Midwest retailer Meijer is debuting a new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony, Sandy. The 30-second commercial will begin airing within the retailer’s five-state footprint – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky – in June and a 60-second version of the commercial is online now. Meijer shoppers can also watch the ad on TV walls in the store’s electronics department.
Meijer selected 28 photos for the TV spot from more than 3,200 submitted during the Star with Sandy photo contest hosted on its Facebook page earlier this year. Four additional youngsters were chosen for the 60-second version. For a list of individuals featured in the commercial please visit the Meijer newsroom and view the finalists’ photo submissions here.
“Ever since Meijer first opened its doors in 1934, we’ve been a family store – family-owned and dedicated to providing families with the best shopping experience possible,” said Nicole Laughlin, Vice President of Brand Development for Meijer. “For decades, a ride on Sandy has been a very important part of that Meijer experience for millions of families. That’s something we’re incredibly proud of.”
For many families, Sandy is the highlight of their routine shopping trips and a reward for their children’s good behavior. Amanda Stark, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was thrilled to learn her 2-year-old son, Braevin, would appear in the commercial.
“At least once a month when we go grocery shopping it’s a good incentive for Braevin. I tell him that if he’s good that he will be able to ride Sandy,” Stark said. “I’m just so proud of him that he won.”
Sandy, the iconic mechanical pony, debuted at the opening of Thrifty Acres in 1962. The late Fred Meijer was inspired by a supermarket in Nebraska that offered 10-cent pony rides, but wanted to provide a more reasonable option. The price of one penny per ride has since become symbolic of the affordable shopping experience at Meijer.
“My dad believed in making things affordable for our customers and that included Sandy,” Meijer Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Riding Sandy is a memory shared by so many children and parents who shop at our stores. But the real magic happens when those children grow up and bring their own kids back for a ride.”
Sandy has been a fixture at the front of all Meijer stores across the Midwest for decades, and is often the last thing a child remembers on the way out of the store and a source of joy for shoppers of all ages.
“I’ve been shopping at Meijer for years. It’s a family tradition,” said Sheri Miller, of Shipshewana, Ind. Her 6-year-old daughter, Katie, will co-star in the commercial. “Katie never leaves without riding Sandy. It’s her favorite part of the store.”
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a new specialty grocer featuring healthy and organic value-priced offerings, is excited to announce the grand opening for Illinois’s second store location in Deerfield on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 7 a.m. The Deerfield Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Harriet Rosenthal will be on site for the ribbon cutting at 9 a.m.
“We look forward to opening Illinois’s second Fresh Thyme store in Deerfield,” CEO Chris Sherrell stated. “The grand opening event will be an exciting day to shop, try our different products, and participate in activities throughout the day.”
The first 250 shoppers on grand opening day will receive a limited edition custom Deerfield Fresh Thyme reusable bag filled with more than $50 of healthy groceries. Grand opening day will feature events for the entire family, including food sampling, live entertainment and giveaways. Additional events are scheduled to continue throughout the week.
“Fresh Thyme’s goal is to provide our local communities with fresh, natural products at a great value,” Sherrell said. “We also strive to build solid relationships within each community we call home and look forward to the opportunity to do so in Deerfield.”
Fresh Thyme has already hired many local community residents for managerial and hourly positions. There are still numerous full and part-time employment opportunities available at the Deerfield Fresh Thyme store. Anyone interested may apply online at www.freshthyme.com.
Kretschmar® Premium Deli Meats & Cheeses has just launched Kretschmar Master’s Cut, a line of super-premium bulk deli items. The line features unique flavors of turkey, ham and chicken that use the highest quality, cleanest ingredients. It is available at deli counters across the country.
Kretschmar Master’s Cut Deli Meats feature sweet, smoky, savory and robust flavors, which were inspired by consumer culinary trends. Flavors include Sweet Smoked Ham, Black Pepper & Jalapeno Ham, Sweet Molasses Ham, Mesquite & Bourbon Turkey Breast, Santa Fe Turkey Breast, Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Breast, Cajun Style Turkey Breast, Pastrami Seasoned Turkey Breast and Chipotle Barbeque Chicken. All products are gluten free, and contain no added MSG, added nitrites or nitrates or added hormones. Each product also meets criteria for a heart-healthy food, as certified by the American Heart Association.
