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Foodservice Brands Bringing More Coffees to Retail

Though foodservice will account for roughly three-fourths of the projected $48 billion in sales for the U.S. coffee industry in 2014, the retail segment is finding new ways to reach consumers and compete with the restaurant industry for market share.  A driving trend in retail coffee innovation and marketing is bringing the coffee shop experience into the consumers’ homes, according to Coffee and Ready-to-Drink Coffee in the U.S.: Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition, a report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

A key factor in giving consumers a coffee shop experience at home involves bringing favorite coffeehouse and bakery brands into the retail sector. This type of co-branding is effective in garnering instant brand loyalty and recognition—a defining factor in a crowded market. For example, leading fast casual restaurant operator Panera Bread capitalized on its strong following with the brunch/lunch crowd to push its Panera Bread Bakery Blends brand, which offers a variety of flavored ground coffees and is positioned as a premium retail coffee product. Likewise, leading baked goods and coffee chain Dunkin Donuts has capitalized on its success in the coffee category to expand into the retail sector. Meanwhile, Caribou Coffee has made its signature brews available within the retail sector, in addition to providing products to foodservice providers such as hotels, entertainment venues, and e-commerce channels. Even fast food juggernaut McDonalds revealed plans to enter the fray through its McCafé-branded packaged coffees (in whole bean, ground coffee, and single-cup offerings).

On a grander scale, co-branding of retail coffee goes beyond coffee shop brands to align with other indulgent brand. The bold, rich flavor of coffee provides a natural balance to indulgent sweet notes—making partnerships with decadent, palette-pleasing brands a natural fit. Such partnerships create brand recognition and cross-merchandising opportunities, notes Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle.  As recently as February 2014, major moves such as doughnut company Krispy Kreme’s launch of ready-to-drink coffee beverages at more than 900 Walmart locations rippled across the retail landscape. Other recognizable foodservice brands—Godiva, Entenmann’s, Cold Stone Creamery—have capitalized on their reputations to launch retail coffee products with flavor-rich, decadent, and even premium positioning.

Building off coffeehouse expectations for a wide variety of options, retail coffee manufacturers are also embracing variety. Limited edition offerings or seasonal flavors are an easy way to satisfy the need for variety and keep consumers engaged with the brand.

U.S. Manufacturer Comes Back From The Ashes

Rustic Crust

Rustic Crust and American Flatbread frozen pizza CEO Brad Sterl was joined by New Hampshire’s governor and local dignitaries at the groundbreaking for the new Rustic Crust plant.

Rustic Crust, a manufacturer of organic and all-natural pizza crust and sauce, today honored the New Hampshire Police, Fire & EMS Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to supporting firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service personnel, for its statewide contributions. The event coincided with the ground-breaking of a new Rustic Crust and American Flatbread frozen pizza facility soon to be erected on the site of its former factory in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, which burned to the ground earlier this year. The new two-story 27,000 square-foot facility, 30 percent larger than the original structure, will be in operation this fall.  After the fire, Rustic Crust’s President and CEO Brad Sterl kept more than 100 workers on payroll while he began to rebuild the company.

Sterl and Governor Maggie Hassan recognized first responders as unsung heroes who risk their lives daily to protect the communities they serve, just as they did during the company’s devastating fire. The event marks the start of a national campaign, The Rustic Crust First Responders Recognition program, to support and acknowledge these service workers across the nation. In New Hampshire and in states across the U.S., Rustic Crust and American Flatbread frozen pizzas will donate product to state first responder organizations assisting with fundraisers and other events. The company will also continue to send its mobile pizza truck to natural disaster sites to feed fatigued workers.

“As a result of the fire at our production facility, we know firsthand the courage and sacrifice displayed by first responders,” Sterl said. “We are launching this national program to honor the extraordinary work of these brave men and women – fire, police, and emergency rescue people – in their times of need.”

Rustic Crust was founded in 1996 and is the number one U.S. national brand of natural prepared, ready-made pizza crusts. American Flatbread is a market leader in natural frozen flatbread pizzas which are available in supermarkets, health and gourmet stores nationwide. The company is Pittsfield, New Hampshire’s second largest employer.

