Archive for July, 2013

San Francisco, CA  (Food News)  ZEGO, the new innovative leader in delicious and nutritious, allergy-friendly snacks, announced today the launch of the first-ever line of energy bars made from organic sunflower seeds. All ZEGO bars are made without nuts, gluten, soy or dairy. ZEGO is unveiling two flavors at launch, chocolate, with a cacao nib crunch, and sunflower, with a hint of caramel. ZEGO bars are available for pre-order through August 15th on Indiegogo, where ZEGO launched last week and has already earned two coveted top spots – placement in the home page carousel, and the number one “most popular” food startup. ZEGOs will be available in San Francisco Bay Area stores and on Amazon in November.

In the crowded marketplace of energy bars, it’s hard to believe there is any room for innovation.  But for the increasing number of people with food sensitivities who avoid gluten, nuts, soy or dairy, ZEGO bars are a revolution.  For 2 years ZEGO hand-selected the ingredients, refined the recipes, balanced the nutrition profile, and conducted nationwide taste tests to ensure that ZEGO bars taste great to both kids and adults.

ZEGO is the brainchild of Jonathan Shambroom, a competitive athlete and seven-time technology startup veteran, and Colleen Kavanagh, a pioneering child nutrition advocate and parent.  Jonathan and Colleen started ZEGO in response to the increasing need for nutritious and convenient, protein-rich snacks that will not trigger food sensitivities or cause digestive problems.

Protein is essential to the formation of long-term memories needed to learn, according to the NIH.  Finding protein-rich snacks for kids is particularly difficult for parents whose kids have food sensitivities.  Kavanagh faces this challenge every day when packing snacks for her children, who are sensitive to gluten and sugar and attend nut-free schools. She found there are not a lot of easy options.  Kavanagh explained, “Before ZEGO, energy bars weren’t an option because nearly all of them contain nuts and some combination of gluten, soy and dairy.  Lentil soup and slices of turkey have a lot of protein, but they’re not exactly cool or convenient for kids to whip out at snack time.”

A similar appeal holds true for anyone who exercises.  As an avid cyclist and accomplished triathlete, Shambroom believes the protein and great taste of ZEGO will be welcomed by all athletes, from the bike to the gym to the yoga studio. “My friends and I are tired of bars that taste like cardboard.  Plus, getting great nutrition that is easy to eat and easy to digest has huge appeal for athletes, whether or not they have food allergies.”

“ZEGO bars are also great for busy adults and the workplace because they are nutritionally balanced to provide a steady source of energy and not cause spikes and crashes,” said Shambroom.  “After 20 years of building technology startups, I know first hand that you need high quality snacks for high quality output.”

Social responsibility is a core part of ZEGO.  ZEGO donates 20% of profits to the non-profit, Campaign for Better Nutrition.  The two share a mission to make it easier for children to eat healthier.  Typically companies donate 1% or 2% of their profits to a charity, but ZEGO is setting a higher bar by donating a full 20%.

About ZEGO

ZEGO, based in San Francisco, California, is the new innovative leader in delicious and nutritious, allergy-friendly snacks. ZEGO bars are available through August 15th on Indiegogo and will be in San Francisco Bay Area stores and on Amazon in November.  ZEGO bars are made from organic sunflower seeds and without nuts, gluten, dairy and soy. They are produced on shared equipment, please see manufacturer’s allergen disclaimer on ZEGO’s website and packaging. ZEGO is fully committed to social responsibility, donating 20% of its profits to the Campaign for Better Nutrition. Learn more @zegosnacks, and

Washington, DC  (Food News)  Vanilla wins the popular vote among Americans as the favorite ice cream flavor for a second year in a row, and premium ice cream is a top seller while frozen yogurt posts a steady increase in demand. These are a few of the findings from the second annual survey of International Ice Cream Association (IICA) member companies, which make and distribute an estimated 85 percent of the ice cream and frozen dessert products consumed in the United States.

According to the companies participating in the survey, the top three flavors are vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan, with coffee, Neapolitan and Rocky Road tied for fourth place.

“From the rich, creaminess of a scoop of vanilla-bean premium ice cream to the convenience of a perfectly portion-controlled ice cream confection, our member companies are making a wide-range of flavors and product types that allow consumers to choose the treat that appeals to them,” said Peggy Armstrong, vice president of communications for the International Dairy Foods Association.  “Ice cream is a fun and nutritious food that fits into almost every lifestyle.”

Premium ice cream, which has a lower amount of aeration and a higher fat content than regular ice cream, is the most popular variety with consumers, according to the survey. Nearly 70 percent cited premium ice cream as the most popular product, followed by regular ice cream, which contains at least 10 percent milkfat, and novelties. Novelties are defined as separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, such as ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks.

In addition, approximately 50 percent said they are seeing increased demand for frozen yogurt, and nearly 15 percent reported an increased demand for no-sugar-added ice cream.

In addition to flavors, the survey also asked about popular additions to ice cream, such as fruits, nuts, candies and other ingredients.  The majority of companies said that pecans are the most popular nut, followed by almonds and peanuts. Eighty-six percent of companies said that strawberry was the most popular fruit topping, with cherry coming in second.

Among companies offering novelties, the ice cream sandwich and ice-cream-on-a-stick tied as the most popular. Bars, push-ups, four-ounce tubes and mini-cups are also popular products, according to the survey. For companies with dipping locations, it doesn’t matter how they serve it; cups, sugar cones and waffles cones are all popular. Hot fudge, sprinkles and nuts proved to be the most popular toppings.

