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Gourmet Newswire

International Olive Shortage: Potential Boon for California Grower and Processor

The current olive shortage caused by poor climatic conditions in Spain,Greece, and Southern Europe means an uptick in business for at least one Northern California olive grower and processor. West Coast Products produces natural brine-cured jumbo olives, which compete with chemically cured, lye treated olives from the Mediterranean region. The ongoing international olive shortage sheds new light on this niche market.

More and more buyers, reacting to the international crop shortage, are awakening to the differences between naturally curedCalifornia olives and the imports. “Buyers are calling and telling us they never knew imported green olives were cured with lye,” said Dan Vecere, General Manager, West Coast Products – Olinda Brand.

European farmers state that their 2013 olive crop yields fell more than 70 percent, especially for the queen size olives with market condition reports projecting 2014 prices will increase more than 50 percent. The Olinda Brand olives are Sevillano, one of the largest green specialty varieties sometimes called the “Spanish Queen,” and they are abundant in California this season and available to both domestic and foreign markets.

Until the international shortage occurred, according to Vecere and Olinda Brand Sales Manager Mark DeCamilla, the importers had been setting both product price and grade. “That’s changing,” said DeCamilla. “End users, such as chefs and bartenders, are taking notice that our California olives have a firmer texture and a fresher taste than the industrially cured imported olives.”

The Olinda Brand tradition of olive growing and production in California spans more than 75 years.

About West Coast Products and the Olinda Brand

Since 1937, West Coast Products of Northern California has provided professional and home kitchens with specialty olives and olive oils under the Olinda Brand. The company’s commitment to natural, fresh, and in-season premium private-label table olives and private-label olive oils meets the highest standards of California state certification, which ensures top quality olive products.

Landmark Egg Production Study Reveals Vast Reduction in Environmental Impact

A new study published in Poultry Science shows that while U.S. egg production has increased over the past 50 years, the industry has also been able to significantly decrease its environmental footprint. Researchers conducted a lifecycle analysis of U.S. egg production from 1960 to 2010 to evaluate environmental performance measures for the complete lifecycle from crops to hens to the farm gate. Study findings indicate that the environmental efficiencies are the result of a wide range of factors, including the reduction of natural resource use, improved hen feed, better disease control and advancements in hen housing systems.

“The U.S. egg industry has evolved remarkably over the past five decades by incorporating new technologies to protect natural resources,” said Hongwei Xin, agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal science professor at Iowa State University, director of the Egg Industry Center and the study’s lead researcher. “Egg farmers have improved their production practices, allowing them to provide an affordable source of high-quality protein while using fewer resources and producing less waste.”

Key results of the study found that compared to 1960:

  • The egg production process releases significantly less polluting emissions, including 71 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Hens now use 32 percent less water per dozen eggs produced.
  • Today’s hens use a little over half the amount of feed to produce a dozen eggs.
  • At the same time, today’s hens produce 27 percent more eggs per day and are living longer.

A Closer Look at the Findings
Due to increased feed efficiency, advancements in hen housing and manure management, egg farms now use less water and energy on a daily basis and release less polluting emissions. Every aspect of the egg production process, from cultivating feed to raising the laying hens, has led to a reduced environmental footprint.

  • Feed efficiency plays a key role in reducing environmental impacts. Due to advancements in nutrition and bird breeding, young hens now require 48 percent less food during the rearing period than they did in 1960 and the laying hens have 42 percent better feed conversion. Using 1960 technology to produce the 2010 egg supply would have required 78 million more hens, 1.3 million more acres of corn and 1.8 million more acres of soybeans.
  • Advancements in hen housing, such as improved building ventilation, temperature control, better lighting and a more secure housing environment, help to ensure that hens are protected from disease-carrying wildlife. These techniques have been widely adopted by egg farmers across the country, leading to healthier hens with lower mortality and higher rates of egg production. In addition, advancements in the development of preventative medicine to eliminate avian diseases have greatly improved hen health.
  • Manure management has played a role in minimizing the egg industry’s environmental footprint. The vast majority of manure from laying hens is recycled into crop production, providing nutrients for plants, contributing to healthy soils, saving energy and reducing commercial fertilizer use.

