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Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Urges More Attention to Inadequacies of American Diet

 

By Lorrie Baumann

 

The next edition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans is due to be issued this year, but the broad outline for those guidelines has already been released in the form of the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, released this February. Among the highlights of the report: suggestions for more urging for Americans to modify their diets and get more exercise; more pressure on the food industry to reformulate food products in a healthier direction; and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and desserts that could be used to fund obesity prevention programs.

The U.S. government uses the Dietary Guidelines as the basis of its food assistance programs, nutrition education efforts and decisions about national health objectives, including the menu planning for the National School Lunch Program. Dietary Guidelines for Americans were first released in 1980 and have been updated every five years since. The point of this report is to inform the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines.

Today, about half of all American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases related to their diets and about two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. These two conditions have been highly prevalent for more than two decades, and few, if any, improvements in consumers’ food choices have been seen in recent decades, the report says, adding that a food environment epitomized by an abundance of highly-processed, convenient, lower-cost, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods makes it particularly challenging to persuade Americans to change their ways.

In order to comply with the Dietary Guidelines, Americans may have to reduce screen time, eat at fast food restaurants less often, eat at home with their families more often and monitor their own diet and body weight. For this approach to work, it would also be essential for Americans, particularly low-income Americans, to have access to healthy and affordable food choices that respect their cultural preferences.

The Advisory Committee would like to see the food industry respond by lowering the sodium and added sugars content of processed foods, raising the polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio in food products and reducing portion sizes in retail settings like restaurants and the concession stands at sports venues – and then to convince Americans that they like the changes.

“Efforts are needed by the food industry and food retail (food stores and restaurants) sectors to market and promote healthy foods. The general public needs to be encouraged to purchase these healthier options. Making healthy options the default choice in restaurants (e.g., fat-free/low-fat milk instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, and fruit and non-fried vegetables in Children’s Meals, whole wheat buns instead of refined grain buns for sandwich meals) would facilitate the consumption of more nutrient dense diets. Food manufacturers and restaurants should reformulate foods to make them lower in overconsumed nutrients (sodium, added sugars and saturated fat) and calories and higher in whole grains, fruits and vegetables,” the report says. The Advisory Committee also urges government action to make sure that food nutrition labels are understandable by everyday people, including those who aren’t fluent in English.

The report asks the government to establish policies to make healthy foods accessible and affordable and to limit access to high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in public buildings and facilities, to set nutrition standards for foods and beverages offered in public places and to improve retail food environments so that healthy foods will be accessible and affordable in underserved neighborhoods and communities. According to the Advisory Committee report, Nutrition Facts labels should list added sugars in grams and teaspoons and include a percent daily value to help consumers make informed decisions about how much added sugar is included in the foods they’re buying, and revenues from taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, snack foods and high-calorie desserts and other less healthy foods should be earmarked for nutrition education initiatives and obesity prevention programs. “… Taxation on higher sugar- and sodium-containing foods may encourage consumers to reduce consumption and revenues generated could support health promotion efforts. Alternatively, price incentives on vegetables and fruits could be used to promote consumption and public health benefits,” the report says.

According to the Advisory Committee, Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, viatmin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber or potassium. They aren’t eating enough vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy. Americans in general are overconsuming sodium and saturated fat, refined grains and added sugars. Adult women aren’t getting enough iron. More than 49 million people in the U.S., including nearly 9 million children, live in food insecure households, a condition in which the availability of nutritionally adequate food is limited or uncertain.

According to the Advisory Committee, Americans should be “encouraged and guided to consume” a diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legume and nuts; moderate in low- and non-fat dairy products and alcohol (for adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and refined grains. This is pretty much the same dietary pattern characteristics recommended five years ago by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, according to the report.

This story originally ran in the April 2015 issue of Gourmet News, a publication of the Oser Communications Group.

