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PARTNERS to Unveil Double Chocolate Brownie Thin at Sweets & Snacks Expo

PARTNERS will be unveiling its newest product, Double Chocolate Brownie Thin at the Sweets & Snacks Expo next week. The product, which is gluten-free, is competing for a new product innovation award at the show. Attendees at the Summer Fancy Foods Show will also be able to see and taste it this summer in New York, when PARTNERS will be in booth #4112. Here at the National Restaurant Association’s NRAShow, PARTNERS is exhibiting in booth #4112.

Salumi from Creminelli Fine Meats #NRAShow

It’s not hard to find the specialty food products at the National Restaurant Association Show #NRAShow when they bring along their collection of sofi Awards and set them out on the shelf in their display. That alone says something about the respect in which the sofi Award is held by all those foodies who know how to find the sure sign of the very best. Around the company’s sofi statuettes, Creminelli Fine Meats is displaying its line of artisan salami, all made in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the climate is ideal for curing meats, says Andy Dallas, the company’s Regional Sales Manager for the central U.S. The company was started in Salt Lake City by Christian Creminelli, who is originally from Biella, Italy. He’ll be bringing the entire line to the Summer Fancy Food Show, where you’ll be able to see them in booth # 668. Here at the National Restaurant Association Show, find Creminelli in booth #3679 in the South Hall.

Alaska Salmon Season Opens

This morning at 7 a.m. commercial fishermen of the Copper River let their nets into the water to officially kick off the 2014 Alaska salmon season. Each year, salmon lovers worldwide anticipate the first harvest of Copper River kings and sockeyes and the first tastes of fresh wild Alaska salmon.

“The small boat harbor in Cordova is absolutely bustling with activity,” said Kim Ryals, the Executive Director for the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association. “There’s no place more exciting on the Alaska coast than Cordova at the start of salmon season. Our tiny town doubles in size in less than a month and all attention turns to the work of bringing in the fish.”

Today’s 12-hour fishing period will send the first of Copper River salmon to celebrations in Seattle and points beyond. Salmon connoisseurs from Anchorage to New York eagerly await the flavorful legendary fish, and restaurants and seafood counters prepare for the first wave of Alaska salmon to hit the market. “Salmon fans across the nation are wild about fish from our region, and for good reason,” added Ryals. “The fish are known for their deep red hue, high Omega-3 content, incredible quality and the fleet of family fishermen who bring in the harvest.”

The Copper River and Prince William Sound region is home to generations of fishing families who are proud to make the local harvest their passion and their way of life. Handling each individual fish with care, these artisan fishermen are dedicated to delivering the highest quality product to America’s seafood markets.

This year, in addition to events at high-end restaurants and seafood markets, the commercial fishing fleet of the Copper River is also providing for its fellow Alaskans. “A ‘First Fish’ lunch at Clare House in Anchorage will take place on Saturday, May 17,” said Jeff Olsen, one of the fishermen departing the Cordova harbor. “Members of the fleet and a few of our wives will assist Chef Gerber of the Crow’s Nest Restaurant in preparing a special meal for residents. Our fishermen are honored and proud to share the first of our bounty with our neighbors.” Clare House provides temporary, emergency 24-hour shelter for women with children and expectant mothers over 18.

After today’s inaugural opener, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game will make announcements about future openings, which typically take place on Monday and Thursday mornings.

popchips Launches Line of Popped Veggie Chips

 veggie chipspopchips inc., the innovative popped snack company, has launched the newest member to the award winning snack brand, popped veggie chips. the new great-tasting popchips veggie chips are popping up at retailers nationwide available in a 3-ounce bag.

