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Free for All Kitchen: New Gluten-Free Crackers from Partners

PartnersProductFeatureSince 1992, Marian Harris, founder and creative spirit of all Partners products, has spent countless hours blending high quality, all natural ingredients to create delicious wholesome baked crackers, cookies and granola. Her new gluten-free crackers are no exception.

“I was looking for an alternative to the heavily processed gluten-free crackers in the marketplace that rely on rice fillers,” Harris said. “Our new gluten-free crackers are made from cassava root flour and a blend of five ancient grains: amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, and teff. It’s a flavorful cracker that, by virtue of its ingredients, happens also to be gluten-free.”

These ancient grain crackers are available in three of Partners’ most popular flavors: Roasted Garlic & Rosemary, Olive Oil & Sea Salt, and Olive Oil & Herb; in 5.5-ounce deli trays, 5-ounce snack cartons, and 0.75 oz individual snack packs, all of which are non-GMO and certified kosher.

Visit for more information.

Private Spring Water Bottles Your Business

Private Spring Water resavedPrivate Spring Water is here to bottle your business! The company’s mission is to increase the exposure of your brand by communicating and sending a message to your customers through your company’s logo, tag line or mission statement.

The company provides free warehousing, multiple FOB points, national distribution, complete in-house services including unmatched client services, as well as hotel and foodservice programs, state-of-the-art design solutions, customized label packages and also full wrap, semi-gloss and labels ranging from 3D to clear, foil and poly.

For more information visit

Say Goodbye to Butter, Say Hello to Melt

Prosperity Organic FoodsButter lovers rejoice! There is now a rich, creamy and versatile improvement for those looking to make great tasting and healthy choices. Melt Organic is a luscious butter improvement. It is a new form of spread that is truly good for you. Melt Spreads sizzle, drizzle, sauté, and bake beautifully just like butter, but with half the saturated fat and fewer calories.

Melt Organics feature organic virgin coconut oil—the healthiest, unprocessed saturated fat—blended with organic flaxseed, palm fruit, canola and high-oleic sunflower oils. All the ingredients are ethically sourced to ensure optimal healthful qualities, social responsibility and sustainable farming practices. Melt Organic is made from all-natural and pure ingredients that are certified organic, non-GMO, kosher, and fair trade. Each Melt Organic variety is soy-free, gluten-free and dairy- or lactose-free. In addition, Melt Organics does not contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

For more information, visit

Milkshake-Style Shooters Make a Memorable New Year’s Eve Party Drink

Looking for a festive new drink to wow your guests at this year’s New Year Eve party? Surprise them with scrumptious ice cream-based Vanilla Mocha Latte Shooters. Infused with Nielsen-Massey’s fine extracts and garnished with vanilla sugar this delicious drink packs a flavorful and festive punch in a single shot glass for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party.

“Most people know that our products add flavor and distinction to food and desserts, but using our extracts in drinks is an easy way to quickly add layers of flavor to beverages,” said Craig Nielsen, CEO of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. “These shooters are a fun and whimsical way to dazzle your guests with this delectable, creamy creation.”

Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate and Coffee Extracts as well as Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract are universally loved flavors that bring a new dimension not only to food but also to beverages. In Vanilla Mocha Latte Shooters, the extracts are added to vodka, then chilled in the freezer. Pure Chocolate Extract imparts dark chocolate flavor and subtle, cocoa distinction while Pure Coffee Extract enhances the drink with full-bodied flavor from fine coffee beans. Rounding out these stronger flavors is Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract, a delicate vanilla featuring floral, fruity, cherry-like notes.

Vanilla-Mocha-Latte Shooters

(Serves 8)


½ tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract

½ tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Coffee Extract

½ tsp Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract

½ cup chilled vodka

2 Tbsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar (for rimming glasses)

½ cup heavy cream

3 cups firmly packed vanilla ice cream (about 6 large scoops)


In a small bowl, combine chocolate, coffee and vanilla extracts and vodka; cover and place in freezer until chilled.

