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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.

 

Missouri Producer Brings a Taste of Middle Eastern Date Culture to the American Market

By Dave Bernard
When you live abroad and cannot keep up with the demand from friends and family for the interesting food products you ferry home in suitcases each year, it might be time to start your own business. So it was with Colleen Sundlie, who had discovered date syrup while living in the United Arab Emirates with her professor husband and son. Now back in Springfield, Missouri and two and a half years into her business, Date Lady, Sundlie no longer has to seek out the obscure Middle Eastern market to locate a bottle of this nutritious and surprisingly versatile syrup.

After tasting many products and coming to appreciate Middle Eastern “date culture,” where hosts typically serve coffee and dates, and bowls of the fruit are a staple at gyms, hotels and car dealerships, Sundlie put her marketing and business background to work. In addition to the date syrup, Date Lady sells a caramel sauce and a chocolate spread, both sweetened only by dates, as well as packaged dates and a new date balsamic vinegar. The all-natural products are sold nationwide, including at many prominent retailers, such as Murray’s Cheese, Whole Foods and Mom’s Organic Markets, as well as in many smaller specialty food stores. Sundlie reports the company’s sales have roughly doubled in the last year.DateVinegar-473x1024

According to Sundlie, consumer demand for Date Lady’s flagship date syrup has exploded in recent months. “We have a lot of people that are addicted to it,” she said. “We’ve had people asking us if they can order it by the gallon.” While the company is looking into larger packaging, it recently added convenience with squeeze bottles for its date syrup and caramel sauce. These products previously came in glass jars. “People were just using it more often and asking, ‘How can you make this easier for us?’” said Sundlie.

When it comes to the company’s packaged date offerings, Date Lady’s uniqueness extends to this product line as well. While most dates sold in the United States are Medjools or Deglet Noors, Date Lady sells organic California Barhi and Halawi dates. Sundlie likens these less common dried fruits to pieces of caramel. The company does use Medjool and Deglet Noor dates in its other products.

In addition to climbing retail sales of Date Lady’s date syrup, some manufacturers have begun substituting the 100 percent fruit syrup for other sweeteners, for example in chocolate and fruit and nut bars, smoothies, ice cream and even beer. Interestingly, none of these products are date-flavored. The syrup has the sweetness of maple syrup but carries a more complex flavor, with hints of caramel, toffee and molasses. The date flavor itself is often masked when the syrup is used to sweeten other foods. However, when used alone as a syrup, for example on pancakes, notes of date do come through.

To meet growing demand from consumers and manufacturers, Date Lady recently moved to a new Springfield headquarters and production facility, tripling its capacity. The company benefits from a relative lack of competition within the larger specialty food landscape. While other companies sell whole dates, Date Lady’s syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate spread and date balsamic go virtually unmatched. Even most Middle Eastern products do not compete directly with Date Lady products. Many include added sugar, and, according to Sundlie, some products touted as “all-natural” frequently fall short of the claim.

Always looking to branch out into the gourmet market with new products, Date Lady launched its new date sugar last month and plans to debut additional products later this year. For more information, visit www.ilovedatelady.com.

 

New Finlandia Imported Butter: Delicious, All-Natural, Non-GMO Butter from Internationally Renowned Cheesemaker

Finlandia, the internationally renowned cheesemaker and a highly regarded brand in America, introduces Finlandia Imported Butter.

This Valentine’s day, Finlandia invites consumers to share their love with that special person by sharing their favorite breakfast; whipping up a savory dinner for two or cooking up some romantic, sweet desserts – all using Finlandia Imported Butter. This eclectic natural butter is perfect for breakfast, to butter a favorite muffin or croissant with its sweet, rich taste. Finlandia Imported Butter is also the go-to choice at dinnertime, to infuse a meal with the full butter experience, followed up by decadent, chocolate delights, also baked with Finlandia Imported Butter.

Finlandia Imported Butter is crafted from pure, fresh milk, and produced on family-owned farms in Finland. It’s perfect for the American natural palate and is made with non-GMO ingredients according to EU standards, with no rBST hormones. Finlandia Imported Butter is made from cows that graze heartily during the warm seasons, and are fed non-GMO feed.

Finlandia Imported Butter also offers a healthy addition to one’s diet. The American Heart Association (AMA) now recommends butter in moderation, in Americans’ diets. The AMA reports that consumers can healthfully obtain up to 7 percent of their daily calories with this healthy fat. Not all butters are alike. Finlandia Imported Butter is the all-natural choice for chefs and home cooks alike.

With butter regaining in popularity, even millennials are loving it. The newest coffee craze, BulletProof coffee, the butter-containing beverage, is steaming up cafes from coast to coast. The secret to making this hot cup of java is butter - but not just any butter. Finlandia(R) Imported Butter, the perfect match for BulletProof coffee: natural, rich, non-GMO butter added to coffee for a satisfying dose of morning energy. This new coffee trend is a hit, offering caffeine, filling calories and offering a healthy fat to fuel one’s busy morning.

Crafted with pure, wholesome milk, rich and creamy Finlandia Imported Butter brings butter from family-owned farms to the American table.