About National Ice Cream Month

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The International Ice Cream Association encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate each July as National Ice Cream Month.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA’s 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.

Collinsville, CT  (Food News)  Passage Foods keeps cooking with the launch of Creamy Beef Stroganoff Simmer Sauce and Spanish Chicken Casserole Simmer Sauce.  Each of these European classic dishes is made with all fresh ingredients to ensure the full flavors are captured for a true restaurant quality meal served at home.  Originating in the haute cuisine of the 19th century, these Passage to Europe simmer sauces are certified gluten free, all natural and preservative free. Each sauce is added to a choice of meat and vegetables and simmered to be ready in less than twenty minutes.

“There has been such a focus on nouvelle and fusion cuisine that sometimes we fail to give justice to traditional and the tried-and-true recipes,” says Passage Foods’ Mark MacKenzie.  “These two dishes are wonderful, classic comfort foods.  They may not be esoteric, modern day ingredient creations, but they are always a huge success at the dinner table.  Restaurant trends tend to dictate what consumers want at home and traditional, comfort foods have stepped out as one of the leading food growth areas of the last few years.”

More than 74% of American consumers believe comfort foods are a rising trend, outdistancing health food (61%) and organic food (59%) according to a recent Bon Appetit survey.  Overall retail sales of comfort foods have been rising since 2008 and show no signs of slowing as consumers have rediscovered cooking more at home and look to find indulgence in products that are known and less complicated.  The Passage to Europe Simmer Sauce recipes start with the very best stocks and are blended with simple quality ingredients for perfect everyday meals.

About Passage Foods USA

All Passage Foods cooking sauces are part of a simple timesaving three-step meal solution that satisfies the needs of the time-starved consumer. Each sauce is added to meat, seafood or vegetables and simmered for 15 to 20 minutes. Passage Foods also produces Passage to Indian, Passage to Mexico, Passage to Thailand, Passage to China and Passage to Morocco cooking sauces.  Passage Foods USA is an affiliate of Flavour Makers Pty. Ltd., the second largest seasoning manufacturer in Australia. For additional product and consumer market information, call 1-800-860-1045 or visit Passage Foods online at

Englewood Cliffs, NJ  (Food News)  Facing busy calendars and over-scheduled summers, Americans are dedicating, on average, only 40 minutes a week for “family time.”(1) With summer in full swing, Breyers® has teamed up with culinary artist Clare Crespo to make whimsical recipes and inspire Raleigh families to create “delicious moments” of togetherness all season long.

On Friday, July 26 from 2:00 – 3:30pm, the iconic ice cream maker will host its next free* YummyFun workshop at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, hosted by Clare. The event, which is open to the community, will feature ice cream sampling, recipe demonstrations and family fun activities all designed to show parents and children how easy (and fun) family time in the kitchen can be.

Clare inspires families to get creative in the kitchen and is the author of “A Very Veggie World” and “The Secret Life of Food,” in addition to having created a set of children’s DVDs called the “The Yummyfun Kooking Series.”

“A scoop of Breyers® ice cream is a deliciously blank canvas – one that has the potential to bring out the dessert artist in all of us,” said Clare. “Amid fits of giggles and messy moments, a simple bowl of ice cream can unleash imaginative and memorable quality time together.”

For over 140 years, Breyers® has been bringing families together to inspire smiles and create memories. Breyers® Natural Vanilla – America’s favorite vanilla ice cream – is made from simple ingredients like fresh cream, sugar, milk and real vanilla beans, and provides the perfect inspiration for creating ice cream masterpieces.

“At Breyers®, we understand how important – and fleeting – quality, family moments can be,” explains Nick Soukas, brand building director for U.S. Unilever Ice Cream. “Clare’s talent for inspiring families to create memorable moments in the kitchen is the perfect complement to the brand, demonstrating how Breyers® is the ultimate family fun dessert.”

At each Yummyfun workshop Clare will lead with a unique recipe demonstration before asking participants to get hands-on and design their own ice cream innovations. Attendees are encouraged to “join” the event at for updates. Registrants are urged to arrive early, as space is limited and participants will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Share Your Moments Contest

From June 10 through September 23, families nationwide are encouraged to submit their “delicious moments” – a sundae creation, favorite flavor or even a fun family photo – to

One lucky winner will be showcased within the Winner’s Gallery each week and will receive exciting prizes, such as a tablet or a year’s supply of Breyers®.

About the Breyers® Brand

For more than 140 years, consumers have enjoyed the great taste of Breyers® products, available in over 50 indulgent varieties, including Oreo® Cookies & Cream, SNICKERS® Bar, Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups and Natural Vanilla, which is America’s #1 Vanilla ice cream. Breyers® products are available in grocery stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of $3.99 – $5.99.

About Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. In the United States the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Ragu, Simple, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemme, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone.  All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at

Unilever employs more than 10,000 people in the United States – generating over $9 billion in sales in 2012. For more information, visit

*The “Yummyfun Workshop” is free to all Marbles Kids Museum attendees who have paid the Museum’s entrance fee.

