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Gourmet Newswire

News America Marketing and Thinaire Deliver engaging Shopping Experience with Bertolli Olive Oil

Consumers will taste-test the best of what Bertolli Olive Oil has to offer in the form of mobile content, featuring mouthwatering recipes and bite-size videos starring Chef Fabio Viviani. Building on the success of their first mobile marketing campaign partnership that utilized SmartSource with NFC, News America Marketing and Thinaire are helping Bertolli once again serve rich interactive content directly to consumers in the shopping aisle.

As shoppers visit the olive oil aisle, a tap of their NFC-enabled mobile devices to specially tagged SmartSource ShelfTalk signs will instantly bring them to “This Week’s Recipe” from Bertolli. The recipe includes a shopping list that details all the necessary ingredients for a delicious meal so everything can be purchased during a single store visit. Additional content includes videos starring Chef Viviani which range from how to prepare this week’s recipe to an educational “Olive Oil 101,” discussing specific uses for Bertolli Extra Virgin, Classico and Extra Light blends.

“Mobile marketing allows us to engage with shoppers on-the-go by helping them plan their next meal directly at the point-of-purchase,” said Maggie Rogers, Brand Director, Bertolli Olive Oil.  “We’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with News America Marketing and Thinaire to create additional campaigns that simplify and streamline the consumer’s shopping experience while incorporating an element of entertainment.”

“SmartSource with NFC is helping brands like Bertolli capture consumer imaginations while delivering information,” said Mark Goodstadt, CEO of Thinaire. “In addition to offering rich content, campaigns like this help brands like Bertolli analyze point-of-purchase information to better understand the ongoing evolution of shopper behavior.”

“Seeing a leading brand like Bertolli add a mobile element to its marketing strategy is a testament to the results mobile marketing engagement can deliver,” said Marty Garofalo, President, News America Marketing.  “These types of on-the-go messages bring together brands and consumers wherever they are, personalizing the shopping experience and delivering a meaningful connection.”

Tortuga Rum Cake Company Names National Sales Manager

Robert D. Ward has been named National Sales Manager for the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, responsible for handling sales to national accounts, grocery, distributors and brokers throughout North America. Previously, Ward was Director of Sales for ShureTech Brands, a consumer products company. Prior to that, he was the Director of National Accounts with Morton Salt in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career with Morton Salt as an account executive and worked for the company for 21 years in progressively responsible positions. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. “Robert brings a wealth of experience in the food and consumer goods industry with an extensive background in working with many of America’s major retailers,” says Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, Tortuga’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We welcome his passion for brand building and know he will be an excellent asset for our growth plans in North America.” The Tortuga brand is well-known by the more than 20 million annual Caribbean tourists and cruise ship passengers. Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes are the world’s #1 selling rum cake and named the 2014 “Best Cruise Souvenir” by Porthole Cruise Magazine for 10 consecutive years. Tortuga products are sold in gift and specialty food departments and gourmet stores throughout the Caribbean and North America and in onboard gift shops of nearly 100 cruise ships. Founded in the Cayman Islands in 1984 as the Tortuga Rum Company, Ltd., Tortuga International is part of Jamaica Producers Group of companies and has bakeries and operations in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas. The company’s Miami, Florida subsidiary, known as the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, handles sales, marketing and worldwide distribution. See www.tortugarumcakes.com or call toll free 1-877- 486-7884.

HannahMax Baking to Open Second Manufacturing Facility

HannahMax Baking will open a second state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, dedicated solely to the production of Cookie Chips. Expected to be fully operational by mid-summer 2014, the new building, located in Los Angeles, boasts top of the line mixing and baking equipment, including three 120 foot tunnel ovens and a custom-made packaging machine to rapid fill the incredibly popular 2-ounce bags. This new facility will give HannahMax the capacity to make 630 million cookies annually and the ability to meet the growing demand for Cookie Chips throughout the United States and internationally.
Construction of the new facility began in October 2013. HannahMax will maintain production of its perishable bakery items, as well as over-flow Cookie Chip production at the original manufacturing facility, which opened in Gardena, Calif. in October 2005.
“We’ve been honored to add multiple national retail partners for Cookie Chips this year and we want to be able to provide them with the same quality service we gave our vendors when we were in our infancy,” explains Joanne Adirim, Creator of Cookie Chips and Founder/Pastry Chef at HannahMax Baking. “We are confident this addition will allow us to meet the growing demand for our product head on.”
Cookie Chips launched in the summer of 2012 to rave reviews from consumers nationally. New retail partners, expansion into international markets, additional sizes and flavors have all created the need for increased production capabilities, which the new facility will provide.

