Archive for May, 2011

Bat Crisis Threatens U.S. Food SupplyCrisis in the bat world could mean trouble for the U.S. food supply, according to an article in the April issue of Food Nutrition & Science.  A recent report from the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Pretoria, the University of Tennessee and Boston University details how bats in North America likely provide farmers more than $3.7 billion worth of pest-control services each year but the loss of bat populations from infectious disease and wind turbines could lead to agricultural losses.

“Bats provide free and silent pest-control services as they eat flying insects, such as moths and beetles, which reproduce quickly and prey on our crops,” says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com.  “Unfortunately, bats are currently facing two very dangerous enemies, a disease called White Nose Syndrome and wind turbines, and we need to figure out how bats can co-exist with the latter so we don’t increase pesticide use on our crops.”

To date, over one million bats are thought to have died from White Nose Syndrome, a condition that awakes bats early from hibernation before there is enough available food. In addition, scientists have estimated that by 2020, 33,000 to 111,000 bats could be killed annually by wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands alone. While wind turbines provide a great source of green energy, they are not kind to certain species of migratory, tree-roosting bats.

Also in the May edition of Food Nutrition & Science, the second of a two-part series that examines the aging farmer population and the challenges young farmers face such as land availability and start-up costs. According to reports, farmers over 55 years old own more than half of the country’s farmland.

In addition, an article on recycling highlights The Coca-Cola Company and the introduction of its 100% recyclable merchandise display racks for use in grocery and convenience stores throughout the U.S.

“The partnership between manufacturers, retailers and consumers is paramount to the future of the Earth,” says Lempert. “We’re seeing statistics that more people and companies are recycling and hopefully this will translate to an improved environment.”

According to studies, the recycling rate increased from less than 10 percent of generated solid waste in 1980 to almost 34 percent in 2009. Similarly, the disposal of waste to landfills has decreased from 89 percent of the amount generated in 1980 to about 54 percent in 2009.

The May edition of Food Nutrition & Science, also includes an interview with Harriet Hentges, Ahold USA’s vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. She discusses tackling the challenges of running a sustainable business both domestically and abroad; and an article by Jennifer Shea, Supervalu Corporate Dietitian, on how to make a delicious and interesting salad.

Food Nutrition & Science is a free monthly newsletter with articles relating to retailers, manufacturers, farmers, nutritionists, educators, government agencies and more. It’s also a newsletter that services members of the National Grocer Association and offers breaking food news and articles on food safety and industry-wide green initiatives.  Food Nutrition & Science is committed to covering topics and trends that interest anyone with a stake in the food industry including supermarket retailers, food manufacturers and consumers.  Each issue contains an interview with a farmer.

For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.

About Food Nutrition & Science

With more than 26,000 readers, Food Nutrition & Science from The Lempert Report is the only monthly newsletter that provides readers analysis and offers discussions on all issues relating to the food industry. Founded by food industry analyst and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com Phil Lempert, Food Nutrition & Science was created so that all industry players could communicate about the safest, most efficient and healthiest way to get food to our plates. For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.



New USDA Recommendation Lowers Pork Cooking Temperature GuidelinesFor juicy, tender and flavorful pork, it might be time to toss out Grandma’s advice. Announced today, new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines confirm that 145 degrees Fahrenheit as measured on a food thermometer, followed by a three-minute rest time, is a safe final internal cooking temperature for pork.

The new recommended temperature is a significant 15 degrees less than what was previously recommended and will typically yield a finished product that is pinker in color than most home cooks are accustomed to.

“Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience,” said Traci Rodemeyer, Director of Pork Information for the National Pork Board.  “The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature.”

The revised recommendation applies to pork whole muscle cuts, such as loin, chops and roasts. Ground pork, like all ground meat, should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless of cut or cooking method, both the USDA and National Pork Board recommend using a digital cooking thermometer to ensure an accurate final temperature.

Today’s Temperature for Today’s Pork

The new recommendation reflects advances in both food safety and nutritional content of pork in recent years. On average, most common cuts of pork are 16 percent leaner than 20 years ago, and saturated fat has dropped 27 percent. In fact, pork tenderloin is now as lean as the leanest type of chicken – a skinless chicken breast.

