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Bemka Celebrates 30th Year

 

Bemka Corporation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Since its founding in April, 1984, Bemka Corporation has delivered a full line of caviar and fine foods in Europe and the USA for customers in the fine foods industry, including restaurants, hotels, country clubs, catering and fine foods distributors.

“Over the last 15 years, Bemka Corporation has remained strong throughout the many changes in the economic climate,” said Max Moghaddam, CEO and Founder of Bemka. “I attribute our success to two things: first, our expertise to source and select the world’s best caviar and fine foods from around the globe. Second, we constantly look for ways to optimize our operations in every single area of the business. This serves both our customers and our company well, particularly during harder economic times.”

 

Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties Display Contest Winners Announced

The 2014 Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties promotion was heating up profits in the aisles with help from the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) sponsor of a retail display contest in June and July. The most creative merchandising displays were recognized with the prestigious Golden Penguin Award in six regional categories – Northeast, Southeast, East Central, West Central, Southwest and Pacific/Western. A total of 19 Gold and 26 Silver Penguins were awarded. See the complete list of winners.

All winning displays were honored for their presentation of the 14 sponsoring brands’ ice cream and novelty products. The promotion was also supported with consumer outreach including a VIP Coupon and Freezer Giveaway on the Easy Home Meals Facebook page and a partnership with the Mr. Food Test Kitchen that extended the messaging to TV and online audiences.

The Gold Penguin awards will be presented at the Grand Awards Banquet during NFRA’s Convention in Orlando, Florida, October 14, 2014. Silver awards are typically presented at the local level at appropriate frozen food association meetings.

Golden Penguins were also awarded for quality marketing plans during March Frozen Food Month and June Dairy Month. For more information on any of the Golden Penguin competitions, contact NFRA at 717.657.8601.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Now Offering Mediterra Snack Bars

Less than three months after its launch, savory nutrition bars from Mediterra®  are now available in Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, the first large-scale natural retailer to offer Mediterra bars. Currently, the rapidly growing Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage operates 86 stores in 14 states.

“Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has stringent standards, and bringing Mediterra into their stores is a huge endorsement,” says Mediterra Founder Telemaque Lavidas. “It’s an honor to partner and grow with them, while we aggressively continue to introduce our brand to consumers nationwide.”

“The products we carry are free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, both hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. We continue our search for additional snack items that taste good and meet these standards, and Mediterra does that,” says Nancy Flynn, Marketing Director for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. “We’re looking forward to offering our customers another healthful way to snack, while on-the-go.”

MediterraTomatoPhotoInspired by the Mediterranean Diet that’s considered by experts as one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world, Mediterra bars have six new unique flavors that feature various fruits, vegetables and grains, providing different snacking options for throughout the day. All bars are all-natural, non-GMO and gluten free. They retail for $1.99.

The six unique bar flavors come in three specific varieties that provide ancient nutrition in a modern and convenient way:

Savory Bars: The bars are rich in vegetable content, but low in calories, sodium and sugar and contain protein-rich pea crisps and a touch of olive oil. Each Savory Bar is 1.4 ounces and contains six grams of protein and fiber. They are certified kosher and dairy free. The Savory Bars serve as an alternative to sweet snacks providing super foods and amaranth, an ancient grain. Flavors include Tomato/Basil/Capers and Olive/Walnut/Chives.

Sesame Honey Energy Bars: Traditionally known as pasteli, these bars are dairy-free and contain only a few ingredients including roasted sesame seeds, Greek honey and either pistachios from Aegina Island or orange peel. The combination provides natural and long lasting energy. Each bar is 1.3 ounces, contains up to six grams of protein and two grams of fiber. Flavors include Sesame Seed/Pistachio/Greek Honey and Sesame Seed/Orange/Greek Honey.

Yogurt and Oat Bars: Bottom-covered with yogurt-style coating, the bars are 1.6 ounces, certified kosher and contain seven grams of protein. The bars also feature fig paste, sunflower seeds and raisins. Flavors include Yogurt/Oat/Cherry Pistachio and Yogurt/Oat/Apricot Pistachio.

After launching in June, the company named Acosta Sales & Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, as its U.S. sales agency. In addition, the company has won two product awards including a 2014 The Lempert Report Innovator award for its Savory Bars.

Click here to read more Gourmet News coverage of snack foods.

 

 

 

New York Style Introduces Garlic Parmesan Bagel Crisps

bagel crispsB&G Foods has added Garlic Parmesan flavor to its line of New York Style Bagel Crisps®. The new flavor lets you experience New York-style bagels in a light and crispy chip with the zest of garlic and the zing of Parmesan cheese. These crunchy baked snacks are made with bagel bread and have half the fat and fewer calories than fried potato chips.

