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.
It’s party time at the Organic Trade Association. For 10. Straight. Days. And everyone’s invited.
September is “Organic Month,” and OTA and its member companies are teaming up with other leading organic influencers to throw “Organic-Palooza,” a first-ever 10-day social media festival that gets going on September 8 to celebrate the benefits of organic, clear up confusion about what organic really stands for, and share how and why consumers should incorporate more organic – whether it’s organic food or organic fiber – into their lives.
From affordability issues – how your family can create an at-home organic menu without breaking the budget – to the trustworthiness of organic – an explanation of the strict regulations and standards that go into growing and making every single organic product – the blitz, delivered by OTA and some 50 strategic partners, will delve into the biggest issues surrounding organic, bust a few myths, and provide an unprecedented and free-wheeling exchange of ideas and views and knowledge between top organic experts and just normal folks.
“We are very excited to be engaging our members and the public in such a creative and accessible way to answer questions about organic,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO of OTA. “Each day we’ll be focusing on one key organic topic in order to spark conversation and share as much knowledge as we can between organic news watchers and newsmakers, and ultimately to help consumers make the best choices for their families.”
Using the #OrganicFestival hashtag on its social media channels (Facebook facebook.com/OrganicTrade, Twitter twitter.com/organictrade, Pinterest pinterest.com/organictrade), daily themes include nutrition, the latest trends in organic, organic standards and the meaning of the organic seal, affordability, organic’s role in mitigating global warming, a look at the latest research on organic, and more. Through recipes, meal-planning tips, and updates on organic fiber, consumers will be shown how to make organic a regular part of their lives.
Special sessions will feature organic thought leaders including top food and nutrition writers and bloggers, organic policy and agricultural experts, and OTA members sharing their perspectives on policy, regulatory, and real-life concerns being faced by the organic community. The public will be introduced to the organic visionaries who have helped make the organic industry the robust part of the American food and fiber sector that it is today.
A five-day Twitter party will be wrapped into the festival, with each party zeroing in on a specific organic focus and co-hosted by an expert in the subject. One of the parties will be a “myth-busting” session to debunk common myths and misinformation about organic, co-hosted by “Coach” Mark Smallwood, head of the Rodale Institute and an internationally recognized organic expert, and Dr. Jessica Shade, Lead Scientist for The Organic Center. Another will be on GMOs in our food supply with host Matt Dillon, an advocate and recognized expert in organic seed systems and agricultural policy and programs manager at Clif Bar. Dr. Alan Greene, a kids’ health expert devoted to giving answers to parents’ real questions will co-host a session on what organic means for kids. Finally, eco-fashion pioneer Marci Zaroff will co-host a party on organic textiles, clarifying the importance of driving sustainability by choosing organic—beyond food.
Each Twitter party will be sponsored by OTA members who are offering dozens of prizes to festival participants ranging from organic snacks and sauces to a basket of organic linen. Randomly selected Facebook fans sharing news about the festival with their friends will be awarded daily prizes donated by OTA member companies, as will selected Pinterest followers who repin the campaign image.
Organic Cracked Freekeh is now available from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. It’s the latest ancient grain to join Bob’s Red Mill’s growing Grains of Discovery line. Freekeh is a whole grain food made in an old-world way, following a traditional process popular in the Middle East and Northeastern Africa.
“Since we introduced our Grains of Discovery line last summer, the response has been tremendous, and customers have been clamoring for more,”said Bob Moore, Founder, President and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “In deciding how to expand the line, we searched far and wide to find just the perfect grain, and we found that with Freekeh—something totally unique and virtually unknown in the West.”
According to legend, freekeh was created when a farmer’s crop of young green wheat was set on fire by a rival neighbor. Instead of letting the burned wheat go to waste, the farmer’s family harvested the roasted wheat and removed the chaff, and to their surprise it had a pleasantly nutty, lightly roasted flavor.
