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America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge Back Again

The quest to find the perfect potato salad is a life-long journey that has been the source of friendly family rivalries for decades. To celebrate this timeless debate, Reser’s Fine Foods® decided to make things interesting and invite people to put their spuds on display for a national debate. Back for its third year, Reser’s Fine Foods is inviting the nation to participate in America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge, boasting more than $20,000 in prize money plus a trip to Las Vegas to compete for the national title at the World Food Championships.

The America’s Best Potato Salad Challenge is a two-tiered competition, inviting competition barbecue teams, as well as any chef or home cook with a tasty potato salad recipe, to take their chance at the national title. Five select Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned events will make up the BBQ Competitor Series, with the top two placing teams at each event receiving a cash prize and the first place winner receiving an additional $1,000 travel stipend to compete in the championship round in Las Vegas.

But the competitive barbecue teams won’t be having all the fun. In the Consumer Series portion of the challenge, home cooks are invited to submit their favorite recipe online. Reser’s will select the 10 best recipes and invite those finalists to pack their potato peelers, and their bags, for Las Vegas.

“Reser’s has been whipping up world famous potato salad for more than 60 years, so we know a winning recipe when we taste one,” said Teresa Carter, Category Manager at Reser’s. “We can’t wait to dig in to this year’s entries and name a new champion!”

The first contest of the Competitor Series will take place next Friday, on April 18 at the High on the Hog Festival in Winchester, Tenn. To register, view a schedule of events and official rules for participation, visit kcbs.us/potatosalad.

On Tuesday, April 15, Consumers are invited to submit their recipes for the Consumer Series at resers.com/potatosaladcontest.

Natural Grocers Opens In Las Cruces

 Natural Grocers, Inc.  has opened its fifth New Mexico location in Las Cruces at 3970 E. Lohman Avenue and is inviting customers to visit, sample new foods and products, and join the Grand Opening Week festivities.

“We are excited to offer the people of Las Cruces and the surrounding communities healthy food options at an affordable price and free nutrition resources,” said Kemper Isely, Co-president of Natural Grocers.

Shoppers in the Las Cruces area may wonder how a grocery store can change people’s lives. “It’s because we provide the resources that people need to live a life of optimum health and vitality even when facing health challenges,” Isely explained.

  • Each Natural Grocers store offers many free science-based health and nutrition learning resources, including exceptionally high quality natural and organic groceries, natural body care and dietary supplements – all at affordable prices.
  • Natural Grocers will not sell any grocery product that contains artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, or harmful trans fats.
  • Natural Grocers sells only USDA Certified Organic produce.
  • Meats  come from animals that were raised without the use of antibiotics, growth promoters or feed containing animal by products.
  • Each Natural Grocers store has a credentialed Nutritional Health Coach (NHC). The service is offered free of charge. NHCs can answer questions on special diet needs, help design a personalized supplement and eating program, or point toward the products that support health and fitness goals. Customers can even sign up for individual coaching sessions or attend a nutrition class or cooking demonstration in the store’s teaching kitchen.
  • Throughout the store, the knowledgeable staff welcomes questions about special diets like gluten-free, Paleo, vegetarian/vegan, and low-glycemic, or about specific supplements or products.
  • Shoppers can look for more than 680 products from over 40 different New Mexico companies. Product approval guidelines are here.
  • Las Cruces shoppers can come in to get yummy cooking demos, hear speakers or attend seminars.
  • The store doesn’t offer plastic or paper shopping bags at its registers; groceries are packed in free recycled boxes for customers who don’t bring their own totes.

The Las Cruces store opened on April 1.

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC): Founded in Colorado by Margaret & Philip Isely in 1955, Natural Grocers was built on the premise that consumers should have access to affordable, high-quality foods and dietary supplements, along with nutrition knowledge to help them support their own health. The family-run store has since grown into a successful national chain with locations across Colorado, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, Idaho, Nebraska,Arizona and Oregon, and employs over 2000 people. The company went public in July 2012. Isely family members continue to manage the company, building on the foundation of their parents’ business.

Lucini Olive Oils Recognized in International Competition

Two Lucini® extra virgin olive oils were awarded gold medals at the second annual New York International Olive Oil Competition. Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil® and Founders Reserve Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil® were honored in the medium intensity and robust intensity categories respectively.
Considered to be one of the most elite olive oil competitions in the world, the NYIOOC boasted 651 extra virgin olive oils from 25 countries worldwide. The oils were rated by an international expert panel of esteemed judges in a double blind tasting who rated each oil’s fruitiness, pungency and bitterness while noting any defects that are not allowed in extra virgin olive oil by law.
The judges noted the “exceptional harmony” and “high complexity” of both Lucini oils, highlighting their aromatic and taste profiles. “We are extremely honored and proud of this recognition,” said David Neuman, President of Lucini Italia. “This is a testament to our mission that began over 17 years ago; producing only the best extra virgin olive oil and making it accessible to the American consumer. ”
Harvested near Bolgheri, Tuscany in early November to preserve the full flavor and peak health properties, the 100 percent handpicked olives used in Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil are handpicked and crushed within 24 hours. Renowned for its Tuscan taste profile, the oil is full-bodied and green, with hints of apple, herbs, almond and a peppery finish. A consumer and celebrity chef favorite, it is the best-selling extra virgin olive oil over $10 in the United States.
Founders Reserve Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil originates in Montenero d’Orcia, Tuscany, at the estate of the renowned and award-winning Frantoio Franci. Two estate-grown olive varieties, Frantoio and Olivastra Seggianese, are picked by hand and pressed within twelve hours, capturing the coveted flavor only found in the best, fresh olive fruit. The oil is abundantly green in both aroma and taste, with notes of spice and cinnamon and a strong peppery finish. Less than 5,000 bottles were produced of this very special oil.
This is the second NYIOOC win for Lucini. Lucini Limited Reserve® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil® received a gold medal in the 2013 competition. For more information on the New York International Olive Oil Competition visit http://www.bestoliveoils.com/.

