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La Terra Fina Expands Dip Offerings with Two New Contemporary Flavors

In response to an increasing demand for convenient, flavorful dips and spreads made with real ingredients, La Terra Fina is expanding its already-robust line of dips and spreads to include two new offerings, led by bold flavors like zesty lemon and spicy green chilies.

Crafted in small batches using only clean ingredients, the new gourmet flavors are tasty when served hot or cold, for a quick snack or as the core ingredient for simple recipes. They include:

  • Lemon Pepper & Asiago Dip & Spread, a contemporary medley of classic flavors featuring freshly-cracked pepper paired with lemon and rich Asiago; perfect as a pizza topper or as a snack with zing!
  • Spicy Green Chile & Cheese Dip & Spread, an indulgent mix of spicy Chile and jalapeño peppers blended with sharp cheddar cheese; inspired by jalapeño poppers, perfect when used as a salad dressing, ingredient in Mexican food or just as a snack.

“We wanted to capture classic flavors in a new way for consumers to enjoy,” said Stephanie Robbins, La Terra Fina Director of Brand Development. “Our passion is making gourmet foods more convenient and accessible using nutrient-rich combinations – something we’re hearing from our consumers that they’re looking for – and these new flavors do just that.”

Available now for a suggested retail price of $4.99 per 10-ounce package, these new dips are made with real, clean ingredients, are certified gluten-free and contain no nuts or trans-fats. As an effort to minimize environmental impact, the packaging is made from 35 percent recycled PET materials.

Brännland Cider Wins Double Trophies at International Cider Challenge

Brännland Cider won two trophies and were announced class winners in two competition categories, as well as winning gold medals for its remaining entries at the International Cider Challenge.

Brännland Cider Barrique 2014 was announced category winner in the Specialty Cider category. Brännland Iscider x 3, multipack, was announced the winner in the design Innovation category. Brännland Iscider 34 Brix 2014 and 35 Brix 2015 won gold medals in the Specialty Cider category.

“We’re once again pleased to have shown that our ciders hold their own in an international setting. The fact that we managed to win categories that underline both the quality of the cider itself as well as how we approach the presentation of the product is fantastic. We’ve been working with Pernilla Sundgren Graniti at Congenial advertising from the beginning and are very happy to have confirmed by an independent judging panel that our packaging communicates the premium product that we produce,” said Andreas Sundgren Graniti, Brännland Cider.

“Out of this year’s entries the Scandinavian entries stood out a bit more than those from the other countries and they seem to have taken the category a bit more seriously,” said Chairman of the Design Judges Paul Foulkes-Arellano on the Design and Innovation award. “One of these was the clear winner: Brännland Cider’s Iscider from Sweden. What was really interesting was that it had a really stripped back design and it was understated but elegant and it looked a million dollars. It really reflected that Scandi design feel. As an ice cider going up against ice wine the producer wants it to be paired with food, and this really came across in the design. It stood head and shoulders about everything else; a great design and not overloaded with stuff.”

Brännland Cider produces cider using 100 percent Swedish apples for a national and international market. The company’s first vintage, an ice cider produced in the Swedish county of Västerbotten, not far from the arctic circle, using Swedish apples in adherence to the denomination set in the country of origin of ice cider, Canada, was released in 2012.

Executive Leadership Forum Challenges Roles of CIO and CTO

Executive leaders from key retail, insight and technology companies — including The Kroger Co., Nielsen, Cisco, SAP America, Brookshire Grocery Company and RangeMe – will delve into prioritizing digital strategies and why and how these companies have put their chief information officers (CIO) and chief technology officers (CTO) at the center of enterprise-wide digital initiatives at the Food Marketing Institute’s Executive Leadership Forum on June 13.

FMI Chief Collaboration Officer, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Mark Baum offered, “Our forum presenters will make the case that the position of the CIO/CTO has transformed into a strategic enabler in today’s retail landscape, a departure from their traditional role as the interpreter of techno-talk or the head of a capital-hungry cost center. The developments will further challenge CEOs and other C-suite executives to co-lead technology discussion and decision in the board room, and subsequently better meet the changing needs of today’s digitally engaged consumer.”

