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PopCorners Minis Offer Seasonal Flavors for the Holidays

Our Little Rebellion™, a family of  non-GMO and gluten-free popped snacks is unveiling a limited edition of PopCorners Minis for the holiday season. PopCorners Minis are available in two varieties: Double-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle. Bursting with seasonal flavors for the holidays, the new snacks are now available at retailers through the holiday season for a suggested retail price of $3.29 per 4.5-ounce bag.

popcornersDouble-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle PopCorners Minis are made with only minimally processed, Non-GMO Project Verified and Gluten Free Certified ingredients. Never fried, each light and crispy triangular-shaped popped corn chip combines the satisfaction of crunch with sweet chocolate and cinnamon flavors.

“It’s important to us that we continually create products that focus on whole ingredients, minimal processing and nutritional profiles that maximize the better-for-you experience,” said Paul Nardone, Chief Executive Officer at BFY Brands, parent company of Our Little Rebellion. “That being said, we also want to provide options that are flavorful and fun, and that’s exactly what our unique PopCorners Minis offer, all while delivering nostalgic holiday flavors. Perfect for stocking stuffers, holiday entertaining, or if you’re simply craving a sweet treat without the guilt, we hope our fans will enjoy the Double-Up Fudge and Snickerdoodle Drizzle flavors throughout the holiday season.”

The unveiling of PopCorners Minis comes on the heels of the launch of Our Little Rebellion, which is led by the PopCorners line and also includes Bean Crisps™ and Crinkles™. Like PopCorners Minis, all Our Little Rebellion Snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten Free, in addition to being OU kosher-certified. Featuring minimally processed ingredients in irresistible flavors that are cleaner, lighter and tastier, each snack line also boasts Our Little Rebellion’s overarching commitment to creating snacks that are never fried, always gluten free, and contain no artificial anything.

PopCorners Minis, PopCorners, Bean Crisps, and Crinkles are available at grocers and natural, club and conscience food channels throughout the United States, as well as online retailers. PopCorners are also available on select JetBlue flights. For more information, please visit www.ourlittlerebellion.com.

Shelley McDaniel Joins Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board as West Coast Regional Marketing Manager

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) welcomes Shelley McDaniel to the organization as West Coast Regional Marketing Manager.

Based in Tacoma, Washington, McDaniel will be responsible for managing retail and foodservice promotional activity across the West Coast. Most recently, McDaniel held the position of Pacific Northwest Foodservice Sales Manager at Emmi Roth USA. Prior to that, she worked for Classic Foods, the In Good Taste Cooking School and Cooking Accomplished!, a multi-line food business catering service founded by McDaniel.

“Shelley comes to WMMB with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience in foodservice and retail sales that will help grow and expand our efforts in the western part of the country,” said Allen Hendricks, Vice President of Foodservice & Education at WMMB. “We are very excited to welcome her to the team.”

McDaniel holds a bachelor’s degree in personnel management from the University of Washington and a culinary arts degree from the Western Culinary Institute.

Cucina Fresca Gourmet Foods Introduces Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Cucina Fresca Gourmet Foods is marketing the release of its fresh Vegan Bolognese with Field Roast Classic Meatloaf in a 16-ounce retail unit with pop-up tastings at many Pacific Northwest retailers.

Cucina Fresca Owner and Executive Chef Brad Glaberson crumbles Field Roast’s Classic Meatloaf into his rich and savory tomato sauce; California vine-ripened tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh carrots and celery, white wine, fresh garlic, herbs and spices. Field Roast is a maker of grain-based meat alternative products. This pairing of Cucina Fresca and Field Roast products makes a hearty Bolognese-style sauce that’s delicious with pasta, pizza, lasagna and sandwiches.

“Our Vegan Bolognese is so rich and savory that it’s appealing to everyone.” says Glaberson. “I like Bolognese and wanted a vegan one – it was easy.”

This offering comes at a time of immense growth in the vegan food space because more than ever people are including vegan options in their diet. The sauce is available now on shelves in the Pacific Northwest, and Cucina has sights on nationwide distribution now to early 2017.

“We’re excited to see Field Roast used in a product coming from a fellow Seattle producer,” says Field Roast Chef Sandra Gray. “It’s an exciting time for vegan food, and this sauce gives our Classic Meatloaf such a delicious base. Brad created something really special.”

 

Find Cucina Fresca Vegan Bolognese in the Pacific Northwest at Whole Foods Market, New Seasons Market, Bayview Thriftway, Harbor Greens, Ken’s Market Greenwood and Queen Anne, Marketime Foods, Stadium Thriftway and West Seattle Thriftway.