 

 

Better-for-You Product Launches Abound at Expo West

 

By Lorrie Baumann

This year’s Natural Products Expo West offered a host of introductions for products that will appeal to the nutrition-conscious consumer. Among those are the bottled teas offered by Blu-Dot Beverage Company. This Canadian company offers five flavors of protein teas that contain 12 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per 473ml bottle and are targeted at the active, nutrition-conscious woman in her 30s to 50s. With protein content derived from 100 percent New Zealand whey, the teas contain no GMOs or artificial ingredients, are gluten free and made with organic green tea. The five flavors are Cranberry Pomegranate Green Tea, Honey Lemon Green Tea, Orange Pineapple Green Tea, Blueberry Acai Green Tea and Apple Pear White Tea. Three of them are sweetened with stevia and have no added sugars, while the other two are sweetened with organic cane sugar. With suggested retail prices of $2.99 to $3.49, the Blu-Dot teas are launching nationally with KeHE in April. For further information, visit www.bludotbeverages.com.

New Zealand whey also provides the protein for a line of shake mixes targeted at children and their nutrition-conscious parents. KidzShake is a mix that blends with water, nut milks, or dairy milk to make a beverage that offers no-compromise nutrition for children, including a full supplement of vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes and Omega-3s. It comes in four flavors: Vanilla Cream, Orange Cream, Chocolate Cream and Strawberry Cream. It’s sugar free, non-GMO, lactose free, gluten free and casein free, and it’s so tasty that a clever mom can hide a cup of kale in the chocolate flavor. It’s sold in 22.75-ounce containers that will make up to 60 servings (Serving size varies according to the age of the child.) and retails for $44, and a 12.13-ounce size that will make up to 32 servings and retails for $24.90. The product is currently offered online through Amazon and on the company’s website at www.kidzshake.com.

Biosanare is a Spanish company that’s offering a variety of products from Spain and the Mediterranean region. The company is introducing Olive Tea in silk tea bags. The tea is made from olive leaves. It tastes like green tea, but it helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and offers anti-aging and cardiovascular benefits, according to the company. This is an organic product made from olive leaves that come from trees that have been grown in the Cordoba region of Spain for centuries. The tea bags are packaged in a tin of 20 and are also available in bulk for private labeling. The tin of 20 has a suggested retail price of $7.99. For further information, visit www.biosanare.com.

Martha Stewart is a partner in ULIVjava, which is launching two flavors of bottled iced coffees – vanilla and mocha – with three flavors of almond drinks debuting soon. With just 80 calories per bottle, these are focused on being a healthier alternative to other bottled iced coffees, and at a suggested retail price of just $2.49 per bottle, they may appeal to the cost-conscious as well. The almond drink products are expected to appeal to millennial consumers. They’re currently distributed in Whole Foods stores on the East Coast, and the company is seeking a West Coast distributor. They’re also being served in the Martha Stewart Cafe in New York. For further information, visit ulivjava.com.

TuMe is a line of turmeric-infused water in three flavors: Citrus, Mango and Berry. They’re sweetened with stevia and 1g of sugar to produce a drink with just five calories per serving. They offer antioxidants and anti-aging properties, and a 16.9 fluid ounce bottle retails for a suggested $3.00 price. The beverage is bottled in Watsonville, California and is targeted at athletes and other health-conscious consumers who want the benefits of turmeric. This is the company’s first year in production, and the drink is currently being carried in 25 northern California stores; and TuMe is partnering with LA Fitness to offer the drink in its fitness centers. For more information, visit drinktume.com.

Bliss Nut-Butters has been in business for 3.5 years in the northwestern U.S. with a range of nut butters made with honey and sea salt that appeal to athletes that need to balance their carbohydrates and proteins. The nut butters are made with a fresh-ground process that preserves the integrity of the ingredients. The peanut butters retail for $6.99 to $8.99 and the hazelnut butters retail for $9.99 to $12.99. Almond butter is coming out this year. The products are currently sold in the Pacific Northwest and just launched on Amazon. “We’re ready to grow,” says President and Founder Daniell Bliss. For further information, visit www.blissnutbutters.com.

World Soups offers natural, authentic recipes in three flavors: Chicken Pho, Beef Pho and Chinese Style Egg Noodle Soup in convenient microwaveable bowls that are sold from the grocer’s refrigerated case. They contain no artificial ingredients, no MSG and no preservatives. The pho soups have no gluten. They have a 30-day shelf life and they’re currently distributed only in northern California, which is where they’re made. The suggested retail prices are $5.99 for the egg noodle soup and $7.99 for the pho varieties. For further information, visit www.worldsoupsinc.com.

