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.
Building on its reputation as one of Michigan’s leading coffee roasters and nut distributors, Ferris Coffee & Nut Company today announced it has acquired Holland, Mich.‐based JP’s Coffee. The move bolsters Ferris Coffee’s increasing commitment to high-end beverages while providing JP’s new potential markets and additional resources for future growth.
Best known for its classic coffeehouse feel, JP’s has been serving customers for more than 20 years. The store offers a large selection of whole bean coffees, fresh-baked treats, and loose leaf tea served by its staff of trained baristas. JP’s Coffee will remain an independent location and continue to operate under the JP’s brand and the direction of the Company founder, Jack Groot, while benefiting from the added resources, team and national reach of Ferris Coffee. The Midwest Barista School at JP’s will also continue its commitment to developing exceptional industry professionals from around the world.
Ferris Coffee will use the acquisition to help spark new approaches to its efforts in high-end beverages as it looks to build on more than 90 years of success. According to Ferris Coffee, the addition of JP’s brings new, world-class coffee and service expertise, as well as important insights into the intersection of coffee and community.
“Adding JP’s Coffee is a great move for our organization and our customers given our highly complementary locations, values and strong community commitment,” said John VanTongeren, President and Owner of Ferris Coffee. “Ultimately, we both view coffee as a relational beverage that brings people together. This move will improve both companies while setting a strong foundation for growth.”
In addition to his continuing leadership role at JP’s Coffee, Jack Groot will be named Director of Retail Operations for Ferris Coffee. In that role, Groot will oversee Ferris’ growing retail operations and continue to train and develop new talent through JP’s Midwest Barista School. His experience will also provide invaluable insight as Ferris Coffee opens its flagship coffee bar onGrand Rapids’ west side this summer. No staff changes are planned at either company.
“West Michigan has always been home to both of our businesses. We share the same values and the same service-first culture, so we see no better place to invest and grow together than in Michigan,” said Groot. “We are excited to partner withFerris Coffee, as our similar cultures and complementary service strengths make this transaction a natural fit. We see great opportunity in combining to create an organization focused on quality coffee with enormous potential for future success.”
Two major events in the beverage industry – World Tea Expo(#WorldTeaExpo) and Healthy Beverage Expo (#HealthyBevExpo) – take place this week, May 29 – 31 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. The co-located B2B events are set to attract thousands of attendees and command more than 50 percent of the hotels in the City of Long Beach, as well as two-thirds of the Convention Center, as they explore “what’s next?” for consumers in these key drink categories. Healthy Beverage Expo focuses on better-for-you beverages with healthful ingredients, facilitating the dialogue surrounding what “healthy” means to the industry and ultimately the consumer. World Tea Expo is the leading tradeshow and conference focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products. Details are at WorldTeaExpo.com and HealthyBeverageExpo.com.
When: Thursday, May 29 from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (expo hall open from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.); Friday, May 30 from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (expo hall open from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.); and Saturday, May 31, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (expo hall open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.);
Healthy Beverage Insights: Jonas Feliciano, beverages analyst, Euromonitor International, who’s set to present at Healthy Beverage Expo, says, “Health and wellness beverages – whether categorized as naturally healthy, fortified/functional, better for you or organic – continue to reach new heights in the U.S. market, eclipsing the U.S. $64 billion mark in 2013. Consumer demand for naturally healthy and organic beverages has surged in recent years, and the demand for transparency will continue, underscoring the need for beverage manufacturers to clean up their labels and produce beverages that are both refreshing and healthy.”
Tea Insights: World Tea Expo presenter David Sprinkle, research director for MarketResearch.com and publisher of Packaged Facts, says, “The U.S. tea market is undergoing a transformational change driven by flavor, variety and quality innovation. At the heart of the change lies specialty tea. Competition by product type and retail channel is fierce, but ultimately the tea industry as a whole is the winner, because specialty tea products translate to more consumer enthusiasm, as well as higher prices at the cash register, than the more commoditized products they are replacing.”