Cracked freekeh is made by lightly roasting whole wheat kernels, then cracking them to create a whole grain food with a texture similar to bulgur, with a mild, nutty flavor. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cracked Freekeh, which retails for $6.99 for a 16-ounce package, cooks in just 25 minutes and adds wonderful texture and flavor to a variety of salads, pilafs and soups. It also can be enjoyed as a hot breakfast porridge. Freekeh is an excellent source of fiber, high in iron and other essential minerals, and provides 7 grams of protein per serving.
“We are really excited to add this ancient grain to our popular Grains of Discovery line and to share its history with our customers,” said Matthew Cox, Vice President of Marketing at Bob’s Red Mill. “Legends aside, the flavor of this grain is so unique and delicious, our hope is that it will become a staple grain on every dinner table. That’s at the heart of what our Grains of Discovery are all about.”
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cracked Freekeh is available now to retailers in cases of four, and also online at www.bobsredmill.com. To inquire about carrying the products, please contact the Bob’s Red Mill sales team at 800-553-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the entire Bob’s Red Mill product line, please visit www.bobsredmill.com.
Rodale Inc. is rebranding perennial title Organic Gardening, its first title, as Rodale’s Organic Life. The new brand, which includes magazine, digital, live event, and e-tailing components, will tap consumers’ growing interest in healthy living by offering a fresh spin on food, garden, home, and well-being content across all platforms.
James Oseland has been named Editor-in-Chief of Rodale’s Organic Life, effective September 9. In this role, Oseland will oversee editorial direction across all brand platforms, including the magazine’s editorial, digital, and mobile presence. This appointment marks Oseland’s return to Rodale, where he previously served as an editor of the former Rodale title Organic Style. He will report to Rodale President Scott Schulman.
“We’re thrilled to welcome James back to Rodale as we continue to grow and diversify—he brings a strong passion for our mission and unmatched expertise in this space,” says Schulman. “With this launch, Rodale is uniquely able to serve consumers and advertisers in one of the most important and fastest growing market segments.”
Says James Oseland, “Rodale’s Organic Life will be a print and digital brand like no other: It will be a community, a clearinghouse of beautiful, authoritative information that will weave together food, shelter, gardening, wellness, and good living—an intersection of topics that lie right at the heart of Rodale and what so many of us care about.”
Oseland most recently served as Editor-in-Chief of Saveur, where he led the magazine to more than 40 awards, including numerous James Beard journalism awards and three from the American Society of Magazine Editors. He is also a five-year veteran on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters.” His 2006 memoir, Cradle of Flavor, was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times and was recognized by the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He has previously served as an editor at Vogue, Sassy, the Village Voice, and Mademoiselle.
Rodale’s Organic Life magazine will debut this spring with its February/March 2015 issue.
Kingdom Organic Cheddar, one of the newest entries into the U.S. cheese market, captured three top honors this week at the prestigious International Cheese Awards competition held in Nantwich, England.
In competition featuring 4,443 cheeses from 26 countries, Kingdom Organic Cheddar won Gold Awards for Farmhouse/Traditional Mature Cheddar, Export Award, and Cheddar/Cheddar Style.
“The judges at the International Cheese Awards validated what we have known all along: Kingdom isn’t just the only organic European cheese in the U.S. Market, it is the top cheddar in the world,” said Nicola Turner, Export Director at the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) the organic dairy farmers’ co-op that manages the production of Kingdom Cheese.
Kingdom is a traditionally handcrafted cheddar, made exclusively with milk from a small number of organic family farms located in Devon, in the Southwest of England. The temperate climate and ample moisture in this region creates pastures of lush grasses which impart a unique flavor to the milk.
“Our cows are kept on a simple grass based system with little or no stress, giving us beautiful, natural milk,” said Geoff Thorne, one of the farmers who produces milk for Kingdom Cheddar. “Our cows are on pasture more than 10 months each year with green grass comprising more than 80 percent of their diets.”
The International Cheese Awards is considered one of the most rigorous competitions for cheese makers around the world. More than 200 judges spend two days selecting the world’s top cheeses.