After bringing the magic of popping to potato, tortilla, and corn, popchips has now popped a new crop of veggie chips. Veggie popchips blend nine popular vegetables – kale, spinach, tomato, pumpkin, potato, beet, bell pepper, navy bean, and chickpea – and tops them with zesty seasonings for three flavors:

  • sea salt: fresh from the garden flavor with a touch of sea salt
  • hint of olive oil: delicately delightful olive oil finished with a touch of sea salt
  • tuscan herb: mediterranean-inspired for a zesty veggie blend

“No snack time is complete without veggies,” said popchips CEO, Paul Davis. “We are thrilled to be expanding our portfolio to provide snackers with the next generation of our popchips family. Inspired by some of today’s most popular vegetables, we are really excited about our tasty veggie chips and showing our continued commitment to bringing  innovation to the snack aisle.”

popchips veggie chips are popped the same way as potato, tortilla, and corn popchips – using heat, pressure, and no oil in the popping process. like other popchips, the new veggie chips have nothing artificial, no trans-fat, no dairy, are gluten-free, kosher, vegan, have less than half the fat of fried chips and still taste great.

New popchips veggie chips will be debuted next week at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, May 20-22.

Olive Oil Tasting Course

 Extra virgin olive oil is truly a food for the ages; for thousands of years it has been used not only as a food, but for medicine, beauty and religious rites. Today, health professionals tout its incredible medical qualities, chefs have menus celebrating fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil and it is the backbone of the one of the world’s healthiest lifestyles, the Mediterranean Diet. Yet, it is still one of the most misunderstood foods consumed today, especially by Americans.

Premium extra virgin olive oil producer Lucini Italia has partnered with the Extra Virgin Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to restoring trust of extra virgin olive oil in the American marketplace, to host an intensive, two-day olive oil tasting seminar in New York City in June. The course will provide a hands-on introduction to the world of olive oil, including fundamentals of olive oil tasting, recognizing defects and appreciating positive attributes. It is ideal for anyone passionate about extra virgin olive oil and eager to learn the truths and fraud behind this very special food.

A recent study revealed that while a majority of American consumers are using extra virgin olive oil for health and flavor, they do not know what a high-quality oil should taste like. In fact, when asked to describe the taste profile of the oil they are using, a vast majority described a rancid, stale oil.

“It’s unacceptable,” said David Neuman, president of Lucini Italia. “Americans think they are doing something good for their bodies and making their food taste better, when chances are they are not. A great extra virgin olive oil is life changing; once you have experienced one, you really cannot go back to using sub-par oil. You will feel better and your food will taste immensely better. We want all Americans to be able to know what to look for so they too can have this incredible experience.”

Over 10 internationally renowned olive oil experts will teach proper tasting techniques, how to identify fraud and what to look for when purchasing a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Brown University’s Mary Flynn and The Culinary Institute of America’s Bill Briwawill share how to understand olive oil health and nutrition, using olive oil in the kitchen and food pairing.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Intensive Tasting Course
June 27 – 28, 2014
8:30 AM – 5 PM
$850 (breakfast and lunch are provided)
Visit www.oliveoilseries.com to register.

Lucini is not benefitting financially from the course and is simply facilitating it. “Superb quality is our mantra and the more people understand and respect high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the better and stronger the industry will be as a whole,” Neuman said.

For more information and to register visit www.oliveoilseries.com. For more information on Lucini and Extra Virgin Alliance, visitwww.lucini.com and www.extravirginalliance.org.

WOATS Oatsnack to Launch in Super Target Stores Nationwide

WOATS Oatsnack is the first brand in a long time to shake up the day-to-day snacking routines of kids, students, adults, and trailblazers. Its innovative use of the humble oat paired with wholesome ingredients has rocketed it onto store shelves and parents’ pantries, answering their call for something that is both healthy and satisfying. Back in January, it was given one of the coveted end-cap positions in a number of select Target stores, and after its initial success WOATS is being expanded to Super Targets across the country.

Its claim to fame is all in the design. Each easily accessible and transportable bag is chock full of tasty morsels that can be noshed on by the handful while running between classes or hiking the Appalachian Trail. It currently is available in three irresistible flavors. In the Nuts About Berries you’ll find perfectly roasted praline pecans and tangy cranberries along with gently baked oats and honey. Cookies ‘n’ Dreams boasts mouth-watering chunks of chocolate vanilla cream sandwich cookies, while the Peanut Butter Graham Slam plays host to crisp honey graham crackers and creamy natural peanut butter.

