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Kontos Foods to Exhibit at SIAL Canada

Kontos Foods, Inc. will be exhibiting its Flatbread and Fillo pastry products at the SIAL Canada International Food & Beverage Tradeshow at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal from April 2 through April 4. Kontos will be located at Booth #801 in the USA Pavilion.

Kontos Foods, which offers over 50 varieties of flatbreads, will be showcasing several products, including its Pocket-Less Pita®, the traditional pita of the Eastern Mediterranean, and NEW Greek Lifestyle Flatbread, which has twice the protein, half the carbohydrates and less calories and sugar than other flatbreads. Show visitors will also be able to check out Kontos’ Asian Nans, Pan Plano – infused with the spicy flavors of Mexico –  Panini breads and cocktail flatbreads, as well as a variety of fillo products.

“SIAL Canada is the perfect showcase to demonstrate the depth and breadth of Kontos’ products,” said Steve Kontos, Vice President of Kontos Foods. “Many of the flatbreads we’ll be bringing to the show have French-language packaging specifically designed for the Quebec market.”

SIAL Canada is co-located with SET Canada, the National Food Equipment and Technology Tradeshow. The shows, which cater to North American food-industry professionals, host 14,000 professional visitors from 61 countries and 750 exhibitors from 45 countries. SIAL Canada runs Wednesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 3 from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Friday, April 4 from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information about SIAL Canada, visit www.congresmtl.com

Kontos sells its products to retailers and foodservice establishments across North America and several other countries. Find Kontos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Kontosfoods and follow the company on Twitter @KontosFoods.

Mars, Incorporated President to Step Down

 Paul S. Michaels, President of Mars, Incorporated since 2004, recently informed the Mars Board of Directors of his plan to retire on December 31, 2014. Grant F. Reid, current Global President of Mars Chocolate, has been named by the Mars Board of Directors to take over the office of the President on January 2, 2015.

“In his almost 11 years at the helm of Mars, Incorporated, Paul has overseen a period of outstanding business performance and tremendous achievement. He also built up the talent of the company while strengthening the visible presence of our Five Principles — Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom – in the way we operate,” said Victoria B. Mars, Chairman of the Mars Board of Directors. “It’s because of his focus on nurturing leaders who are both talented and principled, that we have such a strong internal successor in the business. We are proud and excited that Grant, a 26-year veteran of the business, and a member of the Mars Leadership Team since 2007, will be our next President.”

As Global President of Mars Chocolate, one of Mars’ biggest business segments, Grant leads more than 17,000 associates. The Chocolate portfolio has some of the world’s best-loved consumer brands including M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, and TWIX®.  In the last five years, Grant has successfully led the Chocolate business to deliver consistent growth in mature and emerging markets, and built an excellent and diverse team of leaders.  In addition, he has been a champion of industry efforts to collaborate on the issue of cocoa sustainability. In particular, he has grown the Mars’ Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, which puts ‘farmers first’ in its efforts to increase sustainable farming practices and crop productivity – in turn helping farmers improve their wages and their ability to give their families a chance for better opportunities for education and a more prosperous future.

Reid will step into a Co-Office of the President role effective July 2. He’ll then have the time to partner with Michaels on transition plans before taking on the role President of Mars formally in January 2015.

“I’m grateful to the Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity and proud to have been chosen as the next President of Mars, Incorporated. Mars has always encouraged and provided opportunity for growth and development of associates, and I am certainly living proof of that fact,” said Grant. “I believe in the Mars culture, I love the Mars brands and I know that we have the best associates in the world.  We have a truly exciting future and I’m honored to lead the organization into that future.”

Grant’s diverse experience across the business gives him both historical perspective and a broad view of the way Mars operates. He has worked across multiple functions including sales, marketing, commercial, manufacturing and general management as well as several Mars business segments.

He has an Honors Degree in Management Economics, as well as a Certificate in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Fresh Express Issues Recall of Limited Quantity of Already Expired Italian Salad Due to Possible Health Risk, No Illnesses Cited

Fresh Express Incorporated has issued a recall of a limited number of cases of 10-ounce Italian Salad with the already expired Use-by Date of March 26 and a Product Code of H071A11A due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall and no other Fresh Express products are being recalled.

The company is confirming with retailers that the expired product has already been removed from store shelves and inventories in accordance with its strict procedures for products that have reached their expiration date.

Only Fresh Express Italian Salad with the specific Product Code of H071A11A and March 26 Use-by Date is included in the recall. Consumers who have the recalled product should not eat it but rather discard it. Consumers with questions may call Fresh Express at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily impacts pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill.