Sartori Partners for Fourth Year with Mason Crosby, Packers Radio Network, and Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sartori Cheese is excited to announce a fourth year partnership with Mason Crosby and the Packers Radio Network to support the Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Foundation during the 2014 NFL season.  Sartori will contribute $1,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every field goal Crosby makes during the 2014 football season including pre- and postseason.  To date, Sartori has donated over $60,000 to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.

“We are excited to start this partnership again for the 2014 season.  Both Mason and the Packers Radio Network have been great to work with.   It’s important for those who are fortunate enough to give back, to do so.  We have close ties with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and support what they do for children with life-threatening medical conditions.  We’re able to help a child’s dream come true and that is bigger than any of us,” stated Sartori CEO and Owner Jim Sartori.

Last year alone, Sartori contributed $42,000 to the Make-A-Wish Wisconsin Foundation.  Mason Crosby had a stand-out 2013 football season, successfully completing 39 field goals in the pre- and regular season and an additional 2 successful conversions in the postseason.  Sartori increased their contribution to $1,500 for each completed field goal in the postseason.

Sartori Cheese will have weekly updates on the contribution amount via its Facebook and Twitter social sites.  The company will also be hosting giveaways and special offers during the entire 2014 football season.

The Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of seriously ill children.  Since the Wisconsin chapter founding in 1984, nearly 5,000 children and their families throughout the state have experienced the transformative power of a wish.  Last year alone, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin granted a record-breaking 340 wishes.  The charity is near and dear to Jim Sartori and his wife Jan, as their family has been involved in donations and fundraising for years.

Land O’Lakes Donates 40,000 Pounds of Product to the Food Lifeline

Land O’Lakes, Inc. donated 40,000 pounds of LAND O LAKES® Macaroni & Cheese to the Food Lifeline.

This is the Land O’Lakes First Run Program’s 74th donation since it was established in 2010. The program is committed to donating truckloads of fresh product year round, made specifically for food banks to help alleviate hunger nationwide.  As part of the First Run Program, Land O’Lakes has donated more than 2.8 million pounds of product.

“Food Lifeline provides 30 percent of the meals being served by food banks, meal programs and shelters across western Washington,” said Food Lifeline President and CEO Linda Nageotte. “So donations like this mac & cheese make a huge difference in stopping hunger.”

“As a national, farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes is committed to help the growing number of people who struggle to put food on their table,” said Land O’Lakes Foundation Executive Director Lydia Botham. “The First Run Program provides a unique opportunity for Land O’Lakes to provide a fresh, nutritious product to families that can enjoy it.”

The First Run Program is part of Land O’Lakes’ Feeding Our Communities initiative.  For more information on any of these programs, visit the Land O’Lakes Foundation web page at www.landolakesinc.com.

Red Rocker Candy

If you’re a fan of snack mixes based on breakfast cereals and pretzels, but you’ve been thinking that snack mix just doesn’t seem decadent enough to serve your friends at your next party, Red Rocker Candy has a thought for you. Rocking Chair Mix is the company’s crunchy mix of cereals, pretzels and roasted almonds, all covered in white chocolate. Or, as one of my colleagues put it, “It’s not that unsatisfying yogurt coating.”

The letter that Jennifer Monges, a Manager at Red Rocker Candy, enclosed with the samples she sent our way says that the Rocking Chair Mix is often described as addictive, and Kitchenware News Associate Editor Amber Gallegos, the colleague who appreciated the white chocolate coating agrees. “Yeah, oh yeah,” she says. “Pretty bombalicious.” Rocking Chair Mix is offered in 7-ounce and 21-ounce cans.

Red Rocker Candy also offers Peppermint Bark from October through December. It’s a seasonal favorite that’s a feast for the eyes with white chocolate swirls and crushed peppermint candy on dark chocolate. The bark is sold in 8-ounce and 16-ounce boxes.

Cashew Toffee with White Chocolate is a classical buttery toffee topped with white chocolate and cashew bits. The company also offers Peanut Brittle and Pecan Brittle and promises that Pistachio Brittle will be available at the end of the year. The Cashew Toffee is offered in an 8-ounce bag and 16-ounce box. The brittles are offered in 8-ounce bags. Peanut Brittle also comes in a 16-ounce box, and Pecan Brittle comes in a 14-ounce box.

Red Rocker Candy was founded in 2002 and is based in Troy, Virginia. For more information, visit www.redrockercandy.com.

