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Kale Trend Gets Zesty Kick with New Kale Italia From Earthbound Farm

 Earthbound Farm is expanding its popular line of kale-based Deep Green Blends with Kale Italia - a zesty mix of baby kale blended with popular Italian greens, arugula and radicchio - available in a 5-ounce clamshell package. Available now, this new addition reflects the continuing growth in consumer fascination with all things kale.

“We’ve heard the demand for more delicious ways to eat kale, and we’re delivering with an enticing new blend of flavors to meet the need,” said Nicole Glenn, Director of Product Innovation at Earthbound Farm. “Baby kale is so versatile that it satisfies that desire for an all-purpose green that works in smoothies, cooked recipes, and salads equally deliciously. And combined with the Italian greens in this blend, people will rave about Kale Italia as a tasty new take on the popular superfood.”

Lighter than Earthbound Farm’s other kale-based Deep Green Blends (Power or Zen), Kale Italia still has a crave-worthy crunch and a robust flavor. Beyond salad, this new blend is ideal for pastas, risottos, sautes and more. “Kale Italia has the versatility and freshness people want at a price they can afford,” added Glenn. “And the fact that it’s so nutrient-dense is a driving factor of its popularity.”

Earthbound Farm’s Kale Italia (5-ounce clamshell) is packed in a modified atmosphere to maximize freshness and quality and is available nationwide with a suggested retail price  of $4.99.

Earthbound is also adding a new blend, Half & Half: Baby Spinach & Arugula, which builds on the popularity of its Half & Half: Spring Mix & Baby Spinach mix. With consumers often purchasing several varieties of greens at a time and blending them into recipes, packaging the popular varieties together into a single blend makes it easier and more convenient for the shopper. Half & Half: Baby Spinach & Arugula is available in a 5-ounce clamshell with a suggested retail price of $3.99.

Like all Earthbound Farm fresh produce, these greens are grown in accordance with the company’s industry-leading food safety and organic integrity programs and packaged in sustainable packaging made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled bottles.

Jelly Belly Introduces Pancakes & Maple Syrup Jelly Beans

Jelly BellyWake up and smell the pancakes; it’s Pancakes & Maple Syrup Jelly Belly® jelly beans. The newest flavor from Jelly Belly Candy Company captures the warm, buttery flavor of a pancake topped with rich maple syrup whipped together in a single  jelly bean.

Pancakes & Maple Syrup Jelly Belly beans are now available in the popular 3.1-ounce Jelly Belly Grab & Go® bag size packed in 12-count breakaway caddies.

 Jelly Belly beans contain four calories per bean and are fat free, peanut free, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and OU kosher certified. For information, visit

Mariani Packing Company Announces Exclusive Partnership with Ganeden Biotech

Mariani Packing Company, the world’s largest independent producer of dried fruit, has partnered with Ganeden Biotech, a recognized leader in the manufacturing and marketing of probiotics. This partnership will allow Mariani to build upon the company’s legacy of innovation through the development of a new portfolio of dried fruit snacks and ingredient products utilizing GanedenBC30 Probiotic Cultures.

“As consumers continue to demand more from the snacks and food that they are eating, dried fruit partnered with the benefits of probiotics is an ideal combination,” says Miranda Ackerman, Director of Innovation and Business Development. “We are very excited for our upcoming launch of consumer products, initially focused on digestive health and overall wellness, as well as the portfolio of fruit ingredients in development that we will be able to provide for our global customers.”

Dried fruit is a natural source of dietary fiber, which is shown to support digestive health. Combining the natural health benefits of dried fruit with a highly stable probiotic culture will allow consumers to add probiotics to their everyday snacking and eating occasions in a more versatile and convenient way. As the market and education on probiotics increases, consumer awareness continues to grow – currently about 80 percent of consumers know what probiotics are and associate them with a health benefit.

“This dried fruit innovation combines prebiotics and probiotics into a truly functional health product that is complemented by antioxidants,” says Dr. Holly Petty, Director of Technical Services and Innovation. “Our partnership with Ganeden has enabled us to bring a product to market that delivers active cultures 10 times more effectively than yogurt – but in a shelf stable form.”

Valrhona Chocolate School to Open in Brooklyn

Started in 1922 as a small chocolate shop in a small French village, Valrhona now oversees every aspect, from bean to bar, of a sustainable chocolate production empire in 15 locations across 12 countries. Today 13,000 professional clients in over 70 countries use its expertly cultivated and crafted chocolates on a daily basis.

