Get Adobe Flash player

Frontier Soups New Orleans Jambalaya Soup Mix

Native to Louisiana, but appreciated nationwide, Frontier Soups™ gluten-free, non-GMO New Orleans Jambalaya Soup Mix contains saffron- and turmeric-seasoned calasparra rice and peppers in the mix. Home cooks add broth, ham, tomatoes and shrimp for an authentic taste of the French Quarter in just 30 minutes.

Suggested retail price: $5.95-$6.49 for 4.5 ounce package.

Call Frontier Soups at 800.300.7687.

Finalists for sofi Award for Best Specialty Foods of 2015 Announced

Vegan Hot Fudge from Massachusetts, Wagyu Beef Jerky from New Mexico, and Grilled Olives from central Italy are among 125 finalists for the Specialty Food Association’s sofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of 2015. The list of finalists is here.

Winners will be announced June 29, 2015, by Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s Chopped, at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. A sofi Award is the highest honor in the $109 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation. The contest, now in its 43rd year, is open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs.

There were 2,715 entries across 32 awards categories, including outstanding chocolate, cheese, and savory snack. The finalists were selected by a national panel of specialty food experts. The contenders will go on to the last round of judging, which takes place during the Summer Fancy Food Show. “A sofi means a product, and the people behind it, have arrived,” says Ann Daw, President of the Specialty Food Association. This year’s finalists represent a devotion to excellence and innovation in specialty food that continues to fuel our industry.”

This year’s judges included top buyers from Whole Foods Market, Bristol Farms, Brooklyn Larder, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, Food52 Shop, Kroger,, Williams-Sonoma, Fresh Direct, Brooklyn Larder, Citarella, DPI, Eataly, Formaggio Kitchen, HelloFresh, Chelsea Market Baskets, The Fresh Market and UNFI. The panel also included a food historian, and chefs Sara Moulton of Sara’s Weeknight Meals on PBS and Nick Anderer, Executive Chef and Partner, Maialino and Marta restaurants. Journalists on the panel were from Food & Wine, Rodale, The Village Voice, New York Daily News and Fox 5 News.

TWINOAKS Announces Taste Station Launch


Shopper marketing agency TWINOAKS has just announced the launch and test of Treasury Wine Estates’ taste stations in 1,000 Kroger stores across 20 states this spring. It allows shoppers to sample three varietals of Beringer commercial wines via single serve “flavor strips”.tastestrip

TWINOAKS led the concept development and design of this innovation which not only benefits the shopper but also addresses the legal complexities within the wine category as the strips deliver the full flavor of the wines while being nonalcoholic.  “We are proud to have partnered with Treasury Wine Estates and are tremendously excited by the marketing advances this technology delivers.  It uniquely addresses the needs of both the shopper and our client.  Further, it provides retailers with a new form of shopper engagement and ability to convert shoppers within the category,” commented Steve Devore, Managing Director, TWINOAKS.

The launch of the taste stations is the result of a year-long campaign based on research findings that state 94 percent of women running households say sampling gives them a better idea of a product than advertising, and 83 percent of shoppers say that an item they’ve sampled has become a repeat purchase.Other key contributors to the launch included Acorn Design and Manufacturing, Acupac Packaging, Inc., and News America Marketing.

“We are thrilled with the thought-leadership and resolve demonstrated by our agency partner, TWINOAKS, throughout this process. This is an innovation the category has never seen and they were instrumental in bringing it to fruition,” said Tammy Ackerman, Senior Brand Manager for Beringer.

Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program Announces 2015 Graduates

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program, the nation’s only advanced training program of its kind for veteran cheesemakers, has graduated two new and four returning Master Cheesemakers. Wisconsin now has 55 active Masters working in 33 companies across the state.

The newest Master Cheesemakers, who were formally certified at a ceremony during the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in Madison this week, are Adam Buholzer, of Klondike Cheese Company in Monroe, and Chris Roelli, of Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg.