In a small shallow bowl, add just enough water to moisten glass rims. In an additional small shallow bowl, add vanilla sugar. Dip each shooter glass rim into water and then into sugar; set aside.

Add cream and ice cream to an electric blender container, cover and blend on high, about 10 seconds. Add chilled vodka-mixture, cover and blend until smooth. Pour milkshake mixture into a piping bag or a large glass measuring cup and carefully fill 8 (2.5-ounce) glasses. Serve.

Once chilled, the unique vodka and extract mixture is combined with heavy cream and ice cream for milkshake-like body and texture. To serve, shot glasses are rimmed with Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, which is a flavorful blend of gourmet baker’s sugar and the most exquisite vanilla. Divide the milkshake mixture among eight shot glasses, and you have perfect potables to ring in the New Year.

Teatulia Organic Teas Partners with Top Mixologists to Capitalize on Cocktail Trend

 Tea cocktails are showing up more often on the drink menu, and Teatulia Organic Teas is helping to pioneer this trend.

According to the Sterling-Rice Group, a communications, strategy, and consultancy firm located in Boulder, Colo., a top food trend in 2014 is using tea outside of the cup and in dinner, dessert, and cocktail recipes. Chefs have found a hidden treasure that comes with using tea in cocktails. It adds depth and creates a unique flavor profile that cannot be recreated using traditional mixers, liquors or liqueurs. 

Recognizing the benefit of using teas in their cocktails, many fine dining restaurants have partnered with Teatulia to create award-winning recipes. “It’s exciting that top mixologists across the country have come to us to create such original drinks,” says CEO and Co-founder Linda Appel Lipsius.

One winter cocktail developed by Kevin Burke, one of Denver’s top mixologists working at Colt and Gray, is the Swedish Toddy featuring Teatulia’s Tulsi Infusion Tea, a full-bodied black tea with a rich, spicy finish. The Swedish Toddy incorporates a Scandinavian spirit called aquavit known for its distinct flavor derived from the spices and herbs used in it.

“I have seen a renewed interest in using tea in cocktails that coincides with the resurgence of serving old school punches,” says Burke. “I enjoy putting tea into cocktails because it is a chance to layer in new flavors and textures.  Teatulia Organic Teas, in general, aligns with my drink-making palate because of their precision in flavor and brightness of their profiles.”

Godiva Chocolate Maker Buys DeMet’s Candy Company

Brynwood Partners V L.P. announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell its investment in DeMet’s Candy Company for $221 million to Yildiz Holdings A.S., owner of the Godiva® chocolate brand. The transaction is expected to close in January 2014.

DeMet’s Candy, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., is a manufacturer and marketer of premium priced chocolate confection products under the Turtles®, Treasures®, and Flipz® brands. Since its formation in 2007 by Brynwood V, DeMet’s Candy has significantly expanded its sales, production, and profitability. All of the DeMet’s brands were acquired by Brynwood Partners from Nestlé USA in separate transactions. DeMet’s Candy employs approximately 200 people and operates two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. During Brynwood V’s ownership, the company built one of these plants, bringing approximately 150 jobs to Big Flats, N.Y. while significantly investing in and upgrading the other. After the closing, Peter Wilson, the company’s CEO, will be joining Brynwood Partners VII L.P., Brynwood Partners’ most recently raised fund. The rest of DeMet’s Candy’s management team will remain with the company.

“We are delighted to announce the divestiture of DeMet’s Candy,” said Hendrik J. Hartong III, Chairman, DeMet’s Candy and Senior Managing Partner, Brynwood Partners. “This investment highlights Brynwood Partners’ unique operational capabilities in the private equity sector. We originally formed DeMet’s Candy in 2007 to acquire the Turtles brand in the U.S. from NestléUSA and combined it with the Flipz brand, which we had acquired from Nestlé USA in 2004. After forming DeMet’s Candy we quickly hired a management team, with whom we have worked collaboratively, to create significant shareholder value. We are grateful to DeMet’s Candy’s management team and all of the hard working employees in the manufacturing plants for their tireless efforts under our ownership. We wish Yildiz success with this outstanding company.”

