By Richard Thompson
For those who have to avoid their favorite pasta meals comes Edamame Spaghetti from Explore-Asian, a new spin on pasta that’s not only good, but healthier too. Gluten free, organic, vegan, kosher, non-GMO and approved by the American Heart Association, it’s not just ridiculously delicious but it’s sure to appeal to a wide range of health-conscious shoppers.
Retailing from 3.99 to 4.79, Edamame Spaghetti is made simply from organic beans and water. One serving has 24 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, packaged and ready to eat in just a few minutes. Add a little pesto for a delectable treat, but any sauce is the perfect complement. This is pasta reinvented.
For further information visit them at www.explore-asian.com.
That’s it.®, makers of two ingredient snack bars, has just launched a new flavor in its all natural fruit bar line. The company also announced its recent expansion into national retailers 7-Eleven and Kroger, branching out from the health food store market in which it retains a strong presence.
That’s it. uses only real fruits in their bars and limits its ingredient list two ingredients per flavor. With the company’s expansion into thousands of new retail outlets, it will gain broader access to a consumer base that is increasingly interested in healthy alternatives to traditional on-the-go snacks.
“We are thrilled to introduce our latest flavor, Apple + Coconut, to the marketplace, particularly given the rise in consumer awareness about the health benefits of coconut,” said That’s it. founder Dr. Lior Lewensztain. “As we continue to expand our product offerings as well as our national distribution, we remain whole heartedly dedicated to our founding principles of simplicity, integrity, purity and transparency in our products.”
That’s it. fruit bars come in nine varieties: Apple + Apricot, Apple + Banana, Apple + Blueberry, Apple + Cherry, Apple + Mango, Apple + Pear, Apple + Pineapple, Apple + Strawberry, and Apple + Coconut. They are made without any additives, preservatives, concentrates, purees, juices, added sugars, corn syrup, artificial coloring, or flavoring, and have an 18-month lab-verified shelf life. That’s it. fruit bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, raw, and diabetic friendly.
“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.
Steve 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, 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 debuted March 6-8 at 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
American Flatbread Pizza, producer of handmade wood-fired premium frozen pizza, is introducing three new pizza flavors to its premium line: Gluten-Free Cheese Trio & Tomato Sauce, Gluten-Free Pesto & Cheese and Fresh Basil Pesto & Feta.
The new American Flatbread frozen pizzas are made with specialty ingredients, many of which are locally sourced in New England where the company is based. Gluten-Free Cheese Trio & Tomato Sauce and Gluten-Free Pesto & Cheese are American Flatbread’s first gluten-free options within its line. Gluten-Free Cheese Trio & Tomato Sauce is a handmade flatbread topped with mozzarella, parmesan and Vermont Cookeville grana cheese, with homemade tomato sauce and fresh herbs. Gluten-Free Pesto & Cheese is also a handmade flatbread topped with savory pesto, made with fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fresh minced garlic and parmesan. The third new flavor, Fresh Basil Pesto & Feta, is topped with savory pesto made with fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh minced garlic and feta.
“More and more Americans are maintaining a gluten-free diet, so it was important to meet their needs and develop these new recipes,” said CEO Brad Sterl. “As with all of our flatbread pizzas, we only use fresh, all-natural ingredients to ensure that our customers enjoy every last bite. We are dedicated to making pizza night a delicious and healthy experience for the whole family, and now they have even more choices.”
The Fresh Basil Pesto & Feta retails for $7.99 and the Gluten-Free Pesto & Cheese and Gluten-Free Cheese Trio & Tomato Sauce retail for $8.99.
American Flatbread frozen pizzas are topped with fresh herbs, vegetables and the finest of cheeses. They are all-natural, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and handcrafted from scratch and par-baked in wood-fired ovens.
For more information visit www.americanflatbreadproducts.com.
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.
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.
Albertsons has expanded its specialty offerings in the soup aisle with the addition of nine non-GMO soup mixes from Frontier Soups™ quick-cooking Homemade In Minutes™ line of gourmet mixes.
Albertsons stores in the Southwestern U.S. have added Frontier Soups’ newest mix, West Coast Kale & Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix, along with its top-selling South of the Border Tortilla Soup Mix, Connecticut Cottage Chicken Noodle Soup Mix, and Idaho Outpost Potato Leek Soup Mix, all of which are gluten free. The sale is through UNFI of Providence, Rhode Island, said Trisha Anderson, Frontier Soups’ founder.
Other soup mixes now being carried by Albertson’s include Arizona Sunset Enchilada Soup, Florida Sunshine Corn Chowder, Mississippi Delta Tomato Basil Soup, Oregon Lakes Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup, and Pennsylvania Woodlands Mushroom Barley Soup. Soups in the Homemade-In-Minutes line serve four to six and typically cook in about 30 minutes.
Frontier Soups has 34 soup mixes in its lineup to accommodate a variety of consumer tastes and dietary needs, Anderson said. The soups are produced with ingredients certified non-GMO by all suppliers. No salt is added, and the mixes contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients or MSG. The company now offers 12 vegetarian options and 28 of its soups are certified gluten free. In addition to its Homemade-In-Minutes line, Frontier Soups also has a line of Hearty Meal™ soup mixes, which generally serve from eight to 10.
Suggested retail prices for Homemade-In-Minutes and Hearty Meal soup mixes are $5.95-$6.49 and $6.95-$7.49 respectively. More information is available at www.FrontierSoups.com or by calling 1.800.300.7687.
Read more about Frontier Soups here.