“As America’s pork producers improved feeding and breeding practices to deliver leaner pork, in tandem with industry-wide efforts covering food safety, it was time to revisit the long-standing consumer guidelines for preparation,” said Rodemeyer.   The USDA guidelines for pork now mirror doneness advice for other meats.

It’s Easier than Ever to Cook Like a Chef

“Now we can tell home cooks to do what we professional chefs have always known,” said Johnny Hernandez, owner of La Gloria Street Foods of Mexico and a National Pork Board Celebrated Chef.  “Due to its leanness, oftentimes consumers overcook pork. Now people can cook at home, confidently, just like the experts.” The foodservice industry has been following this pork cooking standard for nearly 10 years.

In addition to the new lower cooking temperature recommendation for pork, the USDA food preparation guidelines advise the following:

  • Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate
  • Cook: To proper cooking temperatures
  • Chill: Refrigerate promptly

For more information and recipes to enjoy today’s lean and flavorful pork, visit PorkElSaborDeMilPlatillos.com, PorkBeInspired.com or Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired.

About The National Pork Board

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.

Consumers recently polled by Technomic say they eat chicken more frequently than any other type of meat. Yet despite this high rate of consumption, consumers indicate that opportunities still exist for new poultry applications, particularly at breakfast.

Twenty-five percent of chicken consumers say they would very likely order chicken breakfast sandwiches at restaurants if they were available. The numbers are slightly higher for turkey-eating consumers, with 29 percent saying they would likely order breakfast sandwiches or burritos featuring turkey sausage or bacon.

“Poultry is a very versatile protein that can be positioned in a number of ways for different day parts,” says Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of turkey items on breakfast menus, and also some high-profile additions of chicken items at breakfast. If you look at consumers who eat turkey at least occasionally, 22 percent say they are eating it more now for breakfast than they were two years ago, so there is clearly an opportunity.”

To help food industry professionals stay abreast of current issues and evolving consumer need-states in the poultry category, Technomic has developed the Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report.

Findings include:

  • For poultry, attributes related to fat content resonate most strongly with consumers as an indicator of healthfulness, and call-outs related to natural processing—especially those that state a lack of additives such as steroids or hormones—are most likely to increase consumer price thresholds.
  • When it comes to chicken, limited-service menus put barbecue flavored sandwiches at the forefront, while garlic is the top flavor for full-service chicken entrees.
  • Humane animal treatment and environmentally sound practices are of increasing importance to consumers, with more than 50 percent now indicating both of those items as important to them.
  • Both limited- and full-service restaurants have increased their use of turkey on the breakfast menu since 2008, positioning turkey sausage and bacon as a lighter, more healthful alternative to pork.

Technomic’s Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report is an all-in-one guide to the poultry category. It provides comprehensive analysis of poultry menu and consumer trends based on the attitudes and preferences of more than 1,500 consumers and detailed menu and flavor data culled from Technomic’s exclusive MenuMonitor trend tracking tool. Additionally, consumer data from the 2008 edition of the report is included, where relevant, to provide year-over-year comparisons and added insight into the category.

About Technomic

Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.

June is National Iced Tea MonthJune is National Iced Tea Month and what better way to celebrate the warm weather and get into shape than to reward yourself with a refreshing and healthy home-brewed glass of Iced Tea?

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. In 2010, Americans consumed well over 65 billion servings of tea, or over 3 billion gallons. Of that, approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is iced. Iced Tea is a hydrating alternative to sugary beverages like soda, and might help boost weight loss efforts, along with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

A new research study on the effect of green tea catechins published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showcases epidemiologic evidence that routine tea consumption of an average of about two cups a day is associated with a lower percentage of body fat and weight control than in those who are not drinking tea.

For consumers who want to follow the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend eating a diet with less sugar, tea is the recommended beverage of choice.

Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, recommends consuming plenty of tea. “Iced tea is a naturally great tasting beverage that is virtually calorie-free and contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar.”