Contributors to the forum include:

  • John D’Anna, Executive Vice President Chief Strategic Officer, Brookshire Grocery Company
  • Annette Franke, Vice President, Kroger Technology (Moderator)
  • Glo Gordon, Vice President, IOT Cloud, Cisco
  • Nicky Jackson, President & Co-Founder, RangeMe
  • Lori Mitchell-Keller, Global General Manager Consumer Industries, SAP
  • Laurie Rains, Group Vice President, U.S. Retail Consumer & Shopper Analytics, Nielsen

A supporting corporate partner for the event, SAP’s Mitchell-Keller noted, “The CIO is the new strategic innovation and information officer – aligned to the CEO, and the enabler of new business processes – because the digital transformation of grocery is the future and is something the entire organization must embark on together.”

SAP will also host roundtable discussions that focus on critical omnichannel infrastructure areas: digital store operations and commerce; digital supply chain; digital marketing and merchandising; and digital fresh. C-level industry participants from major grocery, regional, independent operators and wholesalers will participate and represent companies such as Brookshire Grocery Company, Meijer, Inc., Price Chopper Supermarkets, Publix Super Markets, Inc. and The Kroger Co.

“The industry has changed, retail has changed, and we’ve turned to technology leaders to take us into a new era of intelligence and scalability,” RangeMe’s Jackson said. “I cannot think of a more forward-thinking and appropriate group of leaders to address our new digital reality for the food retail industry.”

Kings Food Markets And Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market Select KeHE

Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market selected KeHE Distributors as a specialty distributor for natural & organic, specialty, and private label items. The agreement is effective immediately. The transition is scheduled to be complete this summer.

“Across the KeHE community, we are energized to put our compelling service, pricing and promotions model to work for Kings and Balducci’s,” said Brandon Barnholt, president and CEO, KeHE. “We are honored to be a part of their distribution network and to help achieve their future growth plans.”

An upscale gourmet food market, Kings is recognized as a pioneer within the specialty food industry. Kings began in 1936 with the humble purpose of finding the freshest available produce, and today Kings provides a unique shopping experience paired with the highest quality foods. Its founders identified the best local farmers and established long-lasting relationships that have grown. Today, it has 25 stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut that sell local, national and international specialty food products. Specialty food retailer Balducci’s was started in Brooklyn in 1916 by “Pop” Balducci and has grown to become a gourmet powerhouse, specializing in hand-selected meats and cheeses, restaurant-quality prepared foods, and fresh baked goods with 10 store locations in Maryland, Virginia, New York and Connecticut. Both companies were acquired by KB Holding, Inc. in 2016.

“By choosing KeHE, we have selected a specialty supplier that shares our collective passion for food, which continues to be the enduring foundation of our success,” said Judith Spires, Chairman and CEO, Kings and Balducci’s. “This partnership will continue to grow our business while enhancing our ability to deliver an expertly curated selection of offerings to the communities we serve.”

Color It, Texture It, Shape It, Taste It

Formulated with professional chefs in mind, Mona Lisa’s premium rolled fondant makes it a breeze to create colorful masterpieces. Made with high-quality, flavorful ingredients, the fondant complements and enhances the flavors in your desserts while adding visual pizzazz. It can be transformed into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, in original white or chocolate, or even tinted to make your own signature colors.
 
Extended Workability
Premium ingredients and unique formulation keep the rolled fondant pliable longer, allowing for extended working time with no cracking or tearing, even on shaped cakes.

Bright and Colorful
Quality ingredients deliver bright white color without the use of the food color additive titanium dioxide, and the chocolate fondant is deep, rich brown.

Stands Up to the Elements
When exposed to excessively humid or dry conditions, the fondant stands its ground and does not become sticky, tacky or dry.

Protective Packaging
Vacuum-sealed protection prevents the fondant from drying out on the edges and top, making the fondant 100 percent usable with no waste from unopened pails.

Rigoni di Asiago’s Skiro the Squirrel Spreads Nocciolata Love in NYC

This month, Skiro the Squirrel, Rigoni di Asiago’s beloved mascot, is spreading the love of his favorite hazelnut-chocolate treat, Nocciolata, in New York City with a spin wheel of prizes including delicious product samples and coupons. At over six feet tall, it’ll be hard to miss this larger-than-life squirrel who enjoys taking selfies almost as much as he loves to eat Nocciolata. He’s making appearances during June in Bryant Park, Chelsea, Tribeca, Brooklyn and Union Square.