About Clare Crespo

Clare Crespo inspires families to get creative in the kitchen. In addition to “A Very Veggie World,” Clare has penned “The Secret Life of Food” and “Hey There, Cupcake!”  She has also created a set of children’s DVDs called “The Yummyfun Kooking Series.” She feeds fun food ideas to fans on her website,, and has written many recipes, activities and party ideas. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

*About the Contest

No purchase necessary. Internet access required. Void outside the 50 U.S./D.C. & where prohibited. The Breyers® Delicious Moment of the Week is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 6/10/13 and ends 11:59 a.m. ET on 9/23/13. For Official Rules, visit

(1) Gurian, PhD, A. Family meals matter—staying connected. Retrieved from

Dallas, TX  (Food News)  7-Eleven, Inc. continues to answer consumers’ 24-hour need for small-portioned foods, snacks and mini-meals with an evolving menu of bits, bites and snacks – all at a sweet price. The newest hot snacks to join the mini-meal scene at 7-Eleven® stores are Corn Dog Bites, Mozzarella Sticks with a side of Marinara Sauce and Chicken Chipotle Go-GoTaquitos®.

Snacking isn’t a “special dining occasion” anymore, it’s the norm. Americans typically eat more than 1,000 so-called snacks each year, or between two and three each day, according to a study by The NPD Group. The reasons for choosing these mini-meals vary: lack of time, a small-meals diet regimen, sudden craving, afternoon pick-me-up or late-night treat among them.

A report that appeared in Food Technology magazine states that the number of snackers has doubled since 2010. Afternoons, evenings and late nights remain the most frequent snack times, but mid-morning snack occasions are growing. And the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys show the number of eating occasions each day had jumped from 3.9 in the late 1970s to 5.6 meals in 2010.

“Millennials and the generation coming behind them are snackers, and I don’t see them returning to the traditional three-meals-a-day standard,” said Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation. “They were busy as youngsters, and life has gotten no less hectic for them as young adults.  Kids, teens and 20-somethings are the biggest snackers. As even meals become more snack-like, 7-Eleven is adding smaller portions, mini-sizes and bites, and the public is eating them up, so to speak.”

Whatever the reason for this collective snack attack, convenience retailer 7-Eleven stands ready to serve with choices that range from savory to sweet and indulgent to better-for-you.

  • Wrapped in a rich cornmeal batter, Corn Dog Bites are cooked to a golden crisp and served warm. Suggested retail price is $1 for three.
  • The crispy Mozzarella Sticks are made from 100-percent mozzarella cheese sticks, breaded with Italian-seasoned coating and baked until the cheese melts. Served with a side of tangy marinara sauce, an order has a suggested retail price for four is $1.49.
  • The Chicken Chipotle Taquito spices up the roller grill with chipotle peppers, adding a kick to the chicken and cheesy Monterey Jack, asadero and mozzarella filling. This product is specially priced at two for $2.29.

Earlier this year, 7-Eleven added Breakfast Empanada Bites following the successful launch of its Mini Tacos last year. Both snack-sized options have gained a loyal following, as have 7-Eleven stores’ chicken wings and tenders.

For customers looking for a better-for-you snacking option, 7-Eleven sells fresh-cut and whole fruit and veggie trays with dip. NPD’s SnackTrack, which regularly monitors snack food consumption, finds that fresh fruit remains near the top of favorite snack foods. This summer, 7-Eleven offers fresh-cut fruit at a special price of just $4 for any two fruit cups. 7-Eleven customers can find a wide selection of fresh, seasonal fruit like strawberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango and kiwi.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,200 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven has some 51,000 stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.8 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Forbes magazine’s 2011 list of Top Franchises for the Money; #3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2012, #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start; #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies. 7-Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail” and among the Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2013 by U.S. Veterans Magazine.  Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven received the 2010 Retailer of the Year honor from PL Buyer because of the company’s private-label brand initiative. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at

Battle Creek, MI  (Food News)  Providing a chip you can feel good about eating, Kashi, the premier natural food and lifestyle company, today introduced its new Hummus Crisps. Kashi® Hummus Crisps, made with the unique combination of chickpeas and whole grains and inspired by the flavors and nutrition of the Mediterranean, offer savory goodness in every bite.

Kashi Hummus Crisps tantalize the taste buds with three mouthwatering flavors. The Sea Salt & Olive Oil Crisps are seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, savory sea salt and a dash of parsley; the Sundried Tomato, Basil & Feta Crisps have the perfect balance of sundried tomato, sweet basil and a touch of tangy feta; and the Caramelized Onion Crisps are baked with the sweet and savory flavors of caramelized onions.

“Kashi is happy to offer a delicious chip option that provides nutritious ingredients like chickpeas and whole grains along with tasty flavors like sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions,” said Jeff Johnson, senior nutritionist and natural lifestyle expert at Kashi. “Now you can enjoy a salty snack that you feel great about eating as part of a health-conscious lifestyle.”

Deliciously popped to crunchy perfection, Kashi® Hummus Crisps have nutrition than you wouldn’t expect from a chip. Each serving provides 3-4g of protein from chickpeas, whole grains, and 4g of fiber1.