Looking Ahead
With the growing U.S. population and egg demand on the rise, egg farmers play an important role in providing an abundant and affordable source of high-quality protein.

“The U.S. population has increased by 72 percent over the past 50 years, but efficiencies in egg production have enabled us to meet the demands of the growing population with just 18 percent more hens, while also leaving a smaller environmental footprint,” said Bob Krouse, an egg farmer for Midwest Poultry Services in Indiana. “Egg farmers are now in a position to help fulfill the growing need for an affordable and nutritious source of protein in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Egg farmers are dedicated to providing safe, nutritious food while maintaining the highest quality care for their hens. At the same time, farmers understand the importance of protecting the land, water and air for their communities and future generations, and they are always looking to identify ways for continued improvement. Efforts to further improve feed efficiency, hen housing facilities and manure management will facilitate even greater environmental footprint reductions in the future.

The study was funded by the American Egg Board, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the United Egg Association — Allied and the Egg Industry Center. To obtain data for 2010, researchers conducted anonymous surveys with egg farmers and collected data on 57.1 million young hens and 92.5 million laying hens. For more information visit www.incredibleegg.org or to read the full text of the study visit www.poultryscience.org.

Fischer & Wieser Extends Mustard Line

Fischer & Wieser has added three new mustard sauces to a line that was founded on its Sweet, Sour & Smoky Mustard Sauce in response to the growing popularity of mustard flavors.

 

Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods of Fredericksburg, Texas launched the mustards at the Winter Fancy Food Show, where the unique mustard flavor combinations created a buzz of excitement.
“Faces are just lighting up with enjoyment as people are tasting them and then coming back for a second and third taste,” said Case D. Fischer, CEO and President of Fischer & Wieser, as he engaged attendees at the gourmet booth.
One of the first observations is that the Raspberry and Wildflower Honey Mustard Sauce is an unusual color for a mustard—maroon—and there is a compelling story behind the color. “We knew we wanted to combine mustard with wildflower honey, but after cooking, we realized it needed something more,” Fischer said. “Then, we thought of adding raspberry, and the mustard came to life. It took on a remarkable flavor, texture and color, and we realized we had something special.”
The second new mustard sauce, Salted Caramel Mustard, brings three exciting flavors together and enables a wide range of usages. Fischer said, “In the tradition of honey mustard, it’s a sweet, savory mustard that is versatile. Many people would not think of combining caramel with mustard, and I’ll admit I was skeptical when we first thought about it, but it turned out to be an amazing sauce. The most unusual concepts sometimes become the biggest discoveries, and that’s one of the wonderful elements of the Fancy Food Show. So many great, out-of-the-box products like Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce are discovered here, and they go on to be celebrated and adopted to a point that we wonder why they took so long to think of.”
The Hickory and Cracked Black Pepper Mustard Sauce is the third new mustard sauce. “It’s awesome,” Fischer said. “It bears a sweet, peppery, smokey taste that we fell in love with. An industry peer tasted it and dubbed it the ‘Boston Baked Bean Sauce’ because it goes so well with pork. It looks great on any meat and cheese, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce it to the market.”
The three new sauces join Fischer & Wieser’s existing mustard sauce—Sweet, Sour and Smokey Mustard Sauce—which has won two mustard medals from the National Mustard Museum over the past two years.
“It was our first mustard sauce and it’s a consistent winner,” he said. “We’re proud to now have four outstanding and diverse mustard sauces that people can enjoy and share.”
Fischer & Wieser products inspire culinary enthusiasts to try new things, and the gourmet company’s mantra, “Inspiring Your Culinary Adventure,” poignantly captures their influence on foodies.
“We have seen many of our gourmet sauces inspire great recipes over the years,” Fischer said. “With this launch, we’re looking forward to hearing about the new dishes our fans create.”

The Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce was picked out by the Winter Fancy Food Show Trendspotters as a prime example of a trending interest in dressed-up condiments, and it has excited the curiosity of the Gourmet News editorial staff as well. Fischer & Wieser’s Troy Sifford has promised to send along samples so we can try some experiments on prelimary ideas that have included bread puddings or a play on chicken and waffles. Stay tuned to GourmetNews.com for a report on the results.