Crofter’s Organic Celebrates 25 Years as a Leader in the Organic Fruit Spread Industry

In 1989, Gerhard Latka and his wife Gabriele co-founded Crofter’s Organic in Parry Sound, Ontario, with the dream of creating organic fruit spreads that were nutritious and affordable – an ambitious goal since the organic food industry had not yet gained popularity in North America. Perseverance and belief in the value of Crofter’s low-sugar, organic fruit spreads sustained Crofter’s through the early years. Over the past 25 years, Crofter’s Organic has  blended, jarred and sold antioxidant-rich fruit spreads to jam lovers across North America, fulfilling the original mission to bring the highest quality organic products, “from source to spread,” to consumers. Today, Crofter’s Organic remains family owned and is the largest organic jam manufacturer in North America and the leading brand in the natural channel in the United States.

“From the beginning, we were dedicated to making the best tasting, nutritious, organic fruit spreads, focusing on robust, fresh fruit flavor and an elegantly spreadable consistency but with less sugar than traditional preserves,” said Gerhard Latka, Co-Founder and President of Crofter’s Organic. “We wanted to create products that brought consumers what we like to call ‘accessible organic’; high-quality, low-sugar, non-GMO spreads at an affordable price.”

The demand for lower sugar, more nutrient-dense foods that still taste great is a pervading theme in food formulation these days, as consumers, healthcare providers and nutritionists have become increasingly aware of the negative impact of high-sugar, and nutritionally void foods made with artificial ingredients. As a result, Crofter’s minimally processed, low-sugar products provide shoppers a high-quality organic alternative to traditional jams and preserves, at only 30 calories a serving.

Crofter’s  offers shoppers more than 20 certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified spreads, including the fair trade cane sugar sweetened Premium Spreads, the high antioxidant Superfruit TM spreads and the no added cane sugar Just FruitTM  Spreads. Over the past 25 years, the company has established long-term relationships with suppliers and growers around the world, which means that Crofter’s Organic high-quality ingredients come from the best sources on earth.

Through continued commitment to innovation, Crofter’s aims to remain the benchmark for quality standards, resources, process and products in the fruit spread industry with the goal of making a positive impact on the health and well-being of generations to come.

“We want to be the best low calorie fruit spread,” adds Latka. “The best ingredients, crafted with the utmost attention to quality in our own manufacturing facility, results in a delicious fruit spread that is also healthy – not loaded with sugar or any unnecessary ingredients.”

TEA-RRIFIC! ICE CREAM Now in New England Whole Foods Markets

TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM® ice cream is now available at most Whole Foods Market locations throughout New England. The following flavors will be available – Chunky London Mist, Ginger Matcha, Masala Chai and Chamomile.

Mario Leite, President and Founder of TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM stated, “We are very excited to extend our relationship with a partner such as Whole Foods Market which maintains such high standards in its product selection, and to have the opportunity to share our distinctly delicious ice cream with their customers throughout New England.”

To find a location near you, visit the company website at http://tearrificicecream.com/where-to-find/.

H-E-B Markets to Stock 505 Southwestern Sauces

505 Southwestern has reached an agreement with H-E-B Markets to sell its line of All Natural 505 Southwestern sauces and salsas in 62 H-E-B Markets across the state of Texas. 505 Southwestern Sauces and Salsas are available in mild, medium and hot flavor profiles, are all natural, gluten free and made with 100 percent green and red chile peppers grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, also known as the “Chile Capital of The World.” 505 Southwestern products come in five tantalizing varieties including Flame Roasted Green Chile, Green Chile Sauce, Enchilada & Tamale Sauce and an assortment of Salsas.

We have seen an overwhelming positive response from both retailers and consumers to the quality and superior taste of our sauces and salsas. We are extremely excited that Texans will now have the opportunity to experience our 505 Southwestern sauces and salsas for themselves,” said Ray Gadd, Executive Vice President of 505 Southwestern.

Rapidly growing in popularity nationwide, 505 Southwestern sauces and salsas are setting the standard in the fast growing Hispanic-influenced sauce category. 505 Southwestern uses only Hatch Valley pungent green chile peppers that deliver a smooth, simmering heat and a kaleidoscope of chile flavors based upon legendary recipes of generations past from the Hatch Valley in southwestern New Mexico.

