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Whisky Advocate Names Diageo Distiller of the Year

Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, beer and wine company, has been named Whisky Advocate’s Distiller of the Year.  Whisky Advocate cited Diageo’s distillery investment in Scotland, distillery sustainability initiatives, and significant innovation occurring across its whisky portfolio as evidence of the company’s contributions to the global whisky landscape.

“This honor reinforces Diageo’s position as the leader in the craft of whisky distilling,” said Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo North America. “Within our collection of more than 100 Scotch, Irish, Canadian and American whiskies, we have some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing brands. Our whisky portfolio, and the craftsmanship that goes into creating it, is unrivalled.”

Illuminating on the selection, Whisky Advocate wrote, “Substantial investment, a world-beating vision for future growth, and harnessing their guardianship of brand history to reach out to consumers have helped our Distiller of the Year deliver an incredible portfolio of whiskies to suit all pockets and preferences.”

Specifically, the publication referenced the enduring prominence of Johnnie Walker as the “world’s biggest Scotch whisky brand”; “phenomenal liquids” from Diageo Special Releases 2013; new expressions from Talisker; and innovations in North American Whisky, such as Crown Royal Maple, Bulleit Bourbon 10 year old, Orphan Barrel and Blade & Bow.

Whisky Advocate also recognized Diageo’s Talisker Storm as the Highlands/Islands Single Malt Scotch Whisky of the Year. Talisker Storm debuted in the fall as the brand’s first major non-age declared Scotch whisky innovation released in the United States. Because the liquid does not carry an age statement, the Master Blender has greater flexibility to blend a fuller range of Talisker whiskies together in one vibrant dram, creating a truly unique, award-winning malt.

Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients Announces Expansion of Its Vietnam Facility

Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients has completed an expansion in size and capability of its spices processing facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 85,300-square foot spice processing facility will enhance cleaning and storage processes for black pepper, and adds capabilities to process cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg products. The investment in new equipment and technologies, along with its Innovation & Quality (IQ) center in Fresno, Calif., allows Olam SVI to exceed prevailing international and U.S. regulations and the highest standards expected by its spice and ingredient customers.

Upgrades to the Vietnam facility include advanced technologies such as cryogenic milling using liquid nitrogen; a pepper cleaning line; a Plant HTST steam sterilization and pasteurization system; and new pepper milling lines. The Company has added climate control for balancing water activity in the processed products and expanded physical storage capabilities. New pepper, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg grinding lines and equipment will more than double production capacity and output for those products.

The expansion augments the facility’s existing separators, sifters and two steam sterilizers that clean the spices and reduce microbial contamination. Certified by British Retail Consortium (BRC) audit protocol, the plant completed successful inspection by the U.S. FDA in 2010. The facility is one of the largest in the world in its category and employs more than 400 people.

“Our regional presence in origins such as Vietnam for the past eight years allows us to take control of the commodity at the farm gate level and closely manage the product from post-harvest processing to storage and final delivery,” said Olam SVI President Greg Estep. “Our customers can be confident the ingredients that make their products great are of the highest quality and sourced through our unparalleled processing and logistics capabilities.”

Olam SVI’s efforts to improve quality standards of spices produced in Vietnam includes farmer training to promote safe agricultural practices. Structured courses are offered through learning centers and extension providers, and model farms have been established.

“Our strong marketing presence in key destinations gives customers an advantage in the proprietary market information and responsive service we provide,” said Deepak Shah, global product line head, pepper and tropical spice business at Olam SVI.

The IQ center opened earlier this year as the hub of excellence for safety and quality in Olam SVI’s worldwide operations. Through their microbiology and chemistry laboratory work, scientists and quality assurance professionals at the IQ dictate corrective and proactive actions in quality programs at manufacturing plants in the U.S., Vietnam, India, Egypt, Peru and China.

For more information, visit Olam SVI.

Comté DVD to be Released at Fancy Food Show

The Comté Cheese Association will be releasing an updated version of The Comté Experience DVD at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco (January 19-21). The Comté Experience DVD now includes 5 Comté Cooking School videos, featuring how-to steps for making mouthwatering Comté recipes, including crêpes, fondue, tuiles, and more.  The DVD will be available at the Comté Cheese Association’s Fancy Food Show booth (booth #3324), where visitors can taste Comté of different ages, meet with Comté representatives and learn more about the cheese and the region.  The DVD is also available by mail upon request.
In attendance at the Fancy Food Show will be Milène Racle of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Comté (CIGC), who comes from a family of Comté dairy producers, and Nicki Sizemore, representative of the CIGC in the US.  In addition to hosting the booth at the show, they will also be leading a master class at the Cheese School of San Francisco on January 21 with acclaimed writer and food scientist Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.  In the class, Fondue & Comté: A Study in Meltability with Harold McGee, McGee will discuss the concept of “meltability” as it applies to Comté, as well as the science behind fondue.  The class will also feature a Comté tasting and Comté fondue demonstrations.

Cookie Snaps Launch with Three Flavors

Cape Cod Provisions LLC is adding cookies to its assortment of chocolate and fruit confections. The all-natural Cookie Snaps are loaded with berries and baked to a distinctive crunch. The company has launched three flavors – Blueberry, Cranberry Almond with a hint of Orange and Chocolate Cherry Almond.

cookie snapsCookie Snaps fulfill consumer desire for indulgent treats that are better for you. These sophisticated cookies have simple wholesome ingredients, lots of fruit and no cholesterol, trans fat or added fat or salt. Made in small batches, Cookie Snaps are just slightly sweet and have a nice balance of crunchy cookie and chewy dried berries. “Today’s consumers are looking for healthier snacking options without giving up great taste and quality. Cookie Snaps are rich in flavor for gratification without guilt,” according to company Founder and President Sue Faria.

