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Sartori Cheese to Offer 18-Month BellaVitano in Limited Release

Sartori Cheese is releasing a new family heirloom cheese, 18 month BellaVitano, this July. In honor of the company’s 75th Anniversary, this exclusive cheese will be available on a limited basis for the remainder of 2014.

Up until the release, Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano had previously been set aside for family. Now, the Sartori family wants to share this special cheese with all. “It’s our 75th anniversary this year and we wanted to find additional ways to share our history with others. We thought maybe we could share a family treasure, and that’s when we decided to release our 18 month BellaVitano,” stated CEO and third generation owner, Jim Sartori.

Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano cheese has wonderfully fruity, caramelized nutty flavors. “We test the cheese at various times throughout the aging process. As the cheese matures, the flavors become more pronounced and the texture of the cheese alters. This cheese is creamy, yet crumbly due to the aging,” stated Sartori Master Cheesemaker, Mike Matucheski.

Debuting in July, this extra-aged cheese will be available only for the remainder of the year. It will be sold across the nation in specialty cheese retail shops and online at Sartori’s cheese shop, sartoricheese.com. For additional news and updates, follow Sartori on Facebook and Twitter @Sartori_Cheese.

Felicetti Pasta Named Finalist for Two sofi™ Awards at #SFFS14

 

Felicetti pasta, the world’s largest maker of 100 percent organic pasta, has been named finalist for Best Organic Product & also Best Pasta, Rice or Grain in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi™ Award competition.

Felicetti pasta was selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from 2,724 entries from Outstanding Appetizer to Outstanding Vinegar. Winners will be announced by Cronut™ creator Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony June 30, 2014, at the Summer Fancy Food Show. 

 

Terry Tierney Named CEO of Daiya Foods

Daiya FoodsDaiya Foods, creator of dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free cheese alternative products, has appointed Terry Tierney as its CEO. Experiencing massive growth in the non-dairy, cheese alternative products market, Tierney’s addition to the team brings seasoned, professional leadership that will help propel the company to the next level of strategic growth, said company Co-founder Greg Blake.

The recent growth of Daiya Foods – founded in Vancouver in 2008 and based on an innovative, all natural recipe widely acclaimed for its remarkable cheese-like taste, consistency and melting properties – necessitated the addition of a seasoned executive to help realize the company’s aggressive long-term growth plan. Tierney has served as a director of Daiya since 2011 and has been instrumental at a strategic level in the company’s success to date.

Tierney’s career in the natural, organic and conventional grocery industry spans 30 years, serving in previous roles as the President and CEO of MyChelle Dermaceuticals, a leading natural skin care company; President and CEO of Allegro Coffee, one of the nation’s premier specialty and organic coffee brands; Chief Marketing Officer of Frontier Natural Brands, a pioneering natural and organic products company with such prominent brands as Simply Organic and Aura Cacia; and Founder, President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Natural Foods. He is, and has been, a board member for numerous natural products companies over the last 20 years. He began his career in marketing and brand management at Kraft Foods.

“Terry has a long track record of leading companies through various growth stages even while serving as a Director for Daiya. We are thrilled to be in the position to further leverage his vast experience and skills in this new role,” Blake said.

“It’s an honor and privilege to become a more integral member of the Daiya leadership team. The success that the company has earned to date is a clear testament to the talent, passion and culture that co-founders Greg and Andre (Kroecher) have built from ‘Daiya 1.’  I look forward to building on that foundation,” said Tierney.

As the dairy-free trend gains momentum and the non-dairy cheese products category continues to experience double-digit growth, Daiya has doubled its manufacturing capacity to meet current and anticipated consumer demand. By expanding its brand portfolio to other products, including Daiya Slices and Cream Cheese Style Spreads, and the newly launched Daiya Pizza – the industry’s first dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free frozen pizza – Daiya projects that its products will be sold in more than 20,000 stores by year end.

Organic Product Line from Robert Rothschild Farm at #SFFS14

 

Robert Rothschild Farm is launching a new certified organic product line. These six gourmet sauces have exquisite flavor and are versatile to use for an appetizer, salad or entrée.

“We are extremely excited to launch our new organic product line,” said Jim Gordon, President and CEO of Robert Rothschild Farm. “During our extensive research, we determined that great-tasting organic sauces are challenging to find. Consumers are seeking healthy choices, and we felt compelled to create outstanding sauces with on-trend flavors. Our sauces are an easy way to add distinct flavor to organic proteins or vegetables.”

