Pacific Foods, a company most known for its soups, broths and non-dairy beverages, is expanding into the snacking category this year with Organic Hummus and Salsa Con Queso. Both are packaged in the brand’s signature Tetra Recart BPA-free cartons, allowing the shelf-stable dips to be conveniently positioned near the chips and jarred salsas – a first for a nationally distributed hummus!
Pacific’s Organic Hummus comes in three distinct flavors including Classic, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper, and sets itself apart from the competition though the following characteristics:
Salsa Con Queso
Pacific’s gluten-free and vegetarian Salsa Con Queso leaves artificial flavors and preservatives at the door while still providing big cheese flavor by using real ingredients.
Pacific’s Hummus is now on shelves at select Whole Foods Markets and other natural grocers nationwide and its Salsa Con Queso is available now exclusively at Whole Foods Markets nationwide, with distribution expanding throughout the year ($3.39-$4.99 for 12.75 ounces).
Numi Organic Tea is launching a new product line: Turmeric Tea. Numi’s Turmeric Tea is the first full line of organic, fair trade, premium turmeric-focused blends on the market, and highlights its namesake ingredient’s earthy and robust flavor in a collection of four cleansing and refreshing herbal teasans.
An ancient root related to the ginger family, turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and is often found in curries, giving the food its brilliant, golden orange color. Turmeric has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and has surged in popularity over recent years as scientists have discovered its many health benefits.
Curcumin, the medicinal compound in turmeric, has been associated with numerous health effects. A powerful superfood, health experts such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Andrew Weil have written about turmeric’s positive effects on the mind and body.
The turmeric in Numi’s new blends is sourced from Madagascar, where Numi is the first brand to purchase Fair Trade certified ingredients from this specific farm group. Dedicated to improving the lives of people involved in every step of their business, Numi has contributed incremental funds to support the farm group’s Fair Trade certification process and has provided new tools such as knives, brushes, cleaning pans and bags for transporting raw materials from the farms to the processing factory. The first Fair Trade premiums are being invested in improved drinking water infrastructure there.
“Our love of tea, travel, and creativity has inspired us to blend unique ingredients and create new tea experiences,” says Ahmed Rahim, CEO, Co-founder, and chief alchemist for Numi Organic Tea. “Turmeric Tea is rich in this vital root and blended with 100 percent real ingredients for tasty aromatic flavors. This healthy tea tonic will revitalize, enrich and restore and can be enjoyed any time of day.”
Numi Turmeric Teas are certified organic, verified non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, kosher and halal certified, and made with 100 percent real ingredients (not “natural” flavorings, or perfumes) including turmeric as the primary ingredient. Like all of Numi Organic Tea’s products, the Turmeric Tea blends are expertly crafted to not only be healthy but also exceptionally delicious. Consumers can choose from four enticing blends that are excellent served hot or iced:
Three Roots: Blending earthy turmeric, spicy ginger, and sweet licorice, Three Roots transports your senses to an exotic Indian Bazaar.
Golden Tonic: This uplifting blend of turmeric, lemon verbena and dried lime mingle for an exhilarating dance. Golden hues of turmeric have an earthy sweetness as the zesty citrus notes soar and enliven the senses.
Fields of Gold: The mellow richness of turmeric, the sweet calming notes of chamomile, and the lively zest of lemon myrtle reside in Fields of Gold.
Amber Sun: With a radiating, smooth richness, this blend of turmeric, rooibos, vanilla beans and a hint of cinnamon offers mellow apple notes with a sweet peppery zest.
Numi Organic Tea Turmeric Teas will be available to ship in August, 2014 to retail for a suggested price of $7.99.
The top-selling, 100 percent organic, cold-pressed juice brand in the Pacific Northwest, Vital Juice, is launching Vital Kids cold-pressed juices. A line of 100 percent organic, GMO-free, locally-crafted fruit and vegetable juices for kids, Vital Kids is currently available at Whole Foods Market, Metropolitan Market and other natural markets in Seattle and Portland.
Vital Juice promotes nutrition for the entire family and the new Vital Kids juices were specially-made to appeal to both kids and their parents. Parents can be confident that they are choosing the most nutrient-rich, organic juice available for their kids – without added sugar, puree or fillers. According to taste tests, the taste profile appeals to kids of all ages. Even picky kids are happy to drink juices made out of vegetables like spinach and beets.
