In 1989, Gerhard Latka and his wife Gabriele co-founded Crofter’s Organic in Parry Sound, Ontario, with the dream of creating organic fruit spreads that were nutritious and affordable – an ambitious goal since the organic food industry had not yet gained popularity in North America. Perseverance and belief in the value of Crofter’s low-sugar, organic fruit spreads sustained Crofter’s through the early years. Over the past 25 years, Crofter’s Organic has blended, jarred and sold antioxidant-rich fruit spreads to jam lovers across North America, fulfilling the original mission to bring the highest quality organic products, “from source to spread,” to consumers. Today, Crofter’s Organic remains family owned and is the largest organic jam manufacturer in North America and the leading brand in the natural channel in the United States.
“From the beginning, we were dedicated to making the best tasting, nutritious, organic fruit spreads, focusing on robust, fresh fruit flavor and an elegantly spreadable consistency but with less sugar than traditional preserves,” said Gerhard Latka, Co-Founder and President of Crofter’s Organic. “We wanted to create products that brought consumers what we like to call ‘accessible organic’; high-quality, low-sugar, non-GMO spreads at an affordable price.”
The demand for lower sugar, more nutrient-dense foods that still taste great is a pervading theme in food formulation these days, as consumers, healthcare providers and nutritionists have become increasingly aware of the negative impact of high-sugar, and nutritionally void foods made with artificial ingredients. As a result, Crofter’s minimally processed, low-sugar products provide shoppers a high-quality organic alternative to traditional jams and preserves, at only 30 calories a serving.
Crofter’s offers shoppers more than 20 certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified spreads, including the fair trade cane sugar sweetened Premium Spreads, the high antioxidant Superfruit TM spreads and the no added cane sugar Just FruitTM Spreads. Over the past 25 years, the company has established long-term relationships with suppliers and growers around the world, which means that Crofter’s Organic high-quality ingredients come from the best sources on earth.
Through continued commitment to innovation, Crofter’s aims to remain the benchmark for quality standards, resources, process and products in the fruit spread industry with the goal of making a positive impact on the health and well-being of generations to come.
“We want to be the best low calorie fruit spread,” adds Latka. “The best ingredients, crafted with the utmost attention to quality in our own manufacturing facility, results in a delicious fruit spread that is also healthy – not loaded with sugar or any unnecessary ingredients.”
Four new energizing organic Superfood+ Seeds and Nuts mixes from Navitas Naturals elevate healthy snacking to a whole new level. Maca Maple Cashews, Chia Rosemary Pepitas, Goji Basil Cashews and Goldenberry Ginger Almonds are ‘Handfuls of Goodness’ that combine best-selling Navitas superfoods with healthy, raw, organic seeds and nuts. These delicious gluten-free, GMO-free snack mixes are fortified with organic maca, goji, chia and goldenberry powders.
Superfood+ Seeds and Nuts mixes build off the success of the award-winning line of Navitas Power Snacks that was introduced in 2011. “Our new snacks make it easy for people to integrate organic superfoods into their diet,” says CEO and Founder Zach Adelman. “We aim to provide people with nutrition convenience in the form of tasty superfood snacks that help active people ensure they’re getting optimal nutrition.”
Each of the four Superfood+ Seeds and Nuts mixes is offered in a 4-ounce resealable pouch. The organic snacks provide a balanced supply of antioxidants, fiber, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Navitas Naturals makes Food For the Modern Life™, and the company’s products are widely available at thousands of stores throughout North America and online.
These sweet maple superfood cashews are a delicious blend of raw cashews, the butterscotch-like flavor of maca and sweet maple syrup. Maca is a root from the Andes Mountains of Peru that is a complex, nutrient-dense whole food source of vitamins, amino acids, plant sterols, essential minerals and essential fatty acids. Maca has been traditionally used as a stress-fighting adaptogen and to increase stamina, boost libido and combat fatigue. Raw cashews contain many beneficial fats, and they’re also a good source of plant-based protein (5 grams per ounce) and minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and manganese. Maple syrup is a delicious natural sweetener that provides trace minerals and vitamins. The suggested retail price is $6.99.
These savory Italian superfood pepitas feature a combination of nutritious chia seeds and crunchy pepitas (the culinary term for pumpkin seeds) with classic Italian seasonings: garlic and rosemary. Chia seeds are a plentiful source of omega fatty acids and protein and they also contain a good supply of antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Pepitas provide an abundance of amino acids, unsaturated fats including omega-3, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous. They’re also a good source of beta-carotene, and vitamins B, C, D, E and K. Garlic contains healthy compounds such as sulfur-containing allicin, oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium and flavonoids. Rosemary is a powerful herb known to be a rich source of antioxidants. The suggested retail price is $5.99.
