By Lorrie Baumann
Debra Bloom’s Safe Snack Guide is an important resource that schools and parents around the country use to screen the snack foods brought into their classrooms and offered to their children. Specialty foods company Enjoy Life is one of the manufacturers with products on Bloom’s list of safe snacks.
“One of the things we look for at Enjoy Life is how we can bring the celebration back into everyone’s life,” says Joel Warady, Enjoy Life’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “The way we do that is that all our products, everything we produce, in addition to being gluten-free, is free of the top eight allergens: eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. That covers about 90 percent of all food allergies in children today.”
Enjoy Life was started 12 years ago by Scott Mandrell, who is still its CEO today, as a manufacturer of gluten-free products. “He started thinking about how to make the gluten-free products even more unique, and that’s when the idea of making allergy-friendly foods came about,” Warady says.
Today, Enjoy Life has eight different product lines, all allergy-friendly. Warady can spin them out for you without a second thought: “Cookies (soft and crunchy), on-the go bars (classic line and decadent line), cereals that are high in fiber and high in protein, which are adult-focused, Plentils, a salty snack line which is a crunchy lentil chip in four savory flavors. We have the only nut-free trail mix in the market, composed of just seeds and fruit.”
Enjoy Life’s products are not just free of gluten and the eight most common allergens, they are also tasty. Over the years, the company has improved the taste across the entire product line. They are a little more expensive than a mass-marketed product, but some of that extra cost goes into rigorous testing procedures and quality assurance controls that ensure that the products are best in class.
“We built the company on three tenets: taste, trust and love,” Warady says. “Number one, our consumers have to trust us. They have to trust that our brand won’t hurt their children. We build that trust every single day with every cookie we produce.”
“We talk about celebration. In reality, it’s more than just classrooms. It’s the birthday parties and the family gatherings. For years, so many children with food allergies were prohibited from going to birthday parties because there was nothing there that was safe for them to eat,” Warady adds. “Because there are these foods now, people can go to parties and enjoy themselves at whatever party they might want to attend.”
For more information, visit www.enjoylifefoods.com.
Halfpops, the partially popped and fully delicious popcorn snack, today unveiled two new flavors sure to satisfy the sweet and savory crowd alike – Caramel & Sea Salt and Chipotle Barbeque. Adding to the wildly popular Halfpops product line-up, the delicious new offerings will hit retail shelves in September 2014. The new flavors join Halfpops’ existing offerings of Aged White Cheddar and Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt, which were launched in 2011 and quickly became a snack favorite coast-to-coast.
The new Caramel & Sea Salt and Chipotle Barbeque flavor varieties start with non-GMO corn kernels that are half-popped to perfection and expertly seasoned with natural flavors and ingredients. As with Halfpops’ entire product line, they are gluten-free, have no preservatives, no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, and no artificial flavors and are completely nut-free.
The brand’s debut sweet flavor offering, Caramel & Sea Salt boasts Halfpops’ signature satisfying crunch and is seasoned with brown sugar, sea salt, sweet-cream, and accented with all-natural caramel flavor making for a perfectly sweet and crunchy treat. Chipotle Barbeque, Halfpops’ first dairy-free and vegan option is seasoned with real chipotle pepper, paprika, natural smoke powder, sea salt and other wholesome spices to deliver an intriguing flavor for those who crave a spicy kick. Both flavors have only 130 calories per serving and contain zero trans-fat, making for a smart snacking choice.
“Halfpops has experienced significant growth; our year-to-date sales are already up six fold year-over-year,” said Mike Fitzgerald, Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Halfpops. “Since launching in 2011, Halfpops has grown a loyal fan base which is why we are so excited to deliver two new flavor varieties to those who want a healthy, satisfying and unique snack.”
Halfpops are available in 2-ounce bags that retail for $1.49 each, and 6-ounce bags that retail for $3.99. The new Caramel & Sea Salt and Chipotle Barbeque Halfpops are expected to be available in a variety of grocery stores and specialty markets throughout the Northwest – including Costco, Whole Foods, PCC Markets, Metropolitan Markets, Haggen, Central Markets and more – and is available nationwide at retailers in more than 30 states. A complete store locator is available at www.halfpops.com/#storelocator, and product can also be purchased online at Halfpops.com.