Vital Kids is available in 10-ounce bottles for a suggested retail price of $5.99. Each bottle has kid-friendly packaging, with fun illustrations of lively produce mascots. Packed with vital nutrients, essential enzymes and 100 percent organic fruit and vegetable juice, the Vital Kids line features four unique flavors, including:
“Today’s parents and kids are more conscious about nutrition than ever,” said Edward Balassanian, Founder and CEO of Vital Juice. “Vital Kids was created because we think kids will enjoy the taste as much as parents will appreciate the nutrition.”
While other well-known juice brands may include sugars, sugar-substitutes, purees, concentrates, fillers and preservatives, Vital Juice offers fresh juices the way nature intended. All Vital Juice drinks are nutrient-dense – no fillers such as celery juice or apple juice, and the company never uses extracts from agave or vanilla.
Vital Kids is also available via Amazon Fresh in Seattle and coming soon to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
There is little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, according to a large study from The University of Oxford and published in the British Journal of Cancer and featured in the June issue of Food Nutrition & Science. With the exception of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, there was no clear evidence that organically produced foods are less likely than conventionally produced foods to cause cancer.
“There are many reasons why people may choose organic food, including potential benefits for taste, health and the environment,” says Phil Lempert founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report. “This report raises other questions about cancer and overall health and nutrition habits that require ongoing research.”
Researchers looked at the relationship between the reported frequency of consumption of organic food and subsequent cancer incidence, both overall and for 17 individual cancer sites or types in a study of middle-aged women in the United Kingdom.
When researchers followed up with these woman nine years later, compared to the women who reported never eating organic food, there was actually a small increase (1.37 percent) in risk of breast cancer in women who reported always eating organics.
Also in this issue, food quality will suffer as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to rise, according to a recent report from UC Davis. The report looked at wheat grown under elevated CO2 concentrations, lowering protein concentrations in wheat grain, rice grain, potato tuber and barley. Researchers expect that protein available for human consumption may diminish by about 3 percent as atmospheric CO2 continues to climb in the next few decades.
A cookout doesn’t really need much to make it a great time – some primal instinct reacts to the aroma and flavor of charcoal grilling and suddenly everything tastes good. But to truly elevate the experience D’Artagnan, the nation’s leading purveyor of all-natural and organic poultry and game, free-range and antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, recommends trading up in quality with premium meats for the ultimate backyard fete.
Giovanni Food Co. Inc. has earned Gluten-Free Certification from NSF International, a global public health organization, for its Greenview Kitchen organic pasta sauce, pizza sauce and bruschetta. The NSF Gluten-Free label is a signal to consumers with gluten intolerance or celiac disease that the product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
This is essential as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published the final rule that sets a gluten limit of 20 parts per million (ppm) in foods labeled as “gluten-free,” “without gluten,” “free of gluten” or “no gluten.” The compliance date of this final rule is August 5, 2014. In 2011, NSF International developed a voluntary gluten-free standard and certification program, which verifies that certified products do not exceed this limit.
This certification helps Giovanni Food Co. meet the needs of consumers who need verification that the products they purchase are gluten-free. It is also significant to the company’s current private-label and contract manufacturing customers.
“It is important to our company that we provide consumers with products that have the attributes they are looking for,” said Louis DeMent, CEO of Giovanni Food Co. “Having this gluten-free certification, along with our recent non-GMO project verification, enables our brand, Greenview Kitchen, to stand out among the many others that are in the marketplace.”
To earn the certification, Giovanni Food Co. had to meet the requirements of the NSF Gluten-Free Certification Program by developing a gluten-free compliance plan for production and/or handling facilities and successfully pass both on-site facility audits and product testing. Supplier assurance, manufacturing practices and training methods were evaluated to verify the company’s ability to create products that meet the certification requirements. Random product samples were collected and tested at an NSF International laboratory to verify gluten levels are below the FDA limit.Facilities are audited and products are tested annually to confirm ongoing compliance to the program.
“NSF International developed this voluntary standard to provide consumers with a science-based gluten-free certification program they can trust,” said Jaclyn Bowen, General Manager, Agriculture and Specialty Food Programs at NSF International. “Earning NSF Gluten-Free Certification for its Greenview Kitchen organic pasta sauce, pizza sauce and bruschetta demonstrates Giovanni Food Co.’s dedication to meeting the needs of its customers as well as the gluten-free integrity of its products.”
Products meeting all certification requirements are authorized to bear the NSF Gluten-Free seal and are included on NSF International’s website to demonstrate the products are certified gluten-free.