 

SquirrelThe origin of Skiro is the fairy tale of how Nocciolata came to be. As the story goes, a gnome named Birgale invented and discovered Nocciolata. Skiro is Birgale’s best friend who lives in the woods in the Altopiano di Asiago, loves hazelnuts, and is a helper to the magical gnomes of the forest. His name comes from the word “Skirat,” which means “squirrel” in the old German dialect that was spoken in the Asiago region of Italy until the 1900s.

Nocciolata is a chocolate-hazelnut spread with an undeniably superior flavor and smooth texture. Each batch takes 36 hours of artisanal preparation, which combines top-quality hazelnuts, fair trade cocoa and cocoa butter, environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil, natural vanilla extract, raw cane sugar, and skimmed milk. Unlike other chocolate-hazelnut spreads, Nocciolata contains no palm oil, hydrogenated fats, artificial colors, aromas or additives. Nocciolata Dairy Free is a certified vegan version of the original perfect for those who follow a vegan lifestyle or are lactose intolerant.

Those not in the Big Apple can still participate in the fun by heading over to Rigoni di Asiago’s Facebook Page on Fridays in June to spin a virtual wheel for the chance to win prizes! Rigoni di Asiago will also select five Instagram winners to win amazing Nocciolata goodies. To enter, simply post a photo of your Nocciolata jar or recipe on Instagram and use the hashtag #NutsforNocciolata.

Rigoni di Asiago products are available in stores nationwide and online.

Abdallah Candies’ New Caramel Creations Satisfies the Rise in Category Popularity

Abdallah Candies, a Minnesota-based candy company, has introduced new varieties to its highly popular “Old Fashioned Caramels” category. Known particularly for the premium caramel, Abdallah Candies’ individually twist-wrapped butter caramel morsels now have companions that are every bit as mouthwatering. New flavors such as chocolate-vanilla-sea-salt-twist, roasted-almond-coconut and toffee-almond caramel now accompany the best-selling plain butter caramels.

Available packaged in 7 ounce bags or in bulk, the new varieties extend the line with unique flavor combinations that perfectly complement the ultra-soft creamy caramel the company is famous for. For those who manufacture and desire the famous caramel flavor and want a caramel that is soft, creamy and won’t flow off their product, 12 pound blocks are available.

Abdallah Candies is a fourth generation, Minnesota family-owned gourmet confectioner which manufactures more than 200 varieties of specialty chocolates, including 24 flavors and two sizes of fresh cream truffles, tender toffees, caramels, stemmed cherries, fruits, clusters, creams, nougats and sugar free chocolates. Products are available packaged for everyday and seasonal sales and are also available in bulk.

Dairy Iowa Event is June 8

Dairy Iowa, a partnership between individuals and organizations invested in Iowa’s dairy industry, will hold its annual June Dairy Month event June 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heartland Agribition Center in Independence. The meeting’s keynote speaker is Kevin Murphy of Food Chain Communications, addressing the challenges faced by the dairy community from misinformation and extremist attitudes, and how to respond.

The day’s events are concurrent with a youth communications workshop presented by Midwest Dairy. All Iowa dairy youth enthusiasts are encouraged to attend.

The program includes a panel of dairy farmers sharing their labor-saving and value-added efforts, as well as roundtable discussions among many of the groups who work on behalf of dairy throughout Iowa. In addition to Midwest Dairy and the Iowa State Dairy Association, participants will include the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance, Northeast Iowa Community College, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa State University.

In addition, the meeting will host the presentation of the annual Ralph Keeling Awards given to individuals dedicated to Iowa’s dairy legacy, and scholarships presented by Midwest Dairy Association and the Iowa State Dairy Association.

Those wishing to attend may visit IowaDairy.org for more information, or may contact Mitch Schulte at mschulte@midwestdairy.com or 319.775.3451.

Wisconsin Cheese Named Official State Dairy Product

Wisconsin has long been synonymous with cheese, but the state legislature has made it official – Wisconsin cheese is now the state dairy product. Wisconsin cheese joins a list of prominent state symbols including the dairy cow, designated the state’s domestic animal in 1971, and milk, Wisconsin’s official state beverage since 1987.