The mustard sauces will be available on February 1, and the suggested retail price is $8.99. For more information on the new mustard sauces and Fischer & Wieser, go to jelly.com or call 1-800-369-9257.

Top 2014 Specialty Food Trends Unveiled at Winter Fancy Food Show

The specialty food industry is once again leading the charge in new trends and flavors, all on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show. A panel of trendspotters named chocolate teas, seaweed chips, and truffle ketchup as just a few of the products that were all part of a larger trend towards thoughtful indulgence.

Sriracha, the fiery Thai chili sauce, was one of the biggest flavor trends – showing up in snacks, chocolates and jams. Mint has made a comeback as a popular flavor in a number of treats, reflecting a turn towards the revival of simple, familiar tastes. Snacks have evolved well past the common potato chip as the specialty food industry continues to seek out and deliver exciting flavors and unexpected ingredients for more mindful snacking choices. In a similar move towards healthful consumption, consumers can also look forward to more low-sugar beverages – a surprising twist given the trend in recent years towards alternative sweeteners.

“These trends capture the creativity of specialty food producers, and the care they put into crafting exciting taste experiences, whether they are reinventing familiar products with unexpected flavors or opening an audience to lesser-known ingredients,” said Denise Purcell, Senior Director of Content for the Specialty Food Association, and one of this year’s trendspotters.

The trends were identified from a careful review of more than 1,350 specialty food producers who took part in the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Exhibitors showed off the latest in artisanal cheeses, chocolates, vinegars, sauces, healthful foods, and more. This year’s panel of trendspotters, comprised of top food media and personalities, carefully explored the show’s thousands of products to determine the most promising trends of the coming year for this $86 billion industry. Here are the trends:

Sriracha’s Homecoming

  • The Jam Stand, Not Just Peachy, Sriracha Jam
  • Hope Foods, Hope Hummus Organic Sriracha Hummus
  • Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks, Simply Spicy Sriracha Tortilla Chips
  • The Popcorn Factory, Lite Works Popcorn! Sriracha

 Crunch Time

  • Vintage Italia, Pasta Chips, New Brands on the Shelf
  • Simply 7, Quinoa Chips
  • Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks, Pitaaah Chips
  • 479˚ Popcorn, Toasted Sesame + Seaweed Popcorn
  • Rhythm Superfoods, Super Food Chips

Low-Sugar Beverages

  • Califia Farms, Pure Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Xumma, Xumma Semi Sweet Cola, New Brands on the Shelf
  • Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale “66”
  • Numi Organic Tea, Indulgent Tea, Chocolate Earl Grey
  • Big Tree Farms, Coco Hydro

Mint

  • Torn Ranch, Dark Chocolate Mint Mélange
  • Silk Road Soda, Cucumber with Mint, New Brands on the Shelf
  • GoodPop All-Natural Frozen Pops, Hibiscus Mint
  • Seely Mint, Mint Patties
  • Victoria’s Kitchen, Mint & Licorice Almond Water

Condiments Dressed Up

  • Victoria Amory, Fine Herbs Mayonnaise
  • Stonewall Kitchen, Truffle Ketchup
  • Fischer & Wieser, Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce
  • Amoretti, Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused with Kalamata Olives
  • Lillie’s Q Barbeque Sauces & Rubs, Ivory

In addition to Denise Purcell, this year’s panel of trendspotters included Ashley Koff, RD, founder of The AKA List; Nancy Hopkins, Better Homes and Gardens; Kara Nielsen, food and beverage consumer strategist; Joanne Weir, host of PBS’s “Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence”; and Jerry James Stone, blogger at Cooking Stoned.

The Specialty Food Association will be hosting a Foodie Chat with some of the trendspotters on January 27 from 8-9:30 PM EST that can be followed along via the #foodiechats hashtag.

Gratify Gluten-Free Pretzels

Osem USA Inc. has experienced tremendous retail success with the debut of its gluten-free snack line, Gratify Foods. These innovative snacks continue to make their mark on the specialty food scene at the Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show.

Gratify’s line of gluten free Pretzels are Certified by GFCO, contain non-GMO ingredients and offer a better taste at a greater value to gluten free consumers.