Founded in December 2003, Anderson Trail is a values-driven food company with the motto of “Humble Oats With Ambition.” This not only stands for their creative flavor combinations, but also represents founder Justin Anderson’s desire to help other kids and young adults dream big. Anderson set his sights on entrepreneurship at the age of 16, founding his first successful venture into the food market with Anderson Trail Premium Soft Granola. Driven by his learning experiences and the adversity he faced with breaking into the industry at such a young age, Anderson is giving back by inspiring kids today to find and succeed at their passions.

Gourmet Chocolates and Delicious Confections from KRM Chocolates

KRM Chocolates of Salem, N.H. is quickly becoming the choice for gourmet chocolates and truly delicious confections. In the 1980s Kevin Miller began making his chocolates and cookies from his home north of Boston. It started as a hobby to give to his friends and co-workers. After suffering a debilitating stroke Miller continued to make chocolates and fine-tune his recipes, all the while hearing from everyone how much better his chocolates tasted than any available at trendy chocolate shoppes.

Soon his interest turned to making chocolate with his new invention, a solid filling made from fruit wines complete with real fruit in the candy. The accolades grew louder and louder. “You should sell these chocolates. They are too good not to share with the world,” people said. Today Miller continues to make his chocolates and cookies the old-fashioned way, by hand, making America’s finest gourmet chocolates and cookies for everyone to enjoy.

KRM Chocolates offers its exclusive Fruit and Wine Chocolates in three different, tantalizing flavors. Peach Wine and peaches in Milk Chocolate is a chocolate delicacy with a solid center of delightful fruity, real peach wine combined with chocolate and a piece of peach. Cranberry Wine and Cranberries in White Chocolate has real cranberry wine and chocolate in a solid center, featuring sweet dried cranberries as a finishing touch. Strawberry Wine and Strawberries in Dark Chocolate brings dark chocolate and strawberries as an aphrodisiac to a new level. Each piece delivers a decadent filling of real chocolate with real strawberry fruit in a strawberry wine and chocolate solid center.

Other truly delicious confections include out of this world White Chocolate Raspberry Wine Truffles, Chocolate Crème de Menthe Liqeur Truffles, Peach, Cranberry and Strawberry Truffles, and Peppermint Bark in white, milk or dark chocolate. KRM’s Gourmet Chocolate Bark is the most scrumptious, handmade chocolate bark you’ve ever tasted and is made using premium milk, dark and white chocolate. The bark is loaded with raisins or sweet dried cranberries and a choice of pecans, walnuts, almonds or peanuts. Kevin’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark is a mouth-watering combination of fine chocolates, decadent peanut butter and crunchy bits of real peanuts. KRM’s Sandwich Cookies smothered in chocolate take America’s favorite vanilla cream center cookie and smother it in the finest white or dark chocolate. The result is an absolutely yummy dessert.

KRM chocolates and confections are available in individual flavor packages or a large selection of variety packages. They can be purchased at gourmet and specialty retailers, food and gift catalogs, gift and gift basket retailers, up-scale department stores and gourmet food retailers or online at www.krmchocolates.com. Email info@krmchocolates.com  or call 617.945.3263.

sofi Finalists for Best New Product 2014 Announced

Crunchy capers from Sicily, lentil rice crispbread from East Hampton, New York, and grapefruit lilac water from Westfield, Mass., have made the finalist list for the Specialty Food Association’s sofi Award for Outstanding New Product of 2014.

In all, there were 459 entries for the New Product award. A national panel of specialty food professionals tasted and evaluated each one last week to come up with 11 finalists for this coveted industry award. The judges also selected six finalists for Outstanding Product Line, which honors a company’s full menu of products.

A sofi represents the best of the best of what the Association’s brand, Specialty Food Craft. Care. Joy. represents to the food community, top-quality specialty food. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.

See the finalist list.

