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Snack Foods

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Packaged Facts: Nutritional Bars Providing the Portable, Healthier Snacks U.S. Consumers Crave

American snackers love their nutritional bars, finds market research publisher Packaged Facts in the report “Nutritional and Cereal Bars in the U.S., 4th Edition.” Nutritional bars are a handy way for consumers to stop eating three meals a day at set times and to start consuming smaller portions of food throughout the day, whether they are on the go or at home.

Nutritional bars conform to a broad cultural shift toward healthier, good-for-you food products.  Bars provide an attractive way for food marketers to offer bold, exciting flavors; ingredients with a shiny health halo resulting from their organic and “natural” characteristics; and superfoods and other functional ingredients targeting specific health concerns such as a desire or need for food to be gluten-free.  Nutritional bars, which have achieved torrid sales growth in recent years, provide an especially appropriate platform to deliver the kind of dense nutrition today’s consumers crave and search for in sources such as ancient grains and healthy seeds, including quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, chia and flaxseed.

Nutritional bars have long been marketed as a source of quick energy and meal replacements for athletes and fitness buffs.  According to the report, the psychographic profile of high-volume users of nutritional bars indicates that marketers of these products will continue to be on target with advertising campaigns geared toward fitness and outdoor activities.  High-volume users of nutritional bars are more likely to say they enjoy taking risks (42 percent vs. 34 percent) and have a higher likelihood of engaging in outdoor pursuits such as mountain/rock climbing, backpacking and mountain biking.  They also are far more likely to try to stay fit by engaging in fitness activities such as fitness walking and weight training.

An emerging trend highlighted in “Nutritional and Cereal Bars in the U.S., 4th Edition” is that consumers engaged in sports and fitness activities are starting to shy away from sweet flavors and are increasingly being drawn to savory snacks.  Savory bars also provide flavor options for different times of the day, reflecting the fact that consumers often look to sweet flavors earlier in the day and savory flavors later in the day.

Marketers are rushing to roll out new nutritional bars to reflect this shift in flavor preferences.  The shift toward savory nutritional bars has increased the popularity of bars that offer meat as a protein source.  Consumers can also expect to find more and more nutritional bars using vegetables as their protein source.  Nutritional bars now on the market include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, quinoa, cauliflower, lentils, bell pepper and basil.

Some industry analysts note that savory bars will need to overcome a number of obstacles if they are to succeed in the marketplace.  They are more difficult to manufacture because they lack sweeteners that act as binding agents.  Moreover, marketers need to find ways to overcome the ingrained association between snack bars and sweet flavors.

The New Super-Trendy Vegetable: Beets

 

By Richard Thompson

Beets are getting a whole new look this year, emphasizing their nutritional benefits while being featured in products that appeals to shifting consumer tastes. Similar to the way kale appealed to consumers last year, beets are being marketed as the new super trendy vegetable, grabbing the attention of food retailers and restaurateurs who are selling more items with beets in them than in previous years. Beet products are becoming so popular that this year’s list of sofi Award finalists include two different beet products that were up for three different awards between them.

The past five years have seen beets become more common place as people are more educated about them, says Natasha Shapiro of LoveBeets, known for their popular beet-featured product lines. Adding to the 20 percent increase in distributorship they have seen in the last year is their variety of beet juices and line of beet bars. The Love Beets health bars are coming in Beet & Apple, Beet & Cherry and Beet & Blueberry with all three made gluten-free and with clean ingredients. “We are making beets more fun, accessible and upbeat,” said Shapiro, “We’re modernizing the idea of beets.”

Blue Hill Yogurt, whose Beet Yogurt is a sofi finalist, combined the earthy sweetness of beets with the acidic tangyness of yogurt for a natural and unique trend that could push people looking for something new in milk products. Amped with raspberries and vinegar to maximize the natural earthy sweetness of the beet, Blue Hill wants people to think outside of what is normally thought of with beets and yogurt. “This is a savory yogurt that offers some sweetness, but not fruit-like sweetness. It’s a great afternoon yogurt,” said David Barber, President of Blue Hill.

Beetroot Rasam Soup from Cafe Spices, another finalist for the sofi Award, is competing in two categories, New Products and as a Soup, Stew, Bean or Chili Product. The colorful soup that pairs roasted beets pureed into a tomato base with tamarind, garlic, chiles and mustard seeds is an inspiration from the company’s culinary director and chef Hari Nayak.