Although the product was already expired and no illnesses were reported, the company elected to issue a recall as a precaution when it learned a single sample in a random test had yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes.  Fresh Express icoordinating closely with regulatory officials.

The recalled salad was distributed in limited quantities to predominantly Eastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

Fresh Express Italian Salad being recalled displays a Use-by Date of March 26, 2014 with a Product Code of H071A11A in the upper right-hand side of the package.

Whole Foods Market Acquires Four New Frontiers Natural Marketplace Stores

Whole Foods Market will purchase four stores from New Frontiers Natural Marketplace. The stores average 22,000 square feet in size and are located in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona, Ariz.; and San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The two companies expect the transaction to be finalized in the next few weeks.  The stores will continue to operate under the New Frontiers Natural Marketplace banner until they are re-signed as Whole Foods Market stores.

“Over the years, when I have at times wondered if our stores would someday merge with a larger strategic partner, Whole Foods Market has always been my premier choice,” said Jonathan King, President of New Frontiers. “We are very enthusiastic about their ability to take our stores into a successful future.  We know they will provide growth opportunities for our exceptional team members, and continue to bring retail excellence and outstanding service to our local communities.”

“As New Frontiers has done so well, Whole Foods Market also has a long history of supporting the communities we serve.  We are excited to expand our presence to new markets in Arizona and Central California, bringing our fresh, delicious and competitively-priced products with the highest quality standards in the business to these vibrant communities,” said Patrick Bradley, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Regional President.

As part of the agreement, Whole Foods Market will offer jobs to the team members at the four acquired locations.

“We want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful team members in the four locations who have provided extraordinary service to our loyal shoppers for so many years,” King said. “We also want to express our gratitude for the customers who have embraced New Frontiers as their trusted grocer. We are confident Patrick and his Whole Foods Market teams will continue to take great care of everyone.”

Kirin Partners With Chef Candice Kumai To Bring Japanese-Style Beer To Growing Asian Cuisine Movement

 Kirin has partnered with celebrity Chef and Top Chef contestant, Candice Kumai, to share Japanese-style beer pairings with foodies, as traditional Japanese and Asian-fusion cuisines continue to grow in popularity. The partnership kicks-off in earnest at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., where Kirin and Kumai will offer Japanese-style beers and a special frosty Japanese serving method to attendees.

With Japanese roots and expertise in Asian cuisine, Kumai will serve as the Kirin brand ambassador, bringing the pure, clean taste of the Japanese-style lager to beer drinkers at the festival and beyond.

“As a chef, it’s important to select beverages that will highlight your recipes,” said Kumai. “With rich flavor and a deep, smooth finish, Kirin Ichiban complements refined traditional Japanese cuisine, the bold tastes of modern Asian-fusion food and other flavor-forward dishes.”

Throughout the year, Kumai will share special recipes with Kirin fans on Facebook.com/KirinUSA and continue to make appearances with Kirin throughout the year. At the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Kumai will be dishing up Kirin samples, pairing tips and Japanese drinking customs. Kumai is scheduled to make appearances at the Festival’s Grand Sake Tasting on April 3 and its Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 5.

While beer drinkers have long-loved enjoying Kirin at Asian restaurants, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will offer of-age beer drinkers a new opportunity to enjoy several varieties of Kirin and a unique, frozen preparation of its signature brand. Selection to include:

  • Kirin Ichiban – Known as “beer at its purest,” Kirin Ichiban is a 100-percent malt, first-press beer that offers rich flavor and no bitter aftertaste. Kirin Ichiban is 5 percent ABV.
  • Kirin Light – A light beer with just 95 calories, but offers full flavor, authentic Japanese heritage. Kirin Light is 3.2 percent ABV.
  • Kirin Ichiban Frozen – Draught beer is topped with frozen Kirin Ichiban, using a proprietary process. It is an innovative way to enjoy Ichiban in Japan, and is now available in select U.S. locations.

“People are expanding their culinary horizons and discovering a wide range of dishes and flavors that are inspired by Asian cuisine,” said Michael Lourie, brand manager, Kirin Beer. “Partnering with Candice is an opportunity to excite beer drinkers about pairing their favorite foods with Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light at restaurants, and trying the beers with both familiar and new recipes at home.”

For more information on Kirin or to find it close to home, visit Facebook.com/KirinUSA. For more information on the National Cherry Blossom festival, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

Blue Crab Bay Goes Nuts

Blue Crab Bay Co.® has it in the bag with new offering. The company has added a 3-ounce packet of top-selling Sea Salt Nuts® to its line of popular coastal-inspired specialty food products.