New Market Study Predicts Growth for Chocolate Industry

A new market study by Lucintel predicts that the U.S. chocolate industry will experience moderate growth and reach an estimated $19.3 billion in 2018. Innovation of new products in dark chocolate and milk chocolate segment with new flavors and low calorie (such as sugar-free) chocolates will increase the growth of retail chocolate industry. Occasion and celebration is a factor that impacts the selling and production of chocolate and ultimately leads the increased company revenue which boosts industry growth.

Among the challenges faced by the industry are rising prices for raw materials, expecially for cocoa beans, intermittent supply shortages and a lack of efficient distribution channels in emerging markets. Growth for the industry will come from increasing consumer expenditure for chocolates and improving per capita income. As per the study, 73.9 percent of total U.S. population, i.e., 234 million consumers, love to eat chocolates irrespective of gender. Hectic lifestyle of consumers and innovative chocolate products doubling as health supplement, chocolate for the diet conscious, low calorie chocolates etc. lead to significant market growth. Consumer awareness of brands, gifting in celebrations and various occasion, and increasing hectic lifestyle of consumers are all expected to drive industry growth.

The Lucintel study is titled, “US Chocolate Industry 2013-2018: Trend, Forecast, and Opportunity Analysis,” and for more information, visit

Cabot Creamery Rewards Volunteers with Cruise

On January 11, 50 volunteers will embark on the trip of a lifetime. They, along with a guest, will board the Celebrity Cruises® SUMMIT for an all-expense-paid, six-day, seven-night Caribbean Cruise organized in their honor, courtesy of the 1,200 farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative. The farmer-owners of Cabot have presented the Cabot Community Celebrity Award program since 2010 to recognize individuals from across the nation who have made a difference in their communities.

“For the past four years, the Cabot Community Celebrity Awards have honored the powerful achievements and contributions of select volunteers,” says Rich Stammer, Cabot President and CEO. “Partnering with major market media and national organizations, we spotlight those who serve others with little thought of personal recognition, and reward them with the trip of a lifetime. Our Community Celebrity Awards seek to redefine what ‘true celebrity’ really means.”

In the eyes of the farm families of Cabot, true celebrities are folks like Sean Evans. Evans, a resident of Moore, Okla., founded Serve Moore after the horrific tornados that devastated the town in May. He developed a website to help coordinate relief efforts, connecting resources and thousands of volunteers to bring aid and comfort to the victims of the storm.

And people like Tawanda and Robert Jones from Camden, N.J., who founded the Sophisticated Sisters Drill Team to serve the children of one of America’s most consistently impoverished and crime-ridden cities. Since founding the group in 1986, the couple provided a constructive outlet that has helped guide the lives of more than 4,000 of the city’s children.

“There are so many stories here of everyday people doing remarkable things in their communities. Stories of people who spend their weekends building dream bedrooms for kids with cancer, who spend their nights collecting food and goods for the hungry and homeless, who spend their days mentoring a child growing up alone in poverty,” says Stammer. “They truly deserve this.”

The Cabot Community Celebrity Award Cruise departs San Juan, Puerto Rico and stops in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas, before returning to San Juan. Round trip airfare for the Cabot Community Celebrities and their guests is also included.

“We want them to exhale and let their worries and pressures escape, to relax, recharge, and celebrate, so they can go back to their communities refreshed and ready to do more,” Stammer said. “And hopefully, inspire others to do the same.”

Cabot is able to spotlight those who serve their communities with little or no regard for personal recognition by partnering with AARP Create the GoodPoints of Light and working with an ever-growing list of highly conscious non-profit organizations like Habitat For HumanitySt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and  The DREAM Program. And once again this year, several of Cabot’s Community Celebrity Award recipients were selected from local radio stations that help Cabot spread the word on the valuable work volunteers do each day across the nation. Still others were selected from Cabot community relations programs, like the Reward Volunteers iPhone App, the mobile app a computer widget that enables volunteers to track their time serving non-profits, and to win great prizes and cash for themselves and the organizations they serve.