Featuring naturally occurring nitrates that help extend exercise performance, fitness communities have long embraced the healthy benefits of beets. Coupled with social media and a general health conscious mindset in consumers, appreciation of beets has spider-webbed through mainstream markets, according to Shapiro. “Its the one vegetable people feel strongly about, Shapiro said, “At events, people just want to share their experiences about beets.”

Adam Kaye, Vice President of Culinary Affairs for Blue Hill, who worked with Dan Barber on their sofi nominated Beet Yogurt, goes one step further. Kaye has seen the appreciation of beets growing beyond it being a fancy potato and finds the whole vegetable incredible. “There is something about the beet that straddles the savory and the sweet,” said Kaye, “You can taste the earth in beets.”

 

Premium Puffed Corn Company, Cosmos Creations, Rebrands Entire Savory Snack Line

Cosmos Creations, a premium puffed corn company debuts new branding for its line of savory snack products. The updated look is available for the family sized Sea Salt & Butter (7 ounces), Cheddar & Pepper (7 ounces) and Spicy Sriracha (6 oz.) flavors as well as the snack sizes (1 ounce). The newly designed packages arrive to retailers this month.

“Cosmos Creations listened to its customers and retailers on continuing to grow its brand recognition in the market place,” said Cosmos Creations Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jerid Strasheim. “Innovation is in our DNA and as the company continues to grow, we decided to implement a new look that will help make our product more prominent on shelves.”

In efforts to create better shelf visibility and to fully utilize package real estate, the new savory bags feature a product image, a larger flavor callout and a creative display of nutritional information. The newly rebranded snacks will continue to be packaged on a 100 percent water-based ink printing process with solventless lamination.

“The new packaging boasts bold, new colors that pop off the shelf and displays an image of the premium puffed corn allowing consumers to identify the product,” said Cosmos Creations National Sales Manager Steve Hayes. “The combination of these advantages will surely continue to improve sales in all retailers.”

Cosmos Creations current flavors include Caramel Apple Crisp, Salted Caramel, Caramel, Coconut Crunch, Sea Salt & Butter, Spicy Sriracha and Cheddar & Pepper. Pumpkin Spice is only available for retailers to pre-order and will hit shelves this fall. Along with all its unique benefits, Cosmos Creations premium puffed corn snacks consistently utilizes natural ingredients its consumers can pronounce and trust.

For more information on Cosmos Creations’ line of products, please visit http://www.cosmoscreations.com

Salazon Chocolate Co. Launches Outdoor Adventure Chocolate Bar Series

Salazon Chocolate Co., a premium chocolate maker known as the first company to craft salted chocolate, is launching a line of premium salted chocolate bars to demonstrate its dedication to outdoor adventure. The TRAIL SERIES features three dark salted chocolate bars, including:

  • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Caramel – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
  • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Coffee – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
  • 72% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almond – made with Certified Organic chocolate and Fair Trade Certified cocoa beans

Salazon has garnered a reputation for crafting delicious, premium salted chocolate in unique flavor combinations. Founded by Pete Truby, an avid outdoorsman and trail enthusiast, the company’s commitment to the U.S. national scenic trails can be traced back to the origin of the company. According to Truby, inspiration for an energy-rich salted chocolate bar came to him in 2009 during a backpacking trip in Utah.

“The Appalachian Trail, our country’s oldest and original protected trail, is right in our back yard and we frequently find ourselves on the trail in our spare time,” said Pete Truby. “The ability to get out and hike for a day, a week, or even go for a life changing six-month hike is the magic of the national scenic trails. We wanted to make a line of chocolate specifically honoring our amazing national trails.”

Salazon is partnering with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for its Caramel bar, the Pacific Crest Trail Association for its Coffee bar, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for its Almond bar. The packaging for each bar depicts actual scenery captured on the trails.

A portion of the gross proceeds from the Trail Series funds the efforts of these nonprofits to protect, preserve, and promote the country’s national scenic trails, one being the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

“The Pacific Crest Trail Association is very appreciative of Salazon Chocolate Company’s support in our work to promote the Pacific Crest Trail,” says Angie Williamson, Development Director for the association. “Their support helps us coordinate hundreds of volunteers to keep the trail clear, and ensure that the trail will remain pristine and undeveloped for future generations.”

The Trail Series will be available at natural food stores and outdoor retailers nationwide, available at a suggested retail price of $3.99.

Granola Clusters from New England Natural Bakers

 

New England Natural BakersNew England Natural Bakers is adding two new granola clusters to its Organic Select line. These niche designed offerings are targeted to the discerning consumer and capture the hottest trends:  organic, Non-GMO Project verified, high protein, and gluten-free.