The new organic sauces include the following delicious flavors:

Blueberry Balsamic Sauce: Sweet blueberries are complemented by balsamic vinegar with flavorful notes from shallots, basil and black pepper to create this tangy and sweet organic Blueberry Balsamic Sauce.

Citrus Chardonnay Sauce: The organic Citrus Chardonnay Sauce pairs fennel with the sweetness of honey, bursts of flavor from oranges and Chardonnay to create this creamy sauce.

Pineapple Habanero BBQ Sauce: The popular Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Dip inspired the organic Pineapple Habanero BBQ Sauce. Sweet pineapples, honey, spicy habanero peppers and ginger make this sweet and spicy BBQ Sauce.

Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce: Classic teriyaki sauce with Sriracha and a hint of orange are blended to create this organic Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce.

Whiskey Pepper Cream Sauce: The organic Whiskey Pepper Cream Sauce has a medley of flavors from Dijon mustard, rich cream, garlic, black pepper, accented by a touch of whiskey and white miso to create a creamy sauce with a kick of heat.

White Wine Creole Sauce: The organic White Wine Creole Sauce is started with a spicy tomato base, adding a splash of white wine, and the classic trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions to create this Southern-inspired sauce.

Robert Rothschild Farm is also reintroducing its Raspberry Thunder Sauce. It is back by popular demand. “Our consumers continually asked if we could make the Raspberry Thunder Sauce,” said Jim Gordon. “We listened to our consumers and are relaunching the spicy hot sauce with a new look but the same great taste.”

Raspberry Thunder Sauce: This fiery hot sauce is a spicy blend of jalapeno peppers and crushed red peppers. Add just a dash for a kick of heat.

Robert Rothschild Farm’s new products will be showcased at the 60th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City from June 29 – July 1, 2014, booth #236 or in their permanent showroom at AmericasMart in Atlanta from July 8 – 15, 2014, Building 2 West Wing #870A,B.

 

Bob’s Red Mill Offers Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods  announces the availability of a new and unique gluten free flour that easily converts any conventional recipe to a gluten free one. The new product, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, can simply be substituted for traditional flour, providing an easy way to create great tasting and safe gluten free baked goods.

“We hear all the time from our gluten free consumers that they wish there were an easier way to substitute gluten free flours in their favorite non-gluten free recipes,” said Bob Moore, Founder, President and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “Our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is our most versatile gluten free product yet, and promises to provide bakers and families with an easy path to gluten free cookies, cakes, muffins and more.”

The Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is a special blend consisting of a handful of gluten free ingredients, including whole grain brown rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, sweet white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour and xanthan gum. It enables bakers to follow any baking recipe and directly replace the amount of traditional wheat flour called for with the new Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. The resulting baked good promises to offer the same flavor and texture as its conventional counterpart.

“We spent countless hours in the kitchen developing the perfectly balanced gluten free flour blend that really eliminates the frustration and intimidation that we hear about from our gluten free consumers when it comes to gluten free substitutions,” said Matthew Cox, Vice President of Marketing at Bob’s Red Mill.  “Not only does this flour provide the simplest conversion to a gluten free recipe, it also provides results that are very similar to wheat flour.”

The new Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is made from the highest quality gluten free ingredients in a 100 percent dedicated gluten free facility. All of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free ingredients and products are also batch tested in the company’s quality control laboratory with an R5 ELISA Gluten Assay test to ensure the absence of gluten.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is available now to retailers nationwide, as well as at www.bobsredmill.com. The 22-ounce bag has a suggested retail price of $4.95; the product is available to retailers and food service customers in 44-ounce, five-pound and 25-pound bags. To inquire about carrying the product, please contact the Bob’s Red Mill sales team at 800.553.2258 or sales@bobsredmill.com.

Saputo Cheese to Launch Seven Specialty Cheese Items at #SFFS14

The specialty cheese group of Saputo Cheese USA Inc.  is launching seven new specialty cheese items this June. Additionally, a variety of value added enhancements are being unveiled under the Nikos® brand of domestically-produced feta cheeses.  All of the new items can be viewed in the company’s booth #1836 at the Summer Fancy Food Show, June 29 – July 1, in New York City.

