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Ancient Harvest Taps the Power of Protein with New Bean & Lentil Supergrain Pastas

Ancient Harvest, the first brand to bring quinoa to the U.S. in the 1980s, is debuting its new lines of protein-packed Bean & Lentil Supergrain Pastas and Lentil & Quinoa Supergrain Mac & Cheese™.

AHQ-Lentil-Lineup“Research shows that a majority of consumers want to add more protein into their diets, and many are looking to plant-based sources of protein,” said Constance Roark, MS, RDN and Director of Marketing at Ancient Harvest. “The brand’s focus remains on protein-rich ancient grains, like quinoa, but we’re continuously cooking up ideas to meet new consumer demands. Now, we’ve incorporated other high-protein and gluten-free superfoods, like lentils and beans, into our product lines. A pasta dish that tastes great and adds nutritional value to your plate is pretty hard to beat.”

These naturally gluten-free pasta varieties are made with a hearty blend of quinoa and nutritious legumes. The pastas look and act like traditional pasta in every way, from taste to texture, but have two times the protein and a healthy helping of fiber in every serving. The five new pasta varieties include Black Bean & Quinoa Elbows and Spaghetti, Red Lentil & Quinoa Rotelle and Linguine and Green Lentil & Quinoa Penne, each with a suggested retail price of $3.39.

With 16 grams of protein per serving, the new Lentil & Quinoa Mac & Cheese varieties will join Ancient Harvest’s existing line of mac & cheeses. A combination of the high-protein, fiber and nutrition of red lentils and quinoa, the Lentil & Quinoa Mac & Cheese will be available in three creamy varieties, Mild Cheddar with Elbows, Sharp Cheddar with Shells and White Cheddar with Shells, each with a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Ancient Harvest bean and lentil pastas and new lentil macaroni and cheese varieties will arrive at retailers nationwide this spring. All other Ancient Harvest products are available in natural food stores and conventional supermarkets nationwide.

For more information, visit AncientHarvest.com or connect on Facebook at Facebook.com/AncientHarvest.

Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl Salad from Ready Pac

Ready Pac has just brought out its new Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro® Bowl —a completely vegan, superfood-filled salad with ingredients that reap ‘super’ nutritional benefits.

Broad access to nutritional information has helped superfoods sky rocket in popularity. These nutrient-dense foods have been popular with consumers seeking alternative options that meet their nutrition needs. Research also shows that that ‘superfoods’ like quinoa and wheat berries are capable of boosting protein intake, improving energy, preventing disease, and aiding in weight loss.

“More consumers are looking for foods that provide an array of nutritional benefits” says Tristan Simpson, Chief Communications Officer at Ready Pac. “The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl has soluble fiber, nutrients, and health-boosting phytochemicals. It’s also low in calories, sugar and sodium, which makes it ideal to incorporate into an active lifestyle and also tastes great!”

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is part of a growing line of products for the health conscious, on-the-go consumer. The salad contains several nutrient-dense ingredients, including:

  • 100 percent vegan ingredients and certified organic
  • 6g plant-based protein
  • Alternative grains (quinoa and wheat berry)
  • Spring mix greens, carrots, red cabbage, raisins, sliced almonds

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is only 260 calories and has a suggested retail price of $4.99. The new salad bowl is currently available nationally at Safeway locations and its affiliated banners.

For more information about Ready Pac’s Bistro Bowl Salads and fresh food offerings, visit http://www.readypac.com/products/.

Organic Food Shoppers Look Like America, Shows New Survey

Today’s organic tent looks a lot different than yesterday’s. It’s bigger, younger, and significantly more diverse than just a few years ago. In fact, inside that tent, it looks pretty much like most places in America, a new study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) shows.

As the availability of organic has become more mainstream and the offerings of organic more varied, there’s more diversity in those choosing organic. There no longer is a typical organic consumer. Organic is meeting the needs of a wide and multi-faceted culture, and the faces of organic-buying families now mirror the demographics of the U.S. population in terms of ethnic background, according to OTA’s “U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2015 Tracking Study,” a survey of more than 1,200 households throughout the country.

Today, seven in ten families who purchase organic describe themselves as “white,” after hovering consistently around eight in ten from the survey’s first year in 2009 through 2013. In contrast, African American and Hispanic families have been steadily increasing among the ranks of organic-buying households. The percentage of African American families buying organic on a regular basis has doubled from just 7 percent six years ago, to now 14 percent. Hispanic households choosing organic is even higher at 16 percent, a huge jump from 7 percent just four years ago, when the survey started tracking Hispanic buying patterns.

