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IDDBA to Offer Outstanding Educational Opportunities this June

The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association has a stellar group of speakers lined up for this year’s IDDBA 17 conference and trade show, which will be held June 4-6 in Anaheim, California. The General Session speaker line-up includes former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy, IDDBA President and CEO Mike Eardley, former Trader Joe’s CEO Doug Rauch, Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis, former Starbucks CEO Jim Donald and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.

And that’s not all. Eddie Yoon, the author of “Superconsumers;” Eric Chester, the author of “On Fire at Work” and Molly Fletcher, the author of “Fearless at Work,” will also be speaking. Jewel Hunt, IDDBA’s Chairman and the Group Vice President of Bakery for Albertsons Companies, is also on the schedule.

IDDBA’s Show and Sell Workshop line-up offers Steve Dragoo of Solutions Consulting, Yoon, De Laurentiis, Harold Lloyd of Harold Lloyd Presents and Rauch. The Show and Sell Workshops are 30-minute sessions that cover various industry-specific topics and frequently include live demonstrations in a smaller and less formal setting that allows for personal interaction with the experts.

This show also includes merchandising displays that provide examples of some of the best ideas in the industry – ideas that are designed for attendees to take home and replicate easily in their own stores. The concepts that will be demonstrated on the show floor this year include a breakfast bakery bar, a cheese pub with cheese pairings and tapas ideas, an in-store foodservice program and a cake design display intended to provide attendees with an engaging experience of creative and unique cake ideas for entertaining occasions.

And that’s not all – in keeping with this show’s focus on providing retailer attendees with real solutions to enhance profitability, IDDBA will offer its Expert Neighborhood for the first time this year. This is an area on the show floor where attendees can meet one-on-one with experts to discuss questions, industry challenges, and business problems. The association has an absolutely phenomenal line-up of industry stars who are prepared to discuss issues like engaging customers and employees, complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act and the evolving rules about product and menu labeling, and dealing with food waste, enhancing innovation and product profitability. Twenty-five minute appointments with these experts can be booked at the show starting on June 3.

Inglehoffer Mustards Gain Consecutive Gold Medals

Beaverton Foods, Oregon’s 88-year-old specialty condiment manufacturer, springs into the new year with eight awards, including three gold medals, from this year’s 22nd annual World-Wide Mustard Competition. More than 100 judges gathered at the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, to evaluate 291 entries from as far away as Japan, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany and Canada.

Inglehoffer Sweet Hot Mustard won a gold medal for its third consecutive year, while Inglehoffer Ghost Pepper Mustard repeated last year’s gold medal win in the category for hot pepper mustards. Inglehoffer Hot Horseradish Mustard won a gold medal in the category for mustards whose heat is rooted in horseradish or wasabi, while Inglehoffer Horseradish Wasabi Mustard won a silver medal in the same category.

Napa Valley Orange Ginger won a silver award for fruit mustards, while Beaver Brand Extra Hot Russian Mustard took home a bronze award for a classic hot mustard, Inglehoffer Sriracha Mustard earned a bronze medal for a hot pepper mustard, and Inglehoffer Creamy Dill won a bronze medal in the category for mustards flavored with herbs or vegetables.

“It’s humbling to say we have won more than 150 medals at this annual competition,” said Domonic Biggi, CEO of Beaverton Foods. “We are especially pleased that our new Inglehoffer Ghost Pepper Mustard was selected for a Gold medal for a second consecutive year. Additionally, we’re grateful that culinary experts around the world like our products.”

The annual competition, held since 1995, is open to all commercial mustard producers and agents worldwide. There are 16 flavor categories in which gold, silver and bronze awards are presented. The contest is a blind tasting judged by chefs, food writers and mustard aficionados.

Southeastern Grocers Becomes First North American Retail Member of International Pole & Line Foundation

Southeastern Grocers LLC, parent company of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, has become the first North American retail member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), a non-profit association committed to supporting small-scale fisheries that pursue high quality, responsible and ethical tuna caught using one-by-one methods.

To coincide with this announcement, Southeastern Grocers has launched an exclusive private label-Fisherman’s Wharf, pole-and-line, canned albacore tuna product displaying the IPNLF ‘Supporting Member’ logo to demonstrate its commitment to the most environmentally and socially desirable methods. The Fisherman’s Wharf Albacore Tuna is on the shelves of select BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores for $2.49 a can.

Ian McLeod, President and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said, “At Southeastern Grocers, we know how important it is to support sustainable fisheries and we are very pleased to be the first North American retail member of the International Pole & Line Foundation.”

Southeastern Grocers has become the 42nd member of IPNLF. The company’s membership is a further step in its on-going support for environmentally and socially responsible tuna fisheries and for improved tuna management worldwide.