Urban Organics, a large-scale indoor aquaponics farm located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery building in East St. Paul, Minn. is now open for business. Urban Organics will offer immediate access to fresh, delicious and healthy foods for the Twin Cities community. Its first crops — hyperlocal, organic fresh greens — are on shelves at select Lunds and Byerly’s stores.
Aquaponics is the combined culture of fish and hydroponic vegetable crops in a closed-loop, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). In aquaponics, fish provide the nutrients that plants need to grow, and the plants act as a filter to improve the water quality for the fish. Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. and its team of experts including engineers, horticulturists and biologists worked with Urban Organics to design, install and engineer the world-class system—one of the largest and most advanced aquaponics facilities in the nation.
“Our mission is to inspire a food system for the people, by the people,” says Fred Haberman, co-founder and CEO of Haberman and co-founder and partner in Urban Organics. “We are starting with a community-rooted, self-sustaining aquaponics facility in an area in need of economic revival — East St. Paul. But this is a test for a movement that can be scaled nationally and internationally. This level of aquaponics could change the world of farming as we know it.”
At Urban Organics, kale, Swiss chard, Italian parsley and cilantro are the first crops, and tilapia will follow in mid-summer. These fresh, organic local greens don’t depend on the weather or growing seasons and will be available year-round. The produce will be in stores within a day of when it is harvested — the freshest, most local produce available at grocery stores.
“The world’s population — and more specifically the middle class population — is growing, and with it, the demand for fish protein is quickly surpassing sustainable natural fish production. Aquaponics has the potential to help meet the demand, while reducing pressure on fish populations in the wild,” says Randall J. Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Pentair. “Our expertise in water systems and solutions allows us to re-imagine fish farming in a sustainable way that provides a real commercial option to help solve this growing food dilemma, and potentially support urban growth and renewal.”
“This remarkable transformation from stockhouse to aquaponics farm is a true testament to how these old brewery buildings can be revitalized,” says Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, Minn. “The innovation and passion of the Urban Organics team is inspiring, and I’m proud to welcome them to Saint Paul.”
Urban Organics is an indoor aquaponics facility providing hyperlocal, sustainable, year-round fish and greens to the Twin Cities. To learn more, visit urbanorganics.com and facebook/uo.saintpaul.
Sunshine Burger, the #1 selling brand of certified organic veggie burgers in America, has been honored with recognition in Prevention Magazine’s2014 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards for its Black Bean South West Burger.
The Black Bean South West Burger, which is made with sunflower kernels, brown rice, jalapeño, carrots, cilantro and black beans, is a good source of plant-based fiber and protein, as well as vitamin A, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Like all of the company’s products, the burgers are baked and made with verified non-GMO whole food ingredients – free of wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, corn, dairy, eggs or any added oils.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Cole Jones, General Manager of Sunshine Burger & Specialty Food Company. “Sunshine Burger is dedicated to providing food that is healthful and wholesome and that starts with using real, certified organic, non-GMO ingredients in all of our burgers.”
Sunshine Burgers are available in seven unique flavors – Garden Herb, Loco Chipotle, Barbeque, Falafel, Shiitake Mushroom and Hemp & Sage Breakfast. Last month, the Garden Herb burger was ranked the best-selling meat alternative item in the natural channel by SPINs, a market research company.
For lovers of Bobo’s Oat Bars who want a smaller snack but can’t seem to eat only half of a full bar, the company has just launched Bobo’s Bites. This innovative add-on is about half the size of the original Bobo’s Oat Bars with all the same nutrition and flavor as the full size bars.
Bobo’s Bites features three flavors – Original, PB&J and Apple Pie – in a box of five Bites. As with the regular line of 14 Bobo’s Oat Bars, Bobo’s Bites are made with organic, non-GMO certified ingredients, and are all gluten-free.
This new line extension responds to a growing consumer demand for smaller sized snack foods. According to The Hartman Group’s “Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors,” consumers want: interesting, less processed foods, in smaller-sized packages, that can be eaten on the go. In addition, the report states that snacks represent half of eating occasions, almost belying the word “snack,” with food eaten alone and within an hour of purchase representing a large segment.
“We heard our loyal consumers and responded – they asked for Bobo’s Oat Bars but in a smaller size with fewer calories, “ says Bobo’s Founder Beryl Stafford. “With portion control and snack foods sales soaring, the timing was ideal for us to introduce the Bobo’s Bites.”
Bobo’s Bites are available in select grocery and natural foods stores, retailing for $5.69 per box.
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.”