“We are happy to present these exciting new products, extending our line of the successful Organic Select Granola with offerings that capture emerging industry trends and address functionality,” said Director of Brand Sales and Marketing Larry Cornick.

The new item launch by New England Natural Bakers, a 100 percent employee-owned company, marks an aggressive strategy to increase brand presence. The company will be displaying the line, now seven SKUs in all, in the Massachusetts pavilion at the Summer Fancy Foods Show.

 

FDA Says KIND Bars Not Healthy

 

By Richard Thompson

KIND, LLC was served a warning letter by the FDA for mislabeling its products and is now facing numerous class-action lawsuits after the letter went public. KIND is just the latest in a swarm of lawsuits to allege false advertising with regards to mislabeling claims, most notably “all natural.”

In a letter sent to KIND in late March, the FDA accused KIND of mislabeling on four specific bars – Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, KIND Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein and KIND Plus Dark Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants – on which the FDA says KIND used the terms “healthy,” “low sodium,” “no trans fats” and “good source of fiber” incorrectly.

The warning letter was the result of a routine product check, according to Noah Bartolucci, Strategic Communications and Public Engagement, Food and Drug Administration. The FDA would not comment why the KIND bars were picked off the shelf. “We carry these out periodically, consistent with the agency’s charge,” said Bartolucci, “but honestly, it varies.”

The warning letter gave KIND 15 days to start taking steps to change the labels as well as its website to conform with FDA definitions. “KIND has, and will continue to take efforts to conform to all FDA regulations,” Joe Cohen, Senior Vice President of Communications at KIND, said, “We’ve submitted a plan to FDA outlining the steps we’ll take to modify our packaging and website in accordance with the issues raised in the warning letter.”

KIND says it is working with the FDA on how it can use “healthy” on its bar labels. “We are…working closely with the FDA to reach alignment on how we can use ‘healthy’ on our packaging,” Cohen said, “The regulatory definition of ‘healthy’ is complex.” The FDA regulates the use of the term as a nutrient content claim, but does not regulate more general use of the term.

KIND doesn’t plan to change its recipes for any of its products, but instead will focus on the labeling. “This matter relates strictly to the language on our labeling and our website,” said Cohen.

KIND maintains that its bars are good for you, even though the exact wording on the label may not be allowed. “We’ve received a great deal of support from medical and nutritionist communities,” said Cohen, “and many experts have spoken up to endorse…the benefits of eating nuts and nutritious fats.”

As soon as the warning letter became public, KIND was slammed with a number of lawsuits.

As of late April, KIND has been drawn into eight different consumer lawsuits from individuals in both California and New York, with all claiming that KIND’s mislabeling violated federal, state and consumer protection laws and caused them injury or damage.

One claimant, Brandon Kaufer, represented by Pearson, Simon, and Warsaw, LLP, alleges that he, and others similarly situated, had suffered injury by purchasing the KIND bars under the mistaken belief they were “healthier” and incurred losses of at least $5,000,000 dollars due to KIND’s deliberate deception.

 

Sante Nuts Receive Gold Medal

Santé Specialty Foods, maker of gourmet roasted and spiced nuts, has received a Gold Medal Endorsement from Chefs in America, a nationwide network of over highly-esteemed 7,500 corporate and executive chefs.  In a triple-blind taste test, all 10 flavors of Santé Nuts scored a nine or higher, with the company’s newly-released Roasted Salted Mix receiving one of the highest scores.  The nuts were judged according to six distinct factors: appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression.

“Chefs In America believes that Santé Nuts superior-tasting product line of value-added nuts respects the history of this great food,” the organization said in a statement.  “Santé’s products are obviously crafted with respect for tradition while offering a modern gourmet air.  They are a delicious treat that can lower bad cholesterol and provide heart healthy nutrients—all while tasting great.”

Earth Day Update From Almond Growers

 

In celebration of Earth Day, the Almond Board of California has made a blog post highlighting their efforts and research related to water efficiency. The post comes on the heels of California’s state-wide water restrictions, and focuses on the Almond Board’s progress in conservation of water and the growing use of microirrigation over the last 20 years.almond-storage_2

The almond industry has come under fire in recent years due to the high levels of water required to grow the trees. Estimates run as high as one gallon of water needed to produce a single almond nut. The update on conservation methods may ease the criticism from citizens who are upset that California farms have so far been exempted from state water use restrictions.