 

34 Degrees Hires Two Execs and Promotes Another to Direct Growth

Steve Wangler

Steve Wangler

34 Degrees, a Denver-based maker of all-natural, wafer-thin crackers, announced today continued growth of its team with the hiring of Steve Wangler as Vice President of Sales and Phillip Coplen as Director of Finance, and the promotion of Jennifer Margoles to Executive Vice President. Margoles formerly held the title of General Manager and will lead strategic planning and brand development initiatives while continuing to be responsible for marketing and communications, as well as day-to-day business operations. Wangler will set and execute the national sales strategy and lead 34 Degrees’ regional sales team. Coplen will direct the financial and operational activities of the burgeoning business.

Jennifer Margoles

Jennifer Margoles

“We’ve grown so much in the past five years and have remained nimble, managing it all with just six dedicated team members. However, we’re at the point where our team needs to grow to enable us to expand distribution and launch new products,” said 34 Degrees Founder Craig Lieberman. “The addition of Phillip is crucial when it comes to managing the financial growth of 34 Degrees, and Steve is the ideal leader to thoroughly develop our brand’s presence throughout North America. Combine these new hires with Jennifer’s well-deserved promotion after seven years of inspired work, her experience in the industry and significant history with the business and brand, and I believe we’re in a fantastic position to take 34 Degrees to a new level.”

Margoles joined 34 Degrees in 2007 when the company was just getting started. She was instrumental in transitioning the business from a specialty foods importer to a producer of deli crackers in Colorado. Prior to her work with 34 Degrees she sharpened her skills and passion for excellence in customer service and teamwork through positions with Marriott International and software start-up Adventure Central.

Wangler comes to 34 Degrees with a more than 20-year pedigree in sales and sales management including work with Pepsico, Kraft, and MillerCoors. He excels in building and sustaining extremely high-achieving sales teams, while also managing his own national sales accounts. Most recently Wangler was Vice President of Sales with Spins – a leader in consumer insights, reporting, analytics and business consulting services in the natural, organic and specialty food industry.

Phillip Coplen

Phillip Coplen

Prior to joining 34 Degrees, Coplen served as a manager with NOW CFO, a boutique consulting firm providing accounting, consulting and outsourced CFO services to mid-sized businesses. While there, he worked with companies in a variety of industries including insurance, floral wholesaling and home mortgaging. Coplen also worked for six years as a manager in audit and enterprise risk services for Deloitte & Touche.

The ability to add two new team members and promote another in 2014 is a direct result of 34 Degrees’ recent growth – more than doubling in size over the past five years. The company attributes its steady growth to securing multiple partnerships with large, national grocers, as well as the versatility and uniqueness of its all-natural crisps.

Paul Guarino Hired to Head New Fine Wine and Spirits Department for Kings in Ridgewood, N.J.

Guarino cropKings Food Markets announced the hire of Paul Guarino, local executive chef and wine expert, as the Fine Wine and Spirits Manager in the Kings Ridgewood, N.J. store, which has added more than 600 wines, 250 liquors and a variety of local and craft beers to its offering.

In this role, Guarino will oversee the new Fine Wine and Spirits department, which was added to the Ridgewood location as part of an entire store refresh. The store celebrated the department’s grand opening on Friday, May 2.