For more than a century, Wisconsin has led the nation in cheese production, producing over three billion pounds of cheese annually. Wisconsin cheesemakers combine generations of tradition with cutting edge innovation to craft the finest cheese, and Wisconsin is the only place outside of Europe to offer a prestigious Master Cheesemaker certification for veteran cheesemakers who have been making cheese for 10 years or more. The state regularly takes home top honors for its world class cheeses including a recent historic sweep of the cheese industry’s three major competitions – the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, the American Cheese Society Competition and the World Championship Cheese Contest.

The designation was proposed by a group of fourth grade students at Mineral Point Elementary in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. It was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker at a special signing event at Mineral Point Elementary on June 1. WMMB also participated in the historic signing event and provided fresh squeaky Wisconsin cheese curds for the students to enjoy.

“We are so pleased to give Wisconsin cheese the recognition it deserves by declaring it the official state dairy product,” said Governor Scott Walker. “Today we celebrate the efforts of Wisconsin’s hard-working dairy farmers and cheesemakers who make us all proud to live in America’s Dairyland.”

“This is a victory for everyone in the Wisconsin dairy community to celebrate–from the dairy farmers who produce the highest quality milk to the third and fourth generation cheesemakers who have dedicated their lives to making the best cheese in the world,” said Suzanne Fanning, Vice President, National Product Communications, of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “We’d like to thank Mrs. Livia Doyle and the efforts of her fourth grade class at Mineral Point Elementary for proposing the idea and seeing it all the way to the governor’s desk! This is a wonderful way for kids to learn about the state government and see that they can make a difference.”

“The students are absolutely thrilled that their voices have been heard,” said Livia Doyle, fourth grade Teacher at Mineral Point Elementary School. “Being a part of this legislative process has been more meaningful and educational than ever imagined! The students have experienced firsthand what it means to have an idea and to share it with our representatives.”

To learn more about Wisconsin cheese visit EatWisconsinCheese.com.

Peapod Expands Nutrition Filters

Imagine walking into a grocery store where all of the products displayed are based on a shopper’s personal tastes, dietary preferences and budget. Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer, aims to do just that by enabling shoppers to curate their own personalized digital aisle. An early innovator of smart shopping technology, Peapod has expanded its filtering capabilities to include four new nutrition filters: “Non-GMO,” “Sugar Free,” “Vegan” and “Vegetarian.” Adding to Peapod’s already robust sort feature, shoppers can now customize their searches with 16 features specific to nutrition preferences, in addition to a variety of filters including brand preference, price and sale specials.

“Our customers have told us that one of the pain points of traditional in-store grocery shopping is the overwhelming selection and the time it takes to read labels in order to find what they need,” said Carrie Bienkowski, Peapod’s Chief Marketing Officer. “While we all want options, we also want to find what we’re looking for and to do so quickly. As a digital player, we can create personalized, curated shopping experiences to help consumers find what they’re looking for with just a few clicks. These tools also help our shoppers discover new products that meet their specific needs.

The new filters are based on growing consumer food and nutritional trends, as well as Peapod’s own consumer insights. Forty-two percent of consumers read nutrition labels before purchasing and non-GMO labeling is becoming increasingly important to consumers as sales of non-GMO products are predicted to hit $330 billion by 2019. Moreover, vegan and vegetarian filters were added as plant-based diets continue to gain popularity. Almost a third of Millennials indicate they eat a meat alternative product every day, and 70 percent consume them at least a few times a week.

“Our customers are often early adopters of emerging trends, “says Bienkowski. “As such, we’re able to utilize our keyword search data to stay ahead of the market. Since adding the “Organic” filter in 2014, it has become our most frequently used filter, and all Peapod carts now have at least one organic item.”

Enhanced smart shopping tools represent Peapod’s commitment to revolutionizing how consumers shop for groceries. With more than 12,000 products, including fresh produce; meat and seafood; deli items; natural and organic foods; and a wide range of prepared foods and easy-to-prep meal kits, Peapod is a one-stop shop for convenient meal solutions and weekly stock-ups of pantry staples.

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