Garlic Parmesan New York Style Bagel Crisps can be adorned to create party fare that will impress the most discerning of foodies, or they can be enjoyed straight out of the bag. They’re great on their own or paired with toppings, dips and spreads, providing a delectable appetizer in a New York minute. New York Style Bagel Crisps are made without artificial flavors or colors.

Garlic Parmesan New York Style Bagel Crisps will be available in stores starting in September.

Click here for more coverage of gourmet snack foods.

 

Emmi Roth USA Employees Named Certified Cheese Professionals

Two Emmi Roth USA employees are among the 2014 class of American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals™. Krista Schoppenhauer and Kristin Sande are part of an elite group of 153 individuals from 32 different companies who passed the third annual ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam, held July 29 in Sacramento, California.

Krista Schoppenhauer, Inside Sales Representative for Specialty Cheeses at Emmi Roth USA, has more than 10 years of experience in the cheese industry. Schoppenhauer, who developed a love of fine food at a young age, said she is “proud to have attained this milestone while working at Emmi Roth.”

With more than 20 years of experience in the cheese industry, Kristin Sande is the Inside Sales Manager for Specialty Cheeses at Emmi Roth USA.  “I am fortunate to have a career that not only provides continued growth but also tastes delicious,” said Sande.

Sande and Schoppenhauer join Roger Olsen, Specialty Sales Trainer, who passed the ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam in 2013. “The ever-expanding cheese community is a wonderful place to be, especially now,” said Olson, who has more than 20 years of professional experience in the food industry. “It is a joy sharing great cheese and education with people who are passionate about food.”

“We are exceptionally proud of Krista, Kristin and Roger,” said Jodie Wische, Vice President of Specialty Sales at Emmi Roth USA. “Becoming a Certified Cheese Professional is a prestigious achievement and true testament to their dedication and passion for the cheese industry.”

In support of cheesemongers and cheese professionals, Emmi Roth USA proudly sponsors the American Cheese Society CCP reception to honor and celebrate the efforts of exam takers. The exam is the only one of its kind, and it was established to encourage improved standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service. Aspiring cheese professionals need 4,000 hours of work experience and formal education just to be eligible to take the exam. Those who pass the test are awarded a lapel pin, jacket patch and certificate.

To learn more about the Certified Cheese Professional Exam, visit www.cheesesociety.org.

New Hunger Figures Show Millions of Americans Continue to Struggle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its annual report, Household Food Security in the United States 2013. The report reveals that 14.3 percent of U.S. households were food-insecure in 2013. This number is a slight decline since 2011 but remains well above the rates of food insecurity recorded before the recession.

“Our elected officials need to make ending hunger a national priority,” said Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. “It is unacceptable that 17.5 million households in this country must choose between paying for medicine, rent, day care, or food.

In 2008, the number of food-insecure Americans increased by more than 30 percent as a result of the recession and has remained above 14 percent. The USDA defines food insecurity as “when consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”  

The working poor and families living in poverty are most vulnerable to food insecurity. The threat to children is especially high – 15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2013.

According to the USDA report, for 360,000 households, “food insecurity among children was so severe that caregivers reported that children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food.” Studies show that children who are hungry and at risk of hunger are more likely to struggle in school and have an increased risk for illnesses and weakened immune systems.

Mini Pumpkin Pies from Eli’s Cheesecake Company

 

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company of Chicago is now offering Mini Pumpkin Pies for foodservice and in-store bakeries. These are the perfect, easy dessert to re-pack or sell individually in service cases.

EliThese Mini Pumpkin Pies feature a custardy, lightly-spiced filling made with pumpkins from Stahlbush Island Farms, baked in an all-butter crust, sprinkled with coarse sugar. Stahlbush Island Farms is an environmentally friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. As an ingredient supplier to the bakery industry, Stahlbush is one of the largest processors of frozen pumpkin puree in the industry. Quality control is a high priority in their production process. For every lot processed, they run tests to ensure the best results for moisture, grit, pH, brix, total plate count per gram, texture, color and flavor, as requested. Additionally, they have a program in place for pathogen screening to ensure food safety. Their philosophy is that farming practices should leave the soil, air, water, plant life, animals and people healthier. For them and Eli’s, sustainability is a continuing journey. In 1997, Stahlbush became one of the first farms in the country to be certified sustainable by the Food Alliance.

 

 

Terlato Adds Cecchi Wines from Tuscany to Luxury Wine Portfolio

Terlato Wines has entered into a new partnership to take over the U.S. sales and marketing of Cecchi, a leading producer in Chianti Classico and other Tuscan wines, effective Jan. 1, 2015.  The long-term agreement with the Cecchi family adds depth and diversity to the Terlato Italian portfolio with a highly regarded and established premium brand from Tuscany’s renowned Chianti Classico region.

