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Snack Foods

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Schuman Cheese Debuts New Cheddar Flavor of Cello Whisps

Schuman Cheese has just launched a new flavor of its beloved crisp snack with Cheddar Cello Whisps, an all-natural, rBST-free, gluten-free, high-protein snack. This flavorful, protein-rich snack hit the shelves this month nationwide.

cheddar-whisps-bag-only“As a company, our mission is to enhance everyday eating experiences with the highest quality cheese. With Cheddar Cello Whisps, we were able to provide consumers with a new delicious way to enjoy our hand-crafted artisan cheddar,” said Ilana Fischer, Vice President of Innovation and Strategy at Schuman Cheese. “In fact, cheddar cheese ranks as the top flavor requested in the US, so this innovation made perfect sense. Making Cheddar Cello Whisps was the natural choice for the next flavor in the Whisps portfolio.”

The newest flavor was called for by Cello Whisps lovers who loved the Parmesan-flavor Whisps and wanted another choice.  Cello Whisps has already received recognition in the industry with several awards including a gold at the 2016 World Cheese Contest.

“The space is inundated with fake ingredients and unhealthy choices, and Cello Whisps brings a uniquely wholesome and delicious option for those wanting a better-for-you cheese snack,” continued Fischer. “What better way than to use our expertise in artisan cheese to bring a pure cheese snack to the market.”

Cheddar Cello Whisps are a real-cheese snack that won’t leave orange fingers and regret behind it. They provide consumers with a delicious, protein-rich treat that does not consist of a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. The snack is all-natural, gluten and wheat-free and provides an excellent source of calcium with 10 grams of protein and zero percent carbohydrates per serving.  It’s easy to enjoy them as-is or toss them on a salad or appetizer plate for flavor and crunch.

Cello Whisps are available to purchase throughout the U.S. in Costco, Publix, Shoprite, Stop & Shop, Amazon.com, and many others. To learn more about Cello Whisps’ new product, Cheddar Cello Whisps and Schuman Cheese visit CelloWhisps.com and SchumanCheese.com.

Mount Franklin Foods Acquires Candy Plant in Sumter, SC

Mount Franklin Foods, LLC, is adding a fifth food manufacturing plant and its first candy making facility to be located in the U.S. Through an investment expected to total $10 million, the plant will be updated with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing the company to add vitamin gummies and other fortified products as well as organic and natural fruit snack items to its product portfolio.

The Sumter facility, which belonged to the former Au’some Candy Company, is on track to be operational by the end of the second quarter of 2017 and is expected to lead to the creation of at least 225 new jobs. Mount Franklin Foods has acquired all of the equipment and is now working on finalizing the real estate transaction.

“Everyone at Mount Franklin Foods is excited about our new operations in Sumter, South Carolina” said Gary Ricco, the company’s President and CEO. “The Palmetto state and Sumter are pro-business, and this new location will provide us with a strong platform for driving revenues by continuing to serve our customers with compelling product offerings.”

Little Red Dot Kitchen Leverages sofi Award

littlereddotbeefbakkwaemLittle Red Dot Kitchen, whose Singapore street-style Hickory Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon Bak Kwa was named a 2016 sofi® Award winner, has leveraged that recognition for growth in distribution and at retail.

Little Red Dot Kitchen has seen growing interest in its line of five meat snacks since its Hickory Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon Bak Kwa was named a finalist and won the savory snack category in this year’s sofi Awards, according to Little Red Dot Kitchen CEO Ching Lee. The Bak Kwa meat snacks, which come from U.S. family farms dedicated to raising animals humanely and without antibiotics or hormones, have been added by Vistar, headquartered in Centennial, Colorado; Gourmet Merchants International of Gardena, California and Gourmet Goods Distribution of Belleview, New Jersey.

New retail placements include Barnes & Noble College stores through Vistar, and direct sales to Safeway for its San Jose, California, stores; Straub’s in Missouri and Foodstuffs in Illinois, Lee said. “Straub’s and Foodstuffs came to us directly because of the sofi Award,” she said, “We have seen interest from other large chains and additional distributors as more and more retailers across many channels are encountering consumers who want a higher level of snacking with more interesting and exotic flavors and better, cleaner ingredients.”

