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Former Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch to Speak at Summer Fancy Food Show

Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, and CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. will speak about his latest venture, Daily Table, at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Daily Table is a pioneering retail venture designed to provide healthy, ready-to-eat meals at fast-food prices, fresh produce and other items to individuals dealing with hunger. The first location opened last month in Dorcester, Massachusetts.

Rauch’s session, “How to Do Good While Doing Well in the Marketplace,” is part of a full menu of seminars and workshops at the show, North America’s largest trade event for the specialty food industry. Owned and produced by the Specialty Food Association, the show takes place June 28 – 30 at Javits Center in New York. The session is 10 – 11 a.m. Monday, June 29.

Also in the line-up is trend expert Suzy Badaracco who will discuss food and flavor trends across generations and examine the difference in consumer behavior between the generations.

“Thought leadership has become a growing part of our show and our culture,” said Ann Daw, President of the Specialty Food Association, owner and producer of the Fancy Food Show. “Every year we strive to present speakers who provide new insights into what drives our industry, which is constantly evolving.”

Show seminars are designed for all levels of the specialty food trade, from newcomers curious about turning their favorite recipe into a business venture, to veterans who are looking to create a succession plan. Highlights include:

  • The Basics – The Business of Specialty Food – full-day workshop for beginners
  • How to Succeed in the U.S. Specialty Food Market for International Companies
  • Finance Your Business – four-hour workshop
  • Price it Right: Using Costs to Create Real World Price Sheets
  • The Theater of Retail: Understanding the Consumer Experience with Kevin Kelley
  • Non-GMO: Go or No Go? A Roundtable Discussion

California Dairy Industry Contributes $21 Billion To State’s Economy

Cementing its place as California’s most important agricultural commodity by farm revenue, California farms sold about $9.4 billion worth of milk while the dairy industry contributed approximately $21 billion in value added to the gross state product in 2014, according to a California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB)study conducted by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC). Including sales of inputs to dairy farms and milk processors along with raw milk and wholesale milk product sales, the dairy industry contributed $65 billion in total sales to the California economy in 2014. The growing demand for dairy products like cheese and yogurt as well as strong dairy exports accounted for 189,000 jobs that are dependent on the state’s milk production and processing.

“The dairy industry’s contributions are vital to California’s economy, from creating jobs to stimulating local and regional economies to providing nutritious and enjoyable products to consumers everywhere,” said John Talbot, CEO at the California Milk Advisory Board. “A large number of California residents depend on the dairy industry for employment and these jobs would not exist without it.”

The $21 billion to California’s gross state product included $7.4 billion as income to industry workers and owners and $13.4 billion through related, outside industries such as feed, veterinary and accounting services used for dairy production and electricity, packaging, equipment and trucking services used by processors. The tax revenue generated from these jobs supported important statewide initiatives to improve education, health care, roads, community services and the environment.

Overall, 189,000 jobs in California are associated with the dairy industry. Of this amount, approximately 30,000 jobs are on the farm and 20,000 jobs represent dairy processing. For every dairy farm job, there are several more jobs that are tied to the business and create a linked chain of economic impacts.

California leads the nation in dairy production and dairy continues as the top commodity in the country’s top agricultural state. It has been the nation’s largest milk producer since 1993 and is also the country’s leading producer of butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate. California is also the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt.

Farm milk sales generated $9.4 billion gross revenue in 2014. Wholesale dairy product (cheese, fluid milk, ice cream, butter and other dairy) sales hit $25 billion in 2014.

 

Founder of American Gourmet Foods Passes at 87

Annie_80thAnne Morcone, founder of American Gourmet Foods in Washington, DC, was a pioneer in specialty food distribution, died March 31, 2015. She was 87. After emigrating from France in 1954, then raising six children: Annie, as she was affectionately known, went to work in the Washington, D.C. food industry during its infancy. Beginning with a small cafe she soon after went to work selling French bread for a local bakery achieving great success and getting to know all the chef ‘s in the city. She was then recruited by Patisfrance, a leading manufacturer of pastry ingredients in France that was just beginning its import distribution to the U.S. In 1985 she left to start her own import company, American Gourmet Foods. Under her guidance and with the help of her children, she built American Gourmet Foods into one of the largest specialty food import distribution companies in the U.S., supplying restaurants, hotels, caterers and distributors all over the east coast. In 2008, she sold the business to Chef’s Warehouse.

