Natural Products Expo East opened this morning in Baltimore, Maryland with vendors offering everything from gourmet dog snacks to organic ethically produced and sourced anything at all that you might want to eat yourself. Among the offerings are, of course, any number of products designed to meet the needs of consumers observing a gluten-free diet, and the vendors’ interest in the category this year indicates that the trend is showing no sign of fading away just yet. New this year are a plethora of options in foods for consumers who have multiple dietary restrictions. As an example, ohso Good for you chocolate provides the consumer with 100% of their daily probiotics in a 70-calorie chocolate bar that’s also gluten free, dairy free and nut free. The bar’s probiotics are microencapsulated, so they’re protected from stomach acids, and are three to four times as likely to survive to replenish intestinal flora as a serving of milk or yogurt, the company says. See it in booth #4811 at Expo East or visit www.ohso.com.
Also checking off multiple boxes for those with dietary restrictions is a line of boxed mac and cheese-style dinners that are gluten free and dairy free. The company’s pastaríso Dairy Free Mac & Cheddar Style Sauce product, for example, is not just dairy free, it’s also vegan and free from wheat, gluten, soy, eggs and nuts. As you’d expect, it doesn’t taste like a full-on cheesy, creamy pasta dinner, but it’s certainly reminiscent of those flavors, and it doesn’t taste at all like cardboard. Taste it at booth #726 or visit www.maplegrovefoods.com for more information.
Traderspoint Creamery brought the yogurt recognized as the country’s best at the 2014 American Cheese Society competition. Based in Indiana, the company sources its milk from 100-percent grass-fed cows on its own farm and from a nearby coop of Amish farmers and packages the yogurt in single-serving glass cups. See them in booth #912 at the show.
thinkThin Lean Protein.& Fiber™ Bars is offering two limited edition flavors for fall: Dark Chocolate Peppermint and Pumpkin Spice. Each bar has only 150 calories, and both flavors are gluten free, non-GMO and kosher dairy. Taste them in booth #1230 or visit www.thinkproducts.com.
Less than three months after its launch, savory nutrition bars from Mediterra® are now available in Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, the first large-scale natural retailer to offer Mediterra bars. Currently, the rapidly growing Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage operates 86 stores in 14 states.
“Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has stringent standards, and bringing Mediterra into their stores is a huge endorsement,” says Mediterra Founder Telemaque Lavidas. “It’s an honor to partner and grow with them, while we aggressively continue to introduce our brand to consumers nationwide.”
“The products we carry are free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, both hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. We continue our search for additional snack items that taste good and meet these standards, and Mediterra does that,” says Nancy Flynn, Marketing Director for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. “We’re looking forward to offering our customers another healthful way to snack, while on-the-go.”
Inspired by the Mediterranean Diet that’s considered by experts as one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world, Mediterra bars have six new unique flavors that feature various fruits, vegetables and grains, providing different snacking options for throughout the day. All bars are all-natural, non-GMO and gluten free. They retail for $1.99.
The six unique bar flavors come in three specific varieties that provide ancient nutrition in a modern and convenient way:
Savory Bars: The 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 six grams of protein and fiber. They are certified kosher and dairy free. The Savory Bars serve as an alternative to sweet snacks providing super foods 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 including roasted sesame seeds, Greek honey and either pistachios from Aegina Island or orange peel. The combination provides natural and long lasting energy. Each bar is 1.3 ounces, contains up to six grams of protein and two 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, the bars are 1.6 ounces, certified kosher and contain seven grams of protein. The bars also feature fig paste, sunflower seeds and raisins. Flavors include Yogurt/Oat/Cherry Pistachio and Yogurt/Oat/Apricot Pistachio.
After launching in June, the company named Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, as its U.S. sales agency. In addition, the company has won two product awards including a 2014 The Lempert Report Innovator award for its Savory Bars.
Click here to read more Gourmet News coverage of snack foods.
