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Rice’s Honey Becomes Local Hive

Rice HoneyRice’s® Honey, which has been producing high quality, U.S.-only raw and unfiltered honey since 1924, has changed the name and packaging of its flagship honey brand to Local Hive. In addition to raw and unfiltered Clover, Wildflower and Amber Honey sourced exclusively in the U.S., the company also bottles over 12 local varietals from around the country, which predicated the new direction.

The brand overhaul features the new name, new label design, new website, updated digital advertising and social media. The work was created by Dallas’ award-winning advertising agency Johnson & Sekin.

“Since Rice’s Honey was founded in 1924 by L.R. Rice, we have always remained committed to providing natural, delicious U.S.-only raw and unfiltered honey, while supporting local beekeepers all across the US,” said Tony Landretti, Chief Executive Officer of Rice’s Honey. “Our new Local Hive will support our local honey products that are an artisan blend of various floral types that are regionally sourced, packed in Greeley, Colorado, and delivered to participating grocery stores throughout the United States. The label will also stay true to our history and family heritage since 1924.”

“Over the last six months, we’ve spent a majority of our time on focus group research and concluded that the top two things honey consumers want are local, raw honey that tastes great,” said Cale Nelson, Chief Commercial Officer. “Our network of beekeepers across the U.S. allows us to offer a local variety in each market that helps fill that consumer need.”

Rice’s Honey was founded almost 100 years ago, with a mission to produce, package and sell only 100 percent pure, raw and unfiltered honey that is sourced exclusively from local bee farms within the US. Nothing is ever added to this natural honey, and all of the nutrients remain in the bottle. Rice’s Honey is offered at affordable prices across grocery retailers nationwide. The Local Hive branding will heavily reinforce this message.

The new label design change also coincides with Rice’s new alliance with PACE, Pollinator Awareness Through Conservation and Education, the Butterfly Pavilion’s non-profit global initiative to restore habitats, strengthen populations and reintroduce pollinators into native habitats around the world. This partnership and commitment will be communicated on the back of the new label and will highlight how a portion of proceeds from every bottle sold of Rice’s Honey will be donated to the PACE initiative to promote and protect the prosperity of pollinators worldwide. Rice’s Honey has a mission to help promote all pollinators and sustainable bee farms across the country.


Quince & Apple Acquires Treat Bake Shop

Quince & Apple, the Madison, Wisconsin-based producer of fruit preserves and syrups, is acquiring Treat Bake Shop, which makes spiced and candied nuts. Production of the Treat Bake Shop products will move to Quince & Apple’s Madison kitchen in mid-March.

“We have long admired the company and brand that Sarah has built,” said co-Founder Matt Stoner Fehsenfeld. “We’ve had the pleasure of working together many times and are very excited to be bringing the Treat Bake Shop brand and products into the Quince & Apple family.”

“Treat and Quince & Apple are really a perfect fit,” said co-Founder Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld. “There are just so many similarities in the way we manage our brands, the care we show our customers and, most importantly, the fact that we’ve both stayed true to small-batch artisan production methods as we’ve grown.”

“I am incredibly proud of the Treat brand I have built and very excited for Quince & Apple’s ability to extend its reach even further,” said Treat Bake Shop Founder Sarah Marx Feldner. “I have a ton of respect for Matt and Clare, and I couldn’t think of a better place for Treat to flourish.”

Quince & Apple, which was founded by the Stoner Fehsenfelds in 2009, has expanded beyond its Midwest base to grow its national profile and sales over the past several years by patiently building a trusted network of distributors, brokers and accounts that value high-end, artisan products.

“We are excited to be able to use the resources we’ve built to introduce Treat Bake Shop’s spiced and candied nuts to a wider national audience,” said Matt Stoner Fehsenfeld. This represents the first acquisition by Quince & Apple in its nine-year history, but Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld says she hopes it’s just the first of many.

“There are so few options for owners of small, artisan food businesses if they want to sell,” said Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld. “They make great products and build great brands that have tremendous value, but their companies are often too small to attract the interest of larger, conventional food companies or investors. By bringing Treat into the business we’ve already built, it will give both brands some of the advantages of being a part of a larger company, while being able to retain that true artisan touch.”