Jade Monk Taking Matcha Green Tea Mainstream

Jade MonkJade Monk is redefining the ready-to-drink tea category with its first-to-market line of organic, cold-brewed matcha green teas. Now available in five regions of Whole Foods Market, Jade Monk’s new line of premium matcha tea is a delicious, authentic offering of some of the finest tea to ever hit the mainstream beverage set.

Utilizing a cold-brewing method, no heat is ever introduced during the production of Jade Monk’s USDA Organic and Non-GMO verified matcha beverages. To extend shelf life of the perishable tea, Jade Monk uses high-pressure-processing, a new method of cold pasteurization that applies high pressure (over 30 tons worth) to inactivate bacteria and other unwanted hazards without the need for high temperature pasteurization, which can be detrimental to matcha’s delicate flavor and whole food nutrients.

“Matcha green tea is unlike any other tea on Earth,” said Mike Fulkerson, Chief Commercial Officer of Jade Monk, LLC. “Because matcha is made by delicately grinding the entire tea leaf into a fine powder, all of those whole food nutrients and health benefits that regular tea bags carry away stay in the beverage and are consumed when you drink Jade Monk matcha.”

Although matcha may seem relatively new to the US, it has been consumed for well over 800 years throughout the Far East. For nearly a millennium, the Japanese have been honing and refining the art of matcha production, which has culminated in a distinct green tea that contains unrivaled flavor, nutritional properties and health benefits. Studies have shown that just one serving of matcha green tea contains the antioxidant equivalent of over 10 servings of traditional steeped green tea. Matcha drinkers also benefit from the whole food trace minerals and amino acids that the tea contains.

The Jade Monk ready-to-drink beverage line consists of four initial flavors: Unsweetened, Slightly Sweet, Mint + Honey, and Matcha Cleanse. The line can currently be found in the refrigerated beverage sets of Whole Foods Market stores in the Pacific Northwest, Southern Pacific, Florida, South and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Mars Announces Support for Added Sugars Labeling

Mars, Incorporated is supporting two important recommendations designed to help consumers limit their intake of added sugars and achieve healthier, more balanced diets.

The company has endorsed a recommendation by the world’s leading health authorities—including the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition—that people should limit their intake of added sugars to no more than 10 percent of total calorie intake.

Additionally, in comments provided to the US Dietary Guidelines Committee, Mars has signaled its support for a new U.S. government proposal to include an added sugars declaration in the Nutrition Facts panel on all food packaging. The company’s comments to the sugar daily value and added sugars declaration proposal can be viewed at Mars.com.

So called “added sugars” are sugars and syrups added to foods to improve sweetness, structure, texture, and shelf-life. These are distinct from sugars that are “intrinsic” to foods, such as lactose in dairy, or fructose and glucose in bananas.

“We want people to enjoy Mars brands as part of a well-balanced diet,” said Dave Crean, Global Head of Research & Development at Mars, Incorporated. “With this in mind, we support the recommendation of global health experts that consumers limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of their calorie intake. In the US, we have a further opportunity to help people achieve their dietary goals by supporting the government’s proposal to include added sugars in the Nutrition Facts panel. It just makes good sense.”

Mars makes a wide assortment of brands popular with consumers around the world, including M&Ms, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s Rice, Dolmio, and Doublemint. Mars’ commitment to help reduce intake of added sugars to less than 10% of total calorie intake, and support for the new transparent labeling proposal, build on steps taken over time to help consumers achieve their nutritional goals.

Dorrich Dairy Recognized with U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award

Dorrich Dairy in Glenwood, Minnesota, has been recognized with a 2015 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability. The 400-cow dairy was selected for its holistic environmental approach, including using wasp larvae to control the farm’s fly population, minimizing the use of pesticides and the farm’s impact on the environment.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced the winners of the fourth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on May 7 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program recognizes outstanding dairy farms, businesses and partnerships for practices large and small that not only focus on the environment, but add up to promote the health and well-being of consumers, communities, cows, employees, the planet and business.

Dorrich Dairy has been in the Vold family since 1899. The current generations are embracing both tried-and-true and cutting-edge methods of protecting the farm’s natural resources to ensure that the land stays viable for the next generation — and beyond.