Zippy’s has figured out how to make a shelf-stable salad with Zippy’s Salad Bites, which come in two flavors: Lemon Kale and Spinach Cranberry. In 3.2 ounce single-serving snack pouches, they contain fiber and protein but no GMOs, no trans fats and no cholesterol. They retail for $3.99, and the taste is as zippy as you’d expect. For more information, email kmullin@getzippys.com.

 

This story originally ran in the April issue of Gourmet News, which is a publication of the Oser Communications Group.

 

Beth Kluge Named VP, Sales at King Arthur Flour

King Arthur Flour has hired Beth Kluge as Vice President of Sales. Kluge brings 25 years of experience of sales leadership in the bread and baking industry and will oversee wholesale product sales.Headshot Beth Kluge King Arthur Flour VP of Sales“Beth possesses a wonderful balance of strategic thinking, the natural ability to build connections, and a passion for driving business efforts,” said Karen Colberg, King Arthur Flour Co-CEO and Chief Marketing Officer.  “Beth will be instrumental in the continuous growth of King Arthur Flour as we leverage and strengthen our distribution throughout the country.”

“What really interested me in King Arthur Flour was how it is a mission-driven company based on bringing people together through the joy of baking,” said Kluge.  “I am excited to work with a company that values its employees and the community.”

 

Honeydrop Beverages to Introduce New Cold-Pressed Juice Drink Flavors

Honeydrop Beverages, a producer of supercharged cold-pressed juices fortified with raw honey, is launching four new ‘Honeyade’ flavors: Matcha Lemon, Strawberry Lemon, Turmeric Lemon and Kale Cucumber, to an expanding portfolio of cold-pressed juices. The new flavors will be available to consumers beginning in April 2015.  Each 10-ounce bottle of the new flavors contains a tablespoon of raw local honey or Manuka honey, providing purifying and nourishing juices that are gluten free, GMO free, and contain active enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

“Our new cold-pressed juices demonstrate the versatile flavor and benefits of raw honey,” says David Luks, founder of Honeydrop Beverages. “By expanding our line, we’re excited for our consumers to try our bold new flavors in a beverage that tastes great, is low in calories and avoids refined sugars, artificial preservatives and artificial sweeteners.”

honeyadesIn addition to its current slate of cold-pressed juices – the Lemon Cayenne Cleanse and Ginger Apple – Honeydrop’s new Matcha Lemon and Kale Cucumber Honeyades are packed with raw Manuka Honey sourced from New Zealand, while the Strawberry Lemon and Turmeric Lemon Honeyades are made with raw honey sourced from local beekeepers throughout regions of the United States, depending on where they are sold.

Honeydrop’s new collection of cold-pressed juices contain specific ingredients with health benefits including:

  • Matcha Lemon Manuka Honeyade: This blend of Matcha green tea and Manuka honey combines the stone ground tea leaves in Matcha powder, which contain powerful antioxidants, with the natural antibiotic properties of Manuka honey.
  • Kale Cucumber Manuka Honeyade: The freshness of kale and cucumber mix with the tartness of lemon and cold-pressed apples. Essential nutrients from dark, leafy kale leaves are blended with rich potassium from fresh-pressed cucumber, which are combined with the rich, mellow taste of Manuka honey for a refreshing remedy.
  • Strawberry Lemon Honeyade: This nutritionally enhanced updated version of the time-honored classic adds pressed strawberries and raw local honey for a vigorous pick-me-up.  Vitamin C from the strawberries, paired with traces of local pollen in the honey, help aid in the defense against seasonal allergies.
  • Turmeric Lemon Honeyade: Turmeric, a noted cure-all plant in ancient Eastern culture, contains powerful anti-inflammatories that help regulate insulin response and curb joint pain.

Beginning in April 2015, Honeydrop Beverages’ new flavors will be available at Whole Foods, Fairway, Fresh Direct and other natural and gourmet stores throughout New YorkNew JerseyConnecticut and Massachusetts. Product can also be ordered nationwide at www.honeydrop.com.

Outstanding Cookbooks Honored

On Sunday, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) unveiled the winners of its highly-coveted awards, including the IACP Cookbook Awards, Bert Greene Awards, Digital Media Awards, First Book: Julia Child Award, and the IACP Special Recognition Awards at its 37th annual conference centered on the theme “Culinary Communications.” IACP award recipients are chosen through an intense judging process, with winners being acknowledged as trailblazers in the global culinary community.