In partnership with members, IPNLF provides much-needed support for fishing communities who are heavily reliant upon those fisheries, and works on practical fisheries improvements and stronger management to meet the growing global demand.
Commenting on Southeastern Grocers’ membership, Adam Baske, Director Policy and Outreach at IPNLF, said, “It is fantastic to have our first retail member in the US market on board with our mission to see coastal tuna fishing communities thrive alongside healthy ocean ecosystems. We look forward to working with Southeastern Grocers to further demonstrate the value of sourcing from one-by-one tuna fisheries, and encourage other retailers in North America to join this collaborative effort. IPNLF is a hub for proactive companies like Southeastern Grocers who want to reward fishing communities committed to the highest environmental and social standards. The global demand for these products continues to grow as a result of companies using their buying power to create the future they want to see.”

Membership of IPNLF is open to all stakeholders involved in the one-by-one tuna supply chain, from fisheries associations to processors, food service and retailers, and all members are encouraged to engage in fisheries improvement.

Blue Apron Partners with Culinary Cooking Competition Series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR

Blue Apron has partnered with FOX’s culinary competition series, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR to develop a Mystery Box Challenge in the episode that aired first on Thursday, April 20.

During the episode, each young home cook opened his or her Mystery Box to reveal a Blue Apron Family Plan box with a choice of two proteins and an assortment of farm-sourced winter vegetables. They were given 45 minutes to curate a dinner recipe that the whole family can enjoy using the 10-12 mystery ingredients and items from the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR pantry.

The winner received a competitive advantage in the next cooking challenge in the show and the opportunity to have his or her own winning recipe featured on an upcoming Blue Apron Family Plan menu. To celebrate the partnership, all eight MASTERCHEF JUNIOR contestants will also receive one year of Blue Apron meals.

Introducing Walter Craft Caesar Rim

Walter, the makers of Canada’s first all-natural craft Caesar mix, is releasing a new craft Caesar rim to complement its line of award-winning cocktail mixes.

Made in Canada in small batches with flaked salt, organic cane sugar, cracked black pepper and a secret blend of herbs and spices, the Walter Craft Caesar Rim is all-natural, free of preservatives, gluten-free and contains no added MSG or artificial colors. The result is a rim for one of Canada’s favorite cocktails that provides a nice balance of salty, sweet and umami.

Walter Craft Caesar Rim was created to bring out the fresh tomato, citrus and clam juice flavors of Walter Craft Caesar Mix, making this complementary duo the ultimate Caesar pairing. “After the success of our craft Caesar mix, developing a craft Caesar rim was a natural next step. Fans of Walter have been asking us to make a rim for a while now, and we are very happy with the results,” notes Zach Silverman, co-Founder of Walter.

Walter Craft Caesar Rim is available in both major grocery stores and many independent retailers across Canada and retails for approximately $4.99. Walter Craft Caesar Mix is available in all major grocery stores across Canada and comes in a 946 mL format in both Classic Spice and Mild Spice and retails for approximately $7.99.

Dang Foods’ New Sticky-Rice Chips Awarded Bronze sofi Award

Dang Foods‘ Coconut Crunch Sticky-Rice Chips is the recipient of a bronze sofi Award in the sweet snack category.  “We’re extremely honored that our newest addition to our snack portfolio, the Sticky-Rice Chip, has been recognized with a sofi™ Award,” said CEO and Founder of Dang Foods Vincent Kitirattragarn. “We’re glad to see our efforts to innovate in the better-for-you snack space and to harness the nutritional benefits of whole, responsibly-sourced ingredients appreciated by the industry.”

Made with certified organic rice grains and other clean ingredients, Dang Sticky-Rice Chips are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and soy-free. Starting with steamed Thai sticky rice, each chip is soaked in watermelon juice, then crisped and seasoned for the ideal crunchy texture. The Sticky-Rice Chips have 30-40 percent less fat compared to regular potato chips.

Sticky-Rice Chips hit stores in January 2017 in 3.5-ounce family-size packages retailing for $3.99. Dang Foods products are available nationwide in more than 8,000 brick-and-mortar and online outlets.

Murray’s Cheese Introduces Exclusive Cave Master Cheddar

Murray’s Cheese has introduced a brand new cheese to its exclusive Cave Master line. Ezra, a Clothbound Cheddar, is the first cheese created by Murray’s from initial concept all the way through research and development, cheesemaking and aging and then into the market. Ezra will be exclusively available at Murray’s New York flagship stores in Greenwich Village and Grand Central Terminal and online at www.murrayscheese.com.

“This cheddar is the culmination of many factors coming together over many years,” said Steve Millard, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Operations for Murray’s Cheese. “From our unique relationships with cheese makers, to more than a decade’s worth of experience aging cheese in our New York City caves, there’s a lot of things we do well. But we hadn’t ventured into making cheese ourselves.”