The contenders will go on to the last round of judging at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. Winners will be announced June 30, 2014, at a red-carpet ceremony at the show to be hosted by Dominique Ansel, the award-winning pastry chef.

“The specialty food industry is thriving, and the entries, whether aged goat cheese, sweet and spicy confections, or hand-crafted charcuterie, showed the passion and creativity food manufacturers are bringing to their craft,” says Association President Ann Daw. “The finalists stood out the most in a very crowded field.”

The awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation. The sofi Awards have 32 categories in total. This year, Association members submitted a record 2,737 entries to the contest.

Judges included top buyers from Fresh Direct, Whole Foods Market, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Mollie Stone’s Market, DeLaurenti’s Specialty Food & Wine, Kroger, Bristol Farms, Sickles Market, Artisanal Premium Cheese, Chelsea Market Baskets and Caviar & Bananas. The panel also included a food historian, executive chefs from Loi restaurant and Grand Central Oyster Bar, and journalists from Food & Wine, MarketWatch/The Wall Street Journal, Edible Manhattan, Women’s Health, and Cooking Stoned. Part 1 of the competition, judged last month, covered 30 categories from Outstanding Appetizer to Outstanding Vinegar.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the judging, including photos, stats, and trends, view Specialty Food News’ live blog coverage.

New Dried Fruit Products from Stoneridge Orchards

­ Stoneridge Orchards, dried fruit experts and the consumer brand of Royal Ridge Fruits,offers a wide variety of new products, ranging from dried fruits lightly dipped in rich, premium dark chocolate or smooth and creamy Greek yogurt, to the company’s signature Montmorency tart cherries exclusively flavored with all-natural Tajin®, the number one seasoning blend sold in the U.S. and Mexico. The company also is making available its new sliced peaches, as well as a new snack size of its dried Montmorency tart cherries, the company’s most popular dried fruit product.

“We’ve been growing cherries, berries and tree-fruit on our family farms for three generations and have perfected our fruit selection, harvesting and drying process to create wholesome and nutritious all-natural dried fruit products that are great on their own or as an ingredient in many fantastic recipes,” said Bryce Dorsing, Senior Vice President of Royal Ridge Fruits. “Our newest products further demonstrate our commitment to bringing excitement to the dried fruit category by developing and introducing innovative new consumer-focused products that are unlike any other available.”

The Dorsing family has operated their family farms ­ growing cherries, raspberries, blueberries and other fruits ­ in Washington State since 1962, when the family patriarch was awarded a small plot of farmland in a modern homesteading act. The farm has grown to become the largest producer of Montmorency tart cherries on the West Coast. The Dorsing family began freezing when Royal Ridge was formed in 2000 and added drying capabilities in 2006, with a substantial expansion in plant and installation of new state-of-the-art equipment in 2014. The family’s company, Royal Ridge Fruits, launched the Stoneridge Orchards brand in 2010.

“We are excited to launch our new six-SKU Stoneridge Orchards line of all-natural whole dried Montmorency tart cherries, blueberries and cranberries lightly dipped in either decadent premium dark chocolate or smooth and creamy Greek yogurt. These items are the perfect snack, a sweet finish to a satisfying meal, or delicious party treat,” adds Dorsing.

All of the Stoneridge Orchards dipped products are made with whole, all-natural fruits –­ not a mixture of fruit juice and pectin –­ and they contain no artificial colors, flavors, hydrogenated oils or sulfites. They also are Kosher-Dairy certified. Each of the six varieties comes in a five-ounce re-sealable bag with a suggested retail price of $3.99.