This year’s winners include cookbook authors Christopher Kostow (Cookbook of the Year, presented by Cuisinart) and Sean Brock(First Book: Julia Child Award, presented by KitchenAid) and popular print publications and websites such as Food & Wine Magazine, Fine Cooking Magazine, EatingWell, Bon Appétit, and Food52. For a complete listing of all award winners, click here. The awards were hosted by chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling cookbook author, and television personality Curtis Stone.

“We’re excited to honor and celebrate our 2015 award winners – they represent the food and culinary community’s best in class,” said Meredith Deeds, Chief Executive Officer of IACP. “This year’s conference has been an overwhelming success with inspiring speakers, top-notch sessions, and a constant flow of festive events and activities including multiple toasts for Jacques Pépin’s 80th birthday with an ’80 Cakes’ party. Additionally, acclaimed chef and culinary innovator José Andrés provided a motivating keynote presentation on embracing good causes and making strides to improve food quality.”

A highlight for this year’s conference has been celebrating Jacques Pépin’s 80th birthday. A culinary pioneer and original founder of IACP, Jacques Pépin was honored by IACP with the event, “80 Cakes for Jacques Pépin,” which featured 80 birthday cakes contributed by some of the world’s leading chefs, tastemakers, and organizations. Cakes were auctioned to support IACP’s philanthropic arm, The Culinary Trust. More than $8,000 was raised for the trust, including a generous donation by Chef Andrés. Pastry Chef Jacques Torres prepared and served chef Pépin’s favorite “Jacques Torres Oreo Cake” for attendees, and numerous celebrity chefs and culinary luminaries shared toast after toast. Additional details, along with a full list of cake contributors, can be found here.

The 2015 conference assembled culinary thought leaders to the eclectic food scene of Washington, D.C. Food media, cookbook authors, chefs, dietitians, food photographers, food marketers, food stylists, bloggers, culinary tourism experts, educators, and farmers gathered to connect, learn, and share their career and personal journeys in their collective love for food. This unique meeting of the food minds convenes annually providing unmatched educational sessions, culinary tours, cooking classes, and networking opportunities. The 2016 IACP conference is planned for Los Angeles from April 1-3, and a call for educational session proposals will be issued in the coming months.

ALDI Completes Purchase of Delhaize Group’s Bottom Dollar Food Real Estate Sites

ALDI has completed its purchase of 66 real estate assets from the Delhaize Group. The transaction includes the land, buildings and leasehold improvements associated with Delhaize’s recently retired Bottom Dollar Food operation.

“ALDI has been offering fresh, affordable groceries in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey communities for 20 years. With the completion of this real estate transaction, we are able to ramp up our expansion plans in the region to meet the growing demand for the ALDI difference: high-quality groceries at everyday low prices in an easy-to-shop store,” said Jason Hart, CEO, ALDI. “While we are excited to pursue opening ALDI stores at 30 of these locations, we will continue working with those communities where we will not be using the sites to ensure a smooth transition.”

In December 2013, ALDI embarked on an accelerated growth plan to open 650 new stores by the end of 2018, with the goal of operating nearly 2,000 stores across the country. ALDI also is planning to invest more than $3 billion to pay for land, facilities and equipment. When the expansion is complete, ALDI will have stores coast-to-coast and anticipates serving more than 45 million customers per month. The expansion is expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs at ALDI stores, warehouses and division offices.

“At ALDI, we are committed to being an employer of choice as we know the significant contributions that our people add to the business by providing excellent service day after day,” said Hart. “To attract and retain the best talent, we are proud to offer our employees generous compensation that is higher than those of other grocery retailers in the market. In addition, associates working at least 25 hours per week receive full health benefits, and all ALDI employees are invited to participate in our 401(k) program.”

Growth is accelerating at ALDI due to the appeal of its unique business model that lets smart shoppers save up to 50 percent on more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items, including more than 70 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including organic produce. In fact, ALDI has been recognized as the nation’s low-price grocery leader for four consecutive years, as well as one of the top three favorite grocery store chains in America, according to consumer surveys.