“We are extremely excited about the launch of Kretschmar Master’s Cut,” said Michael Sargent, brand manager for Kretschmar. “Its unique flavors and unparalleled quality have raised the bar for premium deli meats.”
For the product launch, Kretschmar enlisted Certified Master Chef Brian Beland as a brand ambassador. Chef Beland received his Certified Master Chef accreditation from the American Culinary Federation in 2010 following an eight-day cooking exam at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y. He is currently the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at the Country Club of Detroit and is also a Chef Instructor at Schoolcraft College in Michigan.
As a brand ambassador, Chef Beland created five original recipes using Kretschmar Master’s Cut and will make appearances on behalf of Kretschmar throughout 2014 at trade shows, public relations events, and consumer events. Additionally, Kretschmar will execute a sweepstakes in which consumers can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to The Culinary Institute of Americain Napa Valley where Chef Beland will give them a personal cooking tutorial.
“I’m thrilled to share with everyone Kretschmar’s newest product line, Master’s Cut,” said Certified Master Chef Brian Beland. “Its wide array of flavors and quality ingredients provide tons of possibilities in the kitchen. I’ve really enjoyed cooking with the meats and developing new recipes for Kretschmar. I know that consumers will appreciate its versatility and top-notch taste in their recipes as well.”
For more information on Kretschmar Master’s Cut, Chef Brian Beland, or to view new Kretschmar Master’s Cut recipes, log onto www.kretschmardeli.com and find the company on Facebook at Facebook.com/Kretschmardeli.
Sylvain Toutant has been named president and chief executive officer of DAVIDsTEA. He will be responsible for all operations at DAVIDsTEA and will oversee the company’s growth in Canada, the United States and around the world. He will also serve on the board of directors.
A recognized specialist in retailing, Toutant has developed businesses in Canada, the United States and Europe. After joining VanHoutte in 2008, he became President of Retail and subsequently, Chief Operating Officer. Since 2012 and until recently, he was President of Keurig Canada, where he accelerated growth through a strategic alliance with Keurig Green Mountain in the United States. He also headed Keurig’s operations in the United Kingdom.
During the course of his career, Toutant has been at the helm of a number of well-known brands in renovation, and alcoholic and other beverages. Employed by Reno-Depot from 1987 to 2003, he became its President in 2001 and helped make it one of Quebec’s most admired companies. He also served as President and CEO of the Société des alcools du Québec [Quebec'sliquor board] from 2004 to 2007.
“Sylvain’s vast knowledge of the beverage sector, combined with his expertise in consumer behaviour, makes him one of the best managers in the industry,” said Pierre Michaud, Chairman of the company’s board of directors. “In addition, his proven ability to generate organizational growth will be extremely valuable to us.”
Herschel Segal, DAVIDsTEA Co-founder and majority shareholder, said he is very pleased with Toutant’s decision to join the company. “We founded David’s Tea in 2008, and since then the business has grown continuously. We now find ourselves at an important time in our development, and I’m convinced Mr. Toutant will be an extraordinary asset for us as head of our business.”
“Tea is the second most popular beverage on the planet, just after water,” said Segal. “There is incredible potential for growth, and we intend to play a leading role in this market.”
Looking for a little drama at this summer’s Fancy Food Show? It seems you’re likely to find plenty at the Goddess Gourmet booth in the “New Brands On The Shelf Pavilion” on level 1, behind the 3400 aisle, where the company is showing off Flavor Bombs, described as, “an arsenal of ingredients making preparation times shorter, cooking more enjoyable, flavorful and affordable.”
Flavor Bombs are a line of all natural, fresh frozen, gluten free, low sodium cooking bases that ignite a G-force of flavors when preparing memorable meals for family or friends. Flavor Bombs come in five explosive flavors that include Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Mirepoix and Soffritto that turn everyday dishes into gourmet meals. Flavor Bombs are the creation of Giovannina Bellino, a long-time ‘foodie” entrepreneur, mother of three and the owner of Goddess Gourmet, a natural foods manufacturing company located on Long Island, New York.
