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Canada Announces Mandatory Labeling Requirements for Beef

Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose has announced new labeling requirements for mechanically tenderized beef (MTB) to help consumers know when they are buying MTB products and how to cook them.

Starting today, all MTB products sold in Canada must be clearly labelled as “mechanically tenderized,” and include instructions for safe cooking. The new labels will emphasize the importance of cooking MTB to a minimum internal temperature of 63 degrees C (145 degrees F) and turning over mechanically tenderized steaks at least twice during cooking to kill harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be verifying that labels meet the new requirements.

Health Canada also recently released new industry guidelines to improve safe cooking and handling information on packaged raw ground meat and raw ground poultry products sold in Canada. To be used by retailers, processors and importers who choose to include food safety information on their products, the guidelines provide standards on what information and symbols to include on the label to boost consumer recognition and uptake, and how the label should be formatted and placed on ground meat packages so that it can be easily seen by consumers.

Quick Facts on new labelling requirements for MTB

  • Mechanical tenderization of meat is a common practice used by the food industry to improve the tenderness and flavor of beef by using needles or blades to break down muscle fibers.
  • This regulatory change applies to all industry sectors selling uncooked MTB to other industry members or consumers. This includes, but is not limited to, grocery retailers, butcher shops, meat processors, and importers of MTB.
  • Federally registered plants that produce mechanically tenderized beef cuts, such as steaks or roasts, have been required to label those products as tenderized and with cooking instructions since July 2013.

 

San Franciscans Show Off In New Scharffen Berger Campaign

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker recently launched an out-of-home advertising campaign in San Francisco that uniquely ties to social media.  The campaign features everyday consumers as the stars, via 50 digital outdoor boards across the city.

Crafted from the world’s finest cacao, Scharffen Berger Chocolate includes incredible taste complexities and varietals from different parts of the globe.  The “Wonderfully Complicated” ad campaign illustrates that, just like the people who enjoy it, fine artisanal chocolate is anything but simple – and neither can be described with just one word.  They are both rich, multi-layered and complex.

“At Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, we think it’s time that artisanal chocolate proudly stood up for its depth and unique flavors. Our fans are taste explorers, people with palates that crave adventure as much as comfort and ‘Wonderfully Complicated’ brings this to life,” said Bernie Banas, Vice President for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. “Tying the campaign to social media and featuring chocolate lovers in the ads allows us to make a direct connection with them, celebrating that we are both one of life’s great pleasures that are proudly, boldly and always wonderfully complicated.”

The campaign features various creative executions produced by local San Francisco advertising agency, Camp + King, that celebrate the “wonderfully complicated” make-up of the chocolate and the personalities of the people who eat it; with lines such as “I am dark, spicy and mysterious,” or “I am sweet, salty and a little nutty,” among others. It’s an homage to both the taste profile of the bars and also the people who eat them.

What makes it unique? In addition to the five professionally executed ads, a slew of additional creative will appear featuring the people of San Francisco around the city.

Anyone can participate. They simply need to take a selfie, add #wonderfullycomplicated and share it publicly on Instagram.  If chosen, their selfie – with a new headline made up of various adjectives – will pop up in rotation with the professionally executed creative on digital bus shelters around San Francisco and on Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker’s Facebook page, allowing consumers to turn selfies into a starring role in an advertising campaign.

According to research published by GlobalWebIndex in Jan. 2014, Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide.  The social media channel also aligns with the brand’s target – an educated, well-traveled woman who enjoys an active social, cultural, foodie life with her friends and family.  Food is one of the most popular topics searched for and published on Instagram, and according to App Data, 68 percent of Instagram users are women.

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker also recently added four new, rich and distinctive chocolate bars to their line of products, creating some wonderfully complicated flavors with on-trend exotic ingredients.  The four new bars include:  72% Cacao Signature Dark Chocolate, 33% Cacao Smooth Milk Chocolate, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt and 33% Cacao Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia.

The four new Scharffen Berger chocolate bars are sold throughout the Bay area.  For more information, visit www.ScharffenBerger.com or follow the brand on Facebook or Instagram.

Rodale Inc. Announces Launch of Rodale’s Organic Life

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.

Hain Celestial Announces Highest Quarterly And Fiscal Year Net Sales in Company’s History

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. has  reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. During the fourth quarter, the company recorded a company record of $583.8 million in net sales, a 26 percent increase compared to the same quarter in 2013. For the fiscal year, the company recorded net sales of $2.154 billion, a 24 percent increase compared to net sales of $1.735 billion in the prior year.

“We completed our fiscal year with record net sales by delivering solid performance across brands and geographies, and I am pleased with the results,” said Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial.  “Our US business continued to generate strong results as momentum for organic and natural products builds across various channels of distribution.  Our UK business posted record sales with increased profit contribution and our Rest of World segment delivered high single digit sales growth.”