Valrhona has managed to remain on the cutting edge of chocolate production and innovation by maintaining, in philosophy and practice, that pasty chefs make the best products for pasty chefs. The company’s L’École du Grand Chocolat is at the heart of this idea. Founded in 1989, as a center for innovation and support for Valrhona’s professional clients, L’École du Grand Chocolat employs a team of over 20 pastry professionals around the world who are committed to pushing the boundaries of chocolate artisanship through the development of new techniques and products. Samples of their influence include popularizing bitter chocolate in the 1980s with the introduction of Guanaja, to pioneering the use of spice and salt in western chocolate confections in the early 2000s, to creating the first blonde chocolate in 2012.

With the grand opening of L’École du Grand Chocolat Brooklyn in D.U.M.B.O. on April 20, Valrhona brings its spirit of developing creativity and camaraderie among culinary professionals to the United States for the first time.

World Tea Academy LIVE! Kicks off a Week of Tea Learning Experiences


World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15) is hosting World Tea Acaemy LIVE! just before the upcoming event, which takes place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Convention Center. World Tea Academy (WTA) is the leading online tea education and certification program, and World Tea Academy LIVE! is an in-person “taste” of what the online program has to offer. Advance registration and information is at

Those who register for World Tea Academy LIVE!, May 4 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., will take the first step towards achieving industry certification. Participants will fulfill a requisite class: “Essentials of Camellia Sinensis,” presented by instructors Dan Robertson, founder and owner of The Tea House & World Tours, and Babette Donaldson, author of “The Everything Healthy Tea Book.” This class introduces the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, and the three factors that make it possible for this one plant to be the source of hundreds of kinds of teas. It also explores the botany of the plant, including the history, varieties, cultivars and cellular chemistry. The class continues with the six stages of tea processing and an overview of the six types of tea that come from this single amazing plant. The session includes an introduction to professional cupping and the sensory evaluation of tea.

With the World Tea Academy LIVE! class completed, students can continue their certification journey online through World Tea Academy, from the organizers of World Tea Expo and the North American Tea Championship. WTA is a digital-based learning platform that incorporates robust features and creates classroom-like environments for student-to-student interaction. The Academy offers the core WTA Certified Tea Specialist program, as well as higher-level accreditation, including: WTA Certified Tea Professional, WTA Certified Tea Sommelier and WTA Certified Tea Health Expert.

World Tea Academy classes are filled with rich content, videos, key learning points, group discussions and downloadable course materials. The curriculum covers a variety of educational topics, including: Tea Enhancements and Grading Systems; Tea Terroir; Tea Cupping; Quality Systems for Product Management; Presentation and Advanced Brewing Techniques; Tea Sommelier Essentials; Advanced Herbal Teas; Health Benefits of Tea; and Blending, Flavoring and Scenting, among others.

Each week, new educational content is unlocked for enrolled students. Week One and Week Two of the Core-level program provide key learning materials and content, and Week Three focuses on professionally cupping teas. Students are shipped teas and a Cupping Lab Starter Kit that includes cupping sets, digital scale, thermometer and timer. Teas frequently sent to students for cupping exercises contain North American Tea Championship winning teas. Higher level class formats vary within each three-week session.

The Academy receives support and oversight from its Strategic Technical Advisers, all recognizable luminaries. And since launching in 2013, the Academy has spanned 25 countries, six continents, six Canadian provinces and 32 states in America.

To register for World Tea Academy LIVE! at World Tea Expo, visit Or learn more about the programs and online class schedules at Call 702.789.1839 or email with questions.



Boar’s Head Introduces Line of Premium Snacks

 Boar’s Head Brand® is making snacking during the lazy days of summer more convenient and wholesome than ever without compromising on quality or simplicity. From all natural jerky to creamy hummus with pretzels, the premium line of snacks from Boar’s Head is made with no fillers, by-products, artificial colors or flavors, trans fat or gluten.

“Busy parents and anyone on-the-go can enjoy a convenient, delicious and nutritious snack with the premium Boar’s Head snacking line,” said Elizabeth Ward, Director of Communications for Boar’s Head brand. “Whether planning a road trip or looking for a quick protein boost between meals, Boar’s Head snacking products are a satisfying complement to your busy summertime schedule.”