Here’s a look at the Gratify snack line up showcased at the 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show:

Sea Salt Twists: Grab a handful of the best in gluten free Pretzel Twists, dusted with pure sea salt and baked to crisp perfection.

Sea Salt Sticks: Crunchy, gluten free Sea Salt Sticks are the perfect shape for munching by the fist-full.

Sesame Thins: These nutty thins offer the traditional crunch of a pretzel in a shape that’s perfect for dips, spreads and other creative toppings.

Milk Chocolate Covered Twists: Milk Chocolate Covered Twists are a crunchy treat coated in a luxurious layer of rich-tasting milk chocolate.

Yogurt Covered Twists: Gratify gluten free Yogurt Covered Pretzel Twists combine the traditional shape and crunch of a pretzel twist with a cool and creamy yogurt topping.

Crackers: The newest product in the Gratify line-up, these crackers have a proven success in the gluten free market around the world.

“It’s challenging for anyone following a gluten-free lifestyle to find a line of snack foods that has outstanding flavor and is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization,” said Director of Marketing for Osem USA Inc., Kobi Afek. “Gratify snacks are a delicious answer for those snack fans who suffer from Celiac Disease or who adhere to a gluten- free diet and are looking for options offered at a reasonable price.”

The Gratify gluten free pretzel line carries a suggested retail price of $3.99-$5.99 and is available at retailers across the United States and online.

Pasta Chips from Vintage Italia

Pasta Chips are oven-baked chips made from, of all things, pasta. They’re crispy and flavorful, with 60 percent less fat than potato chips and 20 percent less fat than pita chips. These numbers bring additional value for the consumer, and that perception of extra value also conveys a benefit to the retailer, says CEO Christophe Hervieu.

Five flavors are available now. Suggested retail price for the 5-ounce bags is $3.99. The 1-ounce bag sells for $.99, and the 2-ounce bag for $1.99.

For further information, call 407.217.5910 or visit www. pasta chips.com

 

Bakery Emulsions from LorAnn Oils

DSC05251Bakery Emulsions from LorAnn Oils substitute 1:1 for flavor extracts in recipes, but they contain no alcohol so the flavor is truer and doesn’t bake out. “Use It just like you would an extract,” says LorAnn Oils CEO John Grettenberger. Sixteen flavors are available in both foodservice (16 fluid ounces, gallons) and consumer (4-ounce) packages. Four new flavors; blueberry, strawberry, cinnamon and pistachio; will be coming out in sprint 2014.

DSC05256LorAnn Oils

800.862.8620 or 517.882.0215

www.LorAnnOils.com

Crown Royal Introduces Extraordinary New Member to the Family

Crown Royal is making an extraordinary craft addition to its product line with the introduction of Crown Royal XO, an ultra-premium blended Canadian whisky, handcrafted by Crown Royal Master Blender Andrew MacKay. The unique blend of more than 50 of Crown Royal’s finest whiskies is finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest, resulting in a complex expression of the signature blend.

A top-shelf craft addition to the Crown Royal portfolio, Crown Royal XO is an amber/topaz whisky deliciously balanced with hints of vanilla, spice and rich dried fruit, closing with an impeccably smooth finish.

Due to the brand’s great craftsmanship and history – the whisky was originally created to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939 – Crown Royal has often been referred to as a noble spirit. MacKay pays homage to this distinguished tradition with his handcrafted approach to creating the Crown Royal XO blend.

Crown Royal XO can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks to fully experience the liquid’s complex flavor, or as the key ingredient in a number of classic cocktail recipes. It will be sold at a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 750 ml bottle and will be available nationwide in early January.

The packaging for Crown Royal XO displays premium colors of gray and gold paired with a variation on the iconic bag, gray with gold embroidery accents. The unique bottle displays an extraordinary smooth silhouette with gold accents.

The launch of Crown Royal XO will be supported through print and online advertising as well as public relations, strong digital extensions and point of sale materials.

Stonewall Kitchen Announces Huge Project Launch

Stonewall Kitchen is launching more than 60 new products, including a new line of premium organic pastas and a variety of truffle products, this January.

“This is an exciting launch for us as we expanded our product offering by adding a new line of organic pastas,” said Natalie King, Executive Vice President.  Made in Italy, these artisanal organic pastas are made using a select variety of durum wheat.  They are simply delicious when paired with our pasta sauces, like Truffle Marinara Sauce! Speaking of truffle, this is the main flavor we featured across a variety of categories. Rare and unique, truffle mushrooms add a distinct, intense earthy flavor to dishes. We added this wonderful flavor to a new aioli, ketchup, marinara sauce, oil and a spread.”
Pasta Line Includes: Fusilloni, Penne Lisce, Sedani, Spaghetti, Spaghettoni

Truffle Products: Truffle Aioli, Truffle Ketchup, Truffle Marinara Sauce, Truffle Spread, White Truffle Oil

Additional Products for January 2014  include:

Pasta Sauces:  Fra Diavolo, Puttanesca

Simmering Sauces: Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala

Grille Sauces: Classic Stir Fry, Harissa, Jamaican Jerk

Dipping Oils & Vinegar: Maine Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Maple Balsamic Vinegar

Aioli: Honey Mustard, Sriracha

Condiments:  Barbecue Ketchup and Sweet Dill Relish

Dessert Sauces: Bourbon Pecan Caramel, Sea Salt Caramel

Baking Mixes: Chocolate Chip Cupcake Mix, Lemon Pound Cake, Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Other introductions: Cheese Bites: Cheddar Asiago, Romano Herb, Rosemary Cheddar; Classic Italian Grab &Go; Gluten Free Cornbread Mix; Island Punch Mixer; Mussel Seasoning; Roasted Garlic Mushroom Risotto; Sea Salt Flatbread Crisps; Yellow Tortilla Chips, Wild Maine Blueberry Travel Case Gifts (12.5 ounces and 3.75 ounces).

Fine Home Keeping: Unscented, and seasonal White Lilac. Each Fine Home Keeping Scent includes: Caddy (one Dish Soap and one Hand Soap), Dish Soap, Hand Lotion and Hand Soap. Seasonal White Lilac also includes a Soy Candle. Also, two new products to seasonal Coastal Breeze: Travel Set (one Antibacterial Hand Gel and one Mini Hand Lotion) and Room Deodorizer.
Seasonal Gifts and Accessories:  Lemon Batter Bowl; Stainless Steel Colander and 13 tea towels.

Two leaves tea company Awarded by North American Tea Championship

For the second year in a row year, two leaves tea company™  has been recognized with an award at the North American Tea Championship. Last year, the company’s Jasmine Petal green tea won a first place award in the 2012 Packaged Single-Service Class competition. This year, Paisley Brand Tea™ Organic Chai took second place in its category.

Paisley Brand Tea Organic Chai combines high-quality black tea with traditional Indian spices like clove and cinnamon. “We are crazy about our new Paisley Chai, so we’re delighted it has gotten this acknowledgment,” says two leaves™ Marketing Coordinator Christy Garfield.

Paisley Brand Tea is a new range of teas from two leaves tea company. It is high quality, organic and fairly traded tea in simple paper tea bags. While two leaves is known for its sachets of premium, organic, whole leaf tea, the company recently set out to offer paper tea bags that champion the company’s high standards.

“At two leaves we take tea personally, and that’s reflected in our creation of Paisley Brand Tea,” says CEO and founder Richard Rosenfeld. “Paisley Brand Tea is everything we want in a simple paper teabag: it’s bright and multilayered, organic and fair trade, and brews up fast and strong.”

Tea submitted to the competition in the Black Tea Flavored category can be black tea of any variety and from any origin that is blended with herbs, fruits, essential oils, spices and/or any other flavoring agents. Each submission is evaluated based on brewed color, aroma, flavor, mouth-feel and harmony by a panel of professional cuppers in a blind taste-test.

“Considering all of the flavored black teas that are available today, we consider this a particularly competitive category,” says Garfield. “This award will certainly help us get the word out that Paisley Brand Tea is a superior line of paper tea bags. It’s everything we want in a tea bag, and we know tea lovers will agree.”

The North American Tea Championship is produced by World Tea Media.