The company had strong brand contribution across various sales channels including Ella’s Kitchen®, Garden of Eatin®, Imagine®, The Greek Gods®, Sensible Portions®, Terra®, Westbrae®, Spectrum® and Alba Botanica® in North America and Gale’s®, Natumi®, Frank Cooper’s®, SunRipe®, Hartley’s®, Sun-Pat®, Linda McCartney®, and Cully & Sully® internationally.  The growth in net sales also resulted from sales of the Tilda® and Rudi’s Organic Bakery® brands acquired earlier this year.

 

Meijer Golf Tournament Raises Big Bucks for Food Banks

Representatives with the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft today deemed the inaugural tournament a success with a $600,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program, which advances its mission of helping Midwest food pantries restock their shelves and improve the quality of life within the region. Rookie superstar Mirim Lee of South Korea took home the trophy at the inaugural LPGA Tour event, which took place at Blythefield Country Club Aug. 7-10, but the real winners are the families who will benefit from the donation.

“From the great weather to the enthusiastic crowds, the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft was a complete success in its first year and will have a longstanding impact for a long time coming,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “The tournament afforded us an unmatched opportunity to raise awareness and funding to address hunger in the Midwest. We cannot thank the community enough for the way they embraced this tournament to help make a difference to those in need.”

While attendance figures are not yet available, representatives from Meijer and the LPGA said the tournament exceeded expectations of a first year event.

Click here for more news about Meijer.

“We are thrilled with the response and turnout that we received from the Grand Rapids community at the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said. “With that continued community support, and the backing and vision of our partners at Meijer, Kraft and Blythefield Country Club, we look forward to building a new tradition in West Michigan that will only get stronger over time.”

Meijer began its Simply Give program in November 2008 and has since generated more than $9 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions donated as a result of the Meijer LPGA Classic are due, in large part, to the generous Meijer customers who attended the tournament week events, and the sponsors who helped make the event a success.

The $600,000 donation will be divided among the retailer’s estimated 200 food pantry partners participating in the fall Simply Givecampaign, which runs through Sept. 27. Of that total donation, $40,000 will be divided equally among four food pantries chosen byCarla Hall, co-host of ABC Daytime’s lifestyle series, “The Chew,” after winning the Meijer LPGA Celebrity Chef Cookoff presented by Kraft. Carla beat out two other nationally-acclaimed chefs – Cat Cora and Gail Simmons – after the event’s guests voted on their favorite menus. Hall chose the following food pantries to receive $10,000 each:

  • Love, Inc.
  • United Church Outreach Food Pantry
  • North End Community Food Pantry
  • Northwest Food Pantry

“Without the Simply Give program, our shelves would literally be bare,” said Waverly Knight, Assistant Director of Northwest Food Pantry in Grand Rapids, which feeds about 150 families each week. “Every week, there are new families coming to our pantry, some of which have never been inside a food pantry. Life happens a little too much, and we are very grateful for how the Meijer Simply Give program helps us feed people in our neighborhood.”

To participate in the Simply Give program, customers can purchase a $10 donation card at their local Meijer store, which will be converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and given to the food pantry selected by the store. Meijer will stretch every customer’s donation further Sept. 4-6 in recognition of Hunger Action Month. That means for every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will contribute $20, resulting in a total $30 donation.

To learn more about the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, view a video that highlights the week’s many activities and the significance of the donation. In addition, please visit the Meijer Newsroom for more information, including sharable photos.

A crowd of enthusiastic fans lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club Aug. 7-10 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Mirim Lee claimed her first LPGA Tour victory with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff against fellow South Korean Inbee Park. Lee tamed the course, carding a 2-under 69 to match Park at 14-under 270. Park, the former world No. 1 with four major championships, was outpaced by one shot, closing with a 70.

“I was 100 percent nervous because (it was) my first time in playoff on LPGA so I’m really nervous, but very fun,” Lee said. “Inbee is like a hero in Korea. She is a very good player so I try to follow her.”

The inaugural tournament marks the LPGA Tour’s first stop in Michigan since 2000 when the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing ended its 9-year-run, as well as the first annual golf event in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula since 2009 when the PGA TOUR hosted the Buick Open in Grand Blanc.

Marsh Supermarkets Guides Shoppers to Healthy Choices

Marsh Supermarkets Inc. will launch its 2014-2015 “Fresh Ideas for Education” program in all Marsh, O’Malia’s and MainStreet Market stores in Indiana and Ohio on September 1. The program will provide shoppers with the opportunity to help local schools earn points towards valuable educational materials, such as academic supplies, books, computers, musical instruments, sports equipment and much more.

Since the program began, Fresh Ideas for Education has provided local schools with over $2.3 million worth of free equipment and supplies. This year, the Marsh family of supermarkets will again be awarding up to $275,000 in educational materials to local schools.

New this year, Marsh will be partnering the program with Guiding Stars to raise awareness about childhood nutrition and healthy eating. As an incentive for participating shoppers to purchase healthy, nutritious foods for themselves and their families, schools will earn double points on all Guiding Stars product purchases with one, two or three stars.