In addition to being produced from protein sources raised humanely and without antibiotics or hormones, Little Red Dot Kitchen’s Bak Kwa is minimally processed with most ingredients having non-GMO verification. It also is free from artificial ingredients, wheat, dairy and eggs. The Bak Kwa is available in five flavors, including Hickory Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon, which has no nitrates or nitrites, Spicy Chipotle Beef Bak Kwa, Pork Bak Kwa, free-range Turkey Bak Kwa, and Lemongrass Beef Bak Kwa. The meat snacks are available in resealable 1- to 3-ounce packages with a suggested retail price of $6.99 to $7.99. Cases include 12 of the 2.5- to 3-ounce bags and 18 of the 1-ounce bags.

More information about Little Red Dot Kitchen is available by calling 408.673.8227 or by connecting online at www.facebook.com/reddotkitchen, www.twitter.com/reddotkitchen, and www.instagram.com/littlereddotkithen.

PopCorners Minis Offer Seasonal Flavors for the Holidays

Our Little Rebellion™, a family of  non-GMO and gluten-free popped snacks is unveiling a limited edition of PopCorners Minis for the holiday season. PopCorners Minis are available in two varieties: Double-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle. Bursting with seasonal flavors for the holidays, the new snacks are now available at retailers through the holiday season for a suggested retail price of $3.29 per 4.5-ounce bag.

popcornersDouble-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle PopCorners Minis are made with only minimally processed, Non-GMO Project Verified and Gluten Free Certified ingredients. Never fried, each light and crispy triangular-shaped popped corn chip combines the satisfaction of crunch with sweet chocolate and cinnamon flavors.

“It’s important to us that we continually create products that focus on whole ingredients, minimal processing and nutritional profiles that maximize the better-for-you experience,” said Paul Nardone, Chief Executive Officer at BFY Brands, parent company of Our Little Rebellion. “That being said, we also want to provide options that are flavorful and fun, and that’s exactly what our unique PopCorners Minis offer, all while delivering nostalgic holiday flavors. Perfect for stocking stuffers, holiday entertaining, or if you’re simply craving a sweet treat without the guilt, we hope our fans will enjoy the Double-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle flavors throughout the holiday season.”

The unveiling of PopCorners Minis comes on the heels of the launch of Our Little Rebellion, which is led by the PopCorners line and also includes Bean Crisps™ and Crinkles™. Like PopCorners Minis, all Our Little Rebellion Snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten Free, in addition to being OU kosher-certified. Featuring minimally processed ingredients in irresistible flavors that are cleaner, lighter and tastier, each snack line also boasts Our Little Rebellion’s overarching commitment to creating snacks that are never fried, always gluten free, and contain no artificial anything.

PopCorners Minis, PopCorners, Bean Crisps, and Crinkles are available at grocers and natural, club and conscience food channels throughout the United States, as well as online retailers. PopCorners are also available on select JetBlue flights. For more information, please visit www.ourlittlerebellion.com.

Virginia Diner: a Passion for Peanuts

By Lorrie Baumann

picture-042The original Virginia Diner, a roadside family diner along the main highway route across Virginia towards the beaches, Williamsburg and Jamestown, has an 87-year history as that place where you stop if you’re making one of those road trips, and while you’re waiting for your meal and letting the vibrations of the road work their way out of your bones, you get some free peanuts to nibble on. “In Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic, people know the restaurant. They have a fond memory of going to the beach on vacation, and we’re part of that experience. It gives people a fond memory of what they’ve done,” says Scott Stephens, Virginia Diner’s Director of Sales. “People have been coming here since the Depression and all through World War II. It’s the longest-running roadside diner in the state.” Customers loved it. Then they started asking if they could take a piece of that experience home with them, and suddenly, Virginia Diner was in the peanut business. “The mail-order business grew from people coming into the restaurant, picking up peanuts while they were eating, and asking if we could send them some,” Stephens says.

Those peanuts were locally grown – they’re a major crop for southeastern Virginia. “What we grow in this area is the Virginia-type peanut, and we only buy the super extra-large size,” Stephens says. “There are a lot of peanut companies in this area, but the Diner is the most well-known of all the regional brands because of the restaurant.”

Today, Virginia Diner has turned a passion for peanuts, especially the super extra-large peanuts, a bit of nostalgia and home team pride into a product line comprising peanuts and cashews with multiple added flavorings or chocolate covering packaged in cans with art that honors the team mascots for colleges around the country and the artistic vision of Norman Rockwell. “We started licensing in 2007,” Stephens says.“Licensing really took off for us, and it became dominant.”

pac-12-collection-lowSalted Peanuts are the company’s best sellers, along with Chocolate-Covered Peanuts and Old Bay-Seasoned Peanuts. They do well in both gift shops and in specialty food markets. All of the company’s salted and unsalted peanut products are non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and certified by the American Heart Association.