“Our survey shows that organic has turned a corner,” said Laura Batcha, OTA’s executive director and CEO. “Organic hasn’t been a niche for some time, and today it is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”

A side-by-side comparison of the figures: Percentage of organic buyers who are white: 73 percent; percentage of the U.S. population that is white, according to the latest U.S. Census: 72.4 percent; percentage of Hispanic organic buyers: 16 percent; percentage of U.S. population that’s Hispanic: 16.4 percent; and percentage of African American organic buyers: 14 percent; percentage of U.S. population: 12.6 percent.

The OTA survey also looks at the incomes, education and ages of organic buyers, and compares the buying habits of the new organic purchaser to the more experienced organic consumer.

Like most of us who buy the bulk of our food from our local supermarket, organic shoppers generally also are turning to the convenient supermarket for their organic purchases. A whopping 78 percent of organic buyers say they typically buy their organic foods at conventional food stores/supermarkets. Over half also shop organic at the “big box” stores, an increase of almost 10 percentage points from just a year ago, and some 30 percent also report that it’s not unusual to buy organic at one of the warehouse clubs in the country, again up almost 10 points from the previous year.

The similarities don’t end there. Forty-three percent of the parents surveyed said they’re making more of an effort to use coupons, discounts and other money-saving tactics when making general food purchases, very close to the 36 percent watching their budget when buying organic. Choosing store brands, either conventional or organic, to save money has become popular among penny-pinching families. Nine in ten families says they are choosing store brand products rather than brand names for conventional products, and eight in ten say they choose store brand organic items over organic brand names.

This was the sixth year OTA has partnered with KIWI Magazine to conduct the study. The primary objectives of the tracking study are to identify any changes in the degree to which families are incorporating organic into their lifestyle, parents’ knowledge about organic products and benefits, the importance and use of labels when shopping for and choosing organic products, and the household shopping budget and retail channel preferences.

This year the study looked more closely at the importance of the private label, digging down into the various factors that go into play when making the decision to buy the store brand private label over the more well-known brand label.

The target audience for the study consisted of more than 1,200 households, including a national online panel of U.S. households supplemented with KIWI Magazine’s Parents’ Advisory Board. All respondents had at least one child under the age of 18 in the household, and had sole or shared responsibility for household grocery purchases. The survey was conducted online January 16 – 23, 2015.

Domino Debuts Born Sweet Zing Stevia Sweetener

 

Victory is here for sugar substitute users seeking perfectly sweet, real product solutions for their daily sweetening needs. The launch of Born Sweet™ Zing™ Stevia Sweetener makes it easy for shoppers to avoid unwanted calories when sweetening beverages and foods.

Zing LaunchZing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener will delight consumers with its delicious, clean, sweet taste. It provides a great tasting, zero calorie sweetener, made with only real ingredients of high quality stevia leaf extract and dextrose – nothing artificial. Available in packets and in an easy-spoon jar, Zing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener is perfect for mixing into and sprinkling onto favorite beverages and foods every day.

For those consumers who choose to bake with a sugar substitute made from real ingredients, Zing Baking Blend provides a delicious option. At only five calories per serving, Zing Baking Blend, a stevia and pure cane sugar blend, is for calorie-conscious baking enthusiasts looking for a sweetening alternative. A convenient, easy-pour canister makes for quick measuring and will delight bakers with its exceptional performance, baking and browning just like sugar and with pure sweet taste.

“We are certain that these new stevia sweeteners will appeal to the youthful, calorie-concerned, and wellness-informed consumer who demands great tasting food and beverages. Both the Zing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener and the Zing Baking Blend are for those who want to cut back on calories when sweetening, without sacrificing delicious taste,” said Brian O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer and President of Domino Foods, Inc. “Domino Foods, Inc. has a long tradition of providing outstanding products in the sweetener category and we believe Zing Stevia Sweeteners are no exception. Our expectations are that the new sweeteners will become an essential part of daily routines as well as holiday baking experiences for years to come,” O’Malley added.

 

UNFI Picks up True Solution Protein Shakes

True Solution Protein Shakes will now be available at stores across the country, thanks to new partnership with UNFI. Solid sales growth and a strong demand for plant-based protein shakes convinced the leading independent national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods to take True Solution national.

“We are very excited that UNFI sees the potential for this new product to succeed nationally,” says company founder Joe Semder. True Solution meets a clear demand for ready-to-drink, allergen free protein shakes. “It’s lower in sugar, contains more protein and no artificial ingredients. We believe that True Solution is well-positioned to meet growing demand for this type of product,” says Semder.

True Solution comes in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate. Well-known Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert gave it his Hit of the Week award, saying, “This is actually a delicious and very nutritious beverage. The chocolate flavor is excellent, the mouthfeel is perfect.”

Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic and Rocky Mountain regions, Lassens, and Dave’s Marketplace along with many other retailers have already picked up True Solution. The company expects strong interest at Natural Products Expo West next week in Anaheim, California.

True Solution was launched in 2014 by food industry veterans Joe Semder and Matt Cobb, who saw a need for an alternative to shakes laden with artificial ingredients, high sugar and problematic proteins. True Solution was formulated to fulfill a growing need for both young and old. The company is based out of Thousand Oaks, California.

Breaking Bread with Steve Schirripa and Michael Imperioli

 

Uncle SteveSteve Schirripa is teaming up with his Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli to meet their fans at The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, where Steve will be exhibiting his Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties line of organic pasta sauces. Schirripa and Imperioli, known by Sopranos fans as Bobby Baccalieri and Christopher Moltisanti, will be signing autographs and sharing sauce with their fans at The Hilton Level 2 – Hot Products Pavilion, Booth H201 on March 5 and 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be raffle prizes given out continuously throughout both days.

“Michael Imperioli is like a brother to me, so it’ll be great to have him in Anaheim. We’re looking forward to breaking bread with our fans and introducing them to Uncle Steve’s sauces,” Schirripa noted.

Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties was created by Steve Schirripa earlier this year. Each jar of Uncle Steve’s sauce is produced in the USA from small batches of fresh imported organic Italian plum tomatoes, vegetables and spices, “Our products are USDA-certified organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and contain no added sugar. With no GMOs, no pesticides, and nothing artificial, you can be confident you are feeding your family not only great-tasting products, but nourishing them as well.” said Schirripa. “My mother cooked her sauce for six hours and unlike the others, we are doing the same.”

Uncle Steve’s is available in three flavors: Marinara, Tomato Basil and Arrabiata. It is available at Whole Foods Market, Central Market, ShopRite, Stop ‘n Shop and many other grocery and health food stores across the USA. For more information on where to buy or to purchase by mail, go to www.unclestevesny.com.

 

Wholesome Sweeteners Becomes Wholesome!

Wholesome Sweeteners, a brand of organic, fair trade and non-GMO sugars and sweeteners, has a new name and a new look. Now known as Wholesome!, the new brand will debut March 6-8at Natural Products Expo West. In addition to unveiling its new look, the company will reveal its latest items like Organic Coconut Palm Syrup and a larger 24-ounce bottle of its popular Organic Honey. In celebration of its brand launch, the company is raffling off two purple KitchenAid mixers to visiting Expo guests.

WholesomeThe company is staying true to its Organic and Fair Trade roots and will still sell its same line of gourmet sugars, syrups, molasses, stevia and honeys, but with a different look. The Wholesome! logo and packaging incorporate a bright variety of colors, playful fonts and baking icons and quite literally lead with the heart. Not only is there a heart on the front of each item, but its packaging speaks about the love, care and consideration that was put into creating each product. The focus is on the satisfaction of the consumer, the well-being of the farmer who nurtured the product and maintaining the health of its natural environment.

“Wholesome! is the way we feel about our products, our farmers and our customers,” said Nigel Willerton, Wholesome! Chief Executive Officer. “It encapsulates our organic and social mission and how much everyone in the company cares about delivering the best-tasting, highest quality products possible.”

Samples of brand new Wholesome! Organic Coconut Palm Syrup will be available for tasting at Expo West. This delicious natural sweetener is made from coconut palm sugar, which is derived from coconut palm tree nectar. A warm, caramel flavor with a honey-like consistency, it is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, but also makes a great baking ingredient or sweet topping for dishes like oatmeal, pancakes and waffles. This syrup is Certified USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan and kosher and will be sold in 12-ounce recyclable bottles.

For those who love the Wholesome! Organic Honey line, the squeeze bottle honey is now available in a larger size. Shoppers will be able to purchase it in either a 16-ounce or a 24-ounce squeeze bottle. Wholesome! Organic Honey is a decadent honey with butterscotch and caramel tones perfect for baking, hot tea, Greek yogurt, warm biscuits and hard cheeses. This honey is USDA Organic and non-GMO since the bees only feast on organic wildflowers and the hives are never treated with antibiotics. It’s also fair trade, gluten free and kosher.

Stonyfield Launches Full Fat Organic Yogurt

Stonyfield is launching its latest innovation to the yogurt aisle with an exclamation. Oh My Yog! is made with organic whole milk and fruit, and comes in a completely unique three-layer format – fruit on the bottom, honey-infused yogurt in the middle and a decadent layer of cream on top – for an everyday indulgence made better because it’s organic.