Guiding Stars is Marsh’s nutrition navigation program that helps guide shoppers to healthy food and beverage choices. Items in Marsh, O’Malia and MainStreet Market stores receive a zero-to-three star rating according to its nutritional value, offering busy shoppers a simple, at-a-glance tool that helps them quickly identify foods that offer the most nutrition for the calories.

From September 1 through March 31, 2015, shoppers are encouraged to enroll their Fresh IDEA®, CouponPlus or Reward$ Card to a school and participate in the program. Cards can be enrolled at a store’s Customer Service Desk or by visiting the Fresh Ideas for Education website at www.freshideasforeducation.com. Shoppers who enrolled their cards before August 1, 2014 must re-register to continue supporting local schools through this program.

Passage Foods Releases Study: Cooking Sauce Sales Simmer

Passage Foods has released its latest edition of “Passage Briefs.” This edition presents a report entitled “Cooking Sauce Sales Simmer.” Within the brief, the U.S. cooking sauce market is explored through a detailed analysis of the industry and its consumers in five sections.

- Current cooking sauce market: The cooking sauce market has seen 25 percent growth in sales in the past decade, which is expected to continue due to factors such as at-home cooking, health, and less grocery spending.

- Ethnic flavor trends: Consumers have shown an increased interest in ethnic cooking sauces and food options. This category has quickly expanded to a high percentage of market share.

- Product claim trends: Consumer are looking towards alternative options for their at-home meals alongside the health food trend that has steadily been growing in the U.S.

- Millennials and cooking sauces: The Millennial Generation is expected to impact the economy of the U.S. as they continue to enter the work force. Their interests are driving the cooking sauce market expansion.

- Future of the cooking sauce market: A look into the current cooking sauce market provides insight into the development of the industry in the years to come.

The report is now available for free by contacting info@passageusa.com or calling toll-free at 800.860.1045 ext. 204.

Click here for news about Passage Foods’ latest product introductions.

Meijer Welcomes 40,000 College Freshmen at “Meijer Mania” Events

Midwest retailer Meijer is welcoming an estimated 40,000 incoming college freshmen as they head to campus this fall during the widely-popular in-store parties dubbed “Meijer Mania.”

These annual Back-to-College events celebrate incoming students in style during a night of fun – complete with a DJ, photo booth and interactive contests – while helping them collect their last-minute dorm and classroom essentials. The retailer kicked off Meijer Mania events in mid-August and will host a total 23 events across the Midwest through early September.

“Our Meijer Mania events generate a lot of energy among the students, who are embarking on a new experience,” said Cathy Cooper, Senior Director of Promotions and Sponsorships at Meijer. “They bring their creativity and school spirit, and share the fun with their family and friends through social networks like Vine, Instagram and Twitter. We are pleased to partner with so many colleges and universities to help ease the transition for these students.”

To follow what students and the community are saying about these events on their social media channels and in the news, visit the Meijer Mania feed on Storify: https://storify.com/meijer/meijermania

Meijer began throwing in-store parties for incoming college freshmen about a decade ago to give students a chance to get to know their peers in a fun environment, and introduce the Meijer brand to those who may not have grown up shopping at the Midwest supercenter – some of whom may learn how to pronounce the retailer’s name for the first time, Cooper said.

In total, an estimated 40,000 students – about 1,700 freshmen per event – will bus from campus to their local Meijer store location for a night of festivities. Typically, a DJ will get the crowd pumped up while students participate in interactive games and contests, snap pictures in the photo booth, and stock their carts with snacks and school supplies. Meijer also provides samples and coupons, and occasionally hosts big-ticket giveaways.

One of retail’s leading shopping seasons, Back-to-School and College is a $75 billion industry, according to the National Retail Federation. Meijer Mania events help spread out the spending during a time when college students and their families are busy preparing for the school year.

Halfpops Adds New Flavors to Partially Popped Snack Line

 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.

Halfpops Caramel & Sea SaltThe 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.

Halfpops 6oz ChipotleThe 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.

 

KeHE Completes Acquisition of Nature’s Best

 

KeHE Distributors, LLC has completed its acquisition of Nature’s Best – a California-based distributor of health and natural food products. The acquisition, first announced on July 18, supports KeHE’s strategic focus of being the preferred supply chain partner in the natural, specialty, and fresh products marketplace in North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Nature’s Best transaction further expands KeHE’s national distribution capabilities, and broadens it’s natural and organic expertise. Already the largest distributor of specialty food products and the second largest distributor of natural food products in North America, KeHE will now employ over 4000 employees, operate 14 warehouses, distribute to over 35,000 store doors weekly and export to 32 countries.

“Now that the acquisition is complete, we are thrilled to be welcoming the highly talented Nature’s Best team into the KeHE family and building upon the more than 45 years of Nature’s Best marketing, logistics, and distribution excellence,” stated KeHE’s President and CEO, Brandon Barnholt. “Our industry is rapidly evolving, and this transaction allows us to serve our customers with more efficiency and innovation, while delivering on our strategic promise of being the best supply partner to retailers ranging from the smallest independent grocer or natural food store to the largest regional or national chain.”

 

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