“Not only are we growing our geographic footprint, but we’re expanding our product offerings as well. We continue to increase our healthy food and on-trend options, including fresh produce, USDA choice meats, dairy products and baked goods, along with our new SimplyNature line that includes several organic items, and our liveGfree line of gluten-free products,” added Hart. “With everything ALDI has to offer, it’s no surprise to us that more and more people are discovering that they don’t have to sacrifice quality and taste to save money by shopping at ALDI.”

ALDI generates savings for its customers through a low-overhead approach that focuses on offering high quality, premium products and includes cost-saving measures such as:

  • Volume purchasing: By concentrating its full buying power on 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items in the most common size, ALDI secures sizable discounts.
  • Exclusive brand products: More than 90 percent of products at ALDI are its own exclusive brands rather than national brands.
    • In the ALDI Test Kitchen, ALDI ensures that its products meet or exceed the quality and taste of national name brands.
    • All ALDI food products are backed by the Double Guarantee. If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product AND refund the purchase price.
  • Special Buys: Each week, ALDI offers 20-30 food and non-food products at a great value that include everything from small kitchen appliances and seasonal items to outdoor furniture and gardening tools.
  • No hidden costs: ALDI has a streamlined approach that avoids non-essential services such as banking, pharmacies, check cashing and bagging clerks. Those savings result in lower prices for consumers.

New Cabo Chip Flavors, Churro & Mango Chili Lime, Mirror Forecasted 2015 Flavor Trends

Cabo_ShipperAccording to a recent study, the biggest flavor trends of 2015 are expected to include unconventional flavor pairings, regional flavors, sustainable ingredients and savory updates on traditionally sweet items. Cabo Chips, a cantina style chip inspired by the beaches of Mexico, is right on trend with the launch of two new unique flavors that are both mouthwateringly delicious and surprisingly healthy – Churro and Mango Chili Lime. Cut from real tortillas, each chip is cooked in antioxidant-rich rice bran oil and made from 100 percent whole grains. They are also gluten-free, non-GMO verified, vegan, and kosher

“It’s astonishing how many ingredients you’ll find on food labels; many of which are tough to pronounce,”said Christian Bunte, Founder and CEO of Cabo Chips. “Cabo Chips are real chips made from real ingredients. Meaning our chips are cut from real tortillas, have pronounceable ingredients you can count on both hands, and they are packed full of flavor. It’s hard to believe, but our Original flavor has only five ingredients!”

The new Churro and Mango Chili Lime Cabo Chips were born from regional flavors of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and were inspired by popular Mexican street-style treats. They are the first authentic, Mexican-style tortilla chips to combine these unusual flavors in a healthy, portable snack. Unlike other sweetened tortilla chips, the Cabo Chips Churro flavor is salt-free. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the new Mango Chili Lime flavor caters to those looking for something in the sweet and savory category while also incorporating ancient grains like teff and chia.

mango-chiliMango Chili Lime: 100 percent whole grain tortilla infused with mango, a splash of lime juice and a pinch of mild chili and sea salt

  • A play on the popular Mexican street and beach snack of mango on a stick
  • A blend of two ancient grains, teff and chia; providing 60 mg of omegas, fiber and a full spectrum of other nutrients
  • The only tortilla chips made using real mango, chili, and lime juice
  • Cooked in antioxidant rich rice bran oil – high in gamma oryzanol
  • Gluten free, non-GMO, 100 percent whole grain, vegan and kosher
  • No trans fat, no preservatives, dairy free, nut free, no artificial flavor

ChurroChurro: 100 percent whole grain vanilla tortilla chips with a dash of sugar and organic cinnamon

  • A healthy and portable twist on the popular Mexican desert
  • Cooked with organic cinnamon and vanilla which have been shown to balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation and aid in relaxation
  • The only batch-cooked cinnamon and sugar chip –giving these chips the advantage of a true cantina crunch.
  • Cooked in antioxidant rich rice bran oil – high in gamma oryzanol
  • Gluten free, non-GMO, 100 percent whole grain, vegan and kosher
  • No trans fat, no preservatives, dairy free, nut free, no artificial flavor

The new flavors join Cabo Chips Original, an unconventional pairing of real soy sauce with lime juice, and Blue Corn, which is seasoned with a dash of sea salt and lime juice. Cabo Chips are made using a small-batch cooking method that results in a cantina-style crunch and texture, transporting the mind and taste buds to an authentic Mexican beachside cantina. The company uses only simple real ingredients for true flavors. This means no “flavorings,” yeasts, or maltodextrin. Cabo Chips Original and Blue Corn flavors have only five ingredients – all easy to pronounce. Cabo Chips have a suggested retail price of $3.49.