In addition, the following all-natural dried fruit products are now available:

  • Chili Lime Cherries with Tajin ­ Stoneridge Orchards created this entirely unique and surprising product by flavoring its whole, all-natural dried Montmorency tart cherries with just the right amount of all-natural Tajin chili lime seasoning. The result is unlike any other product on the market. Tajin is made from only three ingredients (premium chilies, dehydrated lime juice and sea salt) and is the number one seasoning blend sold in the U.S. and Mexico. These Chili Lime Cherries are an exhilarating, perfectly-balanced slightly zesty and slightly sweet snack experience. Available in a five-ounce re-sealable bag with a suggested retail price of $3.99.
  • Montmorency Cherry Snack Packs ­ Due to demand from retailers and consumers alike, Stoneridge Orchards has taken the company’s most popular product and packaged it in a new one-ounce snack pack size. Stoneridge Orchards grows its own Montmorency tart cherries on its third-generation, family-owned farm in Washington state, and then dries them in its own state-of-the-art processing plant. They contain no preservatives, sulfites or high fructose corn syrup. Montmorency tart cherries also are high in antioxidants and are great on their own or as part of a favorite recipe. The one-ounce snack packs have a suggested retail price of $1.29 each, or $4.99 for a five-count multi-pack.
  • Sliced Peaches ­ Stoneridge Orchards selects the finest tree-ripened summer peaches at the peak of juiciness and sweetness and then dries them to preserve their natural goodness and flavor. They then slice the peaches into wedges, as opposed to rings, providing a heartier eating experience for the consumer. The Sliced Peaches come in a four-ounce re-sealable bag with a suggested retail price of $4.99.

All of the new Stoneridge Orchards all-natural dried fruit products are available now to retailers nationwide. Each comes in a case of six or in eye-catching 48-count display shippers, with the exception of the Montmorency Cherry Snack Packs. Those are available in five-count multi-packs, attractive 24-count countertop dispensers and 80-count bulk packs.

To inquire about carrying the products, you may contact the sales team at (855) 300-3199 or sales@stoneridgeorchards.com. For more information on Stoneridge Orchards, please visit www.stoneridgeorchards.com/stoneridge-orchards.

Nicky Farms Game and Specialty Meats Now Offered in New Seasons Markets

Nicky USA’s line of specialty meat and high quality game is now available at New Season’s Market under the “Nicky Farms” label. Elk, venison, locally raised rabbit, wild boar, goat, buffalo and a variety of game birds will now be available at all 13 New Seasons locations.

Since 1990 Nicky USA’s game and specialty meats have been featured at the best restaurants in the Northwest. With expanded distribution to New Season’s Market, home cooks will now have access to their unique offerings.

“Consumers are becoming more adventurous in their home kitchens,” says Nicky USA President Geoff Latham. “They want more than beef, chicken and pork, and we are growing to meet those demands.”

Game has historically been a mainstay of the American diet, and Nicky USA is excited to put game back on the center of the plate. Nicky USA has long worked to educate the public about its specialty meats through its annual culinary event, Wild About Game, and via its farm in Aurora, Ore., where the company currently raises rabbits, quail and goats for the Nicky Farms line.

Nicky Farms game birds and meats can be found in a variety of cuts in the freezer section, or behind the meat counter at New Seasons markets. The full line of offerings includes: rabbit, poussin, game hen, quail, Muscovy duck, pekin duck, venison, elk, wild boar, goat, and buffalo.

About Nicky USA

Founded in 1990, Nicky USA is the Northwest’s leading butcher and distributor of game birds and meats. The Portland-based company has forged relationships with local and international ranchers, as well as James Beard Award-winning chefs in an effort to make game a mainstay of specialty markets and fine restaurants. Nicky USA offers a specialty line of products called Nicky Farms, featuring Northwest raised rabbit, quail, elk, fallow venison, water buffalo, emu and American bison. With the recent purchase of a 30.9-acre farm in Aurora, Ore, owner Geoff Latham is now able to raise game for Nicky USA, host friends and customers, and guide hunts. Aside from selling meat and wild game, Nicky USA hosts Wild About Game – this year on September 7, 2014 – an annual Iron Chef-style cooking competition and festival promoting sustainably raised game birds and meats. Nicky USA recently opened a second location in Seattle, and orders can be made through nickyusa.com or by calling 1.800.469.4162. For more information, call Nicky USA at 503-234-4263 or visit www.nickyusa.com. Follow NickyUSA on Twitter and Facebook.

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