505 Southwestern sauces and salsas are available in mild, medium and hot tantalizing flavor profiles and packed in glass jars. 

Finalists for 2014 sofi Awards Announced

Fruit gels from Hawaii, Sriracha popcorn from Washington state and beet yogurt from New York all made the finals in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi™ Awards contest.

A sofi is considered the highest honor in the $88 billion specialty food industry. A national panel of specialty food professionals tasted and evaluated 2,025 specialty foods and beverages across 30 categories to come up with their list of 109 finalists.

See the complete list.

Winners will be announced at a red-carpet ceremony June 30, 2014, at the Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. The event will be hosted by Dominique Ansel, the noted pastry chef.

“Creativity, innovation, and excellence were in evidence across all awards categories,” says Association President Ann Daw. “The finalists reflect the best of the craft, care and joy our members bring to the specialty food they create.”

The awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.

Judges spent five days selecting finalists. They included top buyers from Fresh Direct, Whole Foods Market, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Mollie Stone’s Market, DeLaurenti’s Specialty Food & Wine, Kroger, Bristol Farms, Sickles Market, and Artisanal Premium Cheese. The panel also included a food historian, executive chefs from Loi restaurant and Grand Central Oyster Bar, and journalists from Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Edible Manhattan and Cooking Stoned.

Sriracha Sauce Plant Declared Public Nuisance

The Associated Press is reporting that the city of Irwindale, Calif. has declared the Huy Fong Foods, Inc. plant that makes its Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce is a public nuisance. The action gives Huy Fong 90 days to abate the odors that have prompted complaints from nearby residents and gives city officials the right to enter the plant and make changes if the odors persist past that date, according to the Associated Press. Read the entire story here in the Huffington Post.

Juiceology Debuts Green Essentials and Dresses the Line in New Packaging

Aligned with nature’s wisdom, Juiceology takes the science of juicing to a whole new dimension with its mind-blowing juice superblends. Unlike anything out there, it is the first and only superblend of premium juices and whole grain extracts that delivers an unparalleled freshly juiced experience in its purest form.

Be inspired to live well! Its new Green Essentials, a luscious blend of Green Apple, Cucumber, Kiwi, Pear, Banana, Spirulina, Blue Green Algae, Spinach, Wheatgrass and Oat Grass with Juiceology’s whole grain extracts, is unlike any green juice on the market.

Juiceology is passionate about nature’s most precious fruits, vegetables, and grains. It provides daily wellness by harnessing the pure, vital health benefits of all of these raw ingredients, delivering them together, for the first time, in their least processed and most beneficial form.

Unlike heavy meals, Juiceology is perfect for breakfast, after long day at work, before a workout, or whenever the body needs to be nourished. Be uplifted by refreshing superblends that nourish and restore the entire body. Feel better all day long with convenient, ready-to-go fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that provide a totum of nutrients and fiber. Uniquely healthy, Juiceology has no added sugar, unlike other “fresh” juices on the market, and is wheat gluten-free.

JuiceologyCreated by family-owned and Los Angeles based Daklen Inc., Juiceology gets a powerful dose of micronutrient extracts, which are designed to be easily assimilated by the digestive system. Made from unique blends of only the freshest high-quality oats and barley that are derived in-house from a special founders and family recipe, the masterfully crafted grain extracts enhance Juiceology’s nutritional value without boosting calories or affecting the fruit or vegetable’s pure, delicious flavor.

Fiber-up and return to health! Whole grain extracts deliver 32 percent DV of fiber per bottle along with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate. Nutrients are easily absorbed in liquid form. Bottled in Los Angeles and sustainably crafted with local West Coast ingredients, Juiceology is naturally blended in five brilliant flavors: Plum/Grape/Blackberry, Blueberry Acai, Pome Blue Cran, Peach Mango, and the new Green Essentials.

Juiceology is now available at Bristol Farms, Ralph’s, Stater Bros., Raley’s, CVS Los Angeles, Duane Reade, D’Agostino, King Kullen, Dave’s, Roche Market, Weis Market, Food Town, and other fine retailers. Experience the Juiceology difference at www.purejuiceology.com.

Frog’s Breath IPA Hops onto Shelves and Taps in April

Frog’s Breath IPA from Coronado Brewing Company has a bright citrus flavor derived from spices, kaffir lime leaf, lemon and orange zest. This unfiltered IPA was adapted from a home-brew recipe developed by two local Coronado homebrewers who are also retired Navy frogmen. Once the beer went on draught at the Coronado pub and restaurant, it was an immediate hit.

frogs.breathFrog’s Breath IPA specs:
Style: India Pale Ale (unfiltered)
ABV: 6.5%
Bitterness: 50 IBU
Package: 22 ounce bottles, draught 1/6 bbl and 1/2 bbl
Release: April 2014 launch through August 2014
Malts: 2-row, C-15, Carahell
Hops: Centennial, Columbus, Wakatu, Sorachi Ace
Yeast: Cal Ale

Where to find it:
Frog’s Breath IPA will be sold throughout Canada and 15 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.