Steve Schirripa is teaming up with his Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli to meet their fans at The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, where Steve will be exhibiting his Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties line of organic pasta sauces. Schirripa and Imperioli, known by Sopranos fans as Bobby Baccalieri and Christopher Moltisanti, will be signing autographs and sharing sauce with their fans at The Hilton Level 2 – Hot Products Pavilion, Booth H201 on March 5 and 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be raffle prizes given out continuously throughout both days.
“Michael Imperioli is like a brother to me, so it’ll be great to have him in Anaheim. We’re looking forward to breaking bread with our fans and introducing them to Uncle Steve’s sauces,” Schirripa noted.
Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties was created by Steve Schirripa earlier this year. Each jar of Uncle Steve’s sauce is produced in the USA from small batches of fresh imported organic Italian plum tomatoes, vegetables and spices, “Our products are USDA-certified organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and contain no added sugar. With no GMOs, no pesticides, and nothing artificial, you can be confident you are feeding your family not only great-tasting products, but nourishing them as well.” said Schirripa. “My mother cooked her sauce for six hours and unlike the others, we are doing the same.”
Uncle Steve’s is available in three flavors: Marinara, Tomato Basil and Arrabiata. It is available at Whole Foods Market, Central Market, ShopRite, Stop ‘n Shop and many other grocery and health food stores across the USA. For more information on where to buy or to purchase by mail, go to www.unclestevesny.com.
By Dave Bernard
When you live abroad and cannot keep up with the demand from friends and family for the interesting food products you ferry home in suitcases each year, it might be time to start your own business. So it was with Colleen Sundlie, who had discovered date syrup while living in the United Arab Emirates with her professor husband and son. Now back in Springfield, Missouri and two and a half years into her business, Date Lady, Sundlie no longer has to seek out the obscure Middle Eastern market to locate a bottle of this nutritious and surprisingly versatile syrup.
After tasting many products and coming to appreciate Middle Eastern “date culture,” where hosts typically serve coffee and dates, and bowls of the fruit are a staple at gyms, hotels and car dealerships, Sundlie put her marketing and business background to work. In addition to the date syrup, Date Lady sells a caramel sauce and a chocolate spread, both sweetened only by dates, as well as packaged dates and a new date balsamic vinegar. The all-natural products are sold nationwide, including at many prominent retailers, such as Murray’s Cheese, Whole Foods and Mom’s Organic Markets, as well as in many smaller specialty food stores. Sundlie reports the company’s sales have roughly doubled in the last year.
According to Sundlie, consumer demand for Date Lady’s flagship date syrup has exploded in recent months. “We have a lot of people that are addicted to it,” she said. “We’ve had people asking us if they can order it by the gallon.” While the company is looking into larger packaging, it recently added convenience with squeeze bottles for its date syrup and caramel sauce. These products previously came in glass jars. “People were just using it more often and asking, ‘How can you make this easier for us?’” said Sundlie.
When it comes to the company’s packaged date offerings, Date Lady’s uniqueness extends to this product line as well. While most dates sold in the United States are Medjools or Deglet Noors, Date Lady sells organic California Barhi and Halawi dates. Sundlie likens these less common dried fruits to pieces of caramel. The company does use Medjool and Deglet Noor dates in its other products.
In addition to climbing retail sales of Date Lady’s date syrup, some manufacturers have begun substituting the 100 percent fruit syrup for other sweeteners, for example in chocolate and fruit and nut bars, smoothies, ice cream and even beer. Interestingly, none of these products are date-flavored. The syrup has the sweetness of maple syrup but carries a more complex flavor, with hints of caramel, toffee and molasses. The date flavor itself is often masked when the syrup is used to sweeten other foods. However, when used alone as a syrup, for example on pancakes, notes of date do come through.
To meet growing demand from consumers and manufacturers, Date Lady recently moved to a new Springfield headquarters and production facility, tripling its capacity. The company benefits from a relative lack of competition within the larger specialty food landscape. While other companies sell whole dates, Date Lady’s syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate spread and date balsamic go virtually unmatched. Even most Middle Eastern products do not compete directly with Date Lady products. Many include added sugar, and, according to Sundlie, some products touted as “all-natural” frequently fall short of the claim.
Always looking to branch out into the gourmet market with new products, Date Lady launched its new date sugar last month and plans to debut additional products later this year. For more information, visit www.ilovedatelady.com.
DREAM™ brand is proud to announce the launch of its new line of COCONUT DREAM™ Non-Dairy Yogurt, available in five sweet and fresh flavors of coconut-based yogurt: Plain, Vanilla, Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry. This non-dairy yogurt is made from real coconuts, is high in calcium, low in sodium and contains live and active cultures. COCONUT DREAM Non-Dairy Yogurt is also vegan, made with non-GMO ingredients, and free of gluten, lactose and soy.