Bacon and Kale Olive Oil Bread Mix from Rabbit Creek

Rabbit Creek Products’ Bacon and Kale olive oil bread mix makes a bread with a deep golden crackling crust encapsulating dense crumb studded with kale and bacon all propped up on the grassy undertones of the olive oil. This bread is the perfect accompaniment to our fast-approaching cool weather.

For more than 30 years, Rabbit Creek Products has been producing top-quality mixes to order, still in the original family and still in the same town, which is about 275 miles from the geographical center of the Lower 48.
All of the mixes are still available private labeled for free, with a minimum order of only one case.

Rabbit Creek Products
800.837.3073
www.rabbitcreekgourmet.com

Bone Suckin’ Sauce from Ford’s Gourmet Foods

Best-selling Bone Suckin’® Sauce is debuting Bone Suckin’ Cajun Seasoning this fall. The perfect blend of spices and herbs along with the right amount of heat, this Bone Suckin’ Cajun Seasoning makes your food taste great, and gets friends talking and coming back for more.

Bone Suckin’ Steak Sauce is also in the spotlight. The light, smoky flavor, combined with bits of onions, garlic and the perfect blend of spices, will quickly make Bone Suckin’ Steak Sauce Chophouse Style your favorite sauce. A good steak doesn’t need a lot to be great, just the right sauce. It’s great for steaks, burgers, meatloaf, fries, chicken and more.

Created in true Western North Carolina style, Bone Suckin’ Sauce is a tomato-based sauce made with honey, molasses, apple cider vinegar, mustard, onions, garlic, natural spices and a little bit of horseradish. It’s the serious barbecue, grilling and marinating sauce for land and sea. Like all the other Bone Suckin’ products, it’s also gluten free, all natural, with no HFCS, canola oil, added MSG, preservatives or artificial flavors. They’re also all non-GMO.

Bone Suckin’ Sauce is distributed by Ford’s Gourmet Foods – a fourth generation, Raleigh, North Carolina-based family business that creates some of the world’s greatest tasting all natural, gluten-free foods, including the internationally acclaimed Bone Suckin’ Sauces, Earth Family®, Fire Dancer®, Southern Yum® and Wine Nuts®. Made in North Carolina for more than 20 years, Bone Suckin’ Sauce is now sold in more than 70 countries around the world.

For more information, visit www.bonesuckin.com, call 919.833.7647 or email sales@bonesuckin.com.

Melinda’s Sweeps Ketchup Category at Scovie Awards

The 2017 Scovie Awards judging panel of top culinary experts honored Melinda’s with five awards at its annual competition recognizing the best spicy and savory food products in the business.

The Scovie Awards (the Academy Awards for all things spicy) ranked Melinda’s spicy ketchups first, second and third place. Melinda’s Ghost Ketchup claimed the top spot, followed by Habanero and Jalapeño. “It’s a shame they didn’t award fourth and fifth places too, because our Chipotle and Black Pepper Ketchups feel left out!” said David Figueroa, Melinda’s Co-founder and Head of Brand Marketing.

The accolades didn’t stop there. Melinda’s Mango Habanero Hot Sauce took top honors in the all-natural hot sauce category, followed by Melinda’s Garlic Habanero in second place.

“We knew we were taking a bit of a risk putting Melinda’s up against all the new and trendy craft brands that have been popping up everywhere, but we were confident that our perfect balance of heat and flavor would be rewarded,” said Figueroa. “Sweeping the ketchup awards, and nearly doing the same in the all-natural hot sauce categories, is such a tremendous honor. We cleaned up!”

Dave DeWitt, founder of the Scovie Awards and the National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show, noted that 131 total companies from 34 states and five countries (USA, Canada, Hungary, Croatia and Australia) entered the 2017 competition.

Melinda’s spicy ketchup product line was first introduced to the market in 1998. Its recipes combine fresh chile peppers and real cane sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup favored by the mass-market brands. Melinda’s ketchups are kosher-certified and contain no artificial preservatives or colors, zero gluten and no GMOs.

Melinda’s hot sauces are derived from vegetables and fruits – unlike most sauces that are primarily vinegar – and expertly crafted to perfectly balance heat and flavor. Melinda’s packs the heat at four different levels – X for Hot, double X for Extra Hot, triple X for XXXtra Hot and four X for the XXXX Reserve – giving fans the options that are best for them and what they’re cooking.