“Whole milk is part of the growing food trend of healthy fat making a comeback. Not only is it incredibly delicious – you really can’t beat a layer of cream on top of your yogurt – it’s also recognized as a more wholesome kind of real food,” shared Ben Angeloni, Vice President of Marketing for Stonyfield. “We have fans ask us for full fat yogurt every single day, and we’re excited to deliver something exceptional with Oh My Yog!”

Oh My Yog!, now available in select retailers nationwide, is easy to recognize in the yogurt aisle thanks to its colorfully striped Y&R Spain-designed packaging that was inspired by the three layers inside. “Everything about Oh My Yog! – from its name to its distinctive, striped packaging – reflects the experience you have when you’re eating it. It’s all about enjoying beautiful layers of a really delicious food,” said Angeloni.

Oh My Yog! comes in six decadent 6-oz varieties for the suggested retail price of $1.59: Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Wild Quebec Blueberry, Pacific Coast Strawberry, Gingered Pear, Apple Cinnamon, and Orange Cranberry.

New England-Based Stonyfield Returns as Official Organic Yogurt Sponsor of Boston Marathon

 Stonyfield is the official yogurt of the 119th Boston Marathon, fueling the runners and crowd in its native New England. A celebrator of healthy foods and healthy families, Stonyfield selected several inspirational bloggers who are moms and runners to form the 2015 Team Stonyfield. As part of their participation, the bloggers and Stonyfield will run in support of Girls on the Run, a national program that inspires third- through eighth-grade girls to be healthy and confident using a running curriculum.

“Girls on the Run envisions a world where all girls know and can activate their limitless potential, said Suzanna McCloskey,” Girls on the Run representative. “During the program, girls learn critical skills to navigate their lives with joy and confidence. And by completing the 5k that concludes the program, they experience, firsthand, that big things are possible when you keep moving forward!”

Run Like a Mother founder Megan Searfoss is serving as coach of Team Stonyfield, providing training guides, diet tips, and more, all available on the Stonyfield blog. Author of “See Mom Run,” a 5k training guide for busy moms, Megan has raced in over 20 marathons, including three Boston Marathons, and operates the Run Like a Mother 5k race series comprised of 10 events nationwide. Megan’s unique training plan emphasizes running for specific amounts of time instead of distance, making it easy for moms to schedule training sessions around work and family.

The bloggers comprising Team Stonyfield include mom runners from across the country, including women from as far as Utah, as well as local New Englanders. Team Stonyfield members include Angela Bekkala of Happy Fit MamaJill Whitaker of Jill Will RunTina Haupert of Carrots N CakeRachel Steffen of Running RachelLaura Peifer of Mommy Run Fast, and Bethany Meyer of Another Mother Runner.

Mondelez International Acquires Enjoy Life Foods

Mondelēz International today announced the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods, a private U.S. snacking company and the market-leading brand in the fast-growing “free from” segment. Enjoy Life offers more than 40 great-tasting products, including cookies, chocolate, snack bars, and savory snacks that are allergy-friendly and glutenfree.

Enjoy Life’s products are free from the eight most common allergens – wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish – which together account for about 90 percent of all food allergies. “As we focus on continuing to drive growth in snacking, the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods is a great strategic fit for us,” said Mark Clouse, Chief Growth Officer at Mondelēz International. “The Enjoy Life brand expands our portfolio into faster growing, on-trend, ‘better for-you’ areas and provides an excellent platform to make these delicious offerings available to consumers with ‘free-from’ needs or simply looking for healthy-lifestyle options, both in the United States and beyond.”

The $12 billion “free-from” market in the United States is large and growing at strong double-digit rates, driven by an increasing incidence of food allergies and food intolerances as well as consumers adopting “free from” as a healthy-lifestyle option. “Enjoy Life offers an excellent brand promise that’s trusted by their loyal and engaged consumers,” Clouse said. “We’re excited about the extraordinary potential of this business and the entrepreneurial team leading it. We have a great opportunity to share our expertise, learn from their experience and work to accelerate Enjoy Life’s growth in this exciting consumer space.”

“We’re thrilled! As we combine our great brand, market leadership and passion for our consumers with the global resources, scale and marketing expertise of Mondelēz International, I’m confident this relationship will enable us to reach even greater heights,” said Scott Mandell, CEO and Founder of Enjoy Life Foods. Mandell and other members of the Enjoy Life leadership team will continue to lead the company. Mondelēz International will operate Enjoy Life Foods as a separate, wholly owned subsidiary to continue to nurture its entrepreneurial spirit, but will provide back-office support and access to its global resources.

The transaction was a simultaneous sign-and-close deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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