Ezra was developed in partnership with Cornell University and Old Chatham (New York) Creamery and is named after the university’s founder, Ezra Cornell. Millard, along with Murray’s Cave Master Peter Jenkelunas, worked closely with Matt Ranieri, Ph.D., a Cornell alumnus and expert on food science and dairy technology, to develop the cheese. Aged 12 months in Murray’s cheese cave, Ezra is modeled after classic British clothbound cheddars. It’s crumbly and boasts bright flavors of lemon curd and brown butter.

“The Old Chatham Creamery team is pleased to be able to collaborate with the Murray’s team in creating and producing the new Murray’s Clothbound Cheddar,” said David Malcolm Galton of Cornell. “We are committed to producing high quality cheeses for Murray’s customers across the country and believe that Ezra is a fantastic place to start.”

Forever Cheese Introduces Traditional Mantova Cookie to U.S. Market

Forever Cheese, importers of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Croatian cheese and specialty foods, have introduced Sbrisolona Mitica® to the U.S. market this month. Sbrisolona is a traditional Italian torta from Mantova in the region of Lombardia. It dates back to the 16th century, when it was a common peasant dessert, and it soon gained popularity among nobility as well. Made with almonds and cornmeal, it is crunchy and crumbly, similar to a big cookie. Sbrisolona gets its rich flavor from butter, and its sweetness is tempered by a bit of sea salt. It is all natural and free of preservatives.

Traditionally, Italians break off pieces of Sbrisolona by hand to eat it. An espresso is a perfect accompaniment for a mid afternoon snack, or pair with grappa for an after dinner treat. It can also be crumbled on top of yogurt or custard for an elegant breakfast or dessert. The 10.5-ounce size is perfect for sharing.

Despite being a staple in many northern Italian bakeries, Sbrisolona is not well known in the U.S.. “We are very excited to finally be able to bring this product to U.S. consumers,” said Michele Buster, co-Owner of Forever Cheese. This Sbrisolona comes from Panificio Freddi, a family owned bakery in Mantova. In business since 1923, it is the oldest bakery in the city, with Riccardo Freddi its current owner. Sbrisolona Mitica is now available at specialty food stores across the country.

Specialty Food Association Names sofi Winners

By Lorrie Baumann

The Specialty Food Association announced on April 19 that 154 products earned sofi Awards this year. An additional sofi Award for Product of the Year, awarded to the single product that received the highest score in the judging, will be announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June.

The April announcement, made without a public ceremony by Specialty Food Association President Phil Kafarakis and celebrity Chef Sara Moulton, honors products in 39 categories with gold, silver, and bronze awards for each category. Sofi awards have been presented by the Specialty Food Association since 1972. This year, sofi Awards were also given to the best new product in 37 of the categories. The winners were chosen from among almost 3,000 entries submitted by 875 Specialty Food Association member companies, noted Kafarakis. “Winning the sofi is really a big deal,” he said.

“It’s the best of the best. It’s promoted in the industry like crazy,” added Moulton, who recalled that in covering the Fancy Food Show for 12 years for “Good Morning America,” she always liked to head first to the display case for sofi winners because she knew that those products had already been filtered by knowledgeable judges. To this day, when she’s at the Fancy Food Show, the sight of a sofi statuette in a vendor’s booth will often make her turn aside and take a look at that booth, even if she hadn’t intended to do so, because the statuette indicates to her that the booth represents a company that produces good products, she said. “It attracts a lot of traffic,” she said.

Judging for this year’s awards competition was done at the Specialty Food Association offices in New York over a two-week period by 62 judges who included chefs, culinary instructors, bloggers, food writers and specialty food buyers, Moulton said. “We all get together to talk about what’s happening in the specialty food world,” she said. “You learn while you’re tasting. It’s fantastic.”

The products were judged after being prepared by professional chefs as they were intended to be used, according to Moulton. For instance, a marinade intended to be used with chicken was prepared by the chefs according to package directions before being presented to the judges for tasting. “These are all prepared right then and there as we tasted them,” she said with particular reference to the entries in the pasta, rice and grains category.

Each product was judged in a blind tasting, so the judges didn’t know which company had made it. Scores were sent directly from each judge to be tallied without any discussion that might otherwise have influenced anyone’s individual decision, according to Moulton. “We tasted the food the way it should be tasted,” she said, adding that this year’s judging process was an improvement over the methodology of previous years. “I think it was the best it’s ever been,” she said.