Kashi Hummus Crisps are available now at retailers across the country for a SRP of $2.99. To find a location near you, visit

1 Kashi Hummus Crisps contain 3.5 grams of fat per serving.

About Kashi Company

Founded in 1984, Kashi dreams of a world where everyone embraces natural health. As a natural lifestyle pioneer, Kashi is passionate about and committed to improving the health of people and our planet. By providing great tasting, nutritious and innovative foods, Kashi enables people to achieve optimal health and wellness, while also leading them on a path toward embracing a natural lifestyle. To learn more about 25 years of Kashi’s mission, sustainable efforts, values and roots, visit

Kashi’s products are natural, minimally processed and free of highly refined sugars, artificial additives and artificial preservatives. Kashi® brands and foods include: GOLEAN® cereals and bars; Kashi® Heart to Heart® cereal, instant oatmeal and whole grain crackers; Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Puffs, Honey Puffs, Nuggets and Flakes cereals; Kashi® Good Friends® cereal; Kashi® Autumn Wheat®, Cinnamon Harvest®, Island Vanilla®, Strawberry Fields®, Simply Maize  and Indigo Morning (organic) cereals; Kashi® Honey Sunshine® and Berry Blossoms® cereals; Kashi® Black Currant Walnut cereal; Kashi® chewy and crunchy granola bars, layered granola bars, soft-baked cereal bars, soft n’ chewy bars and soft-baked squares; Kashi® snack crackers, pita crisps and cookies; Kashi® all natural frozen waffles, entrees, steam meals and pizzas; and Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Pilaf.

Join the Kashi community online at, on Facebook at, and visit us on YouTube at and Pinterest at

Fort Washington, PA  (Food News)  Nutrisystem, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRI), a leading provider of weight management products and services, announced today the addition of several new frozen and pantry ready menu options that taste great while also delivering value, nutrition and convenience. The new meals and snacks, along with a few returning favorites, are rolling out now through the end of August.

“These new menu options don’t just taste great — they contemporize our food portfolio by adding more variety and by underscoring our commitment to provide nutrient-rich food while also limiting artificial flavors, colors and preservatives,” said Dawn Zier, CEO of Nutrisystem.

The new dinner entrees include:

  • Chef’s Table® Tilapia with Asparagus & Rice
  • Chef’s Table® Spaghetti Primavera with Chicken Meatballs
  • Chef’s Table® Grilled Chicken Sausage & Peppers
  • Chef’s Table® Whole Wheat Ricotta Crepes

The Chef’s Table® dinner entrees, developed by a team of Nutrisystem chefs using only the freshest ingredients, feature advanced steamer bag technology. Each dinner entree delivers an excellent source of protein, is a good source of fiber and contains no artificial flavors or colors and has no added artificial preservatives.

The new and returning snack items also all deliver a good source of protein and fiber and contain no artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. These include:

  • White Cheddar Popcorn
  • Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
  • Whole Grain Soft Pretzel

With these new summer menu additions, Nutrisystem continues to lead the home delivery weight loss industry in offering its customers the most diverse food choices totaling over 150 menu options.

“Our customers rave about our food and frequently suggest favorite meals that they’d like to see next on the menu.  We appreciate that engagement and are pleased to introduce new products that we know they’ll love and that provide the nutritional values they rely on to achieve healthy weight loss success,” added Zier.

For more than 40 years, the Nutrisystem® program, along with its products, have helped Americans lose millions of pounds by offering a unique program that’s based on the science of the low Glycemic Index and provides sound nutrition with delicious meals at an immense value. On the Nutrisystem® SUCCESS® program you can expect to lose 1 – 2 pounds per week and have complimentary access to weight loss counselors, registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, mobile apps, and a vast online community.

For more information on Nutrisystem’s new menu options and to order today, please visit or by calling 1-888-841-2572.

About Nutrisystem

Having helped Americans lose millions of pounds for over 40 years, Nutrisystem, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRI) develops evidence-based programs for healthy weight management, and is the leading provider of home-delivered weight loss meal plans. Nutrisystem offers balanced nutrition in the form of low glycemic index meal plans designed for men and women, including seniors, vegetarians and the Nutrisystem® D® program for people with diabetes or at risk for type 2 diabetes. Nutrisystem® plans include a wide variety of pantry and frozen entrees and snacks to aid in program satisfaction and adherence, as well as transition plans to support long-term success. The Fort Washington, PA-based company also provides weight management support and counseling by trained weight-loss coaches and registered dietitians, as well as through an engaged online community, online tools and trackers, mobile apps, cookbooks and more. Healthcare professionals may learn more about the programs by visiting  Nutrisystem® weight loss plans are available directly to consumers through, by phone (1-800-435-4074) and at select retailers.

Vernon, CA  (Food News)  In summer, when regular family mealtimes, bedtimes and routines often go out the window, healthy eating can be especially challenging. Van’s Natural Foods, the leader in better-for-you breakfast and snack foods, wants to make creating nutritious and delicious summer meals and snacks even easier with simple go-to recipes.

