The U.S. Senate has passed a new national standard for labeling food that contains ingredients from genetically modified crops (GMO). “The compromise bill passed by the Senate doesn’t make advocates of labeling genetically engineered foods particularly happy, but is a relief to food producers fearful of a patchwork of state labeling laws,” said Creighton R. Magid, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney and head of its Washington DC office. “The bill would prohibit states, counties and cities from enacting their own disclosure standards for genetically engineered food. Vermont’s labeling statute, which went into effect July 1, would be preempted.”
NASDA President and Nebraska Director of Agriculture Greg Ibach issued the following statement on the bill’s passage: “We are one step closer to staving off a fifty-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws. We urge the House to take swift action to finalize a national labeling system to provide consumers with information about these critical technologies. NASDA Members will be working with their delegations to get this bill across the finish line next week. While these provisions will allow for consumers to have access to additional information it is important to remember science has again and again proven the safety of genetic improvements to allow farmers to produce the safest food possible for consumers in our nation and around the globe.”
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.
The bill won the endorsement of the Organic Trade Association after it included language assuring that organic producers will be able to label their products as non-GMO, according to a letter from Laura Batcha, the OTA’s Executive Director, and Melissa Hughes, its board President.
Houston-based Fiesta Mart, L.L.C. is acquiring 11 Minyard Food Stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from RLS Supermarkets, L.L.C. Fiesta is a specialty grocery retailer known for its international offerings that cater to the diverse communities served by their stores. With the Minyard Food Stores acquisition, Fiesta will now operate 70 stores across Texas.
“We are excited to welcome Minyard Food Stores to the Fiesta family. This action reinforces the strategic growth plan we put forth early last year,” stated Michael Byars, Fiesta CEO. “Our entire Fiesta team has worked together to move the brand forward organically, and now through acquisition we continue on our growth plan.”
Byars has personal ties to Minyard, working for the company from January 2005 through January 2009, ultimately serving as CEO and President of Minyard for more than three years. He joined Fiesta in 2015 and has focused the company on reinvigoration of its core consumer promise, “To provide consumers the freshest quality products and extensive assortment, at the value they need to celebrate food and family every day.”
In early 2015, Fiesta was purchased by ACON, an international private equity investment firm. “ACON is pleased to add Minyard Food Stores to the Fiesta team as part of our strategic vision to grow the Fiesta brand,” remarked Andre Bhatia, a Managing Partner of ACON. “Our prior supermarket investing experience and success will further strengthen Fiesta’s position in the markets we serve.”
The newly acquired Minyard store locations will continue to be supplied by current supplier AWG, along with Fiesta’s supplier, Grocery Supply. The Minyard stores will be transitioning to Fiesta over the next several months. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) has named Abby Despins to the position of Director of National Product Communications, where she will spearhead national public relations and social media campaigns for WMMB.
Despins has been with WMMB since 2014, serving as Public Relations Manager. Despins brought nearly a decade of experience in public relations, social media and strategic marketing communications in a variety of agency, corporate and nonprofit roles. Since joining WMMB, she has worked with cheese companies, food bloggers and industry media to share WMMB’s message on a regional and national level through targeted social media and public relations efforts.
In her new position, Despins will manage national product communications for the Wisconsin cheese and dairy industry, including consumer social media and events as well as foodservice, retail and consumer media relations.
Dorval Trading Co., Ltd. announces its latest SOUR POWER® item in the 2-pound bag range: New SOUR POWER QUATTRO® DOUBLES.
A creative new spin on “assorted,” each mini-belt has two colors and two flavors, either strawberry/tutti frutti or blue raspberry/green apple. The DOUBLES concept is a variation on Dorval’s popular Sour Power Quattro, a four-color/four-flavor belt.
SOUR POWER is now available in Straws and Belts, all in wrapped, unwrapped or in bulk format in a variety of package types and flavors. Packed in 9 x 2-pound cartons, these SOUR POWER QUATTRO DOUBLES bags are available to ship now.
The Kroger Company’s summer-long Honoring Our Heroes campaign continues in stores through July 19.
Customers can show their support and donate through register scan cards and coin boxes at stores or by donating online at www.honoringourheroes.com. All funds raised from customers will be additional to Kroger’s $1 million commitment. All gifts will help the USO continue its mission to keep service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to our nation.
More than 2 million Americans serve on active duty or in the reserves today, including many Kroger family of stores associates. Kroger’s Honoring Our Heroes program is designed to show Kroger’s deep gratitude to our active duty service members and our nation’s 23 million veterans through the company’s partnership with the USO.
