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Stonewall Kitchen to Acquire Tillen Farms Brand of Premium Cocktail Garnishes

Stonewall Kitchen, a leading specialty food manufacturer, marketer and retailer, just announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Tillen Farms® brand of premium cocktail garnishes, including crisp pickled vegetables and Pacific Northwest cherries. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in January 2018.

Stonewall.Tillen.boardJohn Stiker, Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall Kitchen said, “We have long admired the premium quality and variety of Tillen Farms’ delicious products, from their pickled asparagus spears and dilly beans to their signature Bada Bing® cherries. The product line is completely complementary to the specialty food categories we currently offer, and provides us with an immediate leadership presence in the cocktail garnish category. We also see great synergies between these two specialty food brands, from innovative product development to expanded distribution, and we are excited about the opportunity to grow Tillen Farms alongside Stonewall Kitchen.”

“After growing the Tillen Farms brand over the last 13 years, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect partner than Stonewall Kitchen to help take the brand to the next level,” added Tim Metzger, the Founder and Owner of Tillen Farms. “We share similar values of providing superior product quality, clean ingredient labels, and predominantly U.S.-based sourcing and manufacturing. I look forward to working with John and the team to continue to grow both Tillen Farms and Stonewall Kitchen in the coming years.”

Stonewall Kitchen is committed to building the premier specialty foods platform by leveraging the company’s expertise in brand building, product development, and multi-channel distribution and fulfillment, according to Stiker. “We are dedicated to providing our loyal customers delicious and innovative new products, and could not be more excited to welcome the Tillen Farms brand into the Stonewall Kitchen family as we continue to grow both organically and through selective acquisitions,” he said.

Manuka Honey Brand Gains U.S. Distribution

Melora, one of New Zealand’s mānuka honey brands, is gaining distribution in the U.S. this month in select retailers in CaliforniaHawaii and Arizona.

“We are thrilled to bring Melora’s premium mānuka honey to our American friends,” said Karl Gradon, CEO at New Zealand Mānuka Group. “In a category that has been subject to misleading activity claims, the Melora brand offers a guarantee on quality, purity, and responsible harvesting practices, underscoring the most healing properties of the mānuka superplant. With Melora, U.S. consumers can feel confident toward an investment in good health.”

Mānuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native mānuka bush. Research shows – when ingested – mānuka honey can help with stomach problems such as H.Pylori (in-vitro). Additionally, more research is emerging on mānuka’s prebiotic role in promoting beneficial bacteria and gut health.

The UMF™ grading system appraises natural markers found in mānuka honey and assures purity and quality. As part of the UMF Honey Association testing process, every batch of honey must go through a series of additional checks and supporting programs to ensure adherence to the highest standards in authenticity, quality and safety. All UMF license holders are independently audited to meet stringent standards in terms of production, manufacturing, sampling and handling. The UMF quality trademark is an indication to consumers that they are buying the best, 100 percent natural, unadulterated mānuka honey.

Particularly unique to Melora is its partnership with landowners. Understanding the need for landowners to receive a fair return for the use of their land by beekeepers, Melora created an open agreement between the landowners, beekeepers and processing company. This agreement ensures all parties receive a fair share of the profits from all honey sold. This was the first time any business had ever recognized the support of the landowners in this industry.

Available in select Costco stores.

Kroger Introduces Prep+Pared Meal Kits to New Markets

Kroger has announced that it has added its Prep+Pared Meal Kits to four new divisions: Central, Columbus, Fry’s and Nashville, joining CincinnatiLouisville and Ralphs.

“Prep+Pared Meal Kits are a growing part of Kroger’s Our Brands portfolio. As we focus on redefining the grocery customer experience, as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan, we will rapidly grow the footprint of Prep+Pared Meal Kits in 2018,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising. “Since introducing Prep+Pared Meal Kits earlier this year, our customers have responded favorably to having a convenient solution that makes dinner easy.”

Prep+Pared Meal Kit ingredients are fresh, seasonal, prepped and measured to precisely provide customers with only what is needed for each recipe so there is no waste. Cooking time for each meal kit is about 20 minutes. Prep+Pared Meal Kits feed two adults and range in price from $14 to $20, and there is no required subscription. Prep+Pared Meal Kits are available for purchase in stores and through ClickList.

Current recipes customers can enjoy—developed by Kroger’s culinary innovation team—include Bacon and Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken with Broccolini Radish and Wheatberry, Shrimp Scampi with Lemon Garlic Fettuccini, and Carne Asada with Fajita Vegetables and Refried Black Beans.

Prep+Pared Meal Kits are now available in nearly 200 stores across the country and will arrive early next year in several new divisions.

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