These zesty roma superfood cashews combine the superfood nutrition benefits of goji berries and raw cashews with delicious spices reminiscent of classic Italian tomato basil. Goji berries are one of the most abundant sources of antioxidants, and they’re also a good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin C. Gojis provide diverse nutrition – with 20 vitamins and minerals including zinc, iron, phosphorus and riboflavin (B2) and beta-carotene. Raw cashews contain many beneficial fats, and they’re also a good source of plant-based protein (5 grams per ounce) and minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and manganese. The mix is lightly sweetened with coconut palm sugar – a low glycemic sweetener that contains minerals. The suggested retail price is $6.99.
These sweet and tangy almonds are a delicious snack that pairs raw organic almonds with nutrient-dense goldenberries to create a handful of goodness that will keep you craving more. The tangy goldenberries are blended with invigorating ginger and a touch of maple syrup to add a tart and sweet flavor to the mix. Goldenberries contain carotene and bioflavonoids (vitamin P), and they’re an excellent source of vitamin A. For a fruit, they possess a high content of protein, and they are also a good source of dietary fiber. Raw almonds are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The nuts are naturally low in sugar, and are also a good source of protein and fiber. This mix also gets a boost from chia seeds, which provide healthy fats, protein, minerals and antioxidants. The suggested retail price is $7.99.
Tate & Lyle Fair Trade-certified Organic Pure Cane Sugar, Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar and Natural Pure Cane Sugar are being introduced to U.S. consumers by Domino Foods. Tate & Lyle Sugars has grown to become one of Britain’s leading cane sugar brands and will be available to Americans nationwide.
“Domino Foods is proud to leverage an esteemed global asset from the U.K. and bring excitement to the U.S. sweetener category,” said Brian O’Malley, President and CEO of Domino Foods, Inc. “Tate & Lyle Sugars, an established leader in fair trade and a source of high-quality sweetening since 1878, has an iconic brand heritage that we are confident will also delight U.S. consumers.”
All three varieties of the Tate & Lyle sugars are Fair Trade-certified and verified non-GMO. Tate & Lyle Sugars is one of the largest single payers of Fair Trade premium to Fair Trade-certified farmers in the world. Tate & Lyle Organic Pure Cane Sugar and Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar are also certified organic by the international organic certification services of Quality Assurance International.
Among Friends, makers of delicious, all-natural, easy-to-make baking mixes is premiering three new hand-crafted baking mixes this year. In a world filled with snacks and treats lacking redeeming nutritional value or great taste, Among Friend’s gourmet quality, whole grain, non-GMO baking mixes are a welcome, healthy and tasty addition to the $21 billion baking mix and prepared food production industry.
Among Friends’ new hand-crafted baking mixes include:
Francie’s Brownie Mix: Created for co-founder Suzie’s daughter, these whole grain brownies are described as a sweet deep brunette, fudgy and friendly treat, appealing to all brownie-lovers.
Gerry’s Jam Bar Mix: Co-founder Lizann’s husband grew up with classic homemade desserts, one of his favorites being jam bars. These vintage treats, marry hearty whole grains with sweet jam for a healthy, yet delicious dessert.
‘Liv It Up Devilishly Chocolate Cake: When Suzie’s picky daughter, who believes ketchup counts as a vegetable, insisted her name only be on the most perfect chocolate cake, it resulted in a flavorful, soft, creamy, gluten-free and devilishly chocolate treat.
These new mixes join Among Friends’ line of easy-to-prepare baking mixes: Suzie Q’s, Evan’s Heavenly, Trish The Dish, CJ’s, Phil ‘em Up, and Shane’s Sweet-n-Spicy.
“Our goal is simple: we want to help people fill their kitchens with fresh-from-the-oven baked goods made from the best ingredients,” says Suzie Miller, co-founder of Among Friends.
About Among Friends®
Among Friends was created by two friends and mothers, Suzie Miller and Lizann Anderson, who founded the company in 2006. Among Friends currently creates five cookie baking mixes and one fruit crisp mix, four of which are gluten-free and all of which are made with non-GMO ingredients. Suggested retail price for each product is $5.99 per 13-ounce to 16-ounce bag. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Among Friends produces its mixes in their new 10,000-square-foot facility with its own gluten-free certified production section. Among Friends products are available for purchase at Safeway, Albertsons, Meijer, select Whole Foods stores, Lunds/Byerly’s, Kings Markets, Plum Markets, New Seasons, New Frontiers and a number of other specialty food retailers, natural grocery stores, and supermarkets around the country. Among Friends is now distributed nationwide through KeHE, Nature’s Best and United Natural Foods, Inc. For online ordering and information about Among Friends visit www.amongfriendsbakingmixes.com.
Wonderfully Raw’s latest product introductions are a line of great-tasting good-for-you snack chips called Brussel Bytes and Snip Chips. These are super healthy snacks that are certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan.
