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Celestial Seasonings Brings Back Iconic Packaging, Adds New Flavors

For nearly 50 years, the Celestial Seasonings® brand has brought the magic of tea to people around the world with its unique packaging.  Celestial Seasonings is now returning to its iconic artful packaging in response to consumer demand. Celestial Seasonings is also launching five new flavors and re-releasing a fan favorite.

celestial-seasonings“Last fall, we introduced refreshed packaging intended to modernize our look while maintaining our Celestial Seasonings heritage. Our passionate fans made it clear that our refreshed look was missing some of that special Celestial Seasonings magic,” said Irwin D. Simon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. “We’ve listened to our consumers and are excited to return to our classic, imaginative package design they feel passionate about, which has made Celestial Seasonings the leading specialty tea brand since 1969 and a key part of the Hain Celestial portfolio since 2000.”

In addition to reintroducing the iconic classic packaging, Celestial Seasonings has launched five delicious new varieties to its herbal and green tea portfolios. The new flavors include:

  • Sleepytime® Mint Herbal Tea: Peppermint leaves blended with the time-honored Sleepytime blend of calming herbs, including chamomile, spearmint and natural spearmint flavor.
  • Sangria Zinger® Herbal Tea: A vibrant blend that captures the true taste of sangria with tart and tangy hibiscus and natural pineapple, blood orange and lemon flavors.
  • Fireside Vanilla Spice™ Herbal Tea: The perfect balance of sweet and spicy featuring cinnamon, licorice, plus ginger, cardamom and natural vanilla flavor.
  • Matcha Green Tea: An invigorating combination of Japanese matcha powder with fine sencha-style green tea leaves.
    Ginger Green Tea: A nutty, balanced blend featuring both dried sencha-style green tea and pan-fired green tea, plus spicy, earthy ginger root.

Also due to consumer demand, the brand is re-releasing its popular Almond Sunset™ Herbal Tea. Available exclusively online, this treasured Celestial Seasonings tea is a toasty blend of roasted carob and barley enhanced with rich and mellow almond flavor, orange peel and a hint of sweet cinnamon. This beloved tea and the five new varieties are now shipping.

Kroger Boosts Share Repurchase Program

The Kroger Co.’s board of directors has declared its quarterly dividend of 12¢ per share to be paid on December 1, 2016, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 15, 2016.

Kroger today also announced an incremental $500 million share repurchase program, supplementing the current authorization, which has $392 million remaining as of September 14, 2016.

“Kroger’s share repurchase authorization reflects our Board of Directors’ confidence in our Customer 1st Strategy and our ability to create value for shareholders,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO. “We are committed to delivering long-term growth investors can count on.”

In June, Kroger’s Board raised the quarterly dividend by 14 percent. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006. The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.

Over the last four quarters, the company has returned more than $1.5 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends combined.

C.A. Fortune Expands Coverage to West Coast

C.A. Fortune has agreed to acquire CSW Food Brokerage, based in Livermore, California. C.A. Fortune is a natural, specialty and bakery/deli sales and marketing agency currently covering the eastern and central market areas. CSW is a regional Natural, Specialty and Bakery/Deli sales and marketing agency covering the northern California market, which also includes Nevada, Hawaii and parts of Oregon. The acquisition of CSW will mark the first step in the expansion of C.A. Fortune’s coverage to the western United States.

Bob and Christine Wingfield, longtime owners of CSW, will lead the northern California operations for C.A. Fortune. “We are genuinely excited and look forward to working with C.A. Fortune,” Bob Wingfield said. Throughout their years in the business, the Wingfields have excelled at attracting key people with deep industry knowledge to their team. This depth of talent will enable C.A. Fortune to hit the ground running.

“When we launched our initial business plan in June 2013, the vision and goal was to build the premier, privately-held national sales and marketing agency focused on the Natural, Specialty and Bakery/Deli trade channels,” said Tyler Lowell, Managing Partner of C.A. Fortune. “With the addition of the CSW Brokerage business and the professional team that Bob and Christine have developed, we are proud to extend the C.A. Fortune brand into the western U.S.”