Big Tree Farms’ unrefined, organic coconut sugar line has received Fair Choice certification from Control Union Certifications. The acquisition of this certification makes Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar the first and only fair trade coconut sugar on the market. As a pioneer in the fast-growing coconut sugar segment, Big Tree Farms’ certifications extend beyond Fair Trade, including USDA organic, non-GMO and low glycemic certifications. All certifications will be featured on Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar packaging going forward, allowing shoppers to see a clear difference in coconut sugars.
Control Union Certifications are awarded on an enterprise’s ability to commit to stringent social, environmental, and economic development principles. Dedicated to social and environmental responsibility, safe working conditions and fair trade practices, Big Tree Farms is the only vertically integrated brand of coconut sugar on the market. The company works with and supports more than 14,000 family farmers across the archipelagos of Indonesia. Every bag of Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar is harvested from partner farms and processed at Big Tree’s own factories in Indonesia.
Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar is made from pure flower blossom nectar of the coconut tree. Considered one of the most sustainable sweeteners on the planet, coconut sugar is an unrefined, high nutrient and low glycemic sweetener that can be used in place of anything that normally requires cane sugar. With a 1 to 1 replacement ratio, coconut sugar is an easier substitute compared to other popular alternatives like stevia or agave, which often have a different taste and substitution ratio. Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar is the only coconut sugar to obtain a low glycemic verification, consistently maintaining a glycemic index of under 40, which also verifies that it is not adulterated with cane sugar.
For more information visit www.bigtreefarms.com
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.”
Retail penetration of Torie & Howard’s organic, non GMO and kosher certified hard candy continues to expand nationally with placements in large specialty and other retail chains.
All four flavors of Torie & Howard’s candy in 2-ounce recyclable steel tins now have been placed in Tony’s Finer Food and Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market in Illinois, Acme Fresh Markets in Ohio, and Coborn’s in Minnesota through KeHE Distributors of Romeoville, Ill., said Torie Burke, company co-founder. The tins also are in nine Roth’s Fresh Markets in Oregon through Crown Pacific Fine Foods of Kent, Wash.
In addition, the organic hard candy now is available in 200 Follett College Bookstores nationally, also through KeHE, and in Von Maur department stores in the Midwest as a direct sale, Burke said.
Torie & Howard organic hard candy flavors are California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine, Italian Tarocco Blood Orange & Wildflower Honey, D’Anjou Pear & Ceylon Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey, which was named a sofi™ Award Finalist. The company also recently introduced a new flavor, Meyer Lemon & Raspberry, which will be available for shipment in early fall. All of the candy is USDA organic and kosher certified and contains no GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, casein, soy or gluten, Burke said.
The tins have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 and are available eight per case with 12 cases to a master case. The four original flavors also are sold in bulk and are available in a handbag gift package with a suggested retail price of $7.99 to $8.99. More information is available by calling 1-888-826-9554 or online at www.TorieAndHoward.com.
Upfront Foods® non-GMO, vegan and kosher certified granolas now will display the Made In USA Certified® seal.
All three granola flavors have achieved the certification designating that from 94 percent to 97 percent of their ingredients are verified as being sourced from U.S. producers, said Gigi Twist, company founder. The granola itself is produced in Boca Raton for the specialty food, grocery and foodservice industries.
“Our company’s name is Upfront Foods, and we want to be upfront with consumers about all aspects of our product, including from where our ingredients are sourced,” Twist said. “The certification was a rigorous process with third-party supply chain verification, including affidavits from all of our suppliers attesting to the country of origin of each ingredient.
Upfront Foods granolas have no artificial ingredients or preservatives. They also have Non-GMO Project verification, are certified vegan by the Vegan Awareness Foundation, and are OK kosher certified. All three granolas are designated 100 percent whole grain by the Whole Grains Council, and Straight Up Granola and Straight Up Granola with Cranberries meet USDA Smart Snack Standards for elementary, middle and high schools.