For more information, visit www.finlandiacheese.com.

Mediterra Nutrition Bars Wins 2015 Grocery Headquarters Selling Wellness Trailblazer Award

Mediterra, the first company to introduce truly savory-flavored nutrition bars based on the Mediterranean Diet, has been named one of Grocery Headquarters “2015 Selling Trailblazers,” an annual award competition that recognizes innovation in grocery.Mediterra Photo 2

This is the third product award for the company since its launch six months ago at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Other accolades include a 2014 The Lempert Report Innovator award, and a 2014 BSC Bestie Kids Award.

“The positive response to the Mediterra Nutrition Bars from the media, retail buyers and consumers alike has been incredible and exceeds our expectations,” says Mediterra Founder Telemaque Lavidas. “We’re ready for 2015 and winning the Grocery Headquarters award is an honor and a great way to kick off the New Year.”

Since its launch, Mediterra Nutrition Bars already can be found at national retailers including Sprouts Farmers Markets, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, more than 365 U.S.-based Target stores, and others.

Inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, considered by experts as one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world, Mediterra bars offer six unique flavors that feature various fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains, providing distinct options for different snacking occasions throughout the day. The bars are all-natural, non-GMO and gluten-free.

The six bar flavors come in three specific varieties that provide ancient nutrition in a modern and convenient way:

The first-ever Savory Bars: These bars are rich in vegetable content but low in calories, sodium and sugar, and contain protein-rich pea crisps and a touch of olive oil. Each Savory Bar is 1.4 ounces and contains 6 grams each of protein and fiber. They are certified kosher and dairy free. The Savory Bars serve as an alternative to sweet snacks, providing superfoods and amaranth, an ancient grain. Flavors include: Tomato/Basil/Capers and Olive/Walnut/Chives.

Sesame Honey Energy Bars: Traditionally known as “Pasteli,” these bars are dairy-free and contain only a few ingredients – roasted sesame seeds, Greek honey, and pistachios from Aegina Island or orange peel, respectively. The combination provides natural and long lasting energy. Each bar is 1.3 ounces, contains up to 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Flavors include Sesame Seed/Pistachio/Greek Honey and Sesame Seed/Orange/Greek Honey.

Yogurt and Oat Bars: Bottom covered with yogurt-style coating, these bars are 1.6 ounces, certified kosher and contain 7 grams of protein. The bars also feature fig paste, sunflower seeds and raisins. Flavors include Yogurt/Oat/Cherry Pistachio and Yogurt/Oat/Apricot Pistachio.

For more information, visit www.MediterraNutrition.com.

Nicole’s Naturals Introduces a Gluten-Free Waffle and Pancake Mix

Nicole's NaturalsThe days of two different breakfasts for gluten-free households are over with the launch of Nicole’s Naturals Gluten-Free Waffle & Pancake Mix. Nicole’s Naturals is made with the highest quality, all-natural ingredients and spices usually only found in homemade mixes, making the waffles and pancakes taste like a family recipe.

Called “delicious” and a “waffle you want to eat” by the Los Angeles Times, Nicole’s Naturals Mix is made without artificial ingredients, preservatives or refined grains. Nicole’s Naturals’ products have been independently tested at less than five parts per million, far below the FDA regulation of 20 parts per million for products labeled gluten-free.

Raised in North Carolina, Nicole’s Naturals’ Founder Nicole Washington grew up in the kitchen and was responsible for cooking dinner for her family by the age of 10. Homemade breakfasts were a favorite dish of her Southern family, and while she ultimately became an industrial engineer, cooking and entertaining continued to be a source of love and enjoyment in Nicole’s life. But it was her engineering mindset that drove her to find a culinary solution once she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2003. After much trial and error, she developed a gluten-free recipe to replace her family’s beloved waffles and they didn’t even notice when she swapped the new gluten-free recipe for her tried-and-true dish. After revealing her secret, Nicole’s husband encouraged her to package her product, and Nicole’s Naturals was born.

Nicole’s Naturals Waffles & Pancakes take just minutes to prepare, and caregivers can rest easy knowing their children are starting the day with a healthy meal. Nicole’s Naturals have significantly less added sugar and more fiber than many other waffles while tasting even more delicious. The prepared waffles can even be frozen allowing kids to help out by popping one in the toaster themselves for breakfast or an easy snack.

“In gluten-free families those with allergies are often singled-out with a separate meal and not able to eat what the rest of the family is enjoying,” said Nicole’s Naturals Founder Nicole Washington. “Our mix is a real solution for waffle- and pancake-loving families as the cook only has to make one breakfast.”

Roughly 40 million consumers purchase gluten-free products, four million of whom suffer from celiac disease, which requires that they avoid eating gluten. Gluten-free sales are expected to reach more than $15 billion by 2016, according to Mintel.

INGREDIENTS: Brown Rice Flour, Corn Meal, Turbinado Sugar, Gluten-Free Oatmeal, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Aluminum-Free Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Gluten-Free Vanilla Flavoring, Gluten Free Xanthan Gum and Salt.