The Greek Gods Brand Introduces Chocolate Greek-Style Yogurt

The Greek Gods® brand has introduced three new flavors of Greek-Style Yogurt; all with a creamy, rich chocolate base. The new flavors include hints of mocha, strawberry and cherry for a unique and decadent experience. The new yogurts are available in 24 ounce tubs.

“Our customers have enjoyed our decadent, whole milk Greek-Style Yogurts for many years, and chocolate was a natural fit for our newest addition,” said Basel Nassar, Chief Operating Officer of the Hain Refrigerated Foods Division. “Customer feedback has been extremely positive. The creamy, thick texture and rich taste of chocolate make these new flavors truly unique.”

The Greek Gods Greek-Style Yogurt and Kefir
The Greek Gods Greek-Style Yogurt is a brand of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. The Greek Gods brand Greek-Style Yogurt and Kefir are gluten-free and contain live and active cultures. Plus, The Greek Gods brand Greek-Style Yogurt and Kefir are made with milk from cows that are not treated with growth hormones.

SF Cheese Fest Next Weekend

Mark your calendars now for the SF Cheese Fest on September 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. Presented by the California Artisan Cheese Guild, the Cheese Fest will be held at Social Hall SF at 1270 Sutter Street.

You’ll get the chance to taste your way through cheeses from more than two dozen of California’s finest cheesemakers – pioneers and new creameries alike – as well as local cured meat, pickles, jams, and more! You’ll sip beverages from the Bay Area’s time-honored craft brew and wine traditions while swinging to live 30s era jazz and dance band, The Hot Baked Goods, in one of San Francisco’s stunning historic venues. Ticket proceeds benefit the California Artisan Cheese Guild, a statewide non-profit dedicated to the education and support of artisan cheese making.

Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Flour

Carrington Farms has just launched Organic Coconut Flour. The naturally gluten-free flour is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, and your Paleo customers will be interested in this alternative to wheat flour for breading their chicken tenders, ground turkey cutlets or their cauliflower steaks. Coconut flour can also be substituted for up to 20 percent of the wheat flour in many baked goods.

Carrignton Farms Organic Coconut Flour is packaged in a 64-ounce resealable pouch that retails for about $13.99. The wholesale case is six pouches. It’s available to ship now.

Over the next few weeks, Carrington Farms will also be launching Ghee, Coconut Oil & Ghee Blend and Coconut Avocado Oil. The Organic Ghee Clarified Butter is gluten-free and dairy-free containing no casein, whey or lactose. Ghee is an ancient heart-healthy food that contains significant levels of Vitamin A, D and E as well as linoleic acid to help balance cholesterol levels. The clarified butter is also known to reduce inflammation and increase energy. The suggested retail price will be $14.99.

The Organic Coconut Oil & Glee blend contains the same health benefits as the Organic Ghee Clarified Butter, with the addition of high levels of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) as a result of the coconut oil balance. The suggested retail price will be $12.99.

The Coconut Avocado Oil, a blend of two superfood oils, is a natural energy source, high in MCTs, and high in monosaturated fats, which are the beneficial and necessary fats needed in healthy diets. With a higher smoke point than most oils, the Coconut Avocado Oil remains liquid for convenience and is the tastier alternative to butter, canola, soybean, vegetable and olive oil. Its suggested retail price will be $10.99. See them all at Expo East.

New Study Reveals More Americans Embracing Plant-Based, Organic and Non-GMO Foods

More grocery shoppers are trying dairy- and meat-free alternatives, according to a new national health food study by Earth Balance, which makes a line of vegan buttery spreads, nut butters, dressings and snacks. Two thousand consumers were polled for the study, which looked at which new foods they’re trying, their top motivators and trends in healthy eating.