In addition to keeping you cool and hydrated throughout the summer season, Iced Tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink! Tea helps maintain proper fluid balance and may contribute to overall good health.

There is a continuous flow of new research supporting the health benefits of drinking tea, particularly those conferred by flavonoids, which help protect skin and keep blood vessels healthy. Drinking tea has been linked to heart and brain health, as well as a reduced risk for certain cancers, and neurological decline.

Tea is the delicious and healthy choice, and it is widely available.

So Drink Up!

This June – for National Iced Tea Month – do something that’s great for your body and tastes great. Drink a refreshing glass of Iced Tea. Tea is inexpensive and easy to make at home by the glass or the pitcher! Iced tea can be made from brewed, instant or bottled varieties.

Refreshing Iced Tea Recipe

•For small quantities, bring fresh cold tap water to a full, rolling boil. Use 50% more tea than if you were preparing hot tea to allow for dilution by ice. For example, use one and a half teaspoonfuls of loose tea or one and one half tea bags per cup (five to eight ounces) of water. Pour the boiling water over the tea. Brew three to five minutes. If you prefer your tea less strong, add more water after brewing. Pour over ice.

•For large quantities, prepare a concentrate as follows: Bring one quart of cold water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add 8-10 tea bags per quart of brewed tea desired. Steep three to five minutes and add ice cubes. To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with ice, garnish and sweeten as desired.

•For extra flavor add your favorite fruit, such as lemons, limes or even peaches.

For more information about the role of tea in a healthy diet and lifestyle, please visit www.TeaUSA.org.

Snyder's-Lance Unveils New All-Natural Sandwich Cracker With the Goodness Baked InSnyder’s-Lance, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: LNCE) has made the cracker aisle a bit more flavorful with the recent launch of Lance® brand Cracker Creations™ — a premium seasoned sandwich cracker with vegetables, cheese or herbs baked right into the cracker. Best known for making America’s favorite sandwich cracker, Lance® is launching a new line of all-natural sandwich crackers with five grams of whole grain per serving. Cracker Creations™ will be available in two varieties: Garden Vegetable and Parmesan Herb. The crispy and flavorful crackers are perfectly balanced with a real cream cheese filling.

Garden Vegetable is reminiscent of vegetables just picked from the garden. This variety features the taste and aroma of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. The Parmesan Herb variety features the rich, buttery taste of just grated Parmesan cheese.

“Our research revealed that consumers are looking for a premium snacking option that will excite their taste buds while keeping them full between meals,” said Alvaro Trinidad, Senior Brand Manager. “By baking the vegetables, cheese and herb flavors right into the cracker, Cracker Creations fills the gap for adults who want a sensible, fresh and all-natural snack.”

Like all Lance® Sandwich Crackers, Cracker Creations™ are made with 0 grams trans fat, no preservatives and no high-fructose corn syrup.

Cracker Creations™ are larger than traditional Lance® Sandwich Crackers and will be packaged in convenient twin packs with six twin packs per box. For more information about Cracker Creations™ visit www.crackercreations.lance.com. For a full list of Lance® Sandwich Crackers or to locate a retailer visit www.lance.com or The Official Lance Snacks Facebook page.

About Snyder’s-Lance, Inc.

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, manufactures, markets and distributes snack foods throughout the United States and internationally. The company’s products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks. Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada. Products are sold under brand names including Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Cape Cod, Tom’s, Jays,  Krunchers!, Grande, Archway, O-Ke-Doke, and Stella D’oro along with a number of private label and third party brands. Products are distributed widely through grocery and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets and other channels.

American Heart Association Certifies Fresh Idaho Potatoes as a Heart-Healthy FoodWhen it comes to heart-healthy produce, consumers can put a check next to Idaho® potatoes on their shopping list. The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) today announced that the American Heart Association has certified that fresh Idaho® potatoes meet its criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol. This certification represents a significant milestone for Idaho® potatoes as well an industry that has been hit hard by the low-carbohydrate diet fad.

The American Heart Association is one of the most recognized and well-respected health organizations in the country.  In fact, 73 percent of primary shoppers trust the American Heart Association more than any other organization to certify food products.  The heart-check mark assures shoppers that they are making a smart and heart-healthy purchasing choice.