Cecchi has been producing premium wines from single vineyard estates in Tuscany for more than 120 years, and is in its fourth generation of family management with brothers Cesare and Andrea Cecchi – great grandsons of founder Luigi Cecchi – leading the winery today.  They have invested significantly in expanding their vineyard holdings and modernizing their wineries and winemaking operations, always with a goal of improving the quality of their wines.  The Cecchi brand has been sold in the U.S. for more than 25 years.  Today, Cecchi is a leading Tuscan brand, focused on its range of wines from Chianti Classico, with additional wines from Maremma and Umbria.

“We started discussions with Cesare and Andrea earlier this year, as they initiated their search for a new U.S. importer,” said Terlato Wines Chief Executive William A. Terlato. “Cesare and Andrea wanted to make certain they chose the right long-term partner to build their brand in the U.S. market.  A blind tasting conducted at their winery convinced us that their winemaking approach and commitment to quality would make Cecchi an ideal fit in our portfolio.  Both families are aligned on the brand’s untapped potential.  We have an opportunity to build a leadership position in the Chianti Classico category and establish a stronger brand presence with the current portfolio and some exceptional new wines.”

Terlato will import a collection of wines from Cecchi, but will focus on a targeted range of six wines that are key expressions of Cecchi’s Tuscan heritage and their diversity of vineyard holdings, including: Chianti Classico DOCG; Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia DOCG; Coevo IGT Toscana; La Mora Vermentino DOC Maremma Toscana; La Mora Morellino di Scansano DOCG and; Sangiovese IGT Toscana.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with the Terlato family,” said Cesare Cecchi.   “Terlato Wines is widely known as the leading luxury importer in the U.S., and we know our partnership will build our U.S. brand presence and image.  They are a great fit for us.”

Terlato Wines has a global portfolio of more than 70 brands from world class wine producers in more than a dozen countries and controls a 20 percent market share of wines $20 and up in the U.S. Terlato Wines garners more 90+ ratings than any wine company in the world and is a division of the Terlato Wine Group, the parent company comprising several small businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. Owned and operated by the Terlato family for four generations, the Group also includes the family’s winery investments and partnerships in some of the world’s most esteemed wine regions including: Napa ValleySonoma County; Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara CountyVictoria, Australia; the Rhone Valley in France and; Montalcino,Italy.

The Terlato Wines portfolio of brands includes: Napa Valley: Chimney Rock, EPISODE, Galaxy, Jack Nicklaus WinesLuke Donald Collection, Markham Vineyards,  Rutherford HillTangley Oaks, Terlato Family Vineyards; Sonoma County Alderbrook, Giarrusso, Hanna, Rochioli, The Federalist, Terlato Family Vineyards; Santa Barbara County: Flor de Campo, Sanford; California Appellation: Glass Mountain, Greystone Cellars, Mike Ditka Wines, Seven Daughters;  Oregon: Sokol Blosser; Washington StateGrace LaneArgentina: Cuarto Dominio, Tamari; Australia: Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, the Lucky Country, Twelftree, Two Hands; Austria: Kracher; Canada: Peller Estates; ChileLapostolle; France: Belleruche by M. Chapoutier, Champagne Bollinger, Chateau de Sancerre, Chateau Timberlay, Chanson Pere & Fils, Domaine Ramonet, Langlois-Chateau, M. Chapoutier, MARIUS, Mischief & Mayhem; Greece: Boutari, Elios; ItalyAnselmi, Berlucchi, Ca’Marcanda (GAJA Toscana), Cecchi, Colavita, Cusumano, Fizz 56, GAJA, Goretti, Il Poggione, Mazzoni (Toscana), Nino FrancoSanta Margherita, Torresella,; Japan: Shimizu-no-mai Sake; Mediterranean: Elios; New Zealand: Loveblock, Turning Heads, Wairau River; South Africa: Anthonij Rupert, Ernie Els, Guardian Peak, Protea, Rust en Vrede; SpainBodegas ValdemarMarco Abella.  Artisan Spirits: Adelphi Selections Scotch, Distillatori Nonino (Grappa), Don Pancho Origenes Rum, Heartland Prohibition Gin, Langley’s No. 8 Gin; Marnier Cognac, Riazul Tequila, Spring Mill Bourbon, Tigre Blanc Vodka and Tiramisu Liqueur.

Capital Teas Expands Executive Leadership Team

Capital Teas has added two senior executives, both with extensive experience in developing and implementing aggressive growth strategies in the consumer goods market.

White House Black Market co-founder Michael Smith has joined Capital Teas as Special Advisor to the company’s CEO, Peter Martino.  Additionally, Keith Rogers has signed on as Executive Vice President, incorporating his previous related experience with Dolcezza Gelato and Coffee, where he served as COO, and five years in various leadership roles at Starbucks Coffee Company.