These on-the-go, nutritious recipes feature a variety of Van’s gluten-free offerings, helping parents create tasty meals and snacks for the whole family to enjoy. Each of these easy-to-make recipes also complement some of summer’s most popular activities – from kicking off a morning at day camp, to winding up a day spent at the pool or beach or even stress-free snacking during family car trips. The following recipes are courtesy of Van’s lifestyle guest bloggers Alysa Bajaneru of, Bree Hester of and Silvana Nardone of

  • Banana Breakfast Cookies – This recipe combines crispy Van’s Honey Nut Crunch Cereal, named as “Best Gluten-Free Cereal” in SELF Magazine’s 2013 Healthy Food Awards, with ripe bananas in a delicious, fun cookie for the perfect breakfast on the go. Van’s new cereals offer a full serving of whole grains and 5 grams of fiber, and both flavors are made with whole grains, including gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa and amaranth.
  • Summertime Honey Nut Crunch Mix – Offering the perfect on-the-go snack, this tasty treat features peanuts, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, honey and Van’s Honey Nut Crunch Cereal. This snack is a wholesome and nutritious alternative to traditional summertime sweets.
  • Easy Waffle Sloppy Joes – Busy summer days often need an easy but filling meal, and these Waffle Sloppy Joes that combine Van’s Gluten Free Totally Natural Waffles with lean ground turkey and fresh veggies are a quick fix. Filled with flavor, this nutrient-packed dish will be a dinnertime favorite for parents and kids alike.
  • Easy Ice Cream Wafflewiches A nutritious, gluten-free twist on the classic summer treat, wafflewiches made with Van’s gluten-free waffles, such as Ancient Grains Waffles, packed with nutrient-rich whole grains and fiber, or Gluten Free Totally Natural, and a scoop of any favorite gluten-free ice cream in between are a tasty, easy dessert sure to cool down even the hottest summer day.

“No matter what the season, Van’s offers better nutrition on the go for the whole family,” said Van’s Vice-President of Marketing Sarah Meis. “Our mission is to make healthy eating so delicious that people – especially kids – don’t even realize they’re getting gluten-free, nutrient rich goodness in every bite.”

For more information and recipes, go to or to

About Van’s

Van’s Natural Foods, based in Southern California, is the market leader in gluten-free and allergy-friendly, natural and organic frozen breakfast and snack foods including waffles, pancakes, French toast sticks, English muffins, hot cereal, cereal, crackers and snack bars. Available at grocery stores and natural food retailers nationwide, Van’s product lines include Gluten Free, Power Grains Protein, 8 Whole Grains, Organic, Lite, Minis and Belgian waffles. For more information, please visit

Beaumont, TX and Houston, TX  (Food News)  Leo’s Originals Specialty Dressings are known to Jason’s Deli salad fans nationwide, and now the creator, Leo Danna is introducing his flavorful bottled dressing throughout Texas. The dressings are flying off the shelves at HEB and Mandola’s Italian Market as customers are using them as marinades, pasta sauce, dipping sauces and salads dressings.

Leo’s Originals were born out of Leo Danna’s childhood experiences growing up in a close Italian family, and spending time in the kitchen of the family restaurant.  Leo’s love of family and strong Italian heritage led him to create the ‘family original’ salad dressing as a young man.

Leo is hands-on and involved in all aspects of creating the dressings and sauces. “My thing is finding the best combination of flavorful ingredients, and putting a healthy spin on the product,” noted Leo. “I enjoy the fact that customers put these dressings on salads and also use them as marinades.”

About Leo’s Original’s

Leo’s Originals Salad Dressings and Sauces were born in the kitchen of the family-owned restaurant, the Cafe established in 1930 in Beaumont, Texas, and uses the healthiest ingredients without compromising the flavors that make the brand unique.

Leo Danna, started making salad dressing 20 years ago, but his passion for delicious, exquisite flavors originated long before that – it came from the people in the Italian wedding photo that graces all of the Leo’s Originals retail labels.  They are Leo’s parents, Sam and Helen, and some of his many aunts and uncles.

Operating primarily as a handcrafted, small-batch, artisan food service manufacturer since 1995, Leo, his wife Pam and son Seth joined in 2007 to develop Leo’s Originals as a full-line of dressings for the retail market. Their focus on small batch manufacturing lets Leo’s Originals maintain the highest quality, flavor, and ingredients that their customers have come to expect.  Leo’s Originals products are gluten-free, MSG and trans-fat free, and are GO TEXAN products.

Leo’s Originals donates a percentage of the profits to Canines for Disabled Kids, a 501C3 non-profit organization, which works to support the creation of child-canine service dog teams to promote independence and social awareness.

For recipes and more information about Leo’s Originals Salad Dressings visit:

10 ppb action level for arsenic important first step

Yonkers, NY  (Food News)  “We are pleased to see the Food and Drug Administration taking this action. Proposing a 10 ppb guidance for apple juice—the same level set for water—is a reasonable first step in protecting consumers from unnecessary exposure to arsenic. It also offers an important enforcement and accountability tool for regulators and a key benchmark for apple juice manufacturers,” says Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports.

“Now that the FDA has released its proposed guidance, we look forward to analyzing the agency’s risk assessment, submitting comments, and continuing the dialogue on this important public health issue. In the meantime, we continue to recommend to parents that they should moderate their kids’ juice consumption, consistent with American Academy of Pediatric guidelines,” adds Dr. Rangan.

Setting limits for arsenic in foods, like juice and rice, is important to help reduce exposure and better protect public health.  While arsenic may occur naturally, human activities continue to contribute to arsenic contamination of soil and water.  This important step by FDA today should prompt a renewed focus on the need to reduce arsenic pollution in the environment which comes from the use of arsenic based compounds in agriculture as well as other sources.

In November 2011, Consumer Reports released its study of arsenic and lead in apple and grape juice. As a result of its findings, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, called on the Food and Drug Administration to set standards.