Angelic Bakehouse, a producer of sprouted whole grain products including breads, buns and specialty items, continues to make waves for the sprouted whole grain industry by increasing its presence in several major grocery retailers in and around the Chicago metro area.
In addition to its current placement at all Chicago Whole Foods and Sunset Foods retailers, Angelic Bakehouse products will now be available 22 Mariano’s locations, seven Treasure Island Foods locations and the inaugural Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets location, a natural grocer that is expected to grow to 60 stores in the next three years.
“Times are changing,” says Jenny Marino, President and CEO of Angelic Bakehouse. “Consumers are looking for great-tasting, better-for-you options, and they are savvier than ever. Clean ingredient decks with no gimmicks are key, and Angelic Bakehouse is proud to offer products that only use pure, non-GMO ingredients – Exactly what consumers are looking for. Mariano’s, Treasure Island and Fresh Thyme are retailers that recognize this and are eager to satisfy the demand for delicious, nutritionally superior products like Angelic. We are looking forward to strengthening our presence in the Chicago area, and with such innovative and forward thinking stores selling our products, we are well on our way to doing just that.”
Sprouted whole grain products have seen a quick increase in popularity with both mainstream and health-conscious consumers due to superior nutritional benefits, a low glycemic index, higher protein values and ease of digestion relative to products made with traditional flour.
By Lucas Witman
At a press conference on February 27, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the Food and Drug Administration is proposing major updates to the nutrition facts labels for packaged foods. If passed, the FDA’s proposed revisions will be the first changes made to nutrition facts labeling since 1994. The agency is currently soliciting public feedback on the revisions until at least June 2, although that deadline could be extended.
“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a press statement announcing the proposed changes. “This is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”
If the current revisions are approved, the FDA will mandate a series of revisions both to the form and content of nutrition facts labels. Among these, packaged foods will have to declare their added sugar content, as well as potassium and vitamin D. Vitamins A and C, not considered nutrients of public health concern, will no longer be required to be listed on the label. A major change will be made to requirements regarding the serving sizes for many products, with companies being required now to list the serving sizes based on what most people actually eat today as opposed to what they “should” be eating. In addition, the format of the label will be refreshed to boldly emphasize the calorie amount, serving size and percent daily values of certain nutrients in the product.
Although not everyone is excited with the FDA’s proposal, a number of specialty food companies have expressed their pleasure that changes are being made to the decades-old nutrition facts labels currently in place. “At the end of the day, I want to believe that folks weren’t trying to be misleading, but let’s face it—that’s not the world that we live in,” said Janie Hoffman, CEO and founder of Mamma Chia, maker of chia seed-infused beverages. “I’m delighted for the changes. It would be great to be working on a level playing field.”
Nadia Leonelli, Co-founder of Element Snacks, maker of healthful rice and corn cake desserts, is happy with any move that compels food companies to be more open about what exactly goes into their products. “For us, being transparent is part of our business model. It’s not just a high level philosophy. It’s not just talk. We believe that by being transparent we can show who we are to others,” she said. “When companies are more transparent they are able to engage the consumer on a deeper level … We don’t have anything to hide, and transparency will give us a competitive advantage.”
Perhaps the biggest change that food companies will have to comply with when it comes to changing their nutrition facts labels concerns the serving sizes currently listed on many food packages. Dr. Robert Post, former head of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and current Chief Science Officer for nutrition communications consulting company FoodMinds, estimates that 20-25 percent of the 700,000 labeled products in the U.S. marketplace will undergo a change in serving size. “Serving sizes are being increased to reflect current consumer eating patterns,” said Post. “We know consumers are eating differently today than they were in 1993. For example, we know today that consumers are eating bagels and muffins that are larger than they were in 1993. We know those reference amounts that are used to calculate serving size are different.”