A reflection of the strength of the specialty tea market, which has seen explosive growth in North America in 2014, Capital Teas received a $5 million investment in March and will double the number of its stores by year’s end including new locations in Charlottesville, VirginiaPhiladelphiaWashington, D.C., and BWI Airport.

“To foster our accelerated development effectively, we have brought aboard two key executives whose collective experience will be crucial to Capital Teas as we forge our path on the national and international consumer goods landscape,” said Peter Martino. “Recognizing that we have tremendous opportunity in front of us, we are thrilled to bring aboard two business powerhouses whose strategic insights and experience we admire.”

Michael Smith, Special Advisor to the CEO
Michael Smith co-founded White House Black Market and was instrumental in building the brand and business from the ground up, ultimately expanding to 107 locations. In 2003, White House Black Market was acquired for $90 million by Chico’s FAS, Inc., and Smith moved on to oversee the investor relations and community affairs for all brands within the Chico’s FAS portfolio until 2008.  With dual experiences as both an entrepreneur and a corporate executive, Smith understands the priority of creativity, product and customer service, while also setting strategic and operational priorities and procedures.

Keith Rogers, Executive Vice President
Keith Rogers comes to Capital Teas from Dolcezza Gelato and Coffee, where he served as COO from 2013 to 2014.  In his role at Dolcezza, Rogers led in building organizational capacity, financial analysis & planning, integrating technology, and strategic development of retail, food manufacturing, and eCommerce. From 2010 to 2011, Rogers served as CEO of Annapolis Foods, where he completed a one-year overhaul in its retail, restaurant and food service operations and wholesale distribution. A graduate of Cornell University, Rogers’ experience spans restaurant, hotel, retail, and entertainment operations, including five years at Starbucks Coffee Company in roles from District Manager to General Manager of Starbucks Entertainment.

Organic Trade Association to Stage Social Media Festival

It’s party time at the Organic Trade Association. For 10. Straight. Days. And everyone’s invited.

September is “Organic Month,” and OTA and its member companies are teaming up with other leading organic influencers to throw “Organic-Palooza,” a first-ever 10-day social media festival that gets going on September 8 to celebrate the benefits of organic, clear up confusion about what organic really stands for, and share how and why consumers should incorporate more organic – whether it’s organic food or organic fiber – into their lives.

From affordability issues – how your family can create an at-home organic menu without breaking the budget – to the trustworthiness of organic – an explanation of the strict regulations and standards that go into growing and making every single organic product – the blitz, delivered by OTA and some 50 strategic partners, will delve into the biggest issues surrounding organic, bust a few myths, and provide an unprecedented and free-wheeling exchange of ideas and views and knowledge between top organic experts and just normal folks.

“We are very excited to be engaging our members and the public in such a creative and accessible way to answer questions about organic,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO of OTA. “Each day we’ll be focusing on one key organic topic in order to spark conversation and share as much knowledge as we can between organic news watchers and newsmakers, and ultimately to help consumers make the best choices for their families.”

Using the #OrganicFestival hashtag on its social media channels (Facebook facebook.com/OrganicTrade, Twitter twitter.com/organictrade, Pinterest pinterest.com/organictrade), daily themes include nutrition, the latest trends in organic, organic standards and the meaning of the organic seal, affordability, organic’s role in mitigating global warming, a look at the latest research on organic, and more. Through recipes, meal-planning tips, and updates on organic fiber, consumers will be shown how to make organic a regular part of their lives.

Special sessions will feature organic thought leaders including top food and nutrition writers and bloggers, organic policy and agricultural experts, and OTA members sharing their perspectives on policy, regulatory, and real-life concerns being faced by the organic community. The public will be introduced to the organic visionaries who have helped make the organic industry the robust part of the American food and fiber sector that it is today.

A five-day Twitter party will be wrapped into the festival, with each party zeroing in on a specific organic focus and co-hosted by an expert in the subject. One of the parties will be a “myth-busting” session to debunk common myths and misinformation about organic, co-hosted by “Coach” Mark Smallwood, head of the Rodale Institute and an internationally recognized organic expert, and Dr. Jessica Shade, Lead Scientist for The Organic Center. Another will be on GMOs in our food supply with host Matt Dillon, an advocate and recognized expert in organic seed systems and agricultural policy and programs manager at Clif Bar. Dr. Alan Greene, a kids’ health expert devoted to giving answers to parents’ real questions will co-host a session on what organic means for kids. Finally, eco-fashion pioneer Marci Zaroff will co-host a party on organic textiles, clarifying the importance of driving sustainability by choosing organic—beyond food.

Each Twitter party will be sponsored by OTA members who are offering dozens of prizes to festival participants ranging from organic snacks and sauces to a basket of organic linen. Randomly selected Facebook fans sharing news about the festival with their friends will be awarded daily prizes donated by OTA member companies, as will selected Pinterest followers who repin the campaign image.