich, non-GMO and contain 0 trans fat.

The Gracious Gourmet to Reveal 3 New Flavors at Summer Fancy Food Show #SFFS14

The Gracious Gourmet’s award-winning line of spreads, chutneys and pestos now includes a new fruit spread, Date Apricot Spread, and a new line of products called The Gracious Gourmet Essentials.

The Essentials line — which boasts quality and consistency for ingredients cooks often need in recipes — launches with two must-have products: Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms and Sweet Caramelized Onions. These essentials, which taste just prepared, save home cooks and chefs the time of shopping for ingredients, prepping them and cooking them to get  rich flavors before adding to a final dish. Taste them at the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC at booth #438.

Date Apricot Spread is packed with dates combined with apricots, spices and orange juice. It is great paired with cheeses like ricotta, fresh goat, brie and cheddar and is delicious served with chicken, duck or turkey and mixed into basmati rice. Also perfect for yogurt parfaits or as a topper for vanilla or caramel ice creams.

 

•  Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms contains white, crimini and shiitake mushrooms cooked with onions in olive oil and finished with a dash of lemon juice. It provides “essential” rich mushroom flavor to a variety of dishes, including risottos, pasta dishes, soups, omelets and savory pancakes.

Sweet Caramelized Onions includes the equivalent of 1 pound of raw sweet onions in every 7-ounce container! The fresh onions are cooked in olive oil with a hint of brown sugar to boost the onions’ natural sweetness — the taste is so good you can eat them straight from the jar. Use them to top all kinds of meat and fish as well as in salad dressings, soups, pasta and rice dishes.

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