Flavor Bombs provide consumers with an arsenal of ingredients making preparation times shorter, cooking more enjoyable, flavorful and affordable. Flavor Bombs are concentrated blends of caramelized aromatics and fresh herbs in an extra virgin olive oil base that offers consumers an “EXPLOSION” of flavors and aromas that won’t retreat when preparing their favorite recipes. Flavor Bombs are pre-cooked, so consumers have the flexibility of using them to start or finish a dish.
“We are very excited to be exhibiting Flavor Bombs at the summer Fancy Food Show. We want consumers everywhere to learn how to “drop a bomb” into their pots or pans and be bombarded with the explosive taste of Flavor Bombs,” said Gio Bellino, owner of Flavor Bombs.
The fresh frozen, 2-ounce “Bombs” will create a recipe for up to four people and come in the following five delicious cooking blends:
Basil Flavor Bomb – Recipe ready and no chopping necessary. This Flavor Bomb is the perfect complement to an array of dishes from sauces and soups to meatballs and meatloaf.
Sage Flavor Bomb – Recipe ready and no chopping necessary. This Flavor Bomb is perfect for those fall and winter months stews, soups and stuffing’s. Excellent with poultry, pork, veal and a true enhancer for roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Rosemary Flavor Bomb – Recipe ready and no chopping necessary. This Flavor Bomb packs a powerful punch of pungent flavor and aroma that takes fish, chicken or lamb into the next stratosphere. Try it on roasted potatoes or vegetables.
Mirepoix Flavor Bomb – Recipe ready and no chopping necessary. This Flavor Bomb is a kaleidoscope of flavors and aroma that is a perfect mix for rice, orzo pasta, quinoa or any kind of grain in making a memorable side dish. Try it in tuna, chicken or egg salad and on vegetables. We guarantee your side dishes will never taste the same.
Soffritto Flavor Bomb – Recipe ready and no chopping necessary. This Flavor Bomb is so versatile and delicious it can be used in sauces and soups, in quiche, omelets, frittatas or stir fry. You can even use it as a Panini spread or a topping for bruschetta and it’s the authentic base for Marinara sauce.
“Flavor Bombs really hit their target at last year’s Natural Products Expo East Show in Baltimore,” said Gio Bellino, “That’s why we are taking direct aim at this summer’s Fancy Food Show to further introduce a larger audience of food industry professionals to the unique potential of Flavor Bombs.
There is little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, according to a large study from The University of Oxford and published in the British Journal of Cancer and featured in the June issue of Food Nutrition & Science. With the exception of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, there was no clear evidence that organically produced foods are less likely than conventionally produced foods to cause cancer.
“There are many reasons why people may choose organic food, including potential benefits for taste, health and the environment,” says Phil Lempert founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report. “This report raises other questions about cancer and overall health and nutrition habits that require ongoing research.”
Researchers looked at the relationship between the reported frequency of consumption of organic food and subsequent cancer incidence, both overall and for 17 individual cancer sites or types in a study of middle-aged women in the United Kingdom.
When researchers followed up with these woman nine years later, compared to the women who reported never eating organic food, there was actually a small increase (1.37 percent) in risk of breast cancer in women who reported always eating organics.
Also in this issue, food quality will suffer as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to rise, according to a recent report from UC Davis. The report looked at wheat grown under elevated CO2 concentrations, lowering protein concentrations in wheat grain, rice grain, potato tuber and barley. Researchers expect that protein available for human consumption may diminish by about 3 percent as atmospheric CO2 continues to climb in the next few decades.
Olive oil quality is in the spotlight, and everyone who buys olive oil these days needs to know the good from the bad. Now is your chance to learn all about olive oil quality assurance in a unique online certificate course from the International Olive Oil School. Experts from the University of California at Davis Olive Center and Boundary Bend will demystify olive oil and help buyers protect themselves from olive oil fraud. Participants will taste more than 20 samples, learning how to identify good oils along with the characteristic defects that can arise along the supply chain. The tasting samples, together with a set of six hand-made cobalt tasting glasses, will be delivered to participants in advance of the online sessions. The five, 90-minute lessons will stream live online June 16-20 and space is limited. Participants can ask questions from the instructors using an onscreen chat and access the recorded program for 30 days after the live lessons. Those who complete the series will receive an Advanced Course Certificate of Completion from the International Olive Oil School. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of olive oil quality assurance directly from world-renowned experts. Register today.