Products packaged in college colors do especially well during back-to-school season, while the Norman Rockwell-themed packaging moves a lot of nuts during the winter holiday season.

Virginia Diner is currently exploring other licensing partnerships to expand the products’ appeal throughout the year as well as continuing to develop the existing line of interesting flavors. “All of it’s for the purpose of giving someone a reason to pick up the can, compelling them to buy peanuts,” Stephens says. “We have some year-round licensing opportunities that we’re creating to pull the product off the shelf and into the shopping basket.”

Absolutely Gluten-Free Introduces Organic Superseed Crunch

After two years in the making, Absolutely Gluten-Free is introducing Organic Superseed Crunch, a light, sweet and crispy snack packed with a powerhouse of important nutrients.

According to Charles Herzog, Vice President, Absolutely Gluten-Free, “We have developed an innovative and proprietary new manufacturing process to create a uniquely healthy, gourmet snack that tastes so delicious, it’s addictive. More importantly, it provides a powerful nutrition boost from organic, whole superseeds including flax, chia and sesame.

“These nutrition dense superfoods provide a whopping 2000 mg of Omega 3 ALA per serving, gut friendly prebiotic fiber, and powerful antioxidants and lignans from the seeds in a convenient snack. And, these nutrients flex some muscle – they are associated with everything from healthy brain, gut and heart, to supple skin. There’s really nothing else quite like it on the market today.”

Absolutely Gluten-Free Organic Superseed Crunch is available in three varieties: Original, Toasted Coconut, and Cinnamon. Each variety is made with organic seeds: whole sesame, whole golden flax, and whole chia, and provides an excellent source of essential fatty acids and important minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. It is the sixth new product among the company’s unique Absolutely Gluten-Free line.

“Absolutely Superseed Crunch is perfect for kids and adults as a snack or in recipes, on top of salads, yogurt and ice cream. Kids won’t know they are getting important nutrients, and moms need not worry if they eat the entire bag,” adds Herzog.

Absolutely Gluten-Free Organic Superseed Crunch is packaged in convenient 4.5-ounce re-sealable bags (six to a case) and will retail for $4.99 – $5.99 per bag. It is all-natural, certified gluten-free, OU kosher, non-GMO, vegan, dairy and soy-free, low in sodium and USDA Organic.

The Absolutely Gluten-Free brand product line currently includes: flatbreads, crackers, blondie and brownie crunch, cauliflower crust pizza and crepes, available in stores nationwide. All products in the Absolutely Gluten-Free line are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU).

Arrivederci! Italian Organic Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread Says Goodbye to Milk

According to a survey by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consumption of all dairy products has been steadily declining since 2005, with 22 percent of Americans reporting they’ve decreased their intake. The reasons for giving up dairy are varied but have undeniably inspired a trend among food brands worldwide. Italy’s Rigoni di Asiago is now offering Nocciolata (pronounced no-cho-lata) Dairy Free, a certified-vegan alternative of its better-for-you, higher-quality, better-tasting chocolate-hazelnut spread.

nocciolataNon-dairy lovers can now indulge in the creamy decadence, as well! Made with organic ingredients completely free of GMOs, preservatives, colors, additives, or artificial sweeteners, Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Dairy Free combines hazelnuts, cocoa and cocoa butter, natural vanilla extract and raw cane sugar for a chocolate-hazelnut spread with undeniably superior flavor and smooth texture.

Unlike other brands, which use palm oil, Nocciolata Dairy Free is made with environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil. It also contains far less sugar than other brands and is free from hydrogenated fats.

Each batch takes 36 hours of artisanal preparation to develop its rich and complex flavor and easy-to-spread consistency. Nocciolata Dairy Free is an indulgent snack, a wonderful addition to breakfast spreads, an alternative to other nut butters, and is a wonderful accompaniment for breads, fruit, or non-dairy ice cream.

“Whether you are vegan or lactose intolerant or do not eat dairy due to allergies, health reasons, religious reasons, or environmental reasons,” says Rigoni di Asiago C.E.O. and President Andrea Rigoni, “you, too, can enjoy the delicious combination of hazelnut and chocolate in our latest spread.”

Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Dairy Free is certified vegan and USDA organic and available in stores nationwide and online in 9.52-ounce glass jars. For more information, visit http://rigonidiasiago-usa.com and www.nocciolatausa.com

 

Oberto Beef Jerky Launches Trail Mix Product Line

Oberto Beef Jerky will expand its product portfolio this month as it enters the trail mix category with the launch of Oberto Trail Mix. Oberto’s entry is part of the company’s bigger mission to provide more delicious, convenient, and “better for you” snacking product forms featuring the unmatched lean protein power of its Oberto Beef Jerky. The first three Oberto Trail Mix flavors – Original Beef, Spicy Sweet Beef, and Teriyaki Chicken — are now rolling out to select retailers nationwide.

The introduction of Oberto Trail Mix comes as the beef jerky and trail mix categories are both seeing explosive growth. Combined U.S. retail category sales of jerky and trail mix exceed $3 billion, with explosive growth this yea, according to Nielsen ScanTrak.

Oberto Trail Mix has been in development for more than a year. At Oberto’s integrated research and development lab and U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed manufacturing facility in the Seattle area, the company developed a proprietary blend that guarantees delicious, tender jerky while adding premium nuts, seeds, fruit and dark chocolate. Oberto’s innovative trail mix not only satisfies hunger, but delivers high protein without artificial ingredients.

David Lakey, Oberto’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, said this is a natural expansion of the Oberto Brand. “Active consumers want more protein in their snacks. Loyal Oberto Beef Jerky consumers also eat a lot of trail mix, and our research indicates they’re very interested in this new snack option while on the go.”

To support the launch of Oberto Trail Mix at retail, Oberto has created a range of in-store merchandising vehicles, including shelf talkers and aisle and counter rack displays. It will also promote the new line through digital and social media marketing – including contests and branded content featuring its line-up of major-league athletes.

Good Health Launches Downright Dippable Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortilla Chips

Good Health®is launching Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas, the first tortilla chips to join the brand’s portfolio of savory snacks. USDA-certified organic and gluten-free, Good Health Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas pack a distinctly crisp texture and south of the border flavors for a seriously dippable chip. The new product is available at leading natural and grocery retailers nationwide.

“Combining exceptional taste and high-quality ingredients is our biggest priority to give Good Health fans snacks without guilt,” said Mary Schulman, Vice President of Strategy at Good Health. “Made with Extra Goodness!™, which is our unique blend of vitamins and the same nutrients found in veggies, our new USDA-organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas are downright delicious chips. They have just the right amount of flavor allowing for munching right from the bag or dipping in everything from salsa, guacamole, hummus – the list is endless. From back-to-school snacks to game day parties, these tortillas give everyone the goodness of a better-for-you chip with the satisfaction of an enjoyable snack.”

Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas deliver powerful nutrition in each serving, including: 2.5 cups broccoli (25 percent vitamin A); 3.5 beets (25 percent vitamin C); five tomatoes (15 percent vitamin E); seven cups spinach (20 percent vitamin B6); two carrots (20 percent vitamin K). Each whole grain chip is crafted with trendy ingredients like brown rice flour and black beans, and topped with Himalayan salt for a full-bodied flavor that pairs with sweet to subtle and spicy to savory dips for every occasion. Free of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, trans fat and artificial colors, each serving contains 130 calories and two grams of fiber and protein. Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas will retail for $3.49/5-ounce bag.

Good Health also offers a robust portfolio of veggie, potato and sweet potato kettle style chips, Veggie Stix® and straws, popcorn, pretzels and apple chips.

All Good Health products are available nationwide in natural and grocery stores including Safeway and Kroger, as well as national retailers such as Target, Walmart and CVS Pharmacy.

New Snacks Appeal to Nutrition-Hungry Americans

By Lorrie Baumann

Hungry Americans are snacking more than ever before, but for many, the between-meal food is a guilt-ridden, sometimes furtive attempt to stave off hunger and boost energy long enough to get them through the day to their next meals. Snack food manufacturers are making a wealth of products to meet precisely these needs.

These are trends found by market research firm Canadean, which conducts three consumer surveys annually of more than 50,000 consumers in 47 countries. The research was presented in Chicago by Canadean Innovation Insights Director Tom Vierhile at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in May. The surveys found that snacking behavior is nearly universal in the U.S., with 96 percent of Americans saying that they snack at least occasionally. Among people between the ages of 18 and 44, almost everyone is snacking between main meals, with 97 percent of 18-24-year-olds, 98 percent of those aged 25 to 34 and 97 percent of those between 35 and 44 saying that they snack. Snacking tends to skew towards young and male consumers, with young and middle-aged men much more likely to snack regularly than any other group, according to the surveys.