“We’ve lived what it’s like to build an artisan food company from the ground up for nine years, so we understand that founders don’t want to sell to just anyone,” added Matt Stoner Fehsenfeld. “You want to make sure your buyer truly understands what you’ve built and how much of your heart is in it. You need to feel sure that they will care for it as it grows in a way that you feel good about. That’s what we’re going to doing with Treat Bake Shop and, hopefully, we’ll have the chance to do the same with other brands in the future.”

White Coffee Pours on Innovation, Customer Service

By Lorrie Baumann

Jonathan White headshotTremendous competition in the coffee space means that the retailer most likely to succeed is nimble, aware of the trends moving the market and partnered with a purveyor who possesses those same attributes along with an appetite for innovation, says Jonathan White of White Coffee.

He’s a third-generation member of the family that started White Coffee in 1939, when David White started selling coffee to foodservice companies. His mother, Carole, is the company’s current President and the woman who makes it the woman-owned company it is today.

Jonathan White is the company’s Executive Vice President, to the extent that titles ever actually mean very much in a company that’s as much family as business. “It’s important for retailers to seek out a coffee solution provider that’s nimble and creative enough to meet the demands of consumers,” he said.

White Coffee is meeting that standard with proprietary packages and products such as its trademarked Bio-Cup™, the environmentally friendly way to enjoy one cup of coffee convenience. The BioCup is both compostable and biodegradable, with 90 percent degradation after six months. Combined with White Coffee’s best coffees, BioCup provides superior quality in an environmentally friendly, convenient platform. White Coffee’s facilities are rated at SQF Level 3, assuring customers that they can assure their customers that White Coffee delivers both quality and safety of the highest order, White said.

White Coffee has also entered into partnerships with major brands to create licensed coffee and hot chocolate products that combine the White Coffee product quality with the name recognition of brands like Kahlua, Entenmann’s and Jim Beam. Those partnerships also offer retailers the opportunity to benefit by an association in the consumer’s mind between coffee and something else that they already feel good about, White said. “We understand the importance of creative and thematic packaging,” he added.

White’s Coffee serves a broad range of retail channels, including mass market stores, club stores and specialty shops, providing insights and best practices from all of those channels to each customer and offering customers a wide range of resources to help sell – including training for sales staff in the field and meeting with department managers for tastings and demonstrations. “Our job is to make it easy for them to sell a lot of coffee,” White said.

Along with those advantages, White Coffee also offers great customization and flexibility, so that the company’s customers can enjoy the opportunity to modify White Coffee products – even those produced under license from another brand – into a product that’s unique. K-cup boxes can range from 10 to 100 pieces and Nespresso-compatible capsules are also available. Coffee bags can range from 1.5 ounces to 3 pounds, and any of those packages can incorporate the licensed brand names to create the product that’s the perfect blend of customization, convenience, quality and flavor to distinguish a retailer’s product assortment from that of competitors, even within the mass market.

At the same time, White Coffee has been a pioneer in specialty coffee for 40 years, selling single-origin premium coffee brands since long before third-wave coffee shops made those trendy. White Coffee’s Ethiopia Yargacheffe, for instance, represents the finest Ethiopian coffee. Sourced from the mountains of southeastern Ethiopia, it possesses unique sweetness and fruitiness with floral flavors and winey characteristics with a light, smooth body. White Coffee’s Brazil Bourbon Santos, one of the finest coffees grown in Brazil, comes from the Bourbon variety of coffee tree and has a sweet flavor with medium acidity and strong aroma. There’s even a certified organic choice from White Coffee: its Organic Rainforest Blend.

In addition to its range of coffee varieties and blends, White Coffee has added multiple packaging lines to its range within the past couple of years, including hot chocolate products offered in K-cups, tins and single-serving envelopes. “We love the coffee business,” White said. “We know it’s one of the first things people count on every morning, and one of the things they end their day with. Coffee is a vehicle for friends and family to be together, and we want to contribute a great product for them.”

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