The company’s extensive product line features Passionately Crafted Pepper Sauces™ with exotic ingredients from around the world. Flavors range from tangy and mild – like Garlic Habanero and Mango Habanero – to downright incendiary, including Red Savina, Ghost Pepper, Naga Jolokia Pepper and Scorpion Pepper.

Melinda’s upside-down squeeze ketchups are available at Central Market and Walmart stores, and are expanding rapidly at retailers nationwide. Melinda’s pepper sauces are served at thousands of restaurants and retailers from coast to coast, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Albertsons, Central Market, H-E-B and Walmart.

Bob’s Red Mill Introduces Gluten Free Egg Replacer

Bob’s Red Mill, which has been producing whole grain and gluten free foods for more than 40 years, has developed a new Gluten Free Egg Replacer that, in addition to containing no gluten or animal products, is also without soy, corn, grains, or beans. The new Gluten Free Egg Replacer substitutes for whole eggs in recipes such as cakes, muffins, quick breads, brownies and pancakes. The new formula, which makes use of only four simple ingredients, is available in a re-sealable standup pouch and has a 24-month shelf life. Each 12-ounce package contains the equivalent of 34 eggs.

“We believe everyone should be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of a wholesome, homemade baked good, no matter what foods they are trying to avoid,” said Bob Moore, Founder, President and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “Now, with the help of our Gluten Free Egg Replacer, bakers can still have their favorite banana bread or buckwheat pancake.”

The new Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Egg Replacer, which retails for $4.49 for a 12-ounce bag, is a blend of potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda, and psyllium husk fiber. While the company has offered its Vegetarian Egg Replacer for a number of years, this new egg replacer is the first such product it has offered that is made without gluten or soy ingredients.

“We’re delighted to offer this Gluten Free Egg Replacer so that even more of our consumers can experience the joy of baking,” said Matthew Cox, Vice President of Marketing at Bob’s Red Mill. “Now, vegans, those with gluten or soy issues, or really anyone who wants a reliable baking staple stocked in their pantry can turn to this Egg Replacer and whip up a favorite recipe in a safe and easy way.”

As with all of Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free products, the Gluten Free Egg Replacer adheres to strict gluten free safety standards, including being produced in a 100 percent dedicated gluten free facility and ELISA tested to verify gluten free integrity.
Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer is available now to retailers in cases of eight, as well as online at www.bobsredmill.com.

Super Natural Food Center Celebrates 43 Years in Business

By Lorrie Baumann

Joe Tittone’s Super Natural Food Center in Grand View, Missouri, celebrated its 43rd anniversary in September. “We’re one of the original health food stores in this area,” he said.

The 1,200-square-foot store in the town about 20 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, stocks primarily vitamins but also a selection of canned, refrigerated and frozen foods. Two vitamin formulas that Tittone created years ago, Super-Vite and Arth Support, draw customers to the store from 20 to 30 miles around. Other customers come because they’ve heard through word of mouth that they can depend on Tittone’s advice to help them with nutritional issues and health problems.

Over the years, Tittone has seen drastic changes in his market, with big corporations and chain stores taking increasing market share, and in the past few years in particular, online retail also taking a share of his business. “I’ve seen different changes in customers. A lot of them are going to the big corporations, and the quality of the vitamin is not as good as you find in the independent stores,” said Tittone, who runs the store with help from his daughter Heather and his wife Kelly. “A lot of these big corporations, they have no knowledge of the body. They don’t know what they’re selling. They just put it on the shelves.”

Many Super Natural Food Center customers are folks who’ve been coming to the store for decades, depending on the Tittone family to offer them good advice. “Most people will come here because they heard that we can help them nutritionally,” Tittone said. “All we can do is take it a day at a time and count our blessings.”

New President Kafarakis Brings Fresh Ideas to Specialty Food Association

By Lorrie Baumann

With a new President at the helm, the Specialty Food Association and its board of directors are taking a fresh look at how the Fancy Food Shows will evolve beyond the vibrant marketplace they already are into a vehicle that provides even greater service to the association’s member companies, said Phil Kafarakis, who became the SFA’s President in July. Kafarakis brings 35 years of experience in the food industry to the table. Most of that was acquired in sales and marketing positions with food producers, but most recently, he was the National Restaurant Association’s Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer, responsible for developing effective relationships between the association and its members. At the Specialty Food Association, he’s eager to help the Fancy Food Shows evolve to incorporate a little bit more education and entertainment around the periphery of the show and to leverage the association’s media and social platforms into relationships with member companies that extend beyond the twice-yearly experience of the Fancy Food Shows.