The Stella® brand of fine artisan cheeses has been crafted with a rich heritage of Italian cheesemaking using authentic old-world recipes since 1923. The line’s three most recent additions are available in half wheels that have been carefully hand-rubbed with a tantalizing array of herbs and spices in the following varieties:  Mediterranean Parmesan, Rosemary Medium Asiago and Black Pepper Romano.

For consumers seeking premium aged Cheddar cheeses, the Black Creek® cheese line now offers a delightful Double Smoked Cheddar cheese as well as a Cheddar Jam Tray featuring a flavorful combination of three-year cheddar cheese with orange marmalade and raspberry preserves.

Joan of Arc® goat cheeses are known for their delightfully tangy flavor and fresh aftertaste. The new Goat Cheese Trio includes a complementary collection of Traditional, Tomato Basil and Wild Honey goat cheeses in a beautifully boxed three-pack.

Great Midwest® cheeses are perennial award-winners. The line’s newest offering —the Winners Cheese Flight — includes three of the brand’s most recent American Cheese Society and World Cheese Expo winners (Morel & Leek, Salsa and Habanero flavored Jack cheeses) conveniently packaged in a beautiful box.

A full line of distinctive Mediterranean-style regular, fat free and flavored fetas are offered under the Nikos® brand, keeping dining options fresh and healthy. A series of value-added enhancements has been made to the line, making it even more appealing to consumers. Nikos® cheeses are now rBST-free, certified Halal and shipped via sustainably configured pallets.

Full details about all of the new product offerings can be found on the specialty cheese group’s website:  www.SaputoSpecialty.com. Retailers interested in placing orders for the new items can contact a Saputo Cheese sales representative by e-mail at moreinfo@saputo.com or by phone at 1-800-782-0741.

 

Hawaiian Host to Exhibit at #SFFS14

 

Hawaiian Host will bring its 80-year chocolate legacy to the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, June 29-July 1. At booth #4025, Hawaiian Host will share its signature island flavors and sample its long list of best sellers.

“As we pursue nationwide retail expansion, we are allocating many of our marketing resources to strengthen our brand presence from coast to coast, including large-scale event sponsorships, a revamped consumer public relations program, and strategic partnerships,” said Rosalie Char, Director of Marketing at Hawaiian Host, Inc. “With an already solid reputation as an industry leader on the West Coast, we are eager to meet with show goers in New York who may not be as familiar with our brand, to discuss Hawaiian Host’s newest products along with our expanding distribution and manufacturing capabilities.”

All 250 Hawaiian Host products are manufactured using super premium chocolate and an age-old proprietary process that has been utilized since 1927. Hawaiian Host will be sampling its signature products, including its newest creation, Coconut Caramacs, featuring coconut, homemade caramel and dry-roasted macadamia pieces, covered in signature milk chocolate and topped with toasted coconut flakes. Products are available nationwide via the company’s website as well as in select retail locations.

Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamias start with premium macadamias that are hand-selected, dry roasted and vacuum sealed to ensure freshness. The signature candy, first produced in 1927, combines macadamias with a special blend of super-premium chocolate to create its classic taste. Additional specialty items feature white and dark chocolate along with gourmet ingredients including toffee, caramel, honey and more. For more information on Hawaiian Host’s more than 250 products as well as simple dessert recipes, visit www.hawaiianhost.com.

 

Thailand Trade Status Downgraded for Human Trafficking

 

By Dave Bernard

Already under fire amid recent reports of government complicity in widespread forced labor practices in its vast seafood industry, Thailand on Friday received an official downgrade by the U.S. State Department for its overall handling of human trafficking.

With the release of its yearly report on efforts by the world’s goverments to combat human trafficking, the U.S. State Department placed Thailand and also Malaysia in the lowest, so-called Tier 3 status, which includes such nations as North Korea and Iran. Both countries were downgraded from their previous Tier 2 “watch list” status – a country is automatically downgraded after four consecutive years on Tier 2 unless judged by the State Department to have made significant progress to correct human trafficking issues.

Just this month, major U.S. retailers faced criticism for buying large quantities of prawns (sold as “shrimp” domestically) from the world’s largest prawn farmer, Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, a company that admittedly purchases fish feed from suppliers that use slave labor on their fishing vessels. One of the American retailers implicated in the scandal is Costco, CP Foods customer that says it’s actively attempting to verify the reports of slavery in CP’s manufacturing chain. Costco has a longstanding Supplier Code of Conduct that specifically prohibits human trafficking, among other practices.