“Paul is a great addition to our team,” said Judy Spires, President and CEO of Kings Food Markets. “He is going to make Ridgewood’s new wine and spirits department the ultimate destination for our shoppers, providing them with a unique opportunity to not only purchase their favorite specialty cheeses, ‘top of the catch’ seafood, fresh and organic produce, quality meats – as well as all of Kings’ other gourmet food offerings – but also select combinations of fine wines, spirits and local craft beers to pair with that food. Between the new offerings and Paul’s extensive knowledge, our shoppers in Ridgewood will now have the perfect resource for all their entertaining needs, whether that’s just dinner with the family or party for friends and neighbors.”

With over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Guarino has extensive knowledge to contribute from a diverse background. Guarino owned and managed the Beverage Barn in Northvale, N.J.  for 10 years and is also a trained chef, having attended the Culinary Institute of America in 1995. He most recently spent 11 years as General Manager and Executive Chef at the Colonial Inn in Norwood, N.J.

MouCo’s Ashley Turns Heads in Madison

MouCo’s Ashley is at it again! On March 20, Fort Collins, Colo’s favorite ash-covered cheese earned a silver medal at the 30th Biennial World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wis. Previously, the Ashley snagged a blue ribbon in the soft-ripened category at the American Cheese Society Conference both in August 2012 and August 2013.

MouCo Cheese Company is owned and operated by Birgit Halbreiter and Robert Poland in Fort Collins. The pair incorporated their company in November of 1999. Back then, their specialty was Camembert—a soft, buttery cheese with a mild nutty flavor. In the last several years, MouCo has introduced four additional varieties of cheese, including the award-winning Ashley in July of 2012. MouCo regulars can’t get enough of this creamy, mildly sweet cheese with its distinctive vegetable ash rind. Ashley’s sweet undertones are best complemented with a salad of bitter greens, a dollop of pepper jelly, or a glass of dry red wine.

Ashley starts the way all MouCo cheeses start: with fresh, local cow’s milk. The cheese curd is gently moved into forms that give the cheese its shape and size. Before the two-week aging process, a mixture of culture and edible vegetable ash is applied to the cheese to aid the development of Ashley’s special rind characteristics. The vegetable ash rind acts like a natural preservative, keeping the cheese extra creamy and mildly sweet. When it’s ready, this natural-rind cheese will be an ashy color with a slight white finish.

The World Championship Cheese Contest was founded in 1957 and is hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. This year, the event drew over 2,000 entries from 22 different countries; the entries were tasted and scored by 50 judges from all around the world. Ashley earned a silver medal in the open soft-ripened category, but she wasn’t the only one turning heads: MouCo’s ColoRouge, and PepBert both placed in the top ten in their respective categories at this year’s contest.

Study Shines Light on Millennials’ Grocery Shopping Patterns

 

A new nationwide study from PLMA for the first time casts significant light on the grocery shopping patterns of the Millennials, the 100 million Americans born between 1980 and 2000.

pullquote boxMillennials represent a multi-trillion dollar marketing opportunity. By 2016, they will become the country’s most powerful consumer bloc and, over time, will become the most economically impactful generation in U.S. history, outspending even the Baby Boomer generation. They already account for $1.3 trillion in overall direct annual spending and it is predicted they will buy $60 billion in consumer packaged goods over the next decade. But little is known of their shopping mindset and grocery retailers have generally ignored them.

Millennials like to describe themselves as unique in their attitudes and how they conduct their lives. While that may well be true in terms of their overwhelming use of smart phones, social networks and the internet, the first wide-ranging study of Millennials who identify themselves as primary grocery shoppers for their household reveals that, when it comes to buying food and non-food necessities, value is the key to their purchasing behavior.

According to the PLMA study, Millennials shop for groceries often and widely, and supermarkets are the most popular choice. Lead factors in what they choose to buy include previous experience with the product, their shopping list and coupons. Seven in ten belong to a loyalty program. In choosing a store or product, they seek out affordability, value and lowest price. They are also regular purchasers of store brands, think highly of the products, and give them high marks vs. national brands.

The PLMA study was conducted by Surveylab, a leading online opinion consultant. It consisted of more than sixty questions aimed at determining what moves Millennials. Completing the survey were nearly 1,600 men and women from 18 to 33 years old who identified themselves as the primary grocery shopper for their household.