The all natural TEAS’ TEA® line is now available in Sprouts Farmers Markets. Starting this month Sprouts will now feature the following TEAS’ TEA products: four unsweetened teas—Pure Green, Jasmine Green, Green White and Golden Oolong and three Lattes-Matcha Green Tea Latte, Black Tea Latte, and Chai Latte in 16.9 fluid ounce bottles. Sprouts is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. Its more than 170 stores offer a complete shopping experience that includes fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, meat and seafood, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items catering to consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness.
Named from the Japanese expression “Ocha No Naka No Ocha”, simply meaning “The Tea of ALL Teas!”, TEAS’ TEA is hailed as Only The Purest Tea™, for its thoughtful sourcing and meticulous brewing methods. The Non-GMO, unsweetened TEAS’ TEA® offers zero-calories, while the TEAS’ TEA Lattes are guilt-free with 0 grams of fat and 80 calories per serving.
“ITO EN and Sprouts are both committed to helping consumers live a healthy lifestyle at an affordable price,” said Jim Hoagland, COO of ITO EN (North America) INC, with makes TEAS’ TEA. “Sprouts’ customers will now be able to purchase a wide variety of healthy, great tasting Teas’ Tea products at a great price.”
Boyajian Inc.has been awarded a gold medal for its Scallion Infused Olive Oil and a silver medal for its Chipotle Infused Olive Oil at the recent 2014 Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. This year the competition celebrated its 14th anniversary. Oils are tasted by an impressive team of judges, and the competition brings in the finest domestic and international olive oils from across the globe.
Boyajian oils are sold and distributed to a number of retail locations throughout the country.They can be found at the following locations, as well as countless other locations across the United States and beyond:
Northern California’s Bay Area:
Berkeley Bowl – locations in the East Bay Area
Lunardi’s – several locations in the Bay Area
Zanotto’s Family Markets – locations in the South Bay Area
Russo’s Market – Watertown, Mass.
Epicure Market – Miami Beach
Bill the Spice Guy – Bonita Springs, Fla.
For a location near you, contact Alex Boyajian at ABoyajian@boyajianinc.com.
June is National Iced Tea Month, and the North American Tea Championship (NATC) is naming the 25 best, premium iced teas in key categories. The NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America and the premier platform for showcasing quality teas. Visit TeaChampionship.com for a complete list of first, second and third-place winners in the NATC Iced Tea Class.
Some of the NATC victors are scheduled to be featured in the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (WorldTeaExpo.com), May 29 – 31, 2014 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach, Calif. And all of the high-quality NATC-winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.
Companies with 2014 first-place iced tea awards from NATC include: Argo Tea; Bhakti Chai; Crystal Geyser Water Company; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group; Honeybush Health Ltd.; Immaculate Leaf; ITO EN (North America); Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods; Mellow Monk, LLC; QTrade Teas & Herbs; S&D Coffee and Tea; Shangri La Tea Co.; and Walters Bay.
ITO EN (North America), S&D Coffee and Tea, QTrade Teas & Herbs and Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods boast the most first-place wins in the NATC Iced Tea Class.
“All of this year’s North American Tea Championship winners in the Iced Tea Class are exceptional and highly recommended for summer 2014 and beyond,” says George Jage, director of the North American Tea Championship at The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media. “The NATC had a lot of high-quality iced teas to choose from. Most notably, we’re seeing an increase in premium iced tea offerings for foodservice, so we added four ‘Best Value Awards’ in Foodservice in different categories. We also presented a ‘Best Packaging Award.’ Congratulations to all of this year’s winners; we expect them to gets lots of attention from consumers and the foodservice industry, especially in the warmer months ahead.”
North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)
New NATC categories and winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)
All NATC tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth-feel and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic. Winners were determined by rank.
Wilbur Curtis, a leading manufacturer of tea brewers and accessories, is the official equipment supplier for the North American Tea Championship Iced Tea Class evaluation. Global Customized Water is the official water supplier.
The next North American Tea Championship will be held in summer of 2014 for an evaluation of spring teas. Entries will be accepted and details will be at TeaChampionship.com once dates are established. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.