Harvest Sweets® has always been known for high-quality chocolate covered fruits and fruit truffles in eye-appealing packaging and now, a line of unique cookies with fruit. Cookie Snaps are OU Kosher certified and available in 3.5-ounce gable boxes packed 12 to a case. For more information, email or call 1-888-811-2379.


Numi to Showcase New Line of Chocolate Teas

Numi Organic Tea will be showcasing new products at the Winter Fancy Food Show, including an innovative new line of Indulgent Teas, a new collection of chocolate teas made with 100 percent real ingredients (not “natural” flavorings, or perfumes), including real cacao powder.  With only five calories per cup, no sugar, and a suggested retail price of $7.99 for a box of 12 tea bags, Numi Indulgent Teas make it easy to save on both calories and cash versus a fancy mocha beverage or chocolate bar.   They will be available to ship beginning April 2014.

Numi will be in booth #884 at the Winter Fancy FoodShow.

Hard to Believe it’s Gluten Free!

cherry bliss gluten free brownieHigh quality, good-tasting gluten free foods are hard to come by, especially when we’re talking about the kind of treats you can serve for a special occasion. Rabbit Creek Products is remedying that by offering seven delicious gluten free mixes.

And debuting at January’s Winter Fancy Food Show: The Cherry Bliss Gluten Free Brownie Mix. Cherry Bliss gluten free brownie is a rich and gooey brownie mix with real cherries studded throughout, pretty hard to beat, especially hot out of the oven.

All of Rabbit Creek’s gluten free products are made in a dedicated kitchen to ensure that products stay top notch and and absolutely gluten free. Rabbit Creek also offers free private labeling for all of its products, including gluten free.

For more information, call 913.837.2757, email or visit



Roland Foods Names New CEO

Roland Foods Corporation today announced that James Wagner, 44, has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Charles E. Scheidt, a member of the company’s founding family and Chairman and CEO of Roland Foods, remains with the company as Chairman. “Jim Wagner has a great background for Roland Foods, exactly what we had in mind when we shared our intention to appoint a new CEO this past summer,” said Scheidt. “His successful track record as a senior executive spans exceptional accomplishments in sales, marketing, purchasing, and new product development in the specialty foods industry. Jim is a talented leader who will help Roland Foods accelerate its growth and continue its excellent customer service.”

“In the specialty foods business, Roland Foods is an iconic brand, a highly successful company in a sector with a strong growth outlook,” said Wagner. “Specialty foods has a powerful upward trajectory, both near- and long-term, and I believe that Roland Foods can significantly expand its already strong leadership position. I am very familiar with Roland Foods’ high standards of excellence across-the-board, and it’s an honor to be working at the company. Roland Foods has a great team, and I believe that our talent and product lines form a solid foundation for growth.”

Prior to joining Roland Foods, Wagner served as Chief Operating Officer at The Chefs’ Warehouse. Before becoming COO of The Chefs’ Warehouse, he held a number of positions within the company, including Chief Commercial Officer, Director of Business Development, and Vice President of the West Coast Operations. Wagner led significant business optimization projects and sales performance initiatives, resulting in substantial margin and revenue enhancement and, ultimately, a successful initial public offering on NASDAQ.

Before joining The Chefs’ Warehouse in 2005, Wagner worked as an independent consultant to a number of start-up companies, including the launch of TrueChocolate, a chocolate-processing company. He was also a Principal at Jump Communications and a Vice President at Clear!Blue; both companies provide business consulting services.

Mr. Wagner received a B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.

Salvy Sousa Launches “Da Boss of Da Bloody Mary:” the Bloody Bull

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe team at Salvy Sousa is excited to launch the Salvy Sousa Bloody Bull Bloody Mary Mix. Sure to be a pleaser with fans of Bloody Marys, the Bloody Bull is a rich and robust mix that only needs vodka and garnishes. Bloody Bull was launched in October and quickly sold out in the first week. Now in full production, orders are ready to ship to specialty retail stores to move quickly for the holidays, game day and just because you need a Bloody Mary day.

Of course, the Bloody Bull makes an amazing Bloody Mary, but it also makes a great base for soups, stews, goulashes and chili. The recipe features all-natural, premium ingredients with loads of spices and flavors.

Check out the website at for all of the company’s product lines as well as recipes and event news. Orders can be placed by calling 620.442.2700 or by emailing



Holy Crap Cereal: An Exciting Gluten-Free Breakfast Food

Hapi Food GroupHoly Crap cereal is an exciting gluten-free breakfast foods. This health-packed cereal is incredibly delicious and when the company was just starting, one of the very first customers said, “Holy Crap… this is amazing!”

Hence Holy Crap Cereal was born. Containing only real unprocessed ingredients, the tasty blend of ancient whole-grain superfoods keeps eaters full until lunchtime.

Holy Crap has become a fast-selling gluten-free, non-GMO breakfast cereal, and it was recently enjoyed by Expedition 35 astronauts on the International Space Station. The powerful cereal blend provides energy from its plant-based protein and boasts a balanced supply of omega -3s and -6s as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.

For more information on Hapi Food Group and Holy Crap cereal head to

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