Further highlights from the study include:

  • Millennials overwhelmingly see their generation as different from previous ones and are optimistic about their future. But many express resignation about their status. Half say their generation is financially less well off than previous ones and one in five say their life is worse than that of their parents. They expect big changes in the future: Half believe say stores will look nothing like they do now and a third believe many of today’s national brands will no longer be around.

  • Brand loyalty is not a major pull for Millennials. When a national brand they wish to buy is not available at the shelf, four in ten choose the store brand, one third pick a different national brand and one in eight look elsewhere for the national brand they initially wanted.

  • Millennials are universally familiar with store brands and buy them regularly. Almost four in ten said they buy store brands frequently, the highest rate offered in the study. Seventy-one percent said value is the main reason they purchase the store brand product as opposed to the national brand. Product quality improvements and a good prior experience will drive their future store brand purchase.

“Millennials have revolutionized the way we communicate,” says Brian Sharoff, PLMA President. “They have created a world of ‘likes’ and ‘friends’ larger than all television audiences combined. But who are they? For those who run supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers, they are still enigmatic. Hopefully, this study will help clarify how they shop and what they want.”

To request a free copy of PLMA’s new consumer research study, “The Millennials Are Coming,” email research@plma.com

 

Hammond’s Introduces New Cotton Candy

 Hammond’s Candies has taken a legendary fairground and circus treat and made it simple to enjoy anytime. Hammond’s Cotton Candy stays melt-in-your-mouth fresh in the company’s signature, award-winning packaging, making it easy to grab from store shelves. Each package includes three unique, distinct flavors — banana, cherry and blue raspberry – carrying on Hammond’s tradition of applying a modern twist to a nostalgic candy.

“Everyone loves cotton candy and we thought it was about time to make it available without a ticket to the circus,” said Andrew SchumanHammond’s President and CEO. “The flavors are rich and fun and it’s all wrapped up in great-looking packages. We think it’s just the right amount of reinvention of a classic.”

Denver staple since 1920, Hammond’s is renowned for its beautiful, high quality and inventive candies that pay homage to tradition, but wake up taste buds with fun flavors and formulas. Hammond’s Cotton Candy joins a diverse selection of candies that includes the classic Mitchell Sweet (caramel-wrapped marshmallows), award-winners such as the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Chocolate Bar and the company’s signature stunning, hand-pulled lollipops and candy canes. All are available inHammond’s award-winning packaging that showcases the “specialness” of candy. Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in 3-ounce bags (about three paper cones-worth) with a suggested retail price of $1.99 to $2.99.

Hungry for more? Visit Hammond’s in May at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago to try all of Hammond’s new products including not only cotton candy, but new flavors of brittles and chocolates bars, too. More information is available atwww.hammondscandies.com, or by calling 1-800-CANDY-99 (1-800-226-3999).  Follow Hammond’s Candies on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hammondscandies and now on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hammondscandies/.

World Tea Awards Ceremony to be Held on Queen Mary

There’s more than just a new location for the 12th edition of the World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo). A new World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards) dinner and ceremony will be held on the historic Queen Mary ship, recognizing some of the best in the global tea industry, May 30 at 7 pm. The Expo’s Best New Products will be revealed, along with a number of community-voted award categories. The evening also features plenty of “red carpet” photo and social media opportunities, tea celebrities and tea infusions prepared by BKON. All of which are among the many highlights of the three-day World Tea Expo, the leading tradeshow and conference focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products, with fresh ideas, new trends and distribution channels. The Expo takes place May 29 – 31 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, and is co-located with the annual Healthy Beverage Expo (#HealthyBevExpo). Details are at WorldTeaExpo.com and HealthyBeverageExpo.com.

“The World Tea Awards is expected to sell out to a room of 300+ tea industry influencers from around the globe,” says George Jage, director of The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media, organizer of World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo. “Our maiden World Tea Awards on the Queen Mary will certainly be a night of industry-wide celebration and fun.”