“For years, the IPC has been working hard to communicate to consumers that Idaho® potatoes are an important part of a healthy, nutritious diet,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “We’re proud that the American Heart Association, a revered and incredibly important health organization, agrees with us. The heart-check mark is the perfect complement to our ‘Grown in Idaho® seal,’ a guarantee to shoppers that they are buying high quality potatoes.”

Several years ago, the popularity of low-carb diets took a bite out of the potato industry; consumers shunned carbohydrate-rich foods including potatoes and other nutritious vegetables.  Fortunately, through personal experiences and a mass of industry-generated education programs, the low-carb diet fad has subsided with consumers realizing the importance carbohydrates can play in a healthy, balanced diet.

One of the IPC’s proactive initiatives to combat the anti-carb craze was enlisting fitness guru Denise Austin to serve as the IPC’s spokesperson and help reverse negative perceptions about Idaho® potatoes. Today, Austin works closely with the IPC to continually remind consumers of the healthfulness of Idaho® potatoes and the important role carbohydrates play as fuel for the body.    

Idaho® Potato Nutrition Facts:

One medium Idaho® potato (5.3 ounces) contains 110 calories, 0 fat and 0 cholesterol.  In addition to its heart health benefits, Idaho® potatoes contain 45% of the daily value of vitamin C and almost twice the potassium found in a banana along with 2 grams of fiber.  

About the Idaho Potato Commission

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the “Idaho® potato” and “Grown in Idaho®” seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC.  These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.

About the Heart-Check Mark

The American Heart Association established the heart-check mark in 1995 to give consumers an easy, reliable system for identifying heart-healthy foods as a first step in building a sensible eating plan. Approximately 800 products that bear the heart-check mark have been screened and verified by the association to meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.

To learn more about the heart-check mark, and to see a complete list of certified products and participating companies, visit www.heartcheckmark.org.

Inventure Foods Adds Caribbean Passion to Jamba At-Home Smoothies LineInventure Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNAK) has added a fourth flavor to its licensed line of Jamba® All Natural Smoothies kits, with the introduction of its new Caribbean Passion® at-home smoothies to select test markets last month. The Company expects Caribbean Passion to be available in grocery stores nationwide in June.

Caribbean Passion is a frozen, tropically inspired blend of luscious mango, strawberry and peach fruits, creamy non-fat yogurt, and a signature Jamba antioxidant Vitamin C boost. The non-fat yogurt contains passion fruit flavors that, when blended with the frozen fruit, provides a truly unique and great-tasting tropical smoothie. The new blend joins the rapidly growing grocery smoothie line that includes other Jamba Juice® store favorites, such as Razzmatazz®, Mango-a-Go-Go® and Strawberries Wild®. All four flavors of Jamba® All Natural Smoothies (www.athomesmoothies.com) retail for $2.99 – $3.49 per package.

Phoenix-based Inventure Foods launched the smoothie kit line under a licensing agreement with Jamba Juice Company (NASDAQ: JMBA), a highly recognized healthy, active lifestyle brand, in early 2010. In the brief period since Jamba® All Natural Smoothies have launched into the marketplace, they have been added to more than 7,000 retail store freezer cases nationwide. Inventure continues to execute the national roll-out of Jamba All Natural Smoothies this month; the Company expects the number of retailers selling the at-home smoothie kit to nearly double by August.

Each serving of Jamba® All Natural Smoothies contains a full serving of fruit and 100% daily value of Vitamin C. The smoothie blends are all-natural and made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup, and 0g of trans fat. Each 8-ounce package blends easily with apple juice to make two delicious 8-ounce, 120-calorie smoothies.

“The Caribbean Passion smoothie kits include real frozen strawberries, peaches, mangoes and just the right amount of passion fruit flavor,” said Steve Sklar, senior vice president Marketing, Inventure Foods. “It’s the perfect tropical flavor arriving just in time for the warmer summer months ahead.”