Most of this snacking takes place after lunch, with 55 percent of U.S. consumers saying that they snack between lunch and dinner and 39 percent saying that they snack between dinner and bedtime, and most of it happens at home. While hunger is the obvious motivation for snacking, treating or rewarding oneself, boosting energy and relieving boredom are also top drivers.

This snacking isn’t necessarily guilt-free; younger consumers in particular, those between 25 and 34, say that they’re judgy about people who eat junk foods. A fair number of Americans are getting around that by eating snacks that contain “a healthy ingredient.” About a third of all Americans and more than half of 25-34-year-olds say that they feel less guilty about consuming unhealthy foods or drinks if they contain a healthy ingredient.

The Sweets & Snacks Expo exhibit hall provided a wealth of evidence that Vierhile knew what he was talking about and that many snack food manufacturers had already figured most of it out for themselves. The market is seeing a proliferation of snack foods that offer protein rather than added sugar for that between-meal energy boost, and many of them are offering front-of-the-package claims of some kind of nutritional benefit, even if it’s just an offset for a product that might otherwise be considered an indulgent treat rather than a component of a nutrition plan.

Stoneridge Orchards‘ line of all-natural dried fruits is Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, free of preservatives and sulfites and contain no hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors. They’re high in Vitamin C and free of common allergens. The fruit is grown in family-owned orchards in central Washington by third-generation family farmers. Organic Cranberries enrobed in dark chocolate join an organic product line that now includes four items, together with Organic Blueberries, Organic Montmorency Cherries and Organic Mixed Berries. The 4-ounce package retails for $4.99 to $5.99.

Country Prime Meats’ Country Bites Naturals are meat snacks available in four flavors, including Hamalyan Inspired, flavored with tandoori spice, and Tuscan Inspired, flavored with tomato and pepper, cooked, smoked and dried turkey sausages. They’re gluten free and lactose free, with no added nitrites and no lactose. Turkey for the snacks was raised without antibiotics, and the snacks are bite-sized to aid in portion control. The 4.4-ounce bag retails for $7.99.

Simply Smart 1Simply Smart and Smart Kids snack bars are targeted directly at the nutrition-conscious, with Smart Kids bars formulated to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements for school lunch programs. Simply Smart is the adult version, targeted at the consumer aged 16 and older who wants a healthy snack bar. Simply Smart bars contain no added refined sugar and contain 190 to 200 calories and 10 grams of protein per bar. “Everything we do is all-natural, Non-GMO Project Verified and certified gluten free,” said Chief Operating Officer Rob Zelickman. Simply Smart bars are packaged for individual sale at retail and sell for $1.99 each. The Smart Kids bars sell for $1.30.

AWAKE Bar 1AWAKE Energy Granola Bars offer caffeine along with B vitamins and some added sugar for that late afternoon energy boost. Each bar contains as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee plus B vitamins. Each bar contains 5 grams of protein and 150 calories or less. They come in four flavors: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Caramel, Coconut Apricot and Cinnamon Bun. They contain no artificial flavors or colors and are gluten free.

Peeled Snacks are designed to appeal to the consumer who looks for a clean ingredient deck with no added sugar. Peas Please are the newest item in the product line, which also includes Gently Dried Fruit and Apple Clusters. Made with 70 percent peas, brown rice, sunflower oil and salt, these crunchy snacks are all organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and gluten free. They come in four flavors, with White Cheddar the newest. Other flavors are Sea Salt, Garden Herb and Southwest Spice. Peas Please are made by a certified B Corporation started in 2005. A 3.3-ounce bag that provides 3-1/2 servings of vegetables per bag sells for $2.99.

Snack pastries from Bakerly are for those who start their snacking with breakfast. Four product lines of bakery products include authentic French crepes filled with strawberry or chocolate, mini brioche, and a chocolate croissant. They’re made with real eggs and real butter, individually wrapped and delivered frozen to stores for a 30-day shelf life after thawing. “We are the only brioche to go available in the market,” said Damien Callery, the company’s Vice President of Sales. The products are made in France with clean recipes and no genetically modified ingredients. The newest in the line is a chocolate filled petit cake – something like a standard American-style snack cake but without all the artificial ingredients, Callery said. “We want America to go back to an American tradition, but with clean ingredients and better quality,” he added.

The bakerly petit cakes contain no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup and no palm oil. They’re non-GMO. They come in three flavors: chocolate, apricot and strawberry, with all-natural fruit fillings. A package of five individually-wrapped cakes has a three-month shelf life and retails for $3.49.

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