Nicole’s Naturals Gluten-Free Waffle & Pancake Mix is available at www.nicolesnaturals.com, Amazon.com and The Hood Market in Costa Mesa, California.

MSRP: $8.99  for a 22-ounce container

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Website Relaunch

Pretzel CrispsSnack Factory Pretzel Crisps® has unveiled a redesigned PretzelCrisps.com website to celebrate the brand’s 10 year history. The highly visual, design-forward site provides consumers and loyal fans with an easy-to-navigate interactive destination full of recipes, snack ideas and product information.

“This is an exciting time for Pretzel Crisps,” said Valerie Traynor, vice president of marketing at Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps. “After 10 years of steady expansion across our product portfolio, we felt it was time to update our website to mirror the dynamic and enthusiastic nature of our loyal fan base. The redesigned site will serve as the ideal resource for several exciting new announcements we have in store for the upcoming year and beyond.”

The new PretzelCrisps.com integrates cutting edge design with useful functionality, allowing visitors to explore recipes and entertaining like never before. The website hosts more than 100 recipes conveniently categorized by occasion, from birthday parties to game night or even a wine and dine night. Users may also filter recipes by the length of preparation time, making it simple to find a recipe to suit every need.

Another new addition to the Pretzel Crisps website is a convenient nationwide store locator that enables users to search for stores geographically by zip code or by specific retailer name.

Developed by Boston-based digital agency Convertiv, the new Pretzel Crisps website features parallax scrolling effects and a responsive design that seamlessly adjusts to mobile, tablet and desktop formats.

The redesigned website follows the recent launch of four new Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps products in 2014—deli flavors Honey Mustard & Onion and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper; and new format Pretzel Crisps Minis in Original and Cheddar. With only 110 calories per serving, Pretzel Crisps are made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients, without saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, preservatives, artificial flavorings or colors. Pretzel Crisps may be found in the deli section or snack aisle of retailers nationwide.

West Coast Kate and Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix

Frontier Soups WestCoastKaleQuinoaVegSoupEMThe new West Coast Kale and Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix from Frontier Soups is a vegetarian and certified gluten-free soup that’s part of Frontier Soups’ Homemade-In-Minutes™ line. The soup has a hearty mix of white quinoa and flakes of kale and butternut squash that are freeze-dried to preserve nutrition. Home cooks add canned tomatoes, cubed butternut squash and chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for 25 minutes to make soup for the family. Everything else is in the soup mix, including onions and carrots and a savory seasoning that combines garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary and a peppercorn blend.

This soup mix answers consumer requests for more vegetarian options and for soups that offer an easy way to incorporate popular superfoods into their diet. West Coast Kale and Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix is available in 4.5-ounce clear cellophane packages that display the colorful ingredients at a suggested retail price of $5.95 to $6.49. Frontier Soups’ 34 varieties are all natural with no added salt, preservatives or MSG.

Invisible Chef Mixes Simplify Holiday Baking

The Invisible Chef_HOLIDAY_ChocolatePeppermint_CakeDESIGN-PROOFCelebrate the joy of the holiday season surrounded by friends and family with The Invisible Chef’s Holiday Collection. The collection features flavors steeped in tradition in products that are designed to save time while creating new family memories. While the fire is roaring and the snow is falling, just add a few ingredients to The Invisible Chef’s mixes, and your holiday baking is complete. The mixes make a perfect gift and are sure to delight everyone, making the holidays sparkle with love!

Featured flavors from The Invisible Chef include Chocolate Peppermint Coffee & Tea Cakes, Cranberry Spice Scones, Red Velvet Cupcake Kit and Macaroon Chocolate Chip Blondies. Each mix is blended with all-natural ingredients and needs just a few items from your kitchen to bake and enjoy.

Other favorites from The Invisible Chef product line include the company’s Coffee & Tea Cakes, Blondies & Brownies, Frosted & Fabulous Cupcake Kits, Bake It Quick Breads, Simple Sweet & Savory Muffins, Bed & Breakfast Favorites (including scones, pancakes and waffles) and Cookie Jar Classics. With so many categories and flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite.

Flavor Bombs Add Explosive Taste to Everyday Meals

3-Flavor Bombs-CSS

Flavor Bombs are a line of all-natural, fresh-frozen, gluten-free, low-sodium cooking bases that ignite an explosion 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, turning everyday dishes into gourmet meals. The products are the creation of Giovannina Bellino, a long-time entrepreneur and the owner of Goddess Gourmet, a Long Island-based natural foods company.

Flavor Bombs provide consumers with an arsenal of ingredients making preparation times shorter and cooking more enjoyable, flavorful and affordable. The products are concentrated blends of caramelized aromatics and fresh herbs in an extra virgin olive oil base that offers consumers a burst of flavors and aromas that works perfectly in their favorite recipes. Flavor Bombs are pre-cooked so consumers have the flexibility of using them to start or finish a dish.

Flavor Bombs are now available nationwide at chain supermarkets, independent supermarkets, gourmet food stores, club stores and foodservice operations.

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