The certified gourmet Virginia peanuts dusted with sea salt come in a 3-ounce foil bag sized for amenity use, gift assortments, or grab-and-go impulse buys at the register.

Blue Crab BayWholesale price is $1.75 a unit. A case pack is 30.

For additional wholesale information, contact Beth Scott at (757) 787-3602 ext. 105, beth@baybeyond.net, or visit www.baybeyond.net.

 

Red Lake Nation Wild Rice and Gift Baskets

Red Lake Nation Foods wild rice and gift baskets feature all natural foods, which include all natural wild rice, wild hand-harvested fruit jellies, jams and syrups, handcrafted gift items, all natural batter mixes, popcorn and herbal teas. Red Lake Nation Foods began in 2005 and is a member of the Intertribal Agricultural Council and features the Made/Produced by American Indians trademark on its products. Red Lake Nation is owned and operated by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa of Northern Minnesota, whose mission is to provide award winning, specialty natural foods and gift products that represent the nation’s cultural heritage for the benefit of over 9,600 members of the Red Lake Nation.

Red Lake Nation wild rice resembles rice, but is actually an aquatic grass seed often referred to as a pseudo grain or false grain. Wild rice boasts higher nutrition than regular rice, with more protein (12 percent) and minerals. Wild rice also has more niacin than brown rice and is a good source of B vitamins. A 1/3-cup serving provides approximately 16 grams of whole grains, or the equivalent of one serving of a whole grain. It is low in fat and, like other pseudo grains (quinoa and flaxseed), it is gluten-free. A staple of the Ojibwe, wild rice has been called a delicacy by non-Native Americans.

Traditionally, the month of September was the time when the Ojibwe left their homes and spent their days gathering and processing the wild rice. Processing included drying the rice in the sun or parching it over fire, and separating the hulls from the seeds. Because it was such a valuable food wild rice became a staple at trading posts. Cooked wild rice keeps in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, frozen up to six months, and uncooked it will keep indefinitely when placed in dry storage. Red Lake Nation wild rice is easy to prepare, affordable, and available year-round. It is a Minnesota-cultivated premium, dark roasted long grain rice and is available in gift, retail, bulk and family-size packs.

Red Lake Nation Foods wild berry jams, jellies and syrups are chock full of wild fruits harvested locally at the peak of freshness. They contain no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors and are scrumptious on pancakes, yogurt, ice cream or your favorite bread. Try them with Red Lake Nation’s traditional fry bread mix for an easy delicacy. Flavors include the Chokecherry Jelly that won the 2012 Taste Test Award in Cooking Light magazine. Other flavors are Wild Blueberry Jam, Wild Grape Jelly, Wild Hawthorn Jelly and Wild Plum Jelly. Syrups include Real Maple Syrup, Wild Plum, Wild Grape and Wild Blueberry Syrup. Red Lake Nation’s Wild Rice Pancake Mix is all natural, preservative free and is made in small batches to ensure the freshest product. Native American Fish Batter Mix is a preservative free lightly seasoned batter mix for fish or anything else you want to use it on. Other mixes include Traditional Bannock Quick Bread Mix and Wild Rice Fl our. Bannock Quick Bread Mix is an all natural batter mix that produces a rich, cake-like bread mix. It needs only water and heat to make traditional baked flatbread. Wild Rice Flour is an all natural, gluten-free whole grain flour with a sweet, nutty aroma. It contains all the nutritional benefits of whole wild rice and is high in B vitamins and rich in zinc and potassium.

Red Lake Nation gift products make the perfect individual or corporate gift and are available in regular or custom designed boxes or handmade birch bark baskets. A personalized gift card may also be included. Wholesale pricing is available for gourmet and specialty retailers, gift and gift basket retailers, up-scale grocery, caterers and restaurants or foodservices. They may also be purchased on-line at www.redlakenationfoods.com.

For more information, contact: Red Lake Nation Foods, 888-225-2108, www.redlakelakenationfoods.coml Fax: 219-679-2714.

Wisconsin Dominates Cheese World Championship

Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated the competition at the recent World Championship Cheese Contest, winning 106 awards—about 39 percent—of the total 273 awards given, including 38 Best of Class, 34 second place and 34 third place awards.

Wisconsin’s accomplishment represented five times the number of awards as those won by the closest competitor, Switzerland with 21. Switzerland also claimed the contest’s World Championship Cheese prize with Original Schweizer Rohmilch Emmentaler and second runner-up to the winner with Fromagerie Moleson Gruyère AOP.  Austria was first runner-up for Erzherzog Johann cheese.