Buholzer is a fourth-generation cheesemaker and one of four Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers in the Buholzer family, including his father, Steve, and uncles, Ron and Dave Buholzer. Adam is now certified as a Master for feta and havarti.

Roelli is certified as a Master in cheddar, the variety on which his family’s original plant was founded. Since re-opening the business in 2006, he has emerged as an award-winning producer of artisanal Wisconsin originals, including Dunbarton Blue, Little Mountain and Red Rock. Like Buholzer, Roelli is a fourth-generation Wisconsin cheesemaker.

Joining the new Masters in the 2015 graduating class are veteran Masters who completed the program again to earn certification for additional cheese varieties. They are:

  • Ken Heiman, Nasonville Dairy, Marshfield, Wisconsin, now certified for cheddar and asiago, as well as feta and Monterey Jack.
  • Mike Matucheski, Sartori Company, Antigo, Wisconsin, now certified for fontina and romano, as well as parmesan and asiago.
  • Duane Petersen, Arla Foods USA Inc., Kaukauna, Wisconsin, now certified for havarti, as well as gouda and edam.
  • Steve Stettler, Decatur Dairy Inc., Brodhead, Wisconsin, now certified for cheddar, as well as brick, farmer’s cheese, havarti, muenster and specialty Swiss.

“It’s exciting to see the ranks of Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers continue to grow and for this unique program to have such a sustained, positive impact on cheesemaking in Wisconsin,” says James Robson, CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “Each year’s class takes the advanced training, expertise and insights they gain back to their plants and to the teams that they work with and mentor every day. The bar on product quality and innovation within those companies, large and small, just keeps rising.”

Established in 1994 through a joint partnership of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, University of Wisconsin-Extension and Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program is the most formalized, advanced training program in the nation. Patterned after European programs, it is administered by the Center for Dairy Research and funded by Wisconsin dairy producers, through WMMB. Applicants must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years of experience in a Quality Assured Plant. Cheesemakers can earn certification in up to two cheese varieties each time they enroll in the three-year program and must have been making those varieties as a licensed cheesemaker for a minimum of five years prior to entering the program. Once certified, they’re entitled to use the distinctive Master’s Mark® on their product labels and in other marketing materials.

New Hope Natural Media Event to Address Food Supply Chain

Esca Bona, an event dedicated to accelerating innovation within the good food movement, will take place in Austin, Texas from October 26, 2015 to October 28, 2015 at the Sheraton Austin Hotel. Esca Bona will connect trend-setting entrepreneurs, game-changing technologists and visionary business leaders from across the supply chain with the end goal of magnifying the positive innovation happening in food. The event is produced by New Hope Natural Media.

This highly-curated gathering will spotlight many of the most transformative ideas shaping our food future. Credible, influential voices from all aspects of the food supply chain will partner through actionable formats such as a Rapid Prototype Workshop, a Global Town Hall and an “Entrepreneur’s Kitchen and Garage” to create new solutions to the challenges of accessibility, scalability and transparency facing our current food system.

“Change is happening at a faster rate than ever before” said Carlotta Mast, Executive Content Director and Event Ambassador for Esca Bona. “We believe the next-generation innovators, mission-based disruptors and revolutionary change-agents need a place to come together to accelerate their ability to create a better food world.”

The five macro concepts currently shaping the content of the event include:

  • Trust Through Transparency: From soil to stomach, the modern consumer’s quest for good food assurance is driving radical changes across the food ecosystem. The conference will address how suppliers, technologists, retailers and brands are collaborating for supreme transparency.
  • Massive Access and Affordability: Can great food really reach the masses? How do we get from where we are to the world we want? Esca Bona will explore how by bringing big food, smart food and good food closer together, the industry can overcome the many barriers preventing great food from getting to those who need it most.
  • Authenticity Rock Stardom: Doing well has not always meant doing good. While those tables may have turned, the rise of the authentic brand is still not an easy one. The conference will explore whether authentic, mission-based brands can continue to climb the ranks of the food dynasties or become destined to lose their way.
  • Saving Food’s Renegades: We need to fortify our future good food leaders, but supporting the break-through technologies of tomorrow will require more than capital. Esca Bona will dig into the “what” of how to best ensure the success of tomorrow’s food leaders.
  • Nourishtech: The future is already closer than we think—and it’s disrupting everything. Chicken-less eggs and cow-less hamburgers aren’t just in labs, they’re hitting consumers’ plates. What can food technology do for us, how can we make it sustainable, nourishing and more importantly—in arm’s reach of the average consumer?