The Specialty Food Association will be celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2017, and its growth over those years is a reflection of the innovation and entrepreneurship of individuals who might have started their small food companies in a garage but who then went on to create new categories that have entered the mainstream of the American food industry, Kafarakis said. “The Fancy Food Show has been the guiding light of the organization and of the food industry in general,” he said.

He suggested that while the Fancy Food Shows have been extremely successful as a marketplace, they haven’t traditionally showcased the entire range of the Specialty Food Association’s activities, including the market research that helps new businesses enter and succeed in the industry. Nor has the association been particularly effective in helping members network with each other outside the show floor, he noted. “Our membership is very early start-up and smaller family-run businesses, versus bigger companies,” Kafarakis said. “We see ourselves becoming a greater resource for them as they become market-ready.”

Newer food businesses face many challenges as they scale their operations up from local production and farmers market sales into national and even international production and distribution, and the Specialty Food Association is positioned to help them navigate the regulatory environment, legislation that may affect them, funding needs, supply chain concerns and connecting with buyers who are aligned with their social values, according to Kafarakis. “We are evolving so we become a greater service provider to them and getting them market-ready,” he said.

Currently, the SFA’s board has been working on a strategic refresh of its lifetime achievement and sofi Award recognitions, with sofi categories being re-evaluated to ensure that there’s a category fit for entries that haven’t quite fit well into the existing categories in past years. “Strategically, going forward, the sofi platform and the recognition platforms will play a major role,” Kafarakis said. “We can connect back to the wonderful social values of the organization…. We are going through a very deliberate review of the criteria the judging, adding some categories to make it broader, to make it simpler to understand and to take some of the complexity out.”

As it moves forward, the Specialty Food Association’s great strength will be that it’s continuing to do what it already does best, which is to communicate the values of the specialty food industry to the greater marketplace, according to Kafarakis. “Given that the consumer is so inquisitive about where their food comes from, and how it was made, the experimental nature of food has brought us into the limelight,” he said. “We’re celebrating 65 years now, and we want people to know that the creative, innovative side of food starts here with our members.”

Virginia Diner: a Passion for Peanuts

By Lorrie Baumann

picture-042The original Virginia Diner, a roadside family diner along the main highway route across Virginia towards the beaches, Williamsburg and Jamestown, has an 87-year history as that place where you stop if you’re making one of those road trips, and while you’re waiting for your meal and letting the vibrations of the road work their way out of your bones, you get some free peanuts to nibble on. “In Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic, people know the restaurant. They have a fond memory of going to the beach on vacation, and we’re part of that experience. It gives people a fond memory of what they’ve done,” says Scott Stephens, Virginia Diner’s Director of Sales. “People have been coming here since the Depression and all through World War II. It’s the longest-running roadside diner in the state.” Customers loved it. Then they started asking if they could take a piece of that experience home with them, and suddenly, Virginia Diner was in the peanut business. “The mail-order business grew from people coming into the restaurant, picking up peanuts while they were eating, and asking if we could send them some,” Stephens says.

Those peanuts were locally grown – they’re a major crop for southeastern Virginia. “What we grow in this area is the Virginia-type peanut, and we only buy the super extra-large size,” Stephens says. “There are a lot of peanut companies in this area, but the Diner is the most well-known of all the regional brands because of the restaurant.”

Today, Virginia Diner has turned a passion for peanuts, especially the super extra-large peanuts, a bit of nostalgia and home team pride into a product line comprising peanuts and cashews with multiple added flavorings or chocolate covering packaged in cans with art that honors the team mascots for colleges around the country and the artistic vision of Norman Rockwell. “We started licensing in 2007,” Stephens says.“Licensing really took off for us, and it became dominant.”

pac-12-collection-lowSalted Peanuts are the company’s best sellers, along with Chocolate-Covered Peanuts and Old Bay-Seasoned Peanuts. They do well in both gift shops and in specialty food markets. All of the company’s salted and unsalted peanut products are non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and certified by the American Heart Association.

Products packaged in college colors do especially well during back-to-school season, while the Norman Rockwell-themed packaging moves a lot of nuts during the winter holiday season.

Virginia Diner is currently exploring other licensing partnerships to expand the products’ appeal throughout the year as well as continuing to develop the existing line of interesting flavors. “All of it’s for the purpose of giving someone a reason to pick up the can, compelling them to buy peanuts,” Stephens says. “We have some year-round licensing opportunities that we’re creating to pull the product off the shelf and into the shopping basket.”

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