The Boar’s Head premium snack line includes five product families of portable items:

  • Butcher Craft® London Broil Seasoned All Natural Beef Jerky & Buffalo Style All Natural Turkey Jerky: These all natural snacks are expertly seasoned to deliver exceptional quality and flavor. Easy to grab, made with no artificial colors or flavors and 10 grams of hunger-busting protein per serving, Boar’s Head All Natural Jerky is a great option for a tasty on-the-go treat.
  • Cheese Snack Pouches: Enjoy Boar’s Head Cheese anywhere with Boar’s Head Cheese Snack Pouches, available in three varieties: a mellow Vermont Cheddar Cheese, an assertive and refined Gruyere Cheese, and a bold combo pack featuring the robust and intense flavors of 3 Pepper Colby Jack® and Chipotle Gouda Cheeses. These cheese snacks come individually wrapped, making them a handy addition for a lunch bag or a cooler as you hit the beach.
  • Hummus Snack Packs: A snack you can feel good about eating, Boar’s Head Hummus Snack Packs come complete with an individual serving of All Natural Hummus conveniently paired with crunchy and delicious gluten free pretzels, and are available in two flavor options: Traditional Hummus or the award-winning Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
  • Hummus Singles: Enjoy the exceptional taste of Boar’s Head Hummus on-the-go with individual snack singles. This snack is perfectly portioned and available in the following Hummus flavors: Traditional, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Chipotle Pepper.
  • Antipasto Packs: For a protein-packed duo reach for Boar’s Head Genoa Salame & Picante Provolone Cheese or Sopressata & Picante Provolone Cheese pre-sliced antipasto combinations. They can be stacked for a quick, savory, bite-sized treat, or arranged on an antipasto party platter for effortless entertaining.

Available at select supermarkets, gourmet stores and fine delicatessens nationwide, Boar’s Head meats, cheeses condiments and spreads are made with only the finest quality ingredients and contain no fillers, by-products, artificial flavors or colors, trans fat or gluten.

The Greek Gods Brand Spokesman to Participate in The Central Market Thrill of the Grill 5K

The Greek Gods® brand spokesman Dean Karnazes will participate in The Central Market Thrill of the Grill 5K for the fourth consecutive year. The race will benefit Operation FINALLY HOME, a national non-profit organization with a unique network of experienced builders, suppliers and supporters dedicated to building custom, mortgage-free homes for wounded, ill or injured veterans, surviving spouses and their families, providing a strong foundation to help them move forward with their lives. The proceeds from the Thrill of The Grill 5K will be used to build and furnish a home sponsored by Central Market later this year.

The Greek Gods brand and Dean Karnazes are very supportive of the cause. “Our service men and women protect our liberty and freedom so that we enjoy events like Thrill of the Grill. Operation FINALLY HOME is a terrific organization that helps provide for these returning heroes, and I am deeply honored to support this very worthy cause,” said Dean Karnazes.

“Central Market has been a very loyal retail partner, so we are excited to sponsor and show our support for this great event and its worthy cause,” said Basel Nassar, CEO of The Greek Gods brand.

The Greek Gods brand, which belongs to The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., will be showcasing the newest flavor in its Greek-style yogurt line, Black Cherry. There will be free sampling of assorted flavors at The Greek Gods brand booth, conveniently located near the start and finish lines, ideal for quick pre- or post-race snacking.

The Central Market Thrill of the Grill 5K will take place on April 11, 2015 at Central Market in Plano, Texas.

Registration and information is available at

nutpods Non-Dairy Creamer Secures Non-GMO Verification Prior to Launch

Green Grass Foods, Inc. recently secured Non-GMO Project Verification for its first product, nutpods. The clean label dairy-free creamer made from almonds and coconuts will launch in late spring of this year. The product also carries vegan, gluten-free, and OU kosher certifications.

Green Grass Foods founder, Madeline Haydon, launched the company in November 2013 with a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $30,000.  She has since won the Dream Big America competition and the Zenith Award for people’s choice for best investment opportunity at the Zino Society, an angel investment group in Seattle.

Madeline decided to produce nutpods after carrying a homemade concoction of almond and coconut milks in her purse for years to use in her coffee. “I kept looking for the perfect rich and creamy dairy-free coffee creamer at the grocery store and never found it. After waiting three years, I decided to explore the idea of launching my own brand.”

The product is part of a growing demand for milk alternatives; many coffee shops now offer both soy and almond milk for their customers. Industry-leaders Dunkin’ Donuts and Peet’s Coffee have recently introduced almond milk in their stores, and Starbucks now serves coconut milk at some locations. nutpods, unlike other alternative creamers, is unsweetened to let consumers “create their perfect cup” with their preferred sweetener at their own sweetness level. It also differs from the competition due to its richer, creamier texture and balanced taste.

