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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.

Rooibee Red Tea Launches Ready-to-Drink Option for Kids

Rooibee Red Tea announced the launch of Rooibee Roo at Natural Products Expo West. Developed just for kids, the bottled tea offers the same health benefits and similar great taste of its parent line in three fruity flavors: cherry, mango and orange. A certified USDA organic rooibos tea that is naturally caffeine free, only 12 grams of organic cane sugar and less than 60 calories per eight ounce BPA free bottle, this is a tea parents can feel confident giving their children. For more information go to www.RooibeeRedTea.com.

When Rooibee Red Tea Chief Tea Officer Heather Howell joined the company four years ago, she noticed how much kids enjoyed the drink and knew they deserved their own. “I’m happy to fulfill the need of a healthier drink option for children by offering a tea with kid-friendly flavors, filled with unique minerals and antioxidants that also fall in line with school nutrition standards,” said Howell. “As a parent I know how important it is to feel confident about what your children put in their bodies.”

Rooibee Roo is currently production ready and will be available to consumers in select stores and online in late spring as a six-pack or individual bottles. It will cost an average price of about $1.00 per bottle.

Spooning Chocolate, the Espresso of Hot Chocolate for Consenting Adults

Cocoa Canard’s new Spooning Chocolate is the first dairy and gluten-free pure non-bitter dark chocolate to instantly melt in a cup of hot water with such a richness that you will never miss the milk. It’s a silky refined version of the pure melted hot chocolate drinks originally served in old world chocolate houses. Now you can enjoy a satisfying demitasse of velvety hot chocolate as a wonderful afternoon delight or the perfect end to any meal.

To enhance the ritual chocolate making experience, each elegantly packaged can comes with a wooden mini-molinillo (South American whisk) to whip up a slight cocoa crema which releases the intoxicating deep chocolate aroma. Cocoa Canard uses the finest selection of beans including the costly flavorful Criollo. The beans are artfully aged and then slow roasted and blended in small batches using real vanilla, not an extract, to create a rich complex range of flavors.

Spooning Chocolate is not just a seasonal product. Unlike a big mug of hand-warming hot chocolate, this is a smaller amount of liquid at a lower temperature, like an espresso. A small amount of warm, melted dark chocolate after a meal or anytime is perfect year-round, not just for cold winters. You can even put a few chocolate pastilles in a cup of coffee for a wonderful Cafe Mocha.

Sartori Receives “Best of Class” at World Championship Cheese Contest

Sartori Cheese received two “Best of Class” awards at this year’s World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, Wisc. The competition was host to over 2,600 entries from a total of 22 countries. Sartori’s Extra-Aged Asiago was named “Best Asiago” while SarVecchio® Parmesan received a “Best of Class” in the shredded cheese open class.

Two years ago at this biennial competition, Sartori’s Extra-Aged Asiago took home a “Best of Class” in the Open Class Hard Cheeses and Sartori’s SarVecchio Parmesan received a “Best of Class” in the shredded class, making it the best shredded cheese in the world four years running. “This competition is very technical. The judges look for up to 50 defects in a cheese and judge in tenths of a point up to 100 points. Their standards of quality are set high,” states Sartori Research & Development Vice President Pat Mugan.

“The incredibly high quality milk provided by our patron farms is a vital first step in making great cheese. When out visiting with the farms, you can see these patron producers have a true love for the land and their animals. They know that the milk they are providing to Sartori is helping to make award-winning cheese and they’re proud of that,” states third generation Owner and CEO Jim Sartori.

Sartori’s Extra-Aged Asiago and SarVecchio Parmesan cheeses are hand-crafted in Antigo, Wisc. Each cheese wheel is carefully handled by Sartori’s team members. “We have high quality standards not just at the farm, but also at our cheese making facilities. It’s important for us to follow through with a level of quality that we are proud of. If we all continue with high quality standards, we’ll see the results, such as a ‘Best of Class’ win at one of the most prestigious cheese competitions in the United States,” Jim Sartori says.

Sartori received one additional award for  its Merlot BellaVitano®, a second place finish right behind the SarVecchio Parmesan in the shredded cheese open class. For additional information about Sartori, visit the website at sartoricheese.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @Sartori_Cheese for daily news and updates.