Wind & Willow, Inc has been a leader in the specialty food industry for years and this year it celebrates its 25th. The company’s first products introduced in 1991 were beer bread mixes. The bread mixes were retired several years ago as other lines such as cheeseball mixes and dip mixes exploded in sales. Since that time, impassioned customer requests to bring the breads back have continued and even increased over the last couple of years. The company felt it would be the perfect time to re-introduce this original customer favorite line as it celebrates its 25th year.
The bread mixes currently being produced use the same recipe used 25 years ago. All natural ingredients such as flour, cane sugar, cinnamon, dehydrated peppers and vegetable pieces and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Simple whole ingredients, ease of preparation and outstanding taste and aroma are some of the attributes that consumers love. Just add a can of beer and bake! Five minutes prep and 40 minutes to bake. The easiest way to fill your home with the aroma of bread baking in the oven and to experience the full rich taste of fresh baked bread.
There are currently three bread mix flavors available: Original, Cinnamon and Southern Corn. Directions for each flavor are the same. Mix with a 12-ounce can of beer and bake. As an alternative the consumer may use non-alcoholic beer or other carbonated beverage. There are also simple alternate recipes for each mix as well. Consumers love the easy corn fritters, cinnamon apple muffins and cheesy garlic bread recipes.
Over the years, one of the categories that has seen exponential growth for Wind & Willow is soup mixes. The prepared soups are so rich and creamy, it’s hard to believe you just add water and simmer for 10 minutes. Sales of the bread mixes are expected to rise during what the company refers to as “soup season” from the end of third quarter through fourth quarter. There are 10 different flavors of 6-cup soup mixes available, as well as four 1-cup mixes.
And what goes better with soup than hot homemade bread right out of the oven? Soup and hot bread out of the oven are perfect after a long day at work or any time you are longing for the ultimate in comfort food. The combo of soup and bread mixes makes a perfect gift choice for anyone on your list who doesn’t normally cook. As long as they have water and a can of beer, they can prepare a great meal like a pro!
The Bonne Maman wide-mouth jars with their red gingham-print lids are familiar sights in center store jam aisles. Now they’re coming to the deli department, and they’re bringing their fans along with them.
This year at the Summer Fancy Food Show, Bonne Maman introduced Bonne Maman Spread for Cheese in three delicious flavors, all specially created to spread beautifully and to pair perfectly with all types of cheese. Black Cherry, Purple Fig and Quince Spreads for Cheese are all made with simple, high-quality ingredients from a homemade-style recipe.
Bonne Maman also introduced a new flavor in its regular fruit preserves line: Mango Peach, a unique flavor in the preserves category. Like the other fruit preserves in the line, Mango Peach is made with perfect fruit and natural sugars, carefully prepared with traditional expertise, to create the memorable taste of Bonne Maman, which is French for Grandma. Bonne Maman products do not contain high fructose corn syrup and have no additives or preservatives. They’re gluten-free, kosher and are Non-GMO Project Verified.
All Bonne Maman products bring along with them a heritage of quality and a true French appreciation in great cuisine. The company was started just after World War II as a family of fresh fruit wholesalers who’d been exporting walnuts and canned fruit around the world realized that an emerging market for store-bought products with homemade quality was growing up around them. At the time, almost 70 percent of the fruit preserves made in France were being made in someone’s home kitchen, but as women had begun to enter the work force during and after the war, they no longer had time to put up preserves at home.
Taking advantage of this demographic shift, the family behind the Bonne Maman brand made several attempts at producing a fruit spread that met their particular grandma’s high standards. Once they succeeded, they named the brand after her. Today, Bonne Maman is the single best-selling premium brand of fruit preserves in the U.S. and is a key driver of the category growth in the U.S. Bonne Maman is the No. 3 brand in the category and has the highest loyalty rate. Bonne Maman produces 16 flavors of preserves, including the Mango Peach introduced at the show, as well as four jelly flavors: Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Muscat Grape and Redcurrant, and now also Bonne Maman Spread for Cheese.
For 10 years, Against The Grain has been going against the trend towards food industrialization. It combines the highest quality, whole ingredients in unique ways to produce naturally gluten-free, minimally-processed products. It doesn’t compromise in taste and texture either.
Plant-based products are a new departure for Against The Grain. Its best-selling gluten-free bread and pizza products have always relied on animal protein, but when faced with the opportunity to develop a new line of products, it asked, why not create a plant-based product that was both gluten-free and grain-free? The new 100 percent plant-based Ginger Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies are just that. They are rich and buttery-tasting, soft and chewy, and made with real ingredients and no gums, binders, emulsifiers or preservatives. What it offers is a very satisfying, responsible indulgence that is easier on the planet.