For more information on Consumer Reports’ work on arsenic, visit:

Elegant Entertaining With Bold Flavors

Pan Seared Rib Eye with Balsamic Glaze and Crispy Salted Potato Wedges

Summer entertaining is easy with simple, crowd-pleasing recipes from light bites to sweet delights that require almost no time in the kitchen.

Invite over a few of your closest friends, heat up the grill and set out your favorite wines for a truly memorable outdoor dinner party. Select simple recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly seared on the grill once your guests have arrived. Everyone will enjoy the food and you’ll love that you’re not trapped in the kitchen. Prep, chop and marinate everything then store it all in containers.

Continue the trend of simplicity by serving food-friendly wines, such as those from Las Rocas. Las Rocas, which literally means “the rocks” because of the rocky soil where the grapes are grown, produces an incredibly vibrant Garnacha and refreshing Rosé that pair wonderfully with these dishes.

Make the occasion truly special by beginning the festivities at sundown to take advantage of the cool breezes and beautiful sunset. Line the tables with a row of small candles, hang sparkling white lights from the trees and put on your favorite music. Your guests may never want to leave.

For more information, visit

Pan Seared Rib Eye with Balsamic Glaze and Crispy Salted Potato Wedges
Serve with Las Rocas Garnacha, a vibrant and versatile red wine with rich dark berry flavors and aromas.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
For Crispy Fingerling Potatoes
1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes cut into wedges
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus a couple of sprigs
For Steaks
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 3/4-pound bone in rib-eye steaks, about 1 inch thick
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For potatoes: Place the potatoes in saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Set over high heat and bring to boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes depending on size of potatoes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat potatoes dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set potatoes aside and begin steak.

For steak: Sprinkle large cast-iron skillet with kosher or coarse salt; heat skillet over high heat for about 8 minutes, then add steaks. Sear until steaks are crusted brown, about 4 minutes; turn steaks. Sear to desired doneness or about 6 more minutes for medium rare. Transfer to cutting board and let rest while you make sauce.

Wipe out pan and add shallot; cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Slowly add vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until reduces and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, swirl in butter, and season with pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over steaks just before serving.

To finish potatoes: Heat olive oil in large skillet over high heat. When hot, add seasoned potatoes, cut side down, and rosemary. Cook until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Red Wine and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Yield: 6 servings
1 orange
1 cup blackberries and or raspberries
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
3 cups Las Rocas Garnacha wine
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4-ounce packet unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups whole Greek style yogurt
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Remove a wide, 2-inch-long strip of zest from orange with sharp paring knife. Peel and segment orange and toss with blackberries, cover and refrigerate.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Place seeds and pod in small saucepan. Add wine, 1/3 cup sugar and orange zest strip. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 35 minutes. Discard vanilla bean pod and zest strip. Cool completely. Set aside 1/4 cup for serving.

Combine milk with remaining 1/3 cup sugar in medium saucepan. Sprinkle in gelatin and let stand, undisturbed, until gelatin softens, about 4 minutes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until gelatin and sugar are just dissolved (do not boil); let cool. Whisk in 1 cup of wine reduction and yogurt until smooth. Pour into six 6-ounce ramekins or jars, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight.

If using ramekins, dip bottom of each ramekin in warm water to loosen. Invert each panna cotta onto a plate. If using jars, skip this step. Drizzle panna cottas with reserved wine reduction and garnish with oranges and berries and sprig of fresh mint.

Goat Cheese Crostini with Grilled Peaches, Serrano Ham and Marcona Almonds
Serve with Las Rocas Rosé, a fruit-forward seasonal wine with notes of raspberry and strawberry.

Yield: 1 dozen crostini
12 slices French bread, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 thinly sliced pieces of Serrano ham
2 ripe peaches, halved, pitted and sliced onto 12 thin wedges
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon roughly chopped Marcona almonds

Preheat grill. Brush each slice of bread on one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill, oil-side down until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from grill and place a piece of Serrano ham on each. Drizzle peaches with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill peaches until grill marks appear, turning once, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place warm grilled peaches on top of each crostini and sprinkle each with crumbled goat cheese and Marcona almonds. Drizzle them lightly with additional olive oil. Serve.

Gather Around the Grill With Family, Friends

Tasty Easy Beef Brisket

Nothing brings family and friends together like great food. Take time to gather everyone around the grill, share some fun and make memories this summer.

One person who knows a lot about feeding a crowd is TV personality and celebrity chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., a winner of The Next Food Network Star and host of the Food Network’s Big Daddy’s House. Growing up with five siblings and raising three children of his own has taught McCargo about the importance of gathering people together for mealtime.

“Making meals for family and friends is easy, especially when there’s a grill involved,” McCargo said, “and grilling season is the perfect time to catch up over ketchup.”

McCargo has teamed up with grilling staple, Heinz Ketchup, to develop tips and recipes for the ultimate cookout, including:

  • Grill summer fruit such as mango, watermelon and pineapple, with a little salt, pepper and oil. Once off the grill, drizzle with fresh citrus juices, such as lemon or blood orange with a little extra virgin olive oil as an untraditional alternative to fruit salad.
  • For an added kick to kebabs, hamburgers or hot dogs, add a fresh new twist on a classic favorite with Heinz Ketchup Blended with Real Jalapeno or Heinz Ketchup Blended with Balsamic Vinegar.
  • If you forgot to brush your grill off after the last BBQ event, heat the grill to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit with the lid closed. Open grill and brush vigorously with wired grill brush for easy grill clean up, then season with oil and start grilling.
  • Be careful to check the date on your propane tanks before firing up the grill since tanks do expire. You can find the expiration date on the metal collar around the top of the tank. And be sure to always keep a backup when hosting a crowd.