Brussel Bytes (MSRP $5.99), made from organic Brussels sprouts and pumpkin seeds, are just as nutritious as they are delicious! These tasty green machines are available in two fabulous flavors: Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch. These are a great alternative to kale chips
The second new offering, Snip Chips (MSRP $5.99), is a guiltless non-GMO way to indulge in potato chip cravings in tasty varieties like Cheesy Herb Truffle, Chipotle Lime Cilantro, and Dill Pickle. Snip Chip’s powerful combination of organic parsnips and coconut oil make them an excellent source of vitamins C, E, and K, fiber, Omega-3, and potassium.
Wonderfully Raw products are available at select Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts Farmers Markets and grocery and health foods stores throughout the country and can also be purchased online at www.mycocoroons.com.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. has introduced Garden of Eatin’®Butternut Squash Corn Tortilla Chips to the Garden of Eatin’® brand of tortilla chips made with organic yellow corn. These crunchy, gluten-free snacks feature a unique blend of butternut squash and organic yellow corn lightly seasoned with sage and a hint of roasted onion and are one of the first butternut squash flavored corn tortilla chips on the market.
“Our introduction of Garden of Eatin’ Butternut Squash Corn Tortilla Chips represents another step in our goal of providing great -tasting tortilla chips made with organic corn to the market,” said Jared Simon, Director of Marketing for Snacks at Hain Celestial. “We’re excited to introduce this distinctive new flavor that balances sweet with savory and gives our consumers a fun, interesting alternative in the corn tortilla chip aisle.”
Garden of Eatin’ Butternut Squash Corn Tortilla Chips join the growing line of Garden of Eatin’ brand corn tortilla chips, which also includes Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Garden of Eatin’ Sweet Potato Corn Tortilla Chips, Garden of Eatin’ Black Bean Corn Tortilla Chips and more than a dozen other varieties, all made with non-GMO ingredients and all Non-GMO Project verified.
Free From Food Expo 2014 is Europe’s focused trade show for, and initiated by, the ‘free from’ industry. It’s a key trading platform where top-level decision makers come to source new products, meet new and existing suppliers and keep up-to-date with trends and innovations in the fast growing ‘free from food and beverage’ industry. The show is scheduled to take place June 3 and 4 in Brussels, Belgium.
This two day exhibition and conference will see more than 2,000 buyers and specifiers from small and large retail and food service sectors as well as bio, health, convenience stores and catering companies and nearly 150 exhibitors from across Europe including ‘free from’ food (and ‘free from’ ingredients) manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and traders. Visitors will have an opportunity to attend 25 seminars covering a wide range of topics such as Product Development from Consumer Perspective, Gluten Free Market in Five Years’ Time, Labels and Certifications, Free From Food Market From the Retail Perspective and Importing and Exporting Trends.
Free From Food 2014 is supported by the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS), an independent, non-profit organisation aiming to raise awareness of celiac disease and to promote research into the diagnosis and management of this illness.
This year, to recognize the growing importance of ‘free from’ food and ingredients, the organizers are also launching the Free From Food Ingredients 2014 Expo. Ronald Holman, Exhibition and Sales Director says: “Free from food solutions are becoming more and more important for the R&D departments and food technologists working with food manufacturers. Retailers and consumers simply demand higher standards, better taste, quality and healthier alternatives. Free From Food Ingredients 2014 will provide the most dedicated platform with exhibitors like Döhler GmbH, Solanic (AVEBE), Meurens Natural, Ernst Böcker, Erbacher etc.”
Hamish Renton, one of the founding partners of the show says: “The first exhibition of Free From Food was a great success for exhibitors and visitors alike. The trade show attracted a high quality buying and decision making audience from Europe’s best retail and food service companies. This year we have a variety of high calibre speakers at the Conference, as well as world famous brands exhibiting and supporting our event. We are expecting hundreds of delegates from across Europe… a sure recognition of the importance of this fast growing sector of the food retailing sector. ”
Free from food categories cover all food and beverage products which are gluten free, lactose free, dairy free, yeast free, wheat free, egg free, GM free, sugar and fat free and vegan.
This year’s exhibitors include: ABS Food, Allergenen Consultancy, Allergy Service Suisse, Bauckhof, Dohler, Dove’s Farm, Dutch Spices, Ernst Bocker, Farmo, Fria, Genius Gluten Free, Hi-Food Ingredients, Nestle, Nielsen, Orgran, Semper, Warburtons.
Greenview Kitchen, a brand of organic sauces manufactured by Giovanni Food Co. Inc., has received the Non-GMO Project
Verification seal for its organic pizza sauce and organic bruschetta. The verification was awarded by the Non-GMO Project. Greenview Kitchen is one of the first brands of organic pizza sauce and organic bruschetta topping to receive this verification. “We plan to continue the verification process for all future organic products under the Greenview Kitchen brand,” said Louis DeMent, CEO of Giovanni Food Co. Inc.