About Against The Grain Gourmet
Against The Grain Gourmet is a celiac family-owned wholesale manufacturer of frozen gluten-free bread, pizza and cookie products located in Brattleboro, Vermont. It is also the only national gluten-free and grain-free bakery. The company’s products are made with a minimal number of ingredients with no preservatives or additives in its dedicated gluten-free and nut-free facility. It prides itself on paying its production staff the highest wages and the best benefits package in the industry.
Bell Plantation was born of one simple charge – to develop new and different products to deal with a large surplus of stored peanuts. From this charge a star was born: PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. In removing 85 percent of the fat by pressing the roasted peanuts, Bell Plantation developed a tasty alternative to traditional peanut butters, and people have taken notice! PB2 is popular with athletes for its ability to add delicious flavor and additional protein to meals. Chefs appreciate the ease of use in recipes both savory and sweet, and anyone watching their calories or fat intake can appreciate the flavor of peanut butter without the guilt.
Following in the footsteps of PB2 is Chocolate PB2, which adds premium cocoa to the mix for a rich chocolate peanut flavor that is absolutely delectable. Chocolate PB2 only tastes sinful, though, as it is just as healthful as the original PB2.
Bell Plantation realized early on that the roasted peanut oil that had been pressed from the peanuts was too delicious to lose. The Extra Virgin Roasted Peanut Oil has a rich nutty flavor that tastes great on everything from vegetables to chicken or fish. It is a delicious addition to recipes, as a drizzle on vegetables or salads, or for sautéing to give foods a rich roasted peanut flavor. The possibilities are endless!
Bell Plantation recognizes that, while PB2 is the bees’ knees, not everyone is looking for an alternative to traditional peanut butters. That is why Bell Plantation also produces Plantation 1883 Peanut Butter in both smooth and crunchy. Plantation 1883 is all natural and sweetened with a touch of molasses for an unbeatable flavor. In 2015, Bell Plantation introduced Plantation 1883 Chocolate, peanut butter with premium chocolate. Decadent, delicious and decidedly delightful, Plantation 1883 Chocolate is destined to be your next peanut butter craving.
One day the Chief Executive Officer was putting Plantation 1883 on his crackers and thought, What if we could turn peanut butter into crackers? The result was Bell Plantation PBthins, a crunchy, slightly sweet and totally addictive cracker that packs the full creamy taste of peanut butter into 100 calories per all natural serving. Bell Plantation also produces PBthins in a gluten-free version that is just as tasty as the original.
As the Bell Plantation family of products continues to grow, you can count on the company’s promise that when you buy Bell Plantation products, you are choosing flavorful healthy foods that are good for you and your family.
Forty years from the development of his original CheeseSticks recipe and 30 years after the launch of John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks from a tiny storefront on New York’s Lower East Side, John Wm. Macy’s re-introduces its brand with a focus on the company’s history as a family-owned and family-run bakery and its dedication to making delicious baked snacks with simple, natural ingredients and expert craftsmanship.
The company is also introducing an addition to its line of cracker-shaped sourdough CheeseCrisps. Rosemary, the herb of love and remembrance, lends its magic to the company’s delicious new Cheddar Rosemary CheeseCrisps. With multiple layers of sourdough and aged Cheddar and Asiago cheeses, baked twice to crunchy perfection, they are simply unforgettable.
John Macy discovered his passion for food and entertaining as a teenager while catering clambakes during a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. In 1976, he developed his original CheeseSticks recipe for his small Northern California catering business. The twice-baked CheeseSticks, made with multiple layers of hand-mixed sourdough and aged sharp cheddar cheese, rolled into thin sheets and cut into strips and twisted by hand, soon became John’s signature appetizer at his catered events.
Following a move to the East Coast, John decided in the early 1980s to bake and sell CheeseSticks from his New York City loft apartment one day a week. He soon realized his tiny apartment kitchen and weekly batches of CheeseSticks were not enough to get the job done. In 1985, John opened a small shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and launched John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks.
Headquartered in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, John Wm. Macy’s family bakery employs a staff of 60 and produces a full line of specialty snacks for distribution in the U.S. and Canada. In 1990, John’s brother Tim joined him to help manage the family business. In January 2016, the two brothers were inducted into the Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame for “accomplishments, impact contributions, innovations and successes within the specialty food industry.” John’s enduring passion for good food and good times continues undiminished.