When asked which factors are most important to them when shopping for food, respondents said buying local (37 percent), organic (33 percent) and non-GMO (30 percent) are key. Additionally, Americans are more willing to try better-for-you-foods, with the study showing the most-tried are healthy snacks, dairy alternatives and oil alternatives.

Dairy alternatives have been tried by 29 percent of respondents. Superfoods (e.g., chia, acai and quinoa), alternative snacks (e.g., gluten-free crackers, nut butters and Greek yogurt) and alternative oils (e.g., avocado, coconut and sunflower) have been tried by 28 percent of respondents, and 18 percent have tried plant-based proteins, such as hemp hearts, lentils and spirulina.

Almost half, 42 percent, of consumers said they know more about plant-based diets now compared to five years ago, and 43 percent are more likely to try plant-based alternatives today. Thirteen percent also report trying a vegetarian lifestyle.

What’s more, over half said they’ve tried dairy-free alternatives such as dairy-free milk, cheese and yogurt. Sixty-three percent have tried plant-based protein alternatives, with tofu, meatless burgers and meatless hot dogs topping the list.

Organic Valley Introduces Single-Serve Grassmilk Yogurt Cups

Organic Valley has introduced convenient 6-ounce Grassmilk® Yogurt™ Cups in four varieties: Strawberry, Wild Blueberry, Plain and Vanilla. The 100 percent grass-fed yogurt cups appeal to people looking for premium yogurt with extraordinary flavor, nutritional excellence and grab-and-go convenience.

Organic Valley’s Grassmilk Yogurt cups are exceptional in flavor and quality. They feature cream-on-top, whole milk yogurt crafted from 100 percent grass-fed, non-homogenized organic Grassmilk milk, along with organic strawberries, organic wild blueberries, organic fair trade vanilla and live probiotic cultures.

Good food enthusiasts understand that terroir can be a key factor for high-quality dairy, just as it is for vineyards and coffee estates. Grassmilk Yogurt’s taste profile is a result of where the cows live, seasonality, and what they eat.

Nutritionally, the co-op’s Grassmilk Yogurt flows with naturally-occurring calcium, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s. Organic milk from 100 percent grass-fed cows has a more favorable fatty acid profile than milk from conventionally-fed cows. It is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and lower in omega-6 fatty acids. Minimally processed with nothing extra added and always organic there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Organic Valley never uses antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMOs.

“Feeding our cows organic grass 100 percent of the time produces the highest quality milk and ensures our dairy cows lead longer, healthier lives—all while improving the health of the land,” said Wisconsin Organic Valley Farmer-Owner Kevin Jahnke.

Starting in September, Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt cups will be available in natural food stores, food cooperatives and major grocery chains nationwide with a suggested retail price of $1.69.

Rogue Creamery Readies to Release 2016 Rogue River Blue

Rogue Creamery is releasing its 2016 Rogue River Blue cheese just in time for the autumnal equinox celebration on September 22. It is a fine year for Rogue River Blue, featuring excellent blue development in the creamy paste and a robust, meaty taste with exceptional elements of the blackberry fruit, toasted nut and hazelnut flavors for which this cheese is known, the company says. This year the Autumnal Equinox falls on September 22nd at exactly 7:21 am PDT. On this day and again in the spring the Earth’s axis makes the night time equal to the daytime which means approximately 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night.  For centuries cultures worldwide have celebrated this time of year by honoring abundance, balance, conservation and reflection.

This year’s cheese uses milk only from Rogue Creamery’s own dairy. Grape leaves wrapping the cheese were picked by the Rogue Creamery team and community at a local biodynamic organic vineyard called Cowhorn.

Rogue River Blue is produced at the turning of the season, made with late-season milk produced after the autumnal equinox.  At this time, the cows graze on grasses renewed by cooler temperatures and make milk that is richer and higher in butterfat. It is this special milk, reflective of the unique seasonal influences of the Rogue River Valley, which is the very essence of terroir. Each 5-pound wheel is aged from eight to 12 months.  Rogue River is planning to transition the cheese to organic production next year.


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