The Jamba® All Natural Smoothies product line marks the third successful licensing agreement for Inventure Foods. The Company remains focused on developing better-for-you, natural food solutions for health-conscious consumers.  

About Inventure Foods, Inc.

With manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Indiana and Washington, Inventure Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNAK) is a marketer and manufacturer of Intensely Different™ food brands under a variety of owned or licensed brand names, including T.G.I. Friday’s®, Poore Brothers®, Bob’s Texas Style®, BURGER KING™, Boulder Canyon Natural Foods™, Tato Skins®, Rader Farms® and Jamba®. For further information about Inventure Foods, please visit www.inventurefoods.com.

Bob Evans Announces New Farm-Fresh Look for Food Products LineThe Bob Evans Farm proudly announces a packaging redesign for its popular food products line. As product distribution grows stronger and grocery store shoppers become more familiar with Bob Evans Food Products, it is increasingly important for the brand to leverage its expansion through a revitalized presence on grocery store shelves. After months of rigorous research and consumer testing, the new design is being unveiled.

The packaging now carries a cleaner, more contemporary look to make the brand more relevant to its audience and prominently displays both the Bob Evans logo and the iconic Bob Evans barn. This not only makes the brand more noticeable to shoppers, but reminds them of a key differentiator for the company – its rich farm heritage.

“Superior quality and taste is extremely important to us,” says Mike Townsley, president of BEF Foods, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. “It’s something we strive for not only because it was so important to our founder, but because our consumers have come to expect it. Our new packaging communicates our commitment to farm-fresh goodness and we will continue to deliver on that promise with convenient meal solutions for our consumers.”

Another objective of the new packaging is to unify the brand’s various products under one design umbrella. The “farm-fresh goodness” pledge displayed on the packaging meets this goal by tying the brand to the heritage of the Bob Evans Restaurants division and serving as a reminder that the brand is dedicated to quality and satisfaction at all levels. This is especially important as Bob Evans continues to gain distribution farther from its restaurant locations.

Although the overall look will be consistent, consumers can expect clear product segmentation on the new packaging to improve their shopping experience. Classifications such as Bob Evans Oven Bake™, Everyday Classics, Flavorful Selections and Seasonal Favorites will be featured on the packaging with different color enhancements to make product selection easier and highlight the brand’s variety.

Throughout the design process, concepts were tested nationally and consumer feedback helped to narrow the focus to two finalists. Loyal Bob Evans consumers then helped to determine the selected direction. All products are expected to show off the fresh look by late June and will be followed by a new Bob Evans advertising campaign which will include exposure on both television and in print.

“We didn’t take this process lightly – a lot of research and insight went into the final design,” adds Townsley. “We believe this packaging change is a win not only for consumers, but for our retail partners as well.”

About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi’s Cafe brand names. At the end of the third fiscal quarter (Jan. 28, 2011), Bob Evans owned and operated 561 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi’s Café owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary homestyle convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevans.com.

Food Network's Aaron McCargo, Jr., Heats Up the Breakfast TableAunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast has teamed up with celebrity chef, Aaron McCargo, Jr., to show America why breakfast is the most important – and delicious – meal of the day.  Inspired at an early age by watching his own mom at the stove, Aaron McCargo, Jr. has since become one of Food Network’s fastest-rising stars. With the release of his new cookbook Simply Done, Well Done, McCargo is encouraging everyone to get into the kitchen to start their mornings right.

“My love of creating delicious, wholesome meals comes from years of enjoying my mom’s home cooking,” said McCargo. “I was excited to learn that Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast products are just like homemade and that the team making them put the same love and care into them as my mom did, and now I do, when in the kitchen.”

With the help of McCargo’s no fuss cooking techniques, the use of simple ingredients and Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast, even culinary beginners will be whipping up tasty breakfast treats while spending less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends.

Sample recipes from Aaron McCargo, Jr., and Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast include:

  • Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Blueberry Compote: Jazz up Aunt Jemima Frozen Buttermilk Pancakes with this easy and light jam-like sauce
  • Homestyle French Toast Monte Cristo: A classic recipe simplified! Layer slices of turkey, ham and mozzarella between two slices of Aunt Jemima Homestyle French Toast for a quick and satisfying meal
  • Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil, Bacon and Gruyere Cheese Omelet: Eggs are a great complement to pancakes, waffles and French toast. Nice and light, this is a great summertime dish.