In addition to receiving the verification seal for these two products, Greenview Kitchen has three organic pasta sauces that are currently in the Non-GMO Project verification process. It is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to being a leader in the organic sauce category. “We are confident that this verification will help to get our brand into more health-food store chains that are committed to non-GMO products,” De Ment said.
The Greenview Kitchen organic products are all kosher, gluten-free and all natural, and will soon have the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on the product labels. In addition, the products are enrolled in the Quality Assurance Institute’s Gluten-Free certification program to further verify the integrity of the products and give consumers the verification they need as many consumers are faced with dietary restrictions that prohibit gluten.
In addition to seeking certification for its own products, Giovanni Food Co. Inc. is helping some of its current and prospective co-packing and private-label customers take the next step in becoming Non-GMO Project verified. For more information about Giovanni Food Co.’s private-label or contract manufacturing services, visit www.giovannifoods.com.
With the ever-growing demand from consumers for delicious, gluten-free, snack and convenience foods, retailers are continually looking for new options. Bobo’s Oat Bars has become a favorite go-to because of its great taste, variety, portability and “home-made” quality. The company is expanding its line of gluten-free bars to include Peanut Butter and Jelly and Apple Pie, bringing the number of gluten-free flavors to six, and total number of flavors to 16.
“Moms and kids are a big target market for us, so adding PB&J was a natural line extension to meet that growing demand,” says Beryl Stafford, Founder and President of Boulder, Colorado-based Bobo’s Oat Bars. “The Apple Pie also seemed like a good addition, since it’s one of the most popular flavor profiles for baked goods in the U.S. Bobo’s are perfect because they taste like the ‘real thing’ but are less sweet, plus high fiber and nutrient dense.”
Bobo’s features a line of snack bars in 14 delicious flavors, including six gluten-free with the two new additions, all made with organic and natural Non-GMO ingredients. The bars are ideal for a light breakfast, ie “a bowl of oatmeal to go,” a pre-workout snack, in a lunch box or yoga bag, or a mid afternoon treat. Bobo’s has enjoyed an impressive annual growth rate of over 50 percent over the past three years, evolving from a home-based operation to national natural foods and specialty store distribution in ten years. Its sights are set on making a big push in 2014 to expand distribution to mainstream grocery stores, outdoor retailer, and more specialty and coffee shops, as well as foodservice outlets. Bobo’s moves to a new 12,000 square foot facility in 2014, more than tripling the existing space. With the new manufacturing space, the company can enhance automation, production capabilities, and add new staff, further increasing potential for growth.
Bobo’s Oat Bars are available at select natural foods and specialty stores nationwide. The company just became Non-GMO Certified as well as Kosher Certified. Bars retail for approximately $2.69 per 3-ounce package.
Suja Juice Co. was named third among Forbes Magazine’s 2014 list of America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies. Suja was also the only consumer packaged goods company within the top 25. The privately held and less than two-year-old certified organic and non-GMO verified cold-pressured juice brand was recognized by Forbes for its substantial growth and success. Forbes announced the top 25 ranked America’s Most Promising Companies list, which includes high-growth, privately held companies with under $250 million in annual revenue. The complete list of 100 companies will be released in the February 10, 2014 issue of the magazine.
Leading the announcement of the Top 25 ranked America’s Most Promising Companies of 2014 on Forbes.com, reporter J.J. Colao explains the reasoning for Suja Juice Co.’s high ranking, “Today Suja, No. 3 on our Most Promising list, is one of the fastest growing consumer product companies in the country, poised to do $50 million in sales in just its second full year of business.”
The secret to Suja’s skyrocketing success in such a short time can be accredited to a diverse team of co-founders who each brought something special to the business when they created the company in May 2012, in addition to the exceptional quality of the juices and smoothies that deliver conscious nutrition and amazing flavor in each sip. What started as a small home-delivery juice service based out of co-founder Eric Ethan and Annie Lawless’s home kitchens, has now grown into a multimillion-dollar national company with the help of co-founders Jeff Church and James Brennan.
Suja Juice Co. now offers three unique lines, including Suja Classic, which is sold at Whole Foods Markets and select natural food stores nationwide, Suja Elements, a smoothie-based line exclusive to Whole Foods Market, and Suja Essentials, which will soon be available in larger grocery store chains such as Safeway and Kroger.
“It is a great honor to be included on the Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies of 2014, let alone among the top three companies in the nation,” says Suja co-founder and CEO Jeff Church. “I speak for all of the founders when I say we are humbled by this recognition, and it motivates us to continue our commitment to changing the way America juices.”