For more of Aaron McCargo, Jr.’s recipes, tips and tricks for grilling season, visit

Tasty Easy Beef Brisket
Servings: 1-2
1/4 cup Heinz Ketchup
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds beef brisket

For marinade, put all ingredients, except for beef brisket, in a storage container and shake well until mixed. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade. Pierce brisket with fork on both sides to allow marinade to penetrate meat. Place brisket in a bag with the marinade and make sure meat is well coated. Marinate brisket for 1-3 hours. Preheat grill to 350°F or a medium high heat and preheat oven to 350°F. Grill brisket for 6-8 minutes each side. Wrap brisket in foil and bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove brisket and brush with reserved marinade. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.

Bring Back Breakfast: Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks

Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks

This Weekend, Spend the Most Important Meal of the Day With the Most Important People in Your Life

Baseball practices, dance rehearsals, school work, and other weekday activities often make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past.

If you’re looking for ways your family can spend more quality time together, consider bringing back breakfast this weekend.

Enjoying each other’s company and a delicious breakfast is the perfect opportunity for your family to reconnect. Use the added time weekend mornings provide to prepare a wonderful, warm meal for your family to sit down and create lasting memories. Make your morning meal a weekend tradition the whole family can look forward to all week long.

Here are some easy tips to help make breakfast a family occasion:

Make Breakfast Special – Each week, request that a family member choose a fun theme for the breakfast table. From sports teams to movie themes to favorite colors — you’ll see that the choices are endless and they can inspire creative breakfast menus.

Find Some Breakfast Helpers – Let the whole family practice their cooking skills by helping you in the kitchen. Serve foods that are easy to dress up, like Hungry Jack® pancakes. Sometimes the simple pleasure of a warm plate of pancakes is all you need to create the perfect start to your weekend mornings together.

Create Breakfast Menu Magic – The sky is the limit when you have extra time to craft a hearty breakfast, so serve a variety of foods your family will love. You can’t go wrong with breakfast classics — from fresh veggie and egg dishes to the warm, fluffy goodness of a stack of Hungry Jack pancakes. Does your family enjoy creating breakfast masterpieces? Try these Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks, made with Hungry Jack pancakes, sausage patties, cheddar cheese and eggs, for a magical take on an ordinary meal.

For more recipes and breakfast tips to bring families together on the weekends, visit

Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks
Yield: 6 stacks
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 fully cooked sausage patties OR
6 vegetable sausage patties
3/4 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
1/2 cup water
Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
Hungry Jack Original Syrup

Preparation Directions:

1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Coat 6 muffin cups or glass custard cups generously with no-stick cooking spray.

2. DIVIDE eggs evenly into prepared muffin cups. Top with sausage patty. Whisk pancake mix and water together in medium bowl until smooth. Pour evenly over sausage.

3. BAKE 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 2 minutes. Invert onto baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with cheese, if desired. Serve warm with syrup.

Pork: The Perfect Partner for Easy Entertaining

Double Pork Party Sliders

Hosting planned or impromptu gatherings with friends and family can be a daunting task. From choosing a menu to preparing everything in time, planning a soiree can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Entertaining is as easy as it is delicious when you choose pork as your party protein.

With its ability to pair with a variety of ingredients, vast cut selection and numerous preparation methods, there’s a perfect pork dish for every celebration. Whether you’re in the mood for grilling, roasting or slow cooking, something savory, sweet or spicy — pork is a versatile and budget-friendly option that allows you to spend less time planning and more time partying.

Choosing pork for the menu is simpler than ever with the release of new pork cut names and labels designed to reflect the names of familiar cuts of steak. These new labels, which will feature familiar names such as Ribeye and New York pork chop, will help ease confusion at the meat case and provide cooking directions to help ensure the pork at your gathering is as juicy, tender and flavorful as possible.

From tailgating to cocktail parties, a batch of bacon-infused Double Pork Party Sliders will always please a crowd and can be served as a finger-licking appetizer or mouth-watering main dish. These simple sandwiches can be whipped up in a matter of minutes using only one skillet, making prep and clean up a breeze.

For the most succulent sliders, make sure to cook pork chops like your favorite steak to an internal temperature between 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, followed by a 3-minute rest. Be sure to use a digital cooking thermometer to ensure an accurate final temperature.

Discover and share more pork recipes and tips for easy entertaining by visiting

Double Pork Party Sliders
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 4 minutes
Yield: 8 appetizer sandwiches or 4 entrée sandwiches

4 New York pork chops, 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick
2 slices bacon
8 cocktail buns or 4 burger buns
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons steak sauce

Slice burger buns in half horizontally. If desired, toast or warm through. Spread cut sides of buns with butter.

In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 1 minute or until enough bacon fat to coat bottom of pan, stirring occasionally. Push bacon to side of skillet and add chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Cook chops for 3 to10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked between 145°F (medium rare) to 160 degrees F (medium), turning once halfway through. Remove chops and bacon, draining bacon on paper towels and rest chops at least 3 minutes.