Gail Gastelu, publisher of The Tea House Times, who’s hosting the World Tea Awards along with Jage, says, “The World Tea Awards is a tremendous opportunity to recognize and show appreciation to the industry overall, get dressed up and celebrate what makes our community so special. And it is with great excitement that George and I prepare to host this inaugural event, an enjoyable evening in which we can all celebrate together — infusing tea and tea cocktails and blending in a bit of glamour.”

The evening’s formal seated dinner will be followed by an entertaining World Tea Awards ceremony, culminating in the presentation of the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award to Devan Shah, the creator and owner of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Rooms. The Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made considerable contributions to the growth, innovation and education of the specialty tea industry throughout their lifetime.

“We’ve been looking to create this event for years, and with our move to Long Beach, the Queen Mary provides the perfect setting for a black-tie affair,” adds Jage. “Our longer term plans are to build the awards around recognizing retailers and businesses on the front lines of the tea revolution. We will expand this significantly in future years, but this first one is not to be missed. I still have people come up to me and proudly say they were at our first expo, and I’m sure this micro-event will attain the same passion as our trade show.”

 

Finalists of the World Tea Awards

For the 2014 World Tea Awards, thousands of nominations were collected through a survey process. The list of finalists, in each category, is listed below, and all can be found at WorldTeaExpo.com. Only registered delegates of the 2014 World Tea Expo are eligible to vote. Voting instructions will be communicated via email to registered delegates. Voting ends May 19.

 

A video announcement about the 2014 World Tea Award nominees may be viewed here http://bit.ly/PX9YRx, or search “World Tea Awards” on YouTube.

 

New Museum to Showcase Manchego Cheese

The former Malpica residence, a 19th century mansion in Manzanares (Ciudad Real, Spain) is to house the world’s first museum dedicated exclusively to one of Spain’s gastronomic treasures: Manchego cheese. According to Ignacio Barco, President of the Manchego Cheese Designation of Origin, and the latest generation in a long dynasty of master cheese-makers, “This initiative started out with the aim of safeguarding the tremendous gastronomic and cultural heritage that this cheese represents. We want to make sure that we never lose the expertise and tradition that make Manchego cheese such a unique and inimitable product. The best way of preserving this heritage is to spread the word so consumers know how to appreciate the real thing and reject any imitations.”

His cheese factory, which was founded at the same time as the Regulating Council in 1840, is one of the leading producers of artisan Manchego cheese and even produces its own milk. It shares this reverence for tradition with all the other cheese factories under the umbrella of the Designation of Origin.

With a production output of over 26 million pounds of cheese per year and growth of 20 percent in the last five, the devotion the D.O. cheese-makers feel for the genuine values of their tradition is quite impressive.

According to Barco, “As an artisan cheese-maker, I’m often saddened by the public’s general ignorance about our product.” This lack of information is even more evident among international consumers. “The Americans, who are real Manchego cheese lovers, are less familiar than Europeans with the Designation of Origin system. For this reason, companies that do not belong to the DO take advantage of the reputation of Manchego cheese to introduce imitations to the U.S. market which have absolutely nothing to do with the genuine article.”

But how do you differentiate an authentic Manchego cheese from a fake? “It’s very simple,” says Barco. “Every cheese certified by the Regulating Council of the DO Manchego Cheese has a double label. Firstly there’s the identifying label on the outside of the cheese, and secondly, there’s an exclusive serial number engraved in the cheese itself; these guarantee that each piece is unique.”

A characteristic flavor that visitors to the world’s first museum devoted exclusively to Manchego cheese will be able to appreciate, not only within the walls of the former Malpica mansion itself but also outside them, in the local taverns and restaurants. Manchego cheese never ceases to delight thanks to its countless culinary facets and uses.

“As the new generation of Manchego cheese-makers, we have the obligation to continue communicating and expressing who we are, what we do, the tradition we represent and the flavor of our cheeses, all of which have given us national and international renown. We need to be out there making sure that our legacy will endure,” Barco says.