For more information on the Cabot Community Celebrity Award Cruise, or to learn more about true community celebrities,

Landana 1000 DAYS wins Gold at World Cheese Awards

landana 1000 days world cheese awardsLandana, a premium specialty cheese brand of Vandersterre Groep (The Netherlands), has been recognized with a golden award at the World Cheese Awards in Birmingham, England.

2,777 cheeses participated at the world-famous cheese show, which is organized by United Kingdom’s Guild of Fine Food. In the category “Gouda made before 1/12/2012,” Landana 1000 DAYS convinced a jury of 250 cheese experts with a full, intense but very refined taste, which reflects the Dutch time-tested cheese makers’ tradition.

This special cheese naturally ripens for at least 1000 days under perfect ripening conditions, which guarantee the best quality. The fine mineral and protein crystals are visible signs of its masterful maturation.

Landana 1000 DAYS is part of the Landana “Premium Quality Cheese” range. Landana is a delicious Dutch cheese of distinction, loved for its unique, creamy flavor, incredible quality and wide range of flavorful varieties. Landana cheeses are prepared using traditional cheese making techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation; methodology has changed very little over time.

Vandersterre Groep won a bronze award with Landana Goat cheese AGED in the category “Hard goats’ milk”. This goat cheese has a piquant character and pure taste.The extra-long ripened Prima Donna forte also won bronze in the category “Any very hard cheese” with its strong and sweet, nutty taste.

All these award winners are gluten free. Retailers interested in purchasing Landana or Prima Donna cheeses can contact a Vandersterre Groep sales representative by e-mail at or by phone at 1.303.906.4200. 

Consumers Celebrate the Taste and Terroir of Grass-Fed Beef

By Lorrie Baumann

While cable television has been working hard for years to convince consumers that all the really great meals come from culinary school-trained chefs, many purveyors of top-quality meats say that what might help the home cook most is finding a trustworthy market with a meat department manager who knows his or her business and respects the products in the meat case.

“You need to find a brand of beef that you like,” says Bill Reed, the CEO of Estancia Beef, which produces beef in Uruguay and imports it into the U.S. market “Find a butcher who sells you quality beef.”

Clint Smithlin, the Meat Manager/Buyer at the Berkeley Bowl Marketplace in Berkeley, Calif. sells a ton of grass-fed beef, including Estancia Beef, and about 1,800 pounds of grain-fed beef each week at his company’s two stores. He says that the influence of Michael Pollan’s writing about food and the information available to consumers on the Internet in addition to current high prices for meats are collectively fueling consumer interest in grass-fed beef. “There’s a huge amount of information out there—some of it’s right and some of it’s wrong,” he says. “People have a choice, and what they’re looking for is the product that matches their choices. And generally, they’re choosing grass-fed beef because there’s a negative connotation about grain-fed beef. People have seen how the animals are just packed together, and they’re more aware now of where their meat is coming from … They’re looking to do what’s best for them as well as what’s best for the environment.”

Fortunately for consumers who want to make their own decisions about what they are putting into their bodies, there is a wider range of products available to them now than at any other time in recent history. “If you look at every other category in the supermarket—chocolate, cheese, beer—we’ve gone from two or three brands to a plethora of brands that offer different tastes, different experiences. It’s a much more exciting opportunity for the consumer to understand a world of tastes and flavors,” Reed says. “We’ve developed a system that says that more fat is better. That’s not a celebration of culture of flavor. That’s a really boring metric.”

Matching the consumer with a piece of meat that’s going to satisfy all of those goals is where trust has to come into the relationship between market and customer, Smithlin says. “People can read all they want, but there still has to be the element of trust that the beef is what the butcher says it is,” he says. “People are more knowledgeable now than ever because the price is higher than ever before, and there’s so much product on the market. Many of the grass-fed beef products out there look very, very similar. The average person has to rely on trust, on the answer he gets [from the butcher].”

“There are people who just want a good-tasting piece of meat,” Smithlin adds. “There are other people who want to make sure that what they’re eating is best for them and for the animals.”