Yumbutter Now Available in Mariano’s Markets

Yumbutter  now joins the Mariano’s Markets family of offerings with its line of superfood-infused peanut, almond, and sunflower seed butters.

Yumbutter’s recipes are unlike those of other organic nut butters. Co-owners Adrien Reif and Matt D’Amour ensure that each organic spread is made in small batches, reminiscent of the homemade batches that inspired the company. Infused with a worldly blend of powerful superfoods including Goji berries, chia, and hemp seeds, Yumbutter’s combination of home-grown goodness and exotic superfoods make for a delicious, nutrient-rich product. In addition to nutty nutrition, Yumbutter offers uniquely convenient packaging that is one-of-a-kind in the nut butter category. Yumbutter’s GO-Anywhere multi-serving, resealable pouches provide a fun, no-mess delivery system for quick and easy snacking whether at work, on the road, at the gym, hiking, or shuttling the kids to their favorite activities. Retailers have said more than once that Yumbutter is a no-brainer addition to their nut butter offering.

“We want to communicate a message of care for our customers and for the world,” says Adrien Reif, Co-founder of Yumbutter. “Offering a brand with integrity is the purpose of what we do. We are motivated by our social mission and the opportunity to provide pure, wholesome nutrition in our community and around the world. “

Mariano’s Markets carefully select their products to meet customers’ standards of ingredient quality, superior taste, and responsible business practices. As consumers are increasingly likely to switch to socially responsible brands, Yumbutter’s BuyOne:FeedOne™ program continues to gain momentum. By partnering with Primeros Pasos, Yumbutter is able to donate proceeds from each sale to provide nutrition and education to malnourished women and children in Guatemala. As a Certified B Corporation with a neutral carbon footprint, Yumbutter provides a product that’s good for the body and good for the world through an organization that focuses equally on people, planet, and profit.

CideRoad’s Organic Switchel Available at Mid Atlantic Region Whole Foods Stores

CideroadCideRoad Organic Switchel, America’s Original Thirst Quencher, is now available at The Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic Region (Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, Marlton and Princeton, New Jersey).  Traditional Switchel dates back to the American Revolution. Rumor has it the Founders drank this mix of cool water, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and ginger to keep hydrated as they drafted the United States Constitution.

CideRoad has resurrected this unique American beverage and added its own new, unique twists. Switchel is available in three flavors: Original, a spicy Cherry, and a snappy Blueberry, each made with an apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and ginger base.

CideRoad Organic Switchel is the perfect refreshment for any time of day, whether that be working in your garden, after a run, chilling on your porch or even working off a mean hangover. Plus, with under 70 calories per serving and lending the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, sour and tart, you can enjoy it guilt-free as a flavor packed cocktail mixer!

Guggisberg’s Swiss Wheel Named Champion Cheese

GuggisbergTeam Guggisberg Sugarcreek, of Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, took top honors out of 1,892 entries from 28 states at the 2015 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest for their Swiss wheel. Out of a possible 100 points, the Swiss wheel scored 98.496 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 cheeses at an evening charity gala to determine the overall champion.

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.389, is a brick cheese made by John (Randy) Pitman of Mill Creek Cheese in Arena, Wisconsin. Second runner-up is a medium cheddar, made by the Kiel Production Team, in Land O Lakes, Kiel, Wisconsin which scored 98.337.

“Every medalist should be extremely proud of being recognized as the best of the best in the largest national dairy competition ever held,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition.

Wisconsin took home the most gold medals, with 56 of the total 90 categories judged. New York came in second among the states, with seven golds. California had six gold medals, Vermont had five, Idaho had four, and Oregon had three. Wisconsin, New York and California captured the most medals in the debut yogurt classes, each winning two medals.

The United States Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical evaluation of cheese, butter and yogurt in the country and is rooted in more than 120 years of history, beginning when the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association held its first cheese contest in 1891. In recent years, the event has flourished, more than doubling in size since 2001. This year, more than 33,000 pounds of dairy products were entered into the contest.

For more information on the contest, as well as complete results for all 90 entry classes and contest photos, visit http://www.uschampioncheese.org.

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