Gustus Vitae Condiments is a new line of sea salts and spice blends created created from high quality local and international ingredients and then hand-packed into tins in a Los Angeles facility. Unlike many spices and salts available today, Gustus Vitae products are never irradiated, not treated with EtO (Ethylene Oxide) gas, and are free from gluten, soy, MSG, and artificial colors and flavors. Gustus Vitae’s products retail from $8 for individual tins to $159 for gift sets and collections, and are currently available at select Whole Foods Markets, Albertsons, Southern Season and online at www.gustusvitae.com
Gustus Vitae’s gourmet spice blends are crafted to taste like places, allowing delicious meals authentic to different cuisines to be quickly and simply created. It’s easy to create fabulous, fresh dishes like Thai chicken, Jamaican rice, or Tuscan roast potatoes with just a pinch or a rub of seasonings and spice blends. The Gustus Vitae gourmet sea salts are wonderful finishing touches, naturally adding bursts of flavor and vibrant color to your meals, transforming simple plates into signature dishes.
Passage Foods offers lines of ready-to-use simmer sauces made from all natural ingredients to help home cooks create authentic restaurant-quality Asian dishes in 20 minutes or less. Newest to the brand is the Passage to Vietnam™ Lemongrass Chicken Stir-Fry Sauce, which draws together ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal and lime into a stir-fry with the traditional flavors of Vietnam. Just reading the list of ingredients is like stepping into a white tablecloth Vietnamese restaurant.
Vietnamese cuisine is one of the fastest growing segments in the food category, according to Mintel, and the growth of the Vietnamese population in the U.S. augurs for increasing acceptance and familiarity with Vietnamese flavors among the mainstream population, particularly as American palates become more adventurous and more Americans travel outside the country, where they have the opportunity to taste authentic examples of other culinary traditions.
“It is important to recognize the growth of cuisines from countries like Vietnam,” said Passage Foods’ Mark Mackenzie. “Currently, 80 percent of the Asian category sales originate from mainstream products designed for the U.S. palate, however, the category growth is being driven by authentic products and recipes. With our Lemongrass Chicken sauce, we tried to capture the most authentic and fresh recipe to satisfy the consumer looking for a true Vietnamese meal.”
Pereg Gourmet, a family-owned company offering a wide array of all-natural and exotic pantry staples, is introducing a lineup of premium ancient grains, rice and beans that are easy to prepare and ideal for rounding out a meal.
One hundred percent pure and naturally rich in health benefits, the new products include: white quinoa, red quinoa, farro, wheat berries, chickpeas, basmati rice, pearl couscous, traditional couscous, bulgur, soup mix, black beans, French lentils, Texas chili beans, orange lentils, green lentils, an autumn lentil blend, yellow split peas, green split peas, red kidney beans, and white beans. Of these 20 different varieties, each are completely free of preservatives and OU kosher certified. Most of the new items are also gluten-free certified and non-GMO verified.
Packaged in a stand-up, re-sealable pouch to maintain freshness, each bag measures in at one pound and features recipe ideas on the back. The new grain, rice and bean lineup is now rolling out at select retailers across the country and online. The suggested retail price is $2.99 to $3.99 for everything but the quinoa and $5.99 to $6.99 for the quinoa items. Visit www.pereg-gourmet.com for detail on the company.
Robert Rothschild Farm announces its first complete line of organic sauces after recently achieving organic certification of its manufacturing facility in Urbana, Ohio. Robert Rothschild Farm produces sauces, dips, preserves, mustards, spreads and other gourmet products that are all natural, gluten free and kosher.
Robert Rothschild Farm grows and manufactures all their food on the Ohio farm, but is the first certified organic line. This new line of organic products will launch the beginning of a movement to convert the majority of the Robert Rothschild Farm’s current product offering to be organic certified.
“We are conscientious of current healthy lifestyles and want to provide the consumer what they desire,” said Jim Gordon, President and CEO of Robert Rothschild Farm. “We felt compelled to provide organic products that tasted great. Taste should not be compromised when seeking organic products using Non-GMO ingredients.”
The new organic line of sauces was announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show on July 1, 2014 and includes Blueberry Balsamic, Citrus Chardonnay, Pineapple Habanero BBQ, Sriracha Teriyaki, Whiskey Pepper Cream and White Wine Creole sauces.
This year also celebrates Robert Rothschild Farm’s 30th Anniversary of producing specialty foods. Robert Rothschild Farm is continually recognized as one of the top gourmet food manufacturers in the United States and has been honored with numerous awards for its branded product line, but the company also produces gourmet products under many private labels. Robert Rothschild products are carried in over 5,000 grocery and specialty stores throughout the US.