Grain-fed beef still has its adherents among people who are accustomed to its particular taste, says Andy McIsaac, Vice President of Marketing for Pilot Brands, a major importer and distributor of grass-fed meats from Australia and New Zealand for the American market. “The flavor is definitely different. There’s some debate about it. People who are used only to corn-fed beef sometimes say that grass-fed beef has a strong flavor. My answer to that is that that’s the natural flavor of beef,” he says. “It’s the flavor that your grandfather or great-grandfather would recognize. It’s the flavor of the grass coming through, the terroir. That really does apply to meat. The flavor really does reflect the environment that the animal was raised in.”

Reed agrees that terroir is a concept that applies as much to meat as to wine. “When you think about alcohol and cheeses, you think about celebrating terroir,” he says. “The eating experience with grass-fed beef is different. Estancia beef has a little bit cleaner finish. It has a beefy flavor. It sits light in your stomach. You can eat an eight-ounce steak and feel good about it.”

Through recent American history, beef animals were raised on grass for most of their lives and then transported to feedlots for finishing with corn and grain, which add the fat marbling into the muscle tissue. And since fat carries flavor, the end product tastes more like the grain with which the animal was finished. The typical feedlot animal is finished when it’s 16 to 24 months old, depending on the feeding regime, while a grass-fed animal typically takes a bit longer to grow to slaughter weight, McIsaac says. “Grass, while very nutritious, doesn’t have as high energy content as corn and grain,” he says. “The grass-fed animals take 24 to 30 months, because they’re living a more natural life, walking around in the pasture instead of standing in the feedlot.”

Most grass-fed beef is leaner than corn-fed beef, but that’s not necessarily the case. Pilot Brands imports a wide range of beef products, including grass-fed Kobe-style beef from Wagyu cattle that meets and even exceeds USDA Prime standards. “That’s an animal that’s famous for its marbling, but even with other cattle breeds, we get a lot of beef that has good levels of marbling,” he says.

Even the most marbled grass-fed beef offers consumers a more healthful choice than grain-fed beef with equivalent marbling, because the fat in grass-fed beef has a higher ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, with grass-fed beef having levels much closer to the levels recommended by nutritionists, McIsaac says. “There are studies coming out now that show that people who eat grass-fed beef also have higher levels of Omega-3s, so it does carry through to the people who are eating it,” he adds. “That’s on top of the fact that grass-fed beef is typically also free of antibiotics and added hormones.”

Grass-fed beefalo is another product coming onto the market that has its appeal for consumers who are concerned about the health implications of eating beef, says Mark Merrill, co-owner with his wife Linda of Ellensburg, Wash.-based Beefalo Meats. Merrill is raising animals that are a cross-breed of beef cattle and bison, producing meat that is four times leaner than regular grain-fed beef, but which has award winning flavor.

Merrill’s beefalo has been lab-tested for cholesterol and saturated fats and has been shown to have cholesterol levels up to seven times lower than regular grain-fed beef and markedly less saturated fat.

Most of Merrill’s meat is being sold in the Seattle and Portland areas and in Alaska. “We’re not in the Krogers and the Albertsons and the Safeways. We’re in the specialty stores, where it does very well,” Merrill says. “All of the stores selling this have reported no decrease in their beef sales. I think it means that people who have cut back on their beef are coming back to beefalo. Maybe it’s the people who have eaten chicken until it’s coming out of their ears, and they’re tired of it. I don’t know.”

Cooking Grass-Fed Beef

All the experts advise that the worst thing a cook can do to grass-fed beef or beefalo is to overcook it. “When people have a bad experience with grass-fed beef, it’s usually because they’ve overcooked it,” Smithlin says. Grass-fed beef cooks about ⅓ more quickly than grain-fed beef, as do beefalo and bison. “Restaurants like it that it cooks faster, but if you’re at home and you’re grilling, you’ll want to keep monitoring it,” Merrill advises. He suggests that beefalo should be cooked hot and fast to 130 degrees. “If you can sear that meat, it’s juicier than beef, even though the fat is way less,” he says.

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