In four categories, the gold award winner was also named best new product. Those were Wozz! Kitchen Creations’ Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce, Aunt Dottie’s Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette from JGF Enterprises, Manicaretti Italian Food Imports’ Rustichella d’Abruzzo Pasta Integrale di Farro – Couscous and Le Bon Magot LLC’s Spiced Raisin Marmalata. JGF Enterprises also won a silver sofi in the salad dressings category for its Aunt Dottie’s Turmeric Maple Dressing. Le Bon Magot also won a gold award for its Tomato and White Sultana Chutney, a bronze award for its Lemon-Sultana Marmalata with Caraway and Saffron and a bronze award for its Brinjal Caponata condiment. Manicaretti Italian Food Imports also won a bronze award for IASA Spicy Anchovies in the seafood category. In addition to the two sofi awards for Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce, Wozz! Kitchen Creations won a bronze award in the vinegar category for its Spiced Beet Vinegar and a silver award in the condiment category for its Balsamic Fig Mostarda Savory Spread. Calivirgin Olive Oils swept the gold, silver and bronze awards for olive oils with a gold award for Jalapeno Garlic Olive Oil, a silver award for Blood Orange Olive Oil and a bronze for Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Azienda Agricola Coppini Arte Olearia Srl won the award for best new product in the olive oil category with Olives and Mandarines Condiment Coppini Arte Olearia. More than 80 olives oils were entered for the sofi judging this year, according to Kafarakis.

Vermont Creamery was also among this year’s big winners. Its Vanilla Creme Fraiche received a gold award in the category for a dessert sauce or topping or a syrup; Cultured Butter with Sea Salt Crystals won a bronze award in the category for dairy, yogurt or dairy alternative products; a silver award for Bonne Bouche, a geotrichum-rinded aged goat cheese; and a best new product award for St. Albans, an aged cow milk cheese introduced to the market in October of 2016.

New Line of Gourmet Side Dishes from Royal Basmati Rice

Royal Basmati Rice is launching a new line of gourmet side dishes in eight globally-inspired flavors. Royal Authentic Adventures™ dishes are made with Royal’s Premium Basmati Rice.

Royal Authentic Adventures is available now at nationwide grocers including Harris Teeter, Kings Supermarket Inc./Balducci’s, SpartanNash, Tops Friendly Markets, Walmart (Calif. locations) and Costco, and will hit shelves at Shaw’s and Wegmans stores in May, followed by Weis Markets and Randalls stores in June.

Royal basmati riceEach variety of Royal Authentic Adventures delivers a global, gourmet adventure in a delectable side dish that cooks in only 12 minutes. Royal Authentic Adventures takes taste buds through a journey across the world’s most celebrated culinary cultures, encompassing authentic flavors and ingredients native to each region. Blends include:

  • Mexican-Style Basmati Rice – Fire roasted tomatillo and green chile flavor made with a special blend of tomatillos, green chiles, onions and other savory herbs and spices brings the warm and lively flavors of Mexico to family dinner tables. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • French-Style Basmati Rice – A medley of French Provençal vegetables made with red bell pepper, thyme, carrot, parsley, and garlic celebrates the beautifully balanced flavors of France’s far-reaching culinary influence. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • Thai-Style Basmati Rice – Basil lemongrass curry flavor infused with the mild-sweet yellow curries of Thailand, along with robust and spicy notes of citrus, lemongrass and ginger, combine to bring out the bright, fresh flavors of traditional Thai dishes in every bite. (Gluten-free)
  • Greek-Style Basmati Rice – Herb and lemon flavor made with a blend of classic Mediterranean spices and seasonings including lemon, oregano, parsley, garlic and olive oil is sure to become a family favorite. (Gluten-free)
  • Japanese-Style Basmati Rice – Shiitake ginger flavor made with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, green onion, soy sauce and toasted sesame flawlessly re-create the exotic and aromatic flavors of the Far East. (Vegan)
  • Moroccan-Style Basmati Rice – Herb tagine flavor made with slow-roasted tomatoes, mint, cinnamon, cloves and chili peppers provides an earthy, yet delicately nuanced taste of the Middle East. (Vegan and gluten-free)
  • Indian-Style Basmati Rice – Wood-fired tandoori flavor made with garlic, paprika and turmeric offer an ode to India’s masterful culinary influence. (Gluten-free)
  • Argentinian-Style Basmati Rice – Chimichurri flavor is a vibrant and soulful blend of citrus juices, herbs and garlic, making this side dish a tango for the taste buds. (Gluten-free)

Abhinav Arora, President of LT Foods Americas, says, “Because rice is a celebrated staple in so many cultures worldwide, Royal is always looking for innovative ways to incorporate other traditions and backgrounds into our product lines. We are excited to offer our customers a tour of diverse flavors from around the globe with Royal Authentic Adventures. This line truly represents our brand values and commitment to diversity.”

Royal Authentic Adventures uses no artificial colors or preservatives and is made with basmati rice sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas. Overseeing the harvesting, milling, processing and distribution of its products, Royal Basmati Rice is dedicated to providing the highest quality of ingredients to its customers.

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