A report following a six-month investigation that appeared in the prestigious The Guardian newspaper on June 10 documented systematic exploitation of Burmese and Cambodian immigrants, with workers being sold into slavery on Thai-based fishing vessels. Various U.S. government officials and international human rights organizations point to Thai government complicity and even involvement in human trafficking as the core issue perpetuating the country’s human trafficking problem.

While designation in Tier 3 does not automatically call for penalties, the downgrade puts Thailand at risk of losing out on some forms of U.S. aid and could also result in the U.S. opposing certain types of assistance from the International Monetary Fund and other international bodies. The downgrade starts a 90-day period during which President Obama will determine what if any action to take.

While specific penalties may or may not ensue, the stigma of being relgated to Tier 3 status could prove a motivating factor for Thai reform. The New York Times had reported that Phil Robertson, the Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch Asia, suggested that the State Department report could help spur reform due to Thailand’s embarrassment of “being grouped into the worse of the worse.”

The Thai goverment recently disputed assertions that it is not doing enough to combat human trafficking, with the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating in a news release last week that Thailand produced significantly more trafficking-related investigations, prosecutions and convictions last year than in 2012.

While conceeding that the country had shown some improvement, mostly with regard to sex-trafficking, Luis CdeBaca, the State Department’s Ambassador at Large at its Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, stated that very little progress has been made on the front of migrant worker abuses and related government complicity. “That (migrant worker issue) is an area that needs more policing, more enforcement,” said CdeBaca, according to the New York Times.

 

Specialty Food Association to Present Lifetime Achievement Awards at #SFFS14

Today’s thriving specialty food industry was built by the brilliance and hard work of many members of the Specialty Food Association. To honor those who have pioneered the way, the Association announces the debut of its Lifetime Achievement Awards.

As defined by the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Awards Committee, the purpose of the Award is to “identify and celebrate the actions and special qualities of those persons widely recognized as having grown the industry, improved the Association, inspired companies and nurtured individuals.”

Working from a list of more than 100 individuals, the Committee selected the following specialty food leaders as recipients of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • Harold Anderson, Haddon House Food Products, Inc., Medford, N.J.: A visionary who became one of the most respected and successful men in the specialty food industry. This distributor is remembered for his exceptionally ethical business approach (awarded posthumously).
  • Mario Foah, Foah International, Atlanta: Foah pioneered the introduction of Italian specialty foods into the U.S., beginning in 1952, and fostered the popularity of balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes, and even espresso machines.
  • Anthony R. “Tony” Matthews, Food From Britain, Atlanta: Matthews built the presence of imported British foods throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico via innovative promotions and partnerships.
  • Max Ries, Reese Finer Foods, Chicago: Max Ries was a showman who created a market for specialty foods through the introduction of innovative products and marketing acumen (awarded posthumously).
  • Russ Vernon, West Point Market, Akron, Ohio: Vernon demonstrated that specialty foods could be in demand beyond the East Coast. His West Point Market in Akron is regarded as one of the outstanding specialty food retailers in the U.S

To learn more about these leading figures in specialty food, click here.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show as part of the red-carpet keynote event and sofi™ Awards ceremony. The event is Monday, June 30 at 5 p.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

A special display about the lives and accomplishments of the Lifetime Achievement honorees will be presented at Javits Center in the center’s Crystal Palace throughout the show. The show takes place June 29 – July 1.

Nation’s Largest Regional Food Show Kicks Off with Innovation Awards

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo, presented by Union Bank, is excited to debut the innovative new products, varietals and packaging concepts entered into the New Product Awards, presented by Baker Peterson Franklin CPA, LLP, that recognize industry trendsetters and look to build community and consumer awareness about the diverse food products grown and manufactured in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

A total of 44 new products were submitted to the New Product Awards from 35 different San Joaquin Valley-based companies, ranging from fresh and frozen produce; to flavor-infused water, tea, wines and liquor; to specialty ethnic foods and value-add fruits and nuts; to specialty dips, sauces and seasonings; and everything in between – all highlighting the rich diversity of food and beverage products coming from the region. All products entered are competing for the Buyer’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award.

Public voting for the People’s Choice Award is now open, and members of the public are encouraged to share their thoughts as a consumer on what innovative new products stand apart in the marketplace and pique their interest. A photo and brief description of all 43 products submitted as part of the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards can be viewed at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com by clicking on New Product Showcase or by visiting the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FresnoFoodExpo.

Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” on Facebook combined with the votes cast by email through the Fresno Food Expo website between now and the Fresno Food Expo public event. After voting for their favorite new products, the public is encouraged to buy their tickets for the Fresno Food Expo on July 24, 2014 in order to take advantage of the opportunity to discover the local thriving food industry and create a renewed sense of pride in what is offered in the San Joaquin Valley. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced that night by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin at approximately 6 p.m.

Last year, public voting on the Fresno Food Expo website and Facebook page captured more than 5,000 votes during the three-week voting period – eventually crowning Rosa Brothers Milk Company as the People’s Choice Award winner. The attention garnered through the People’s Choice Award boosted product awareness online and gave added promotional value and marketplace energy to all 33 participating companies and the San Joaquin Valley as a whole. Additionally last year, Cold House Vodka’s Cake Batter Vodka and Bella Viva Orchards Pure & Natural Dried Fruit Slices were awarded the “Industry Award” – renamed this year as the Buyer’s Choice Award – after a tie was determined by the judging panel.

“The Fresno Food Expo provided an opportunity to build an awareness of our products in the San Joaquin Valley, helping to drive consumer demand, as well as connect us with new buyers who didn’t have us on their radar,” said Brean Bettencourt of Bella Viva Orchards, winner of the 2013 Fresno Food Expo “Industry Award.”

During an exclusive New Product Awards preview event on June 18, all New Product Award entries were reviewed, ranked and narrowed to 10 products by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders, and the finalists for the Buyer’s Choice Award were announced by Mayor Swearengin.

Finalists for the 2014 Buyer’s Choice Award are:

  • Balonian Farms Squash Salute Kits,
  • Bella Viva Orchards Pure & Natural Dried Apple Slices,
  • Casa de Tamales Pepperoni Tamale,
  • Flicks Candy Company Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios,
  • G. Debbas Chocolatier Cabernet Sauvignon Liquid Wine Filled Chocolates,
  • L.T. Sue Company San Joaquin Valley Tea,
  • Sunrise Fresh Dark Sweet Dried Cherries,
  • Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company Rush Hour Breakfast Stout,
  • Wawona Frozen Foods Gluten Free Peach Gems, and
  • Wawona Frozen Foods Organic Day Break Cups.

These products will be advancing to the Celebrity Judging Panel comprised of industry experts, including world-renowned chef Erna Kubin-Clanin, owner of five-star Erna’s Elderberry House and Chateau du Sureau; Whole Foods “local sourcing guru” Harvinder Singh; and Matt Jones, an influential buyer from Kroger – who will judge the finalists during the Fresno Food Expo on July 24.

The celebrity judges bring extensive experience to the awards with their unique understanding of an ever-changing consumer market from different categories within the food buying industry, but equally value the introduction of new, innovative products and concepts within an astute and very competitive industry.

Often referred to as the bread basket of the world, the San Joaquin Valley grows, manufactures and distributes enough food to feed over one-third of the nation every single day. The region has branded itself as an ideal place to find local sourcing solutions, innovative products and leading-edge packaging. The region’s proximity to fresh products and access to markets around the world, has not only made this region the most productive place for growing and processing food and beverage products, but has become the powerhouse for innovation in the food industry.

Food and beverage companies located within the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region can still sign up as an exhibitor for the 2014 Fresno Food Expo at http://fresnofoodexpo.com/registration/exhibitor-registration.

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center New Exhibit Hall. There is a closed business-to-business portion starting at 9 a.m. that is only open to pre-registered and pre-qualified buyers and a public event in the evening from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets to the public portion are $40 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office or online at http://fresnofoodexpo.com/registration/public-tickets. For more information about the public event and ticket discount opportunities, visit www.FresnoFoodExpo.com.

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo is made possible in part by the support of the following well-known Valley businesses that have signed on as sponsors in support of the regional food show and its mission:

  • Baker Peterson Franklin, CPA, LLP
  • Lyons
  • Busseto Foods
  • Mid Valley Disposal
  • California Center for International Trade Development
  • The Produce News
  • Certified Meat Products
  • Saladinos
  • City of Fresno
  • State Center Community College District
  • ENZO Olive Oil Company
  • Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company
  • Fowler Packing Company
  • Union Bank
  • Gerawan Farming Prima® Brand
  • United States Cold Storage
  • Johanson Transportation Service
  • Wawona Frozen Foods
  • KMJ Newstalk 580
  • Wells Fargo.