Participants will convene inspired by the people they will meet, learn from, work with and mentor during their time in Austin—and they will leave supported by the new relationships, friendships and partners they will need to fast track their ideas, missions and businesses.

Grand Champion of Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Announced


Fromagerie du Presbytère’s Laliberté is the new Grand Champion at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Gala of Champions. The cream-enriched soft cheese with a bloomy rind was determined best of all cheeses in 27 categories.

Sponsored and hosted every two years by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix celebrates the high quality, versatility and great taste of Canadian cheese made from Canadian milk. “From all the excellent cheeses the jury tasted, we found Laliberté to be the stand-out. This cheese truly distinguished itself in texture, taste and overall appearance. Its exquisite aromatic triple cream with its tender bloomy rind encases an unctuous well balanced flavour with hints of mushroom, pastures and root vegetables,” said Phil Bélanger, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury chairman. laliberte

Named after Alfred Laliberté, the famous sculptor born in St. Elizabeth de Warwick, QC, the farmstead cheese took a year and a half to develop and is made from 100 percent Canadian cow’s milk.The cheesemaker is no stranger to the Grand Prix, as their Louis d’Or was notably named Grand Champion of the contest in 2011.

The Grand Champion and 27 category winners were selected from a record-setting 268 cheese entries submitted by cheese makers from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia. The submissions were then narrowed down to 81 finalists by the jury in February.

With the expansion of entries, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix has added nine new categories to the competition. Gouda was judged in three different age categories, as well as a category exclusively for smoked cheeses. Cheeses were judged on appearance, flavor, color, texture and body, and salt content.

Free From Products to be Shown at Free From Food/Ingredients 2015

The countdown is now on to Free From Food/Ingredients 2015 – which will showcase the very latest in “free from” products from across Europe and beyond on June 4 and 5 in Barcelona. The doors will open on the third edition of the two-day exhibition with hundreds of exciting food and drink products – from gluten free to nut free, going on display. Exhibitors include Warburtons, Mrs Crimble’s, and Nature’s Path from the UK, Fishmasters from Netherlands, Wellaby’s from Greece, Mulino Marello from Italy and Oskri from the USA.

Mrs Crimble’s will use Free From Food/Ingredients 2015 to herald a new sub brand: Gluten Free….and Good For Me. Launching in May, the first products to hit the shelves will be three varieties of Italian pasta with sauce and three new cereal bars. Pasta with sauce is the first combination product available from Mrs. Crimble’s within “free from,” with corn pasta and dried sauce.

Nature’s Path will be exhibiting its range of gluten free breakfast cereals. Wellaby’s from Greece will be showcasing an innovative “free from” baked snacks including its award-winning Lentil Chips. Italy-based Mulino Marello will be exhibiting stone ground gluten free flours while Slendier, from Australia, will be highlighting its Calorie Clever range – “free from” pasta, noodle and rice alternatives. Meanwhile Britain’s biggest baker, Warburtons, will be showcasing products from its award-winning Newburn Bakehouse range – gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free wraps and gluten free cracker thins.

“There will be a stunning, innovative and diverse range of products on show at Free From Food/Ingredients 2015 – which really does make it an exhibition not to be missed. It just goes to show that the Free From market is growing at an incredible pace – with more exciting products now available than ever before – right across the ‘free from’ spectrum. The presence of exhibitors such as Warburtons at Free From Food/Ingredients 2015, highlights how hugely important the Free From category is,” said Ronald Holman, Exhibition Director.