“Continuing our family’s tradition as stewards of the land is immensely important to all of us, and this recognition reinforces what we’ve been doing for more than a century,” says Suzanne Vold, who farms with her husband Brad, his brother Greg and Greg’s wife Charity, and the Vold brothers’ parents, Dorothy and Richard. “That tradition is centered around honoring the commitment we’ve made to the environment, our animals and our neighbors. Richard and Dorothy honored that commitment, and so are we.”

Since 2009, the Volds have been introducing wasp larvae into fly nests. Once the wasps hatch, they eat the fly pupa, then lay eggs to begin the cycle again. The strategy has drastically reduced the need for synthetic chemicals to control flies and has cut insecticide costs by 85 percent.

In addition to successfully implementing this integrated pest management system, the Volds have embraced numerous other approaches designed to make a measurable impact on the environment, their community and the farm’s future, including:

  • Protecting water quality through frequent crop rotations;
  • Planting corn in smaller-than-usual 15-inch rows to crowd out weeds;
  • Aggressively scouting pests; and
  • Using a high-tech soil-mapping system to continuously measure pH and electrical conductivity to determine the precise amount of nutrients to use.

The holistic approach is designed to maximize yield and minimize the farm’s environmental footprint. “We’re constantly collecting data to adjust and readjust,” says Greg Vold. “Combining the latest technology with our family’s 116 years of farming experience really allows us to find and put into action the best solutions.”

“We all want to be able to pass our farm on to the next generation. We’re constantly working to find the most effective methods of protecting our natural resources,” says Brad Vold. “We owe it to the next generation to find ways to make this all work as efficiently and as effectively as we can.”

U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners were selected based on results as measured by economic, environmental and community impact. An independent panel of judges — which included experts working with and through the dairy industry — also assessed the potential for adoption by others, demonstrated learning, innovation, improvement and scalability.

It’s a Scoop! Clover Launches New Cowlifornia-Made Organic Ice Cream Line

Dairy producer Clover Stornetta Farms is launching a new line of premium ice cream made from fresh organic Clover milk and cream. These 12 new, decadent flavors will debut as a six-month exclusive placement in local independent grocers and Whole Foods Market®.

“Giving Whole Foods Market and our independent stores an exclusive, serves our mission to support businesses with like-minded philosophies,” says Clover President & CEO Marcus Benedetti. “Craft ice cream is booming. The farming principles behind our nutritious milk coupled with interesting ice cream flavors and partnerships will put Clover’s best dairy foot forward.”

Each quart is made with organic milk from happy, humane-certified Clover cows living on family-owned dairy farms. Every scoop is blended with the best quality local ingredients to create these new flavors: Chocolate Nirvana (made with fair trade Organic TCHO Chocolate in Berkeley), Straight Up Vanilla, Mint to Be, Hoppy Hour (using Bear Republic Brewing Company’s Racer 5 IPA® from Cloverdale), Cowlifornia Sweet Cream, French Press, Eat Your Milk & Cookies, Strawberry Shindig, Creamy PB&C, Pistachio Perfecto, Petaluma Pothole (in honor of our hometown’s roads) and Tempt Me Toffee (made with San Francisco’s Charles Chocolates English Toffee).

The reveal of Clover premium organic craft ice creams will kick off with in-store samples, signage and a strategic radio campaign with social media messaging, and PR that reflects Clover’s core values of farm-fresh, sustainability, family, animal welfare and superior quality.

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Expands National Retail Distribution

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit, a frozen treat made from fruit, filtered water and organic cane sugar, has expanded product distribution for its Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops™ to almost 2,000 placements nationwide this summer. Noteworthy accounts include 25 Bay Area region Whole Foods stores, almost 500 Kroger’s stores, HEB’s, Ahold’s Giant Carlisle, Fresh & Easy Markets, Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets, New Season’s Markets, Gelson’s Markets, Rosauers Supermarkets, Mother’s Markets as well as leading boutique health food stores such as Erewhons and Lambs Markets. In addition, Chloe’s will be available at select Costco locations this summer.

CHLOE'S SOFT SERVE FRUIT CO 3 POPS

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. delivers direct to retailers as well as through its national distribution channels, with distributor partners including UNFI, DPI Specialty Foods, Jake’s Finer Foods, as well as regional kosher distributors throughout the country.