 

The research includes analysis of almond waste products’ use as livestock feed, calculating water demands to specific areas, and the potential use of irrigation with water that is too salty or otherwise unsafe for human consumption.

Global almond consumption is on the rise, and California produces 80 percent of the world’s supply. California’s almonds produce 1.2 percent of the state gross domestic product, according to economist Christopher Thornberg.

The full post can be read at

http://www.almonds.com/blog/water/water-research-pipeline

That’s it. Fruit Bar Launches New Flavor

 

That’s it.®, makers of two ingredient snack bars, has just launched a new flavor in its all natural fruit bar line. The company also announced its recent expansion into national retailers 7-Eleven and Kroger, branching out from the health food store market in which it retains a strong presence.

Thats_It_Fruit_Bars_Sample_Pack__59025.1429311088.1280.1280That’s it. uses only real fruits in their bars and limits its ingredient list two ingredients per flavor. With the company’s expansion into thousands of new retail outlets, it will gain broader access to a consumer base that is increasingly interested in healthy alternatives to traditional on-the-go snacks.

“We are thrilled to introduce our latest flavor, Apple + Coconut, to the marketplace, particularly given the rise in consumer awareness about the health benefits of coconut,” said That’s it. founder Dr. Lior Lewensztain. “As we continue to expand our product offerings as well as our national distribution, we remain whole heartedly dedicated to our founding principles of simplicity, integrity, purity and transparency in our products.”

That’s it. fruit bars come in nine varieties: Apple + Apricot, Apple + Banana, Apple + Blueberry, Apple + Cherry, Apple + Mango, Apple + Pear, Apple + Pineapple, Apple + Strawberry, and Apple + Coconut. They are made without any additives, preservatives, concentrates, purees, juices, added sugars, corn syrup, artificial coloring, or flavoring, and have an 18-month lab-verified shelf life. That’s it. fruit bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, raw, and diabetic friendly.

 

 

Boar’s Head Introduces Line of Premium Snacks

 Boar’s Head Brand® is making snacking during the lazy days of summer more convenient and wholesome than ever without compromising on quality or simplicity. From all natural jerky to creamy hummus with pretzels, the premium line of snacks from Boar’s Head is made with no fillers, by-products, artificial colors or flavors, trans fat or gluten.

“Busy parents and anyone on-the-go can enjoy a convenient, delicious and nutritious snack with the premium Boar’s Head snacking line,” said Elizabeth Ward, Director of Communications for Boar’s Head brand. “Whether planning a road trip or looking for a quick protein boost between meals, Boar’s Head snacking products are a satisfying complement to your busy summertime schedule.”

The Boar’s Head premium snack line includes five product families of portable items:

  • Butcher Craft® London Broil Seasoned All Natural Beef Jerky & Buffalo Style All Natural Turkey Jerky: These all natural snacks are expertly seasoned to deliver exceptional quality and flavor. Easy to grab, made with no artificial colors or flavors and 10 grams of hunger-busting protein per serving, Boar’s Head All Natural Jerky is a great option for a tasty on-the-go treat.
  • Cheese Snack Pouches: Enjoy Boar’s Head Cheese anywhere with Boar’s Head Cheese Snack Pouches, available in three varieties: a mellow Vermont Cheddar Cheese, an assertive and refined Gruyere Cheese, and a bold combo pack featuring the robust and intense flavors of 3 Pepper Colby Jack® and Chipotle Gouda Cheeses. These cheese snacks come individually wrapped, making them a handy addition for a lunch bag or a cooler as you hit the beach.
  • Hummus Snack Packs: A snack you can feel good about eating, Boar’s Head Hummus Snack Packs come complete with an individual serving of All Natural Hummus conveniently paired with crunchy and delicious gluten free pretzels, and are available in two flavor options: Traditional Hummus or the award-winning Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
  • Hummus Singles: Enjoy the exceptional taste of Boar’s Head Hummus on-the-go with individual snack singles. This snack is perfectly portioned and available in the following Hummus flavors: Traditional, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Chipotle Pepper.
  • Antipasto Packs: For a protein-packed duo reach for Boar’s Head Genoa Salame & Picante Provolone Cheese or Sopressata & Picante Provolone Cheese pre-sliced antipasto combinations. They can be stacked for a quick, savory, bite-sized treat, or arranged on an antipasto party platter for effortless entertaining.

Available at select supermarkets, gourmet stores and fine delicatessens nationwide, Boar’s Head meats, cheeses condiments and spreads are made with only the finest quality ingredients and contain no fillers, by-products, artificial flavors or colors, trans fat or gluten.

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