Try these great recipes from Aaron for your next breakfast – whether it’s celebrating Mother’s Day or simply kick-starting Monday morning.

More recipes, coupons for Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast products and more can be found at Facebook.com/AuntJemimaFrozenBreakfast. While on the page, watch the video that caught Aaron’s attention and stars three of our dedicated employees from the Jackson, TN, plant: Jennifer Franklin, Charley Schumaker and Susie Tomlinson. Learn how every batch of Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes is made from scratch – they use real ingredients, pour the batter on a cast-iron griddle, wait until the pancakes bubble around the edges and then flip them to fluffy perfection.

About Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast

Aunt Jemima® has been associated with high quality, great tasting breakfast products for over 100 years. Aunt Jemima® Frozen Breakfast offers an easy breakfast solution, with a full variety of homemade-tasting items that can be prepared in minutes in the toaster or the microwave.  Aunt Jemima® Frozen Breakfast includes light and fluffy pancakes, warm and delicious waffles, hand-dipped and griddle-cooked French toast, complete single-serve breakfast entrees and portable breakfast sandwiches. Aunt Jemima® is a registered trademark of The Quaker Oats Company and is used under license. For more information on Aunt Jemima® Frozen Breakfast, log onto www.auntjemimafrozen.com.

About Pinnacle Foods Group LLC

Millions of times a day in more than 85% of American households, consumers reach for Pinnacle Foods brands. We are a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products, which have been trusted household names for decades. Headquartered in Mountain Lakes, NJ, our business employs more than 4,500 people in 21 sites around North America. We are a leader in the shelf stable and frozen foods segments and our brands hold the #1 or #2 market position in 8 out of 12 major category segments in which they compete. Our Duncan Hines Grocery Division manages brands such as Duncan Hines® baking mixes and frostings, Vlasic® pickles, peppers, and relish, Mrs. Butterworth’s® and Log Cabin® syrups, Armour® canned meats, Nalley® and Brooks® chili and chili ingredients, and Open Pit® barbecue sauces. Our Birds Eye Frozen Division manages brands such as Birds Eye®, Birds Eye Steamfresh®, C&W®, McKenzie’s®, and Freshlike® vegetables, Birds Eye Voila!® meals, Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfasts, Swanson® and Hungry-Man® dinners and entrees, Van de Kamp’s® and Mrs. Paul’s® seafood, Lender’s® bagels and Celeste® frozen pizza. Our Specialty Foods Division manages Tim’s Cascade Snacks®, Snyder of Berlin® and Husman’s® in addition to our food service and private label businesses. Further information is available at www.pinnaclefoods.com.

Alouette Introduces New Light Spinach & Artichoke Spreadable CheeseAlouette® Cheese announced the introduction of their new All-Natural Light Spinach & Artichoke Spreadable Cheese just in time for summer.  The new product offers a lighter version of the popular All-Natural Spinach & Artichoke Spreadable Cheese with less the calories and fat. The new Light Spinach & Artichoke is available in specialty cheese cases across the country and retails for $5.49.

“We are very excited to introduce our newest light variety to our product line,” said Brand Director, Rafael Lampon. “Consumers are constantly looking for healthy alternatives to their favorite products. We are thrilled to offer our second favorite flavor of spreadable cheese with 50 percent less fat and 30 percent less calories with the same creamy texture and superb taste of Alouette Cheese.”

The new Light Spinach & Artichoke Spreadable Cheese is loaded with spinach and artichoke offering a great snack filled with vegetables.  The new cheese offers several positive health attributes:

  • All-Natural ingredients
  • 50% less fat than regular spreadable cheese
  • 30% less calories
  • Gluten-Free
  • Low glycemic index – perfect for those with a low glycemic diet

Greg Gable, Executive Chef for Alouette, has created new recipes and serving suggestions incorporating the new Light Spinach & Artichoke. Alouette also offers recipes, serving suggestions, entertaining tips and nutritional values on www.alouettecheese.com.  