“COCONUT DREAM Non-Dairy Yogurt is expected to be very popular among non-dairy consumers as well as dairy consumers that love the fresh and exotic taste of coconut. “The COCONUT DREAM Non-Dairy Yogurt line will create more flavorful taste options and variety for non-dairy consumers,” said Basel Nassar, Chief Operating Officer of the Hain Refrigerated Foods Division. “It has a delicious, creamy consistency with a tropical twist from the luscious flavor of coconut. It’s the perfect snack for fans with or without dietary restrictions.”
COCONUT DREAM is a brand of The Hain Celestial Group Inc., a leading natural and organic products company in North America and Europe providing consumers with A Healthy Way of Life™.
COCONUT DREAM Non-Dairy Yogurt will be available in grocers’ refrigerated sections nationwide.
For more information, visit http://www.hain-celestial.com.
The new West Coast Kale and Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix from Frontier Soups is a vegetarian and certified gluten-free soup that’s part of Frontier Soups’ Homemade-In-Minutes™ line. The soup has a hearty mix of white quinoa and flakes of kale and butternut squash that are freeze-dried to preserve nutrition. Home cooks add canned tomatoes, cubed butternut squash and chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for 25 minutes to make soup for the family. Everything else is in the soup mix, including onions and carrots and a savory seasoning that combines garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary and a peppercorn blend.
This soup mix answers consumer requests for more vegetarian options and for soups that offer an easy way to incorporate popular superfoods into their diet. West Coast Kale and Quinoa Vegetable Soup Mix is available in 4.5-ounce clear cellophane packages that display the colorful ingredients at a suggested retail price of $5.95 to $6.49. Frontier Soups’ 34 varieties are all natural with no added salt, preservatives or MSG.
Artisan Bistro’s new Beyond Breakfast line consists of artisan-crafted meals that blend the flavors of hearty breakfast favorites with organic, local and sustainable ingredients. With recipes touting cage-free egg whites, kale, black beans, asparagus and more, the new Beyond Breakfast entrées deliver satisfying meal options that can be enjoyed morning, noon or night. Artisan Bistro Beyond Breakfast entrées are gluten free and available in three vegetarian options and two varieties with all-natural turkey.
“Our brand fans count on Artisan Bistro for wholesome and delicious meal options, and many of them challenged us to create healthy breakfast meals that would allow them to get a protein-packed start to their busy days,” said Leo Griffin, Chief Executive Officer of Artisan Bistro Foods, Inc. “We started out by creating great breakfast meals, and found ourselves eating them for light lunches, dinner and snacks, hence the name ‘Beyond Breakfast.’ Like all of our frozen entrées, these new dishes remain true to our commitment to superior, sustainable, non-GMO and organic ingredients.”
All Artisan Bistro Beyond Breakfast meals are made with cage-free egg whites, are gluten free, contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients, and contain between 160 and 200 calories and between 9 and 15 grams of protein per serving. The entrées are available now at Whole Foods Markets, and will launch in natural food stores and grocers nationwide in January 2015, with a suggested retail price of $3.99. Varieties include:
Artisan Bistro’s entire cast of nutritionally-rich frozen meals includes delicious, non-GMO ingredients, like sustainably-caught salmon, free-range chicken, grass-feed beef, premium vegetables and a variety of whole grains and legumes, including quinoa, lentils and garbanzo beans. All dishes contain 70 percent or more organic ingredients and are gluten free to deliver wholesome, fresh and unique options for anyone seeking great-tasting alternatives to cooking or eating out. Artisan Bistro meals are available in natural food stores and grocers nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Publix, Wegmans and Sprouts. For more information, visit www.theartisanbistro.com.
Mamma Chia has now introduced the Chia Vitality Bar.
The new, organic bars lovingly combine nutrient-rich chia seeds with deep, rich dark chocolate, crunchy nuts, ripened fruit and sweet organic honey making this bar a truly delicious, anytime snack. The Chia Vitality bar is perfect for runners, bikers, yogis, and other athletes as well as anyone else seeking a nutritious boost to their day. Each bar delivers 1,000 mg of Omega-3s, as well as protein, fiber and more to provide vitality and energy to fuel your soul’s purpose.
With a suggested retail price of $1.79, the Chia Vitality Bars are available in four mouth-watering flavors: Coconut Almond & Dark Chocolate with Chia; Peanut & Dark Chocolate with Chia; Cherry & Dark Chocolate with Chia; and Blueberry & Dark Chocolate with Chia. The new bars, along with all Mamma Chia products, are non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, kosher and USDA-certified organic.
Chia seeds are the richest plant-based source Omega-3s on the planet. An excellent source of dietary fiber, complete protein and antioxidants, both the Maya and Aztecs held this ancient seed in high esteem for increasing vitality and strength.
“Our new, organic Chia Vitality Bars are a delicious way to enjoy all of the nutritional benefits of chia in the convenience of a bar,” said Janie Hoffman, Mamma Chia Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and author of “Chia Vitality“ and “The Chia Cookbook.” “We’re thrilled to answer our customers’ requests for more organic chia snacks and tasty chia bars.”
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.
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.
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.
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.