“Creating organic products shows our commitment, not only to high-quality, flavorful products but taking our company to the next level,” said Gordon. “Organic foods are a growing market in which Robert Rothschild Farm is well positioned to produce and provide these essential products. We look forward to leading the specialty food industry and bringing our consumers the finest in organic, open and serve products that they have come to expect from us.”
On the heels of the Dairy-Deli-Bake show earlier this month, Tribeca-based Goodie Girl announced expanded distribution of its full line of cookies nationwide, initially focusing on the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern markets. The company, which specializes in creating gluten-free cookies that are just as good or better than the classics, will increase availability beyond specialty stores into major chains as demand for high-quality gluten-free goodies continues to rise.
“Goodie Girl cookies are for all cookie lovers, including those intolerant to gluten,” said Shira Berk, founder and owner of Goodie Girl. “The gluten-free category is experiencing double-digit growth annually and according to some sources, almost a quarter of consumers now have someone at home eating gluten-free. Those are big numbers, but we all know that the key driver of repeat purchase is great taste. We are truly proud of our products and excited to be increasing distribution so that we can share our cookies with more consumers.”
Known as the creators of gluten-free cookies that everyone can enjoy, Goodie Girl is thrilled the market for its cookies goes far beyond celiac or gluten-intolerant individuals. Known for her baking skills, Shira Berk founded Goodie Girl in 2010 after a friend requested she reconstruct cookies for a gluten-free child. To her delight, Berk baked her way to the discovery that she could make delicious gluten-free cookies with “just the right amount of wrong.” With flavors ranging from Mint Slims and Quinoa Choco-Chip to Midnight Brownie and Oatmeal Raisin, her mouthwatering cookies have been delighting consumers ever since.
To help make increased production and distribution goals a reality, Goodie Girl recently partnered with Toufayan Bakeries. As one of the largest family-run bakeries in the United States, Toufayan provides production and distribution expertise and has become well-known in the gluten-free market for its line of gluten-free wraps featuring flavors such as Spinach and Garden Tomato.
“The gluten-free food category continues to grow, but what are emerging are true innovators in baking. It is one thing to make a gluten-free item; but Goodie Girl has created incredible cookies, that happen to be gluten-free,” said Greg Toufayan, COO of Toufayan. “We take great pride in our line of gluten-free wraps and when I was introduced to the delicious tasting Goodie Girl line, I knew we wanted to help this business grow.”
“It’s a dream-come-true, to find a home for our very special cookie brand within a family-owned business recognized nationwide for their commitment to authentic, high-quality baked goods. We welcome the expertise that Toufayan brings and an enhanced ability to bring Goodie Girl cookies to both retailers and consumers,” said Berk.
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of pure flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are all-natural, allergen-free, and certified kosher and gluten-free.
The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
Grandpa’s Kitchen is owned and operated by the Shrock family in Ogden, Utah. When they were diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004 they did not know how many other people struggled with the same disease. What they did know is that they felt better living a gluten-free lifestyle and wanted to share what they found with others. At first, the family tried a variety of gluten-free products, but found it an unsatisfactory experience because of the lack luster taste, texture and consistency. They began to experiment with home-made recipes and gluten-free flour mixtures and were able to create a blend of flours which produced an edible, delicious, moist bread. This inspired them to launch Grandpa’s Kitchen in 2007, with the first product being a gluten-free bread mix.
Today Grandpa’s Kitchen continues to manufacture the bread mix, which is now a bread/pizza crust mix. The family also publishes their “Family Favorites” gluten-free cookbook to help others realize how easy cooking gluten-free really is and how good it can taste. They are very excited about their gluten-free baking flour which is a perfect combination of flours and starches blended to give delicious results as a cup-for-cup wheat flour replacement.
Customers continually send emails telling Grandpa’s Kitchen how long it has been since they had a good piece of bread and how much they love Grandpa’s Kitchen gluten-free baking mixes. The Shrock family hear stories every week about the benefits others have found by living a gluten-free diet.
Grandpa’s Kitchen gluten-free mixes are available at leading grocery retailers, food services, organic and natural food retailers, food catalogs and online. Find a store at www.grandpas-kitchen.com. Grandpa’s Kitchen loves to get emails (email@example.com) and will respond to questions anyone has about celiac disease, living a gluten-free lifestyle or about their products.
This summer, up your noodle salad game with some Asian rice noodles by Nona Lim. These extraordinary noodles are sold in the refrigerated section fresh for delicacy.
Nona Lim Noodles have a suggested retail price of $4.39 for a 14.8-ounce package.