Hoffman has been fighting misleading serving sizes at Mamma Chia since the company’s inception, when she was originally told her bottles contained 1.2 servings. “From day one, I insisted that a bottle was a full serving size, because that’s what it is. How many people really leave two ounces in the bottle?” she asked. “The idea of the serving sizes changing—I think that’s fantastic. That kind of transparency is something that we are delighted about and have been doing since day one.”
Another change that some food industry leaders are particularly excited for and others concerned about is the requirement that companies list the added sugars in their products. With nutrition experts stating that eaters today consume too many calories from sugar, it has become important to inform shoppers that they are purchasing a product to which sugar has been added in some form.
“At Mamma Chia, we sweeten our beverages with fruit juice, but also less than 1 tablespoon of organic agave nectar. We always wanted to call out that we are lightly sweetened. We’re not trying to hide anything,” said Hoffman.
“We are happy to list our five grams of sugar as ‘added’. Given our product is mostly rice and chocolate or cream, we want people to understand this is a snack and not their main meal, and if they want zero sugar we are not for you,” added Leonetti.
Although it is unlikely that food companies will be required to adapt their nutrition facts labels for at least several years, many in the food industry are already looking at what it will take for them to make the change. A number of challenges are expected, especially for smaller companies with limited operations.
Perhaps the biggest anticipated challenge is the practical concern of how a company will go about recalculating the nutritional content of its products and how much it will cost it to redesign the label. This is a particular concern for Element Snacks, a new company that designed its first label just months ago. “We’re a little company. We just made labels. We are eight months old. We made our full size packaging eight months ago, and we were hoping it would last. It won’t,” said Leonelli. “We are trying to get the most expensive packaging we can afford. We invested a lot of money in the packaging, and now it’s going to be all garbage and need to be redone from scratch.”
Another more philosophical concern some food industry professionals have when it comes to redesigning their labels is how best to communicate this change to their customers while at the same time maintaining consumer confidence in the brand. “How do you communicate with the customers who really look to these companies that have iconic, premium, craft products?” asked Dr. Post. He explained that companies need to plan to communicate these changes so that the consumer has continuity with the product, his or her expectations are continued to be met and the product has continuity in the marketplace.
“Transparency is a critical issue not only with government legislation but to build customer confidence in your brand. If they are not confident in what’s in your product, they cannot have loyalty to your company,” said Michelle Duerst, Marketing and P.R. Director for Selerant, a regulatory software provider for the food industry. Selerant serves food companies looking to prepare themselves for the nutrition facts label change. Duerst argues that it is vital that food companies make their labels as clear and transparent as possible, so that the consumer knows the company has nothing to hide.
For Duerst, one solution food companies have for increasing the transparency of their products is to offer even more information about their nutritional content than what is required. She recommends that companies include QR codes on their packaging that can be scanned, linking consumers to additional information about ingredients and nutrition content, but also information about potential allergens, GMO ingredients and more. “There is a capability for companies to do more with labeling,” she said.
For companies that are concerned about what the FDA’s proposed changes mean to them, the best way to deal with potential challenges may be to prepare themselves as far in advance as possible for distant deadlines. “It’s always my advice to think proactively. We’re talking about proposed rules … A final rule will be developed based on public comments,” said Dr. Post. “All of this could take a year or a year and a half. I think we can expect that more or less these changes will occur. It could be 2017, but that shouldn’t stop companies from planning and planning forward.”
Although many in the food industry are as yet unconvinced that the new nutrition facts labels will yield a significant benefit to public health, since a large number of consumers choose not to read these labels at all, there is hope that these changes will at least aid those who are making a concerted effort to plan their diets in an informed way.
“A greater percentage of consumers today are using the nutrition facts label, because they are looking for lower sugar or lower calories,” said Dr. Post. “This is one important tool for helping consumers make an informed healthy choice or simply an informed choice at the supermarket.”
“Hopefully by making the nutritional information clearer, it will result in consumers making healthier choices,” added Hoffman. “I think knowledge is power. In order to make an informed decision, we have to have that information more clearly defined. I certainly think it will be helpful to those consumers who are interested in making healthier choices.”