“Consumers can now find Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops throughout the country, just in time for summer,” said Michael Sloan, CEO and Co-Founder. “Our Soft Serve Fruit Pops taste incredible and are made with just fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar, making a refreshing snack or guilt-free treat. This is why we have seen exponential growth across all retail channels: big box, national grocery chains, specialty retailers and health food stores. We are extremely excited that with our expanded footprint with these new retailers, customers will easily be able to find Chloe’s!”

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are available in five varieties – Dark Chocolate, Mango, Pineapple, Raspberry and Strawberry. At only 60 calories and with just 13-15g of sugar, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are free of preservatives, additives, high fructose corn syrup and stabilizers. In addition, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are free of dairy, gluten, fat, and the eight major allergens and are certified kosher pareve and vegan. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are also Non-GMO Project Verified.

Consumers can find a single flavor four-pack box of Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops on shelf for a suggested retail price of $3.99 – $4.99.  A 16 pack of Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops, which includes eight Mango and eight Strawberry Soft Serve Fruit Pops will be on shelf at select Costco locations this summer for an MSRP of $12.99.

In addition to retail, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are available through the wholesale food service channel, with distribution via Sysco, US Foods, UNFI, Cheney Brothers, specialty distributors such as Reliant Food Service, Southwest Traders, MRS Bakery Distribution Corp, Fortune Fish and Gourmet, and ice cream distributors across the U.S. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops and Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit mix are approved products into leading food service providers, including Compass Group USA, Sodexo and Aramark.

Sante Nuts Receive Gold Medal

Santé Specialty Foods, maker of gourmet roasted and spiced nuts, has received a Gold Medal Endorsement from Chefs in America, a nationwide network of over highly-esteemed 7,500 corporate and executive chefs.  In a triple-blind taste test, all 10 flavors of Santé Nuts scored a nine or higher, with the company’s newly-released Roasted Salted Mix receiving one of the highest scores.  The nuts were judged according to six distinct factors: appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression.

“Chefs In America believes that Santé Nuts superior-tasting product line of value-added nuts respects the history of this great food,” the organization said in a statement.  “Santé’s products are obviously crafted with respect for tradition while offering a modern gourmet air.  They are a delicious treat that can lower bad cholesterol and provide heart healthy nutrients—all while tasting great.”

The Discerning Palate Asks for Assistance in Grant Application

Specialty food producer The Discerning Palate is asking for support from the specialty food community. The company has applied for a $100,000 grant from Chase’s Mission Main Street Grants®. The Discerning Palate will be submitting a questionnaire outlining a business plan that will result in growth of the business and needs to receive at least 250 online votes to be eligible for a grant. Customers, fans and community members can show support for The Discerning Palate by voting at www.MissionMainStreetGrants.com/b/3325 using Facebook Connect. Direct voting links are available on The Discerning Palate and MacDaddy’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ Facebook pages or at www.TheDiscerningPalate.us.

The Discerning Palate’s family of great foods embodies our original commitment to good food – clean ingredients, no preservatives, nothing artificial, vegetarian-friendly and made from gluten-free and non-GMO ingredients. We are excited about our growth in the last three years, but receiving a grant like this would allow us to expand our distribution further and create more New Hampshire jobs,” said The Discerning Palate Owner Mary Macdonald. The voting deadline is June 19, 2015 and grant recipients will be selected by expert panelists.

About The Discerning Palate

The Discerning Palate’s products are a direct reflection of being a small NH family business. The gift of a small vertical charcoal smoker started the family on an unexpected journey and the evolution began. Smoking food became a family activity, which in turn became a family-based KCBS competition BBQ team. That became a mobile barbecue catering business (think of a food truck serving low and slow barbecue and you’ve got MacDaddy’s!). The sauce and spice rub recipes were originally created for competitions, but were a natural fit for use in catering, and then customers began asking where they could buy the sauces. And so it began.

Fast forward eight years and now The Discerning Palate offers Swineheart’s Signature Sauces, Our Local Table gourmet condiments, Old’s Cool Wild Game Sauces and MacDaddy’s BBQ Sauces. The products are currently available throughout New England and New York. Each of the brands offers an all-natural twist on familiar favorites. The family’s goal is to simply ensure everyone enjoys something delicious every day. For more information visit: www.TheDiscerningPalate.us; www.OurLocalTable.com; www.SwineheartSauce.com; www.OldsCoolFoods.com and www.MacDaddysRollinSmokeBBQ.com.

 

 

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