Upfront Foods’ three flavors include Straight Up Granola™ with organic whole grain oats and crunchy flaxseed (94 percent Made in USA-certified), Straight Up Granola with Cranberries, which adds sweet-tart cranberries to the mix (95 percent Made in USA certified), and Upfront Nutty™ Granola with almonds and pecans (97 percent Made in USA certified).
Upfront Foods granolas are available in 1.4-ounce pouches with a suggested retail price of $1.49. Additional information is available at http://UpfrontFoods.com or by calling 1-561-886-0209.
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.
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.
Absolutely Gluten Free Foods is introducing a flourless, cauliflower crust gluten-free pizza, which will be hitting supermarket shelves in August.
Absolutely Gluten Free pizzas are available in two varieties: Mozzarella and Non Dairy Mozzarella Style topping. Individual pizzas are just 57 calories each and contain only 1.7 grams of fat or 2.0 grams of fat.
According to Mordy Dicker of Absolutely Gluten Free, “The cauliflower pizzas not only address the fast-growing gluten free-market, but the low-calorie, low-fat and lactose-free market as well. This will be the first nationally available cauliflower crusted gluten-free pizza. Being able to fulfill the needs of these rapidly growing markets with America’s favorite food is a win-win for the retailer and the consumer. Absolutely Gluten Free cauliflower pizzas, which were first introduced to the trade at Expo West earlier this year, received an overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response.”
“Absolutely Gluten Free Pizza provides the health benefits of cruciferous rich cauliflower and antioxidants which help to protect the body,” states nutritional expert Ellen Piernick. “In addition, Absolutely Gluten Free Pizza offers healthy levels of fiber and protein making it a great choice for an after school snack for children.”
Absolutely Gluten Free pizzas are packaged and shipped frozen, three pizzas to a box, and will retail for approximately $4.99. They are certified gluten free, non-GMO and certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU). United Natural Foods International (UNFI), a leading national, natural food distributor will be the first to begin shipping the product in August 2014, in time for back-to- school.
Absolutely Gluten Free is headquartered in Bayonne, New Jersey, and currently has a line of flatbreads and crackers available in stores nationwide. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @AbsolutelyGF and online at www.absolutelygf.com.
Ricky’s Lucky Nuts is all about creating a unique snacking experience and they don’t do just any nut. They do peanuts because they think they do peanuts better than anybody.
Most people think that gourmet nuts don’t include peanuts. They think of cashews and almonds as gourmet, but peanuts are the most popular nut in America.
Ricky’s has a nut like no other because their process is truly unique. They take the world’s best flavors: chipotle, coffee, curry, chai and coarse black pepper, the sweet, salty and spicy tastes that people love, and dry roast them in their own secret way. The flavors bind directly onto the nut. Instead of candied or dusty, the roasted-on process creates an amazing little, flavor packed Lucky Nugget. The taste sensation is a bang, not a whimper.
These roasted nuts are all natural and healthy with no artificial ingredients of any kind and create a memorable taste experience from honest, unadulterated ingredients. Plus, the sweet and salty nuts are GMO free. Ricky’s Lucky Nuts work with local and regional businesses to source many of their goods and services. That supports local economics and reduces their carbon foot print through reduced transportation cost. Ricky’s nuts are grown in Texas and all the packaging is made in the USA and is recyclable.
Ricky’s Lucky Nuts flavors include Black Pepper and Sea Salt that has a little bit of heat with a satisfying taste. Real Coffee will perk up your senses and is made with real coffee. Thai Red Curry is all natural red curry that features a bold and exotic flavor. It is the perfect afternoon and late night snack. Sweet Chai has a hint of cane sugar with a whole lot of flavor. Other favorites include Sweet and Smoky BBQ, a sweet smoky nut with a tangy taste of BBQ. Spicy Chile Chipotle has a touch of chipotle seasoning and a bold flavor of delicious heat.
Ricky’s Lucky Nuts make the ideal individual or corporate gift box. They are available at grocery and convenience stores, gift and gift basket companies, food catalogs, gourmet and specialty retailers or online at www.rickysluckynuts.com.