 

– Lorrie Baumann

 

World Olive Oils and “Second-Tier” Countries: A Tunisian Tasting

 

I cut short lunch today, and found myself standing at the counter of an always-busy local bread and sandwich shop, mulling what seemed like a good dozen and a half varieties of delicious-looking whole wheat loaves. The stakes were high. The occasion? I had promised my coworkers a “booth-style” tasting of a collection of extra-virgin olive oils from Tunisian olive oil producer CHO, that brought this North African country’s first branded oils to the world market two and a half years ago. While you have probably tasted Tunisian olive oil many times – as the world’s second largest net exporter of EVOO, the country’s bulk olive oils have long been rebranded or used in mixes from leading exporters Spain and Italy among others – we took a little test drive of CHO’s attractively-bottled EVOOs to give you a heads up on oils that are found in 4,000 retailers nationwide.

As my booth guests picked bread slice quarters and dipped into a selection of oils, I decided to start my taste excursion midstream, opting for the lemon-infused EVOO that gave plenty of citrus essence against a hearty, viscous golden oil. After cleansing my palate a bit with CHO’s original organic EVOO, which all agreed would make for fine cooking use, I finished my tour with the basil and garlic-infused oils. The basil was quite strong, enjoyable and definitely for the consumer with a dipping-type purpose in mind. The garlic also firmly announced its infusion and was quite tasty.

CHO is one of a growing number of producers world-wide that have been making inroads to the U.S. market; Tunisia accounts for nearly 11% of U.S. EVOO imports, behind only Spain and Italy. Nearby Morocco also registers in the top 10 suppliers of U.S.-consumed EVOO. Along with award-winning producers in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Australia and a number of countries in and around the Mediterranean, these “second-tier” producing countries are giving an increasingly discerning American gourmet food consumer more and more EVOO choices at their local Whole Foods or specialty food shop.

Until our next selection of freshly-baked artisan bread and tasting session (unofficial word out of the newsroom has chocolate spreads leading slightly over tapenades as the next product category in the tasting booth), may all of your olive oil choices be infused with flavor and enjoyment.

David Bernard
Associate Editor

 

Baked Beans with Pendleton Barbecue Sauce

I used Pendleton© Brown Sugar+Molasses Barbecue Sauce the other night to make a batch of baked beans that turned out fabulous! I started with a couple of cups of cooked Anasazi beans. I put that in a pot with about half an onion that I chopped finely and browned in the fat I rendered out of a couple of strips of bacon. I drained the grease and added the browned onion and chopped bacon bits to the beans, then added enough of the barbecue sauce to moisten it well — probably about 3/4 cup. Then I just let it simmer for about 45 minutes while I baked some chicken and dressed some cole slaw. And the best thing is that I managed to stop eating while I still had some leftover beans and cole slaw for today’s lunch!

The Anasazi beans are a Southwest heritage variety that I bought at my local farmers market. They’re a gorgeous bean with cranberry and cream speckles, and they have a creamy texture when cooked. The Brown Sugar + Molasses sauce is one of a pair of new flavors from Pendleton, which also makes new Hot+Spicy flavor and Original and Mesquite flavors. The sauces are made by Oregon Growers & Shippers in partnership with Hood River Distillers. The Brown Sugar + Molasses Sauce was created for consumers looking for a sweeter flavor profile and is made from premium quality molasses and dark brown sugar for a caramel flavor accented with hints of citrus from coriander and some mild heat from black and chipotle peppers and a backdrop of hickory smoke that add some spicy tang to that sweetness for a result that didn’t taste anything like candied beans.

 

– Lorrie Baumann

 

Gourmet Gift Collections with Selections of Salts, Spices, Seasonings and Tea

Building on the success of award-winning Gourmet Sea Salt Collections, The Spice Lab  has added sampling selections of spices, seasonings and now tea.

Spice Lab teaIntroducing at NY NOW, three Tea Collections of 11 or 12 tube sets of British Teas, Asian Teas or Infused Teas, showcased in a handcrafted wooden base of reclaimed Colorado pine or sustainable bamboo. Each tube holds enough for three pots of tea.