Ancient Grains Sea Salt Chips Awarded for Cleanest Packaged Food

Boulder CanyonFor the second consecutive year,  Boulder Canyon Authentic Foods  has been named a recipient of  Prevention magazine’s Cleanest Packaged Food Awards. This year, the brand’s  Ancient Grains Sea Salt  snack chips received praise for its use of seven old-school grains, nutty flavor and boost of fiber.

The annual awards feature the best, healthiest, and cleanest boxed and bagged foods, with winning products meeting strict criteria, including that the product must not contain GMO ingredients, may contain no more than 10 grams of added sugar and must have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving (or 400 mg for meals). Award winners must also be delicious.

“The Boulder Canyon brand was founded on the notion that clean-eating and real food ingredients do, in fact, taste better than processed foods,” said  Steve Sklar, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Inventure Foods, Inc., which owns the Boulder Canyon Authentic Foods brand. “To be part of Prevention’s distinguished Cleanest Packaged Foods Awards for the second straight year provides proof of that concept and we’re thrilled by the honor.”

Ancient Grains  blends together quinoa, millet, chia, amaranth, brown rice, brown teff and sorghum to create a cracker-like chip that is thin, yet hearty. The chips are lightly seasoned with just a touch of sea salt so they are naturally low in sodium. In addition, they are cooked in better-for-you sunflower and safflower oils that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats. The suggested retail price is  $3.49 – $3.99  per 5.5-ounce bag.

Boulder Canyon’s  Ancient Grains  are a source of 10 whole grains and feature zero trans fats, no cholesterol and just one gram of saturated fat. In addition, each serving provides two grams of fiber and protein as well as boosts of calcium and iron. The chips are certified gluten-free, kosher certified and contain no genetically modified organisms.


Heifer Awarded $750,000 From Starbucks Foundation to Support Coffee Farmers in Tanzania

Heifer International was awarded a Starbucks Foundation grant of$750,000 to help fund the Mbozi Farmer Livelihood Improvement Project in Tanzania, which will help improve livelihoods and quality of life for smallholder coffee growing communities in the East African country.

This grant is part of Starbucks comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing.  To date, Starbucks has contributed $15 million in social projects to support farming communities around the world. The project will be part of our East Africa Dairy Development Project in Tanzania and will assist at least 5,000 smallholder coffee farmers and their families.

Heifer and Starbucks have collaborated in the past. In 2009, after CEO Howard Schultz visited smallholder coffee farmers in Rwanda, he heard the heartfelt requests from farmers that, if they had cows, they would have milk, better nutrition and income for their families. Starbucks employees rallied together to provide the cows these farmers wanted so desperately. Watch the inspiring video here.

As much as 90 percent of the population in the Mbozi District is engaged in coffee farming. As global coffee prices fluctuate, farmers often experience a significant need for income throughout the year that coffee production alone cannot meet.

This project will provide some families with dairy heifers and bulls so that farmers can engage in dairy farming as a complementary activity that provides a diversified source of income for coffee farmers and evens out their year-round cash needs. Other families who already own cows will receive training on proper dairy management and cattle husbandry techniques to better position them for profitable enterprises, and the creation of a milk collection center will give larger dairy processors easier access to farmers’ milk.

“Adding dairy farming will ensure coffee farmers have a steady flow of income to reinvest into their coffee farms,” said Heifer’s President and Chief Executive Pierre Ferrari. “By introducing higher and steadier income levels from dairy, coffee farmers will actually have increased capital to invest in physical inputs and new technology to increase coffee production.”

The project also will increase access to water and improve sanitation, as well as increase use of alternative sources of renewable energy.

In 2014, the Starbucks Foundation granted more than $3.7 million to multiple organizations who help address relevant needs in specific communities. Each investment is targeted to create a sustained impact in a local community developing the necessary infrastructure to help support systemic, long term change.

Over the past 40 years, Starbucks has been dedicated to helping improve the lives of farmers and their families around the world who grow their coffee. Through a comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing Starbucks is paying equitable prices, providing access to farmer loans and technical assistance in order to help farmers to navigate the complexities of agriculture – a long-term process.  In total, Starbucks has invested more than $70 million in collaborative farmer programs and activities over the past 40 years. In 2015, Starbucks achieved the goal of 99 percent of its coffee being verified as ethically sourced. Additional details about Starbucks initiatives in coffee and tea communities are available at

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