This year’s contest marked the third consecutive World Championship in which Wisconsin has improved its share of total award wins, claiming 30.8 percent in 2008, 31.3 percent in 2010 and 37.8 percent in 2012.

“Wisconsin’s record of exceptional performance speaks to the high quality of milk from Wisconsin dairy farms, where all our cheesemaking begins,” said Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Chief Executive Officer, James Robson. “Add to that the fact that Wisconsin has the highest concentration of great cheesemakers in the world, and you’ve got a combination that’s hard to challenge.”

Wisconsin also was the leader in Best of Class medals, winning 38, and swept 11 of 90 competition classes:  Bandaged Cheddar (Sharp to Aged), Aged Provolone, Parmesan, Flavored Havarti, Brick (including Muenster), Aged Gouda, Smoked Gouda, Hard Hispanic Cheeses, Cold Pack Cheese (including Cheese Food), Cold Pack Cheese Spread and Open Class: Shredded Cheese.

Additionally, graduates of Wisconsin’s elite Master Cheesemaker® program, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, had an outstanding performance, taking home a total of 29 awards.

For a complete listing of Wisconsin’s awards, visit EatWisconsinCheese.com. For additional information and questions, contact Marilyn Wilkinson at WMMB mwilkinson@wmmb.org, 608-203-7262.

Sprouts Farmers Market Makes Public Offering of Shares

Sprouts Farmers Market,Inc. today announced the commencement of an underwritten public offering of 15,000,000 shares of its common
stock by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC , and certain other stockholders of the company (collectively known here as the Selling Stockholders). The underwriters of the offering will have the option to purchase up to an additional 2,250,000 shares of common stock from the Selling Stockholders. The Selling Stockholders will receive all of the proceeds from the offering.

The offering is being made through an underwriting group led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Apollo Global
Securities, Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Investment Bank, Guggenheim Securities and Wolfe Research Securities. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering and the representatives of the  underwriters.

This offering will be made only by means of a prospectus.  A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

Among Friends Releases Three New Baking Mixes

Among Friends, makers of delicious, all-natural, easy-to-make baking mixes is premiering three new hand-crafted baking mixes this year. In a world filled with snacks and treats lacking redeeming nutritional value or great taste, Among Friend’s gourmet quality, whole grain, non-GMO baking mixes are a welcome, healthy and tasty addition to the $21 billion baking mix and prepared food production industry.

Among Friends’ new hand-crafted baking mixes include:

Francie’s Brownie Mix: Created for co-founder Suzie’s daughter, these whole grain brownies are described as a sweet deep brunette, fudgy and friendly treat, appealing to all brownie-lovers.

Among FriendsGerry’s Jam Bar Mix: Co-founder Lizann’s husband grew up with classic homemade desserts, one of his favorites being jam bars. These vintage treats, marry hearty whole grains with sweet jam for a healthy, yet delicious dessert.

‘Liv It Up Devilishly Chocolate Cake: When Suzie’s picky daughter, who believes ketchup counts as a vegetable, insisted her name only be on the most perfect chocolate cake, it resulted in a flavorful, soft, creamy, gluten-free and devilishly chocolate treat.

These new mixes join Among Friends’ line of easy-to-prepare baking mixes: Suzie Q’s, Evan’s Heavenly, Trish The Dish, CJ’s, Phil ‘em Up, and Shane’s Sweet-n-Spicy.

“Our goal is simple: we want to help people fill their kitchens with fresh-from-the-oven baked goods made from the best ingredients,” says Suzie Miller, co-founder of Among Friends.

About Among Friends®

Among Friends was created by two friends and mothers, Suzie Miller and Lizann Anderson, who founded the company in 2006.  Among Friends currently creates five cookie baking mixes and one fruit crisp mix, four of which are gluten-free and all of which are made with non-GMO ingredients.  Suggested retail price for each product is $5.99 per 13-ounce to 16-ounce bag.  Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Among Friends produces its mixes in their new 10,000-square-foot facility with its own gluten-free certified production section.  Among Friends products are available for purchase at Safeway, Albertsons, Meijer, select Whole Foods stores, Lunds/Byerly’s, Kings Markets, Plum Markets, New Seasons, New Frontiers and a number of other specialty food retailers, natural grocery stores, and supermarkets around the country.  Among Friends is now distributed nationwide through KeHE, Nature’s Best and United Natural Foods, Inc. For online ordering and information about Among Friends visit www.amongfriendsbakingmixes.com.