Kingdom Organic Cheddar is available in many Whole Foods Markets, HyVee Markets, select Costco stores, and other natural and specialty retailers. A listing of retailers carrying Kingdom Organic Cheddar is available at: http://www.kingdomcheddar.com/contact-us/stockists/.
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
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.
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.”
By Lorrie Baumann
In a matter of hours, Riccardo Felicetti of the Pastificio Felicetti will know whether he’s eating his Monograno Felicetti pasta with butter and anchovies for a celebration dinner or because that’s his ultimate comfort food. “It’s very easy, very simple, but it’s exactly the pasta meal I eat when I come back from my travels,” he says. “This is exactly my comfort food.”
The pasta has been named a finalist for two sofi Awards: one for Best Organic Product and one for Best Pasta, Rice or Grain, and it’s the first time that Pasta Felicetti has ever been in the running for the Specialty Food Association’s ultimate recognition for outstanding food innovation. Felicetti wangled an invitation for dinner at a friend’s New York apartment with the understanding that his favorite Spaghettoni with Butter and Anchovies would be on the menu. “And if I don’t get the award, then I will need a heavy comfort food,” Felicetti says ruefully.
He believes that his product was considered by the award’s jurors because it’s a single-source organic pasta from the biggest organic pasta producer in Italy. The buyers from Pastificio Felicetti travel Italy and the world searching for the best organic grains and then combine that grain with pure spring water from springs in the Italian Alps around their pastificio production facility. The pasta’s taste and its elegant packaging probably also played a role, he acknowledges.
He hopes that American consumers will appreciate the premium pasta for its great taste and texture, regardless of the degree of al dente to which it’s cooked. Even in Italy, there’s no consensus about that proper degree of firmness for the cooked pasta, and so the Felicetti pasta is made to be good no matter the al dente preference of the cook who prepares it. “It cooks to your preference,” he says. “The most important thing is that you cook it the way you like it.”
Putting food into the body is an extremely intimate act, and Felicetti hopes that the consumers who ultimately purchase, prepare and eat his product will choose it because they understand and appreciate that the pasta was made in a modern production facility with 21st century sanitation practices using a safe process that enhances the grain’s natural flavors. “I trust that always more people will be interested in knowing what they are eating,” he says. “We will continue to offer high-quality product to interested American customers because we believe they will understand the difference between a high-quality pasta and another pasta.”
Visit Pastificio Felicetti in booth #2615 at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
Chef Steve Constantine is making and serving shrimp tacos at the Robert Rothschild Farms booth #236 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. He’s just sauteing the shrimps and then laying them down on a warm corn tortilla and topping them with a citrus slaw made with the new Citrus Chardonnay Sauce that’s part of the brand-new line-up of organic sauces that are debuting at this show.
The other sauces in the line include Whiskey Pepper Cream, which has a little bit of a vinegary tang with mustard and onion and would be great in a potato salad. The Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce in the line is much more teriyaki than sriracha, but it has a long peppery finish that’s just spicy enough to be fun. There’s also a Blueberry Balsamic, a Pineapple Habanero and a White Wine Creole Sauce. They’re all packaged in bottles that resemble old-timey milk bottles for a retro look that underscores the tradition behind them.
Also in the booth, Chef Sean Robertson is sampling appetizers made with Robert Rothschild Farms Buffalo Bleu Cheese Dip. He just incorporated the dip with some chopped rotisserie chicken, celery and onion and spooned the mixture out into phyllo tart shells from the grocer’s freezer case. He says the mixture is also nice as the filling for a little tea sandwich, and I suppose that if you can’t find the phyllo tart shells at your grocer, nobody’s going to quibble if you put it on a nice cracker.
And if you’re at the Fancy Food Show, make sure you stop by booth #236 and take a look at the cake with which Robert Rothschild Farms is celebrating its 30th anniversary. And do say hello to the chefs when you sample the goodies.