About Alouette

The Alouette® brand has grown over the years, extending its unique line of cheeses to include a wide variety of Alouette® Spreadable Cheese flavors as well as other specialty cheese products, such as the 2010 Chef’s Best® award-winning Alouette® Baby Brie. Today, Alouette® is a leading brand in the Specialty Cheese Category in the United States and is the #1 brand of Premium Spreadable Cheese.

The Chef’s Best Award for Best Taste is awarded to the brand rated highest overall among leading brands by independent professional chefs. For more information regarding American Culinary Chef’s Best, visit www.chefsbest.org.

About Chef Greg Gable

Chef Greg Gable joined Alouette in 2007 as Executive Chef.  Gable first acquired critical acclaim during his 13 years at Le Bec Fin, one of Philadelphia’s finest dining institutions. He has also received several accolades, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s 3 Bells Award of Excellence and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.  Gable is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Butterball, LLC Donates More Than 18,000 Pounds of Turkey to Aid in Storm Relief EffortsButterball, LLC, the nation’s largest turkey producer, today announced the donation of more than 18,000 pounds of turkey to charitable organizations in North Carolina and Alabama that are supplying food to victims of the severe weather that affected numerous communities across the states.

“Our thoughts and concerns go out to the many individuals who were impacted by the devastating tornadoes and floods, and to those across the country who struggle to provide food for their families,” said Walter Pelletier, president of Maxwell Farms. “Butterball is a proud supporter of hunger relief and we are thankful for the opportunity to join with such valiant organizations that help meet the needs of the community not only in times of distress, but every day.”

Since the onset of the storms, Butterball has provided a total of 18,140 pounds of turkey products to food banks and organizations in severely affected areas including eastern North Carolina and western Alabama.

The turkey producer donated more than 8,000 pounds of turkey products to the West Alabama Food Bank (WAFB), serving nine west Alabama counties including Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa, each of which had a tornado touch down during the recent storm. Last year, WAFB agencies distributed 2.1 million pounds of food in the form of 95,373 emergency food boxes and 133,215 meals.

“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and donations our state has received from across the nation,” said Henry Lipsey, executive director of WAFB. “Butterball’s donation will help us feed the thousands of people who were affected by the April 27 tornadoes.”

Additionally, Butterball provided more than 7,500 pounds of turkey products to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina located near the company’s headquarters in Garner, N.C., and donated more than 2,500 pounds to Warren’s Chapel Original Free Will Baptist Church in Micro, N.C.

About Butterball, LLC:

Butterball, LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States.  Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces more than 1 billion pounds of turkey each year, and the company supplies its products to more than 30 countries. Perhaps best known for its succulent whole bird products, the company also has a broad array of offerings for deli, retail and foodservice.

For more information about Butterball, visit www.butterball.com. You can also call 1-800 BUTTERBALL for answers to your most puzzling questions about turkey preparation.

Kellogg Introduces New Rice Krispies Gluten Free CerealThe wait for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is almost over. Starting in June 2011, grocery stores nationwide will begin stocking new Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal alongside the original variety.

Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal brings a family favorite back to the tables of people who are unable to eat gluten, offering long-time fans and a new generation of gluten-sensitive kids the joy of eating a bowl of this beloved cereal “that talks,” or whipping up a batch of delicious, gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats® marshmallow squares.

“Kellogg is pleased to announce plans for the launch of our first-ever gluten-free cereal – Rice Krispies® Gluten Free – which should start hitting store shelves by early June,” said Doug VanDeVelde, senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Kellogg. “We heard the strong desire from people within the gluten-free community, especially parents, for more affordable foods that they can serve their families, and we are helping to fill that need.”

The new cereal eliminates barley malt (the source of gluten in the original Rice Krispies® cereal) and is made with whole grain brown rice to differentiate it from the original and for flavor. Each serving of the new gluten-free cereal contains 120 calories, less than 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram each of fat and fiber, 3 grams of protein and 190 milligrams of sodium. The cereal is fortified with several vitamins and minerals. The suggested retail price for new Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal is the same as the original cereal.

Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal will be produced in a separate facility that has been making gluten-free products for nearly a decade. Each batch of cereal will be tested to ensure its gluten-free status, as will the production line.

About Celiac Disease/Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder of the digestive system triggered by eating gluten. Gluten is a natural protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. Foods and ingredients made from these grains – such as cereal, breads, pasta and baked goods – may contain gluten.

When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, they experience an autoimmune reaction in their small intestine and subsequently are unable to absorb certain nutrients. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients that occurs with celiac disease can result in vitamin deficiencies.

Celiac disease affects about one in 133 people, according to the National Institutes of Health.(1) There is no cure for celiac disease, but the condition can be successfully managed by avoiding gluten in the diet. Some people who have not been diagnosed with celiac disease can experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms after eating gluten-containing foods. They are said to have gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity.

People who have a wheat allergy, which is different from celiac disease, are unable to eat wheat protein without abdominal discomfort or other allergic reactions. Wheat allergies often affect children and can be outgrown, unlike celiac disease.

“Many people with celiac disease, including children, often go undiagnosed for years,” said Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, and author of several books about kids and nutrition. “Because the condition can present itself with a broad range of symptoms including various food intolerances and gastrointestinal upset, the signs of celiac disease may be attributed to other issues. If parents suspect they or their children may have problems with gluten, they should ask their doctor for a blood test and other tests to help diagnose the disease. A registered dietitian with expertise in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is an invaluable source of information about following a gluten-free diet.”

About Kellogg Company

For more than 100 years, consumers have counted on Kellogg for great-tasting, high-quality and nutritious foods. Kellogg Company, with 2010 sales of more than $12 billion, is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. Kellogg Company’s beloved brands, which are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries, include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, All-Bran®, Mini-Wheats®, Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Chips Deluxe®, Famous Amos®, Sandies®, Austin®, Club®, Murray®, Kashi®, Bear Naked®, Morningstar Farms®, Gardenburger® and Stretch Island®. For more information on the Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives, visit www.kelloggcompany.com.

(1)  National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac)

Potatoes are a Fresh, Natural Choice for Gluten-Free EatingAccording to a recent survey, only 19% of Americans rate potatoes as excellent for being gluten free.*  In fact, potatoes are 100% gluten-free!  According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an estimated 3 million Americans suffer from side effects associated to eating foods that contain gluten.  To make it easier, the United States Potato Board (USPB) has created a new gluten-free recipe collection on their website www.potatogoodness.com, which includes more than 80 gluten-free recipes from several ethnic cuisines, many of which can be prepared in 30 minutes or less!

The USPB partnered with Jen Cafferty, founder of the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo and President of Gluten-Free Life with Jen, to review the USPB’s database of potato recipes and to provide tips for eating gluten-free.

Jen Cafferty’s Top Three Tips for Eating Gluten-Free:

  1. Stick to eating “real food.”  Avoid processed foods and learn how to prepare your own meals using fresh ingredients that are naturally gluten-free, like potatoes, which can serve as a substitute for foods that gluten-free eaters often crave, like pasta and bread.
  2. Incorporate whole grains, like quinoa and nutrient-dense vegetables, like potatoes, spinach and broccoli, into your diet on a regular basis to ensure you are getting proper nutrients and maintaining a balanced diet.
  3. Don’t automatically assume that foods like pizza and lasagna are off-limits. You can find gluten-free pizza dough options available in many supermarkets and it’s easy to make using gluten-free flour. And you won’t even miss the noodles when you follow this flavor-packed gluten-free lasagna recipe from the USPB.

“Potatoes are a great choice for people who otherwise have to cut carbs out of their diet,” adds Jen Cafferty.  “Potatoes are a gluten-free dieter’s dream.  They are fresh, natural and versatile, plus you know you’re whole family will enjoy them.”

This is great news for those who eat gluten-free as one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol. 

To learn more about potatoes and for endless potato recipes, including an entire section devoted to gluten-free recipes, please visit www.potatogoodness.com.