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Snack Foods

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JOLLY TIME Pop Corn Goes Gourmet

JOLLY TIME Pop Corn and premium snack food producer Cosmos Creations have joined forces to bring new popcorn flavors to consumers. The four new ready-to-eat popcorn varieties – Sea Salted Caramel, Confetti Cake, Belgian Waffle and Snickerdoodle – will be showcased at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco from January 22-24 at the Moscone Center.

The new collaboration brings together two family-owned, independent companies, pairing JOLLY TIME’s more than 100 years of popcorn heritage and with Cosmos Creations’ modern flavor profiles. The four new popcorn flavors are certified gluten free and made with non-GMO popcorn kernels and natural ingredients.

“We see this as the perfect opportunity for a mutually beneficial partnership with Cosmos Creations, a company that aligns with our mission and values, as well as allows us to extend our product line into an increasingly popular, opportune space,” said Garrett Smith, fourth generation President of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn. “The new ready-to-eat products will satisfy consumers’ desire for a convenient, sweet and indulgent twist on a traditional snack they already know and love.”

Cosmos Creations was founded in 2011 with a commitment of using natural ingredients to create premium snacks with an indulgent, artisan taste. The new collaboration allows the company to expand from its corn puff line to ready-to-eat popcorn.

“We’ve found an ideal partnership – from our similar company cultures and values to our mutual willingness to explore new flavors and trends – this collaboration has exciting potential to strengthen our reach,” said Jerid Strasheim, Cosmos Creations Vice President of Sales.

The four new flavor profiles – Sea Salted Caramel, Confetti Cake, Belgian Waffle and Snickerdoodle – will be available in 1-ounce bags with a suggested retail price of $0.99 and 5.5-ounce bags holding more than eight cups of popcorn with a suggested retail price of $2.49. The ready-to-eat popcorn line will be available at grocery retailers nationwide and online in February 2017.

Saffron Road’s New Plant-Based Protein Snacks & Frozen Bowls

Saffron Road, the fastest growing brand of premium frozen entrees, will introduce its newly expanded plant-based protein snacks line, which includes innovative ChickBean Crisps, in addition to a new frozen meals line, at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco from January 2-24.

Like all Saffron Road products, the new snacks and frozen bowls were created with the utmost commitment to authenticity, quality, transparency and culinary excellence to capitalize on the growing popularity of clean label better-for-you products in the U.S.

The ChickBean Crisps come in three flavors, Sea Salt, White Cheddar, Zesty Ranch, and all are certified halal, OU kosher, and gluten free. Since they’re primarily made from legumes, each one-ounce serving of Saffron Road ChickBean Crisps contains four grams of protein, two grams of fiber and only a few grams of fat – making them a nutritious and unique find in the snack aisle.

Saffron Road’s new World Cuisine meals, in an on-trend bowl format, come in eight delicious flavors:  Sesame Ginger Salmon with White Rice, Lemongrass Basil Fish with Rice Noodles, Thai Red Curry Fish with Rice Noodles, Masala Curry Fish with White Rice, Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Bake, Verde Tortilla Bake with Chicken, Thai-Style Mango Chicken, and Korean-Style Sweet Chile Chicken. All of the fish sourced is wild Alaskan caught and packed with Omega-3s, and the chicken is antibiotic free. All of the ingredients are authentic – to keep in line with the high culinary excellence all Saffron Road products must adhere to.

While the four fish bowl meals are already on shelf at Whole Foods Market®, the ChickBean Crisps and the remaining four new bowls will launch this January and April respectively.

For more information about Saffron Road’s new snack products, visit saffronroadfood.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook at facebook.com/saffronroadfood, on Twitter at twitter.com/saffronroadfood, on Pinterest at pinterest.com/saffronroadfood or on Instagram at Instagram.com/saffronroadfood.

Blue Crab Bay Co. Changes Hands

Pamela Barefoot, founder and longtime President of specialty food company Blue Crab Bay Co. in Melfa, Virginia, has sold the company in an asset sale to Elizabeth Lankford. Barefoot, 66, said her decision to sell Blue Crab Bay was initially difficult but was made easier once she knew the company was going to stay local. “I have been fretting over an exit strategy, and all the businesses that approached me did not want our property in the (Accomack Airport) Industrial Park,” she said.

“Two years ago, I received an email from Elizabeth Lankford, and I knew in my heart she was the right one,” Barefoot continued. “She cared about the brand. She cared about the Eastern Shore and my employees. Her father had tons of experience in the food industry, and with her very supportive family, I knew she would be a great caretaker for my Blue Crab Bay family.” Lankford’s family is well known in Maryland and Virginia. Her grandfather Stanley began Lankford Produce in 1964 and soon was joined by her father, Tom, and uncles Fred and Jim. In 1981, Lankford Produce merged with Sysco Corp.

Elizabeth, 32, recently resigned from her job in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in state government affairs for Healthcare Distribution Alliance. “I had always been looking for an opportunity to return home to the Eastern Shore,” she said. “This is a perfect fit. I have been a longtime fan of Blue Crab Bay’s brand and high-quality products. I look forward to leading the company and expanding our national reach.”

Barefoot plans to continue to work at Blue Crab Bay for at least two more years. “I’ll just have more time for my Airbnb cottage and to go RVing with my husband to state and national parks, an interest we picked up about four years ago,” she said.

Founded on Barefoot’s kitchen table in 1985, Blue Crab Bay has evolved into a nationally recognized, award-winning specialty food brand and a leader in its community. Blue Crab Bay’s line of specialty foods and gifts includes award-winning Virginia peanut snacks, Bloody Mary mixers, seafood seasonings, and Blue Crab Stoneware. The company operates from a 24,000-square-foot building in the Accomack Airport Industrial Park in Melfa, where a retail shop also is located. Products are available in thousands of stores nationwide and on the company’s consumer website.

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

 

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