For cocktail buns, cut each chop in half for 8 pieces. Place chops in buns. Top chops with steak sauce and bacon strips.

Serving suggestion: For gatherings, use smaller, cocktail-size buns available in the grocer’s bakery. Offer coarse-grain mustard and halved dill pickles for sandwiches.

Washington, DC  (Food News)  ACDI/VOCA and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) are launching an agricultural development initiative in Indonesia called the Cocoa Innovations Project, leveraging private-sector partnerships to help further develop the Indonesian cocoa sector. The project aims to improve cocoa farmers’ incomes and efficiency through innovations in crop management and the application of information technology. WCF provided ACDI/VOCA a $300,000 grant for the project, which was initiated with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Key elements of the project include microfinance loans to cocoa farmers; use of mobile phone-based banking and agricultural extension systems; and community-based cocoa fermentation business models to improve the quality of farmers’ cocoa.

WCF members Armajaro, Continaf, The Hershey Company, Mars, Mondelez International and Olam are providing private sector financial support. The Cocoa Innovations Project pairs ACDI/VOCA’s 50 years of development expertise with the capabilities and resources of key local businesses, engaging a wide range of stakeholders to sustainably develop the Indonesian cocoa sector. The grant from the WCF, which represents cocoa value chain companies from around the world, is matched with $275,000 of funds from ACDI/VOCA to build on core program successes and amplify impact.

WCF President Bill Guyton said that the WCF is looking forward to partnering with Indonesian government representatives, ACDI/VOCA and cocoa farmers to make the project successful.

Guyton points out, “As in other parts of the world, cocoa is grown on small, family-owned farms in Indonesia, employing hundreds of thousands of farmers in Sulawesi and neighboring islands. Cocoa plays a vital role in food security for rural communities that rely on cocoa and other specialty crops to improve their incomes and livelihoods.”

ACDI/VOCA’s Project Leader Hasrun Hafid says about the new program, “The focus will be on farm productivity, but it won’t stop there. Using a holistic value chain approach, the project will also emphasize sustainability along the entire supply chain—not just gross production increases.”

The project will support farmers through the following activities:

Microfinance loans to allow farmers to multiply outputs
Seasonal loans—a combination of cash and fertilizer inputs—will be disbursed to farmers, and ACDI/VOCA will demonstrate the efficacy of fertilizer and good agricultural practices via demonstration plots. Based on this current season, an additional $7.50 in output is expected for every $1.00 of project funding.

Mobile financial transactions:  an innovation in the cocoa supply chain
The project is piloting an interest-bearing mobile bank account, allowing cocoa buyers to pay a farmer through his or her mobile phone. The model will be tested with 2,000 farmers in late 2013 to prove the system for wider adoption in the agriculture sector.

ICT for cocoa farmers
The project will partner with the Grameen Foundation to introduce the TaroWorks mobile extension ICT platform to the cocoa value chain. The TaroWorks platform uses mobile phone applications and human networks to provide poor farmers with relevant, timely agricultural information.

A community-based fermentation model
The project will pilot a community-based fermentation business model in two cocoa communities in 2013 and 2014 to train women’s groups to ferment beans for higher quality and a higher price.

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership foundation that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully and make greater profits. These efforts help increase the supply of cocoa and help guarantee chocolate lovers access to their favorite products. WCF’s membership includes more than 100 cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit

ACDI/VOCA is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that fosters broad-based economic growth, raises living standards and creates vibrant communities. Founded in 1963 it has implemented projects in 146 countries on behalf of public, private and multilateral funders, including USAID, USDA, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the World Bank, UNDP, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EBRD, NEPAD, the Asian and Inter-American Development Banks, as well as corporations and individual countries. For more information, visit

For more information on the World Cocoa Foundation, contact Jackie Marks, or visit

For more information on ACDI/VOCA or the Indonesia project, contact Anja Tranovich

Oak Brook, IL  (Food News)  TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS) today announced it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Cains Foods, L.P., a privately owned Ayer, Mass. based manufacturer of shelf stable mayonnaise, dressings and sauces, with approximately $80 million in annual revenue. The Cains product portfolio offers retail and foodservice customers a wide array of packaging sizes, sold under both private label store brands and the Cains, Naturally Delicious and Olde Cape Cod brands.

About Cains

Cains Foods L.P., headquartered in Ayer, Massachusetts, manufactures shelf stable mayonnaise, dressings and sauces in a variety of packaging formats and sizes, including single serve cups and pouches, tubs, retail glass and multi-serve food away from home sizes.  Products are sold under the Cains, Naturally Delicious and Olde Cape Cod brands and private label for leading food service distributors, national chains and retailers.  The company’s facilities include its owned food processing plant and leased distribution facility in Ayer.  Cains employs approximately 100 people.

About TreeHouse Foods

TreeHouse is a food manufacturer servicing primarily the retail grocery and foodservice distribution channels.  Our products include non-dairy powdered creamers, private label canned soups, refrigerated and shelf stable salad dressings and sauces, powdered drink mixes and single serve hot beverages, hot cereals, macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners, Mexican sauces, jams and pie fillings, pickles and related products, aseptic sauces, and liquid non-dairy creamer.  TreeHouse believes it is the largest manufacturer of pickles and non-dairy powdered creamer in the United States and the largest manufacturer of private label salad dressings, powdered drink mixes and instant hot cereals in the United States and Canada based on sales volume.