See them in booth # 3677 in the Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares Show at NY NOW, August 17-20 at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Hot & Spicy Infused Salts - Sriracha, Smoked Chipotle, Ghost Pepper and More

The Spice Lab blends its own infused salts using all natural unrefined sea salt and premium finely ground chili peppers from around the world. Each unique salt offers distinct flavor and heat, true to the peppers that season it. In 100 ml glass jars and 3-ounce stand-up foil pouches.The line includes:

  • spice lab pepper blends Sriracha Sea Salt
  • Scotch Bonnet Sea Salt
  • Ghost Pepper Sea Salt
  • Scorpion Pepper Salt
  • Smoked Ghost Pepper Sea Salt
  • Jalapeno Pepper Sea Salt
  • Smoked Chipotle Sea Salt
  • Cayenne Hot Sauce Sea Salt

Click here to read about what’s driving Americans’ renewed interest in spicy cuisines.

Idaho Potato People Offer Perfect Potato Salad Recipes

During peak picnic season, make sure your spread is complete with the perfect potato salad. With more than 100 potato salads in its rich recipe database, as well as tips from the experts and how-to videos, the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) website is your top resource for this popular summer side dish.

“Through analytics we know that close to 70 percent of the visitors to our website during the summer months are looking for recipes or tips to help them make the perfect potato salad,” explained Frank Muir, President/CEO of the IPC. “Our new recipe database, Ask Dr. Potato question and answer forum, and abundant how-to videos on our YouTube channel demonstrate how and why Idaho® potatoes are the ideal potato for summer salads.”

Recipes
Hot, cold, traditional, or with a twist, there are so many different mouth-watering Idaho potato salad recipes that you can serve a new one to your family every day during the summer months. It’s hard to resist the traditional potato salad with mayonnaise and hardboiled eggs, but if you’re looking for a light and nutrient-dense option, try the Asparagus and Idaho Potato Quinoa Salad with Orange Parsley Dressing. Loaded with flavor, textures, and important vitamins and minerals, this dish can stand alone as a vegetarian meal or accompany your family’s favorite protein. Did we mention it’s gluten-free, too?

Dr. Potato
There isn’t a potato-related question that Dr. Potato can’t answer. The number one trending question this season is, “How long does potato salad last in the refrigerator?” Here is Dr. Potato’s response: “Did the salad get made up and then refrigerated right away, and you just have some left over? If this is the case then it should easily last three to four days. Was the salad used at a picnic and then placed back in the refrigerator? Then probably no more than the next day, if that. I usually don’t recommend saving the salad after it has sat out in the heat at all.”
To read more on this topic and other popular potato-related questions, please visit http://foodserviceblog.idahopotato.com.

YouTube How-to Videos
If you have always wondered how to make your potato salad look as good as the pros, try visiting the IPC’s library of videos.  Popular food blogger Average Betty shows how she makes her “pota-totally” awesome salad, Roasted Red Potato Salad with Arugula, Blue Cheese, Cranberries, Candied Pecans and Balsamic Dressing.  This salad is so flavorful and easy-to-make there’s a good chance you’ll want to serve it at your next meal!

To go directly to the IPC’s potato salad recipe collection, visit: http://recipes.idahopotato.com/allthingspotatosalads

Kroger Names Scholarship Award Winners

The Kroger Co. has announced 366 winners of the Kroger Scholars award for 2014-2015 school year. Each student will receive $1,000 to assist with post-high school educational expenses.

“We are so proud of each one of these young men and women who have demonstrated a commitment to learning and hard work,” said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs and president of The Kroger Co. Foundation. “For so many parents, sending a child off to college is at once a pride- and anxiety-inducing experience. We hope these funds will make it a little easier for our associates and their children as they transition to studying beyond high school.”

The 2014-2015 Kroger Scholars come from 29 states.  A full list of scholarship winners by state is available at http://www.thekrogerco.com/community/kroger-scholars.

Kroger Scholars is a company-wide program of The Kroger Co. Foundation, and is open to children of associates who work in the Kroger family of stores, have at least two years of service and work a minimum of 1,000 hours per year.

Funds can be used at any accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational program.

Scholarship America, a leading national scholarship manager, selected recipients based on a broad range of criteria including scholastic performance, work experience, extra-curricular and volunteer activities and a statement of goals and aspirations.

Since launching in 2008, Kroger Scholars has provided more than $2.2 million in awards to more than 2,200 families.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.  The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food processing plants in the U.S.  Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners.