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Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops for Fall Flavor Without Guilt

In 2003, an annual trend based on existing tradition took the nation’s coffee cups by storm. Over the past 12 years, pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavors have become the new heralds of autumn and the holiday season. Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops from SweetLeaf® mean anyone can enjoy this fall favorite anytime, adding flavor to food and drinks without adding calories, carbs, or artificial ingredients.

According to Nielsen, “Seventy percent of pumpkin-oriented grocery sales in the U.S. occurred between September and November.” Within the larger pumpkin category, Nielsen’s report also notes the pumpkin spice flavor is the second most popular choice in that spectrum. While some food trends tend to be somewhat random and making them more tenuous, the staying power of pumpkin spice comes from the relation to an existing annual occurrence. Its close tie to the fall holiday season gives pumpkin spice a sense of exclusivity, but also makes it cyclical—returning for a few months every year.

SweetLeaf Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops, however, are available year-round, offering delicious, comforting flavor to beverages like coffee and tea, foods like oatmeal and yogurt, and an endless variety of recipes. SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops™ are made with organic stevia leaf extract. Just a few drops add sweet taste and the fall flavor consumers crave to recipes without adding calories, carbohydrates, or artificial ingredients.

Suggested retail price is $15.44.

Boulder Organic Soups Now Available in 850 Target Stores Nationwide

Boulder OrganicBoulder Organic Foods launches its Boulder Organic line of garden-fresh soups, made with the finest certified organic, gluten-free and non-GMO verified ingredients, in the refrigerated deli section at more than 850 Target stores nationwide.

Four soup varieties, sold in 16-ounce tubs with a suggested retail price of $4.49, are now available: Butternut Squash with Sage, Roasted Tomato Basil, Red Lentil Dahl and Garden Minestrone. Two additional flavors, Chicken Quinoa & Kale and Chicken Vegetable Chili, will be added later this month.

“We believe everyone should have access to delicious, organic foods, and our entry into Target brings Boulder Organic soups to more people than ever before,” said Boulder Organic Foods CEO Greg Powers. “Target shoppers care about eating well, and our small-batch soups are a tasty addition to Target’s extensive selection of high-quality foods.”

Boulder Organic soup is found in the grab-and-go and deli refrigerators of natural and conventional grocers nationally. The company offers varieties for all types of diets, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free.

Teamsters Urge Safeway To Keep Maryland Distribution Facilities

Teamsters are calling for Safeway to keep good jobs in Maryland, after the company unexpectedly issued a notice that it plans to start closing its Upper Marlboro and Landover, Maryland, grocery distribution facilities 19 days before Christmas, resulting in the layoff of more than 700 workers.

The warehouse workers, members of Teamsters Locals 730 and 639, based in Washington, D.C., received a 60-day layoff notice from C&S Wholesale Grocers, which operates the Safeway-owned facilities. Safeway intends to close the operation, with plans to send many of the jobs to Pennsylvania.

In a letter to Robert Miller, the CEO of Albertsons Companies, Inc., which recently acquired Safeway, Teamsters General PresidentJim Hoffa called on the company to enact a moratorium on the closure.

“I believe there are options that have not yet been explored,” Hoffa said. “I am asking you to enact a 180-day moratorium on the closure while your staff, Maryland and Prince George’s County public officials and Teamsters-appointed experts meet to discuss alternatives, with the goal of saving good Maryland jobs.”

“Workers here have spent decades working night shifts, weekends and holidays to make Safeway a profitable company. We will do whatever it takes to save these jobs,” said Thomas Ratliff, President of Local 639.

Safeway built the $91 million state-of-the-art Upper Marlboro distribution center in 1998, after receiving $2 million from Maryland taxpayers. Safeway has also received more than $7 million in concessions from these distribution center employees over the past 15 years in order to defray costs.

Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement With Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons

The Teamsters Union announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement with grocery companies Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons that if passed, will cover more than 8,000 members across Southern California. The drivers, warehouse, dairy and manufacturing workers at the three companies will vote on the tentative agreement from October 16-18.

The union and company reached a tentative agreement following three months of negotiations, avoiding a possible strike. The union overwhelmingly voted for strike authorization two weeks ago after the contract expired on September 19.

“It was a challenging negotiation process, but we were able to hash an agreement that will help raise work standards and compensation for all of our members at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons,” said Rick Middleton, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and chief negotiator. “We will review the details of the agreement with our members and recommend they vote for passage.”

“On behalf of the L.A. Labor Movement, we stand with all workers impacted by the contract between Teamsters and the three grocery companies. We hope for an agreement that includes better wages, hours, and working conditions,” said Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

More Customers Shopping Early as Halloween Becomes Seasonal Celebration

Midwestern retailer Meijer is seeing as much as a 20 percent increase in shoppers taking advantage of Halloween savings and hunting earlier for decorations, candy and costumes this year, according to Peter Whitsett, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing.

“The next time Halloween will be celebrated on the weekend won’t be until 2020, so we’re seeing enthusiastic shoppers making it more of seasonal experience by planning their trick-or-treating, haunted house visits and unforgettable parties throughout October,” Whitsett said. “We know that more parents are decorating their homes and even dressing up with their kids, so we look forward to providing everything families need for their weekend festivities.”

Meijer aggressively expanded its selection in kids licensed costumes, adult costume accessories and animated home decorations this year to help shoppers maximize their Halloween experience. Whitsett said that nearly half will decorate their home, more than two thirds of all celebrants will wear a costume and more than 157 million people are planning to celebrate and throw or attend parties.

The average person will spend $75 this Halloween on indoor and outdoor décor, costumes and candy, and nearly 70 million people plan on passing out candy. Total spending on Halloween will reach $6.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

The Norman Rockwell Collection from Virginia Diner


Virginia DinerThe Virginia Diner has signed a three year licensing agreement with the Norman Rockwell Family Agency. The license gives the Virginia Diner marketing and sales use of a number of the Norman Rockwell original prints. Scott Stephens, Director of Sales and Marketing with the Virginia Diner states the initial launch has been well received by our wholesale customers. “We recently introduced our Norman Rockwell collection at both the New York Fancy Food Show and the Atlanta Gift Show, realizing record sales from this new product line,” he said.

The complete collection will be available in the fall of 2015 in the Virginia Diner retail and fundraising catalogs, as well as for the company’s national list of retail partners and corporate custom gift customers. “We have incorporated a number of original Norman Rockwell images into our Merry Christmas labels and used various designs to invoke the nostalgia and history of the Diner. There isn’t a more iconic illustration of the holidays than the Norman Rockwell collection,” Stephens said. “We are very excited to be associated with the Norman Rockwell family”.

The full product offering can be previewed by contacting the Virginia Diner at 888.482.6887.


Wide Variety of Confections from Seattle Gourmet Foods

Seattle Gourmet Foods is a food manufacturer based out of Kent, Washington. Growing both organically and through acquisition, today it is comprised of 11 different brands found in retailers around the country. Consisting of a diverse mix of products that include chocolate, breath mints, bakery items, jams, sauces, soups and dry mixes. Every brand and product made contains only the highest quality ingredients. With 160,000 square feet of production facilities, SGF not only has the capabilities to produce its own products, but has the flexibility to provide private label manufacturing as well.

Dilettante Chocolates® is the most recognizable of the Seattle Gourmet Foods’ brands. Founded in 1976 by Dana Davenport, Dilettante continues a family tradition in chocolate and confections that dates back three generations to the late 19th century. For close to 40 years, Dilettante Chocolates has maintained the impeccable quality of handmade truffles, chocolate covered fruits and nuts, TruffleCremes®, sauces, toppings, bakery items and molded chocolate the brand is known for around the world.

Seattle Gourmet Foods editphotoSeattle Gourmet Foods is also one of the premier panning operations in the U.S., with the ability to coat an array of centers, and specializes in double coated products. These are made with custom blends of couverture grade chocolate and uses no compound coating. Under the Dilettante Chocolates brand, there are multiple packaging sizes of this type of product, ranging from a 1.5-ounce. grab-and-go option to several sizes of stand-up pouches to more gift oriented items like 6-ounce candy bags and 16-ounce assortment in a clear tray and lid. All Dilettante panned products are also available in 5-pound bulk bags. Examples of flavors available include Bing Cherries, Fruit Medley® (strawberries, cherries, blueberries and apricots), Sea Salt Cashews, Mint Dropz[R], and Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans. There are also all-natural varieties available in multiple sizes. All of the selections of panned products have a 12-month shelf life.

Another top product for Dilettante Chocolates would be its truffle ganache that has been coated in premium chocolate and individually wrapped, known as TruffleCremes. These come in an array of sizes including 4-ounce novelty boxes, 5-ounce tent boxes, 6-ounce metalized pouches and 10-ounce gift boxes. Bulk cases are also available by request. Flavors include Peppermint, Toffee Crunch, Mocha, Dark Ephemere[R] (dark chocolate), Raspberry, Light Ephemere (milk chocolate), and Coffee Trio containing Espresso, Latte, and Mocha. Seasonal flavors are also available in Candy Cane and Gingerbread. TruffleCremes are all-natural and have a 12-month shelf life.

In 2016, Seattle Gourmet Foods will be displaying multiple brands at the Winter Fancy Food Show, Natural Products Expo West, and Sweets & Snacks Expo. For more information on Seattle Gourmet Foods or on the brands and products produced, visit, email or call toll free at 800.800.9490.

Betty Lou’s Offers New Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Snacks for Everyone

Betty Lou’s Inc. has been producing premium products for over 37 years. All of its products are gluten-free and non-GMO. From tempting products like fruit bars that taste like a piece of pie to performance Nut Butter Balls, Betty Lou’s offers a taste for everyone. The company’s popular Just Great Stuff bars are high in antioxidants and the decadent, organic Angell candy bars can satisfy any sweet tooth, guilt-free.

Betty Lou’s Inc. now has nine flavors in the Nut Butter Ball family, with the latest edition being the Chocolate Hazelnut Ball. The Nut Butter Balls are great on-the-go energy snacks to get you through the day.

The company has added two new additions to its Fruit Bar line; Strawberry PB&J and the Blueberry PB&J. The PB&J Bars taste like a traditional PB&J sandwich and each bar is packed with strawberry or blueberry goodness.

Bake it like Betty Lou with the company’s Cupcake & Cookie Mix, Bread Mix and Brownie Mix. As always, they are gluten-free, non-GMO and also made with many organic ingredients. Betty Lou’s Inc. baking mixes are extra special because they’re sweetened with only organic coconut sugar. The best part? Just add oil and water. These baking mixes are pure, simple and wholesome.

Spray Sweeteners from Innovative Candy Concepts


Innovative Candy Concepts BGSweeten any food or drink with the simple touch of a spray – all drinks, hot or cold and many foods, such as fruits, cereals, nuts, or popcorn – all with a simple touch of a spray that dissolves instantly with no stirring.

Spray sweeteners from Innovative Candy Concepts are available in two great offerings, Sweet Spray made with sucralose, the same sweetener as in Splenda, and Sprayvia made with stevia for an all-natural spray sweetener.

Each bottle of Sweet Spray or Sprayvia contains 200 sprays.


Juiceology Expands Distribution, Continues Innovation

Juiceology, the dynamic beverage company headquartered in Southern California, continues their nationwide distribution expansion, adding Kroger to the list of stores and markets who carry its nutrient-packed juices made from blend of premium fruits and eight grams of natural fiber. Juiceology’s growth has placed its natural juices on the shelves of more than 5,000 retail stores nationwide including Wal-Mart, Safeway, Sprouts and Albertsons.

Kroger will carry Juiceology’s four best selling flavors (Green Elements, Blueberry Acai, Pomegranate Blue Cranberry and Peach Mango) starting in mid-October with a suggested retail price of $2.99.

“Our distribution has been steadily growing over the past two years,” said Juiceology’s Chief Executive Officer Felipe d’Avila. “Our customers have supported every aspect of our expansion, from new flavors to new retail distribution. We are grateful that our fans continue to purchase our products–and it’s their brand loyalty that has helped us stand out and surge as a very popular juice brand in the marketplace.”

Another tenet of Juiceology’s success that has contributed to their expansion is the unparalleled, high quality of their juice blends—made with the freshest fruits and vegetables available, Juiceolgy’s premium juices are the only line in stores that contain 32 percent of the FDA’s recommended daily fiber value and less than 200 calories per bottle.

As retail distribution grows, Juiceology continues to innovate in the marketplace—2016 will bring the debut of new packaging, Non-GMO Project Certification and the introduction of Red Elements, a new flavor combining red fruits, and a healthy touch of ginger and turmeric.

“We are not just another boring juice company who tells you what to drink and how to live. We’re passionate about innovating top notch products that meet the wants and needs of our customers while creating products that combine health and enjoyment for everyone,” said d’Avila.


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