Gelato-Filled Fruit from Divino USA

Divino USA, Inc. has entered the U.S. frozen dessert market with its distinctive line of Italian handcrafted gelato-filled fruit. The company is poised
to continue on the current trajectory of rapid growth in this country, having already secured national distribution available through KeHE, Haddon House, Nature’s Best and UNFI. Unlike any other gelato on the market, Divino is made from fresh Southern Italian fruit that is hand-picked near the Divino factory on the Amalfi Coast. The fresh fruit pulp is blended with volcanic waters from neighboring Mount Vesuvius, sweetened with natural sugar and lemon juice, and then filled into the halved fruit shell and frozen to a delicious single serving.
Divino varieties include Amalfi Lemon, Roman Kiwi, Ciaculli Tangerine, Apulian Peach and Black Diamond Plum. Each single serve item contains about 100 calories, and all are gluten-free certified, fat free and Non-GMO Project Verified. Each unit is individually packaged in a colorful box and includes a serving tray and spoon, allowing for easy display and grab-and-go. The fruit shell containing the gelato is also completely edible. The product has a shelf life of approximately 12 months. Divino calls its frozen treats ‘gelato’ because in Italy, both ice cream and sorbet fall under the gelato category.

Divino is available in natural foods stores, as well as select grocery and specialty stores across the country, with rapidly growing national distribution, and retails for approximately $3.99-$4.49 per single serving. For more information, visit

Spaghetti Without the Gluten from Explore-Asian

By Richard Thompson

For those who have to avoid their favorite pasta meals comes Edamame Spaghetti from Explore-Asian, a new spin on pasta that’s not only good, but healthier too. Gluten free, organic, vegan, kosher, non-GMO and approved by the American Heart Association, it’s not just ridiculously delicious but it’s sure to appeal to a wide range of health-conscious shoppers.

Retailing from 3.99 to 4.79, Edamame Spaghetti is made simply from organic beans and water. One serving has 24 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, packaged and ready to eat in just a few minutes. Add a little pesto for a delectable treat, but any sauce is the perfect complement. This is pasta reinvented.

For further information visit them at

Stonewall Kitchen’s New Bloody Mary Mixers Will Satisfy All Taste Buds

By Richard Thompson

Summer is right around the corner and Stonewall Kitchen™ is geared up to cool off and refresh summer goers with two new choices added to their selection of Bloody Mary Mixers. The Peppadew® Sriracha Bloody Mary Mixer combines a zesty combination of spicy Sriracha, lime juice and other spices to make a brisk addition to anyone relaxing poolside or looking for a beverage that can bring a chill of delight during the warm weather. With a suggested retail price of $8.95 for a 24 ounce bottle, those looking for a Bloody Mary mix with a kick will keep coming back for more. Simply served over ice adding a vodka favorite and garnish can make a delicious, savory and unique mix that will keep people out of the pool and waiting to refill their glass.

Where the Peppadew Mixer is for those looking for a little spice in their drink, the Cucumber Dill Bloody Mary Mixer is for beverage connoisseurs who desire a little garden fresh escape from the heat. The just-picked cucumber sensation on taste buds followed by a dash of horseradish, tomato and spices brings a bouquet of balance for any day of the week. This robust beverage will bring a crisp freshness to any patio and if a fresh cut cucumber is added, the refill requests will never end.

These delicious additions bring a new vest to the well-established original Bloody Mary Mixer that has maintained the right level of seasonings with its perfect amount of lemon flavor that makes no brunch complete without one. Stonewall Kitchen’s original Bloody Mary Mixer can be purchased at the retail price of $6.95, making the Bloody Mary Mixer, the Peppadew Sriracha Bloody Mary Mixer and the Cucumber Dill Bloody Mary Mixer the only beverage choices for summer.

For more information, visit or call 888.326.5678.

Gourmet News

Follow me on Twitter