Archive for August, 2013

Birmingham, AL  (Food News)  In the back-to-school bedlam of buying school supplies, clothes, books, and that new tablet or laptop that your child just has to have, parents frequently forget something that’s equally important: figuring out how to keep kids’ hands out of the cookie jar (literally) while they’re stuck inside doing homework. Now online meal planning service eMeals is offering a month’s worth of healthy snack suggestions ranging from a Sunny Smoothie to French Toast Sticks dipped in strawberry yogurt – just in time to start the school year off on the right food foot.

Available to both new and existing subscribers, eMeals’ new ’31 Days of Healthy Snacks’ calendar is part of a back-to-school special that also includes a 25% discount on any 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription to the eMeals service including lunch plans. The discount – available to new customers who enroll between August 1-31 and enter the code SCHOOL – is designed to introduce parents to eMeals’ easy-does-it program for getting a family-friendly dinner on the table in between school bus drop-offs and mad dashes to soccer games and guitar lessons.

For as little as $5 per month, eMeals creates weekly menus matched to your family’s eating style and delivers them to your email inbox, your personal page on the eMeals website, or eMeals’ mobile appMeal plan options range from classic (think Chicken Marsala and Creamy Herb Pork Chops) and clean eating (Pesto Seared Salmon and Lentil, Lemon and Yogurt Soup) to simple gourmet, vegetarian, natural & organic, low carb, low fat, portion control, slow cooker, and even gluten-free and paleo. Each meal includes entrée and side dish recipes, and can be assembled in as little as 30 minutes. Every weekly plan also includes a shopping list for the entire week arranged by grocery section.

It’s a way to simplify your meal planning, freshen your recipe repertoire, eliminate extra shopping trips, and even cut your annual grocery bill by $1,000 or more. That’s because ingredients purchased for one meal are frequently reused in another recipe during the week, the advance planning avoids impulse-related overspending, and menus are coordinated with sales and seasonal specials at selected grocery stores such as ALDI, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.

Plans are available for couples or families, and for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. For a full description of the eMeals program, visit For pricing and subscriptions, visit

About has been the market leader in online meal planning since 2003, having provided a simple and affordable dinnertime solution to hundreds of thousands of busy people everywhere.  The eMeals team constructs and publishes 50 delicious meal plans and corresponding grocery lists every week based on food style preferences, family size and the current sales at selected grocery stores.  Dinner menu plans include classic family meals, clean eating, paleo, simple gourmet, low-fat, portion control, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian, and the natural and organic plan. Add-on breakfast and lunch plans are also available. For more information, please visit

Minneapolis, MN  (Food News)  Betty and Lefty introduce the ultimate in meal solutions with a new line of Helper® skillet dinners and Betty Crocker® potatoes, bringing exciting and delicious flavor variety with new and different sauces to the table. These new products complete the meal, making them the ultimate dinner solution for the family!

Discover what’s new and different about Helper: Ultimate Helper Skillet Meals

Helper is stepping up the homemade taste with sauces featuring real tomatoes, cheese and cream. Introducing a premium line of skillet meals—Ultimate Hamburger and Chicken Helper.

“We’ve been helping America make dinner for over 40 years and know that consumers are increasingly seeking rich flavor experiences at the dinner table,” said Elizabeth Laughlin, Helper marketing manager. “With our newest innovation, we’re featuring the same savory seasonings and hearty pastas that are Helper hallmarks, but now we’ve added an irresistibly rich sauce to deliver a home-cooked skillet dish that the whole family is sure to love. We’re excited to help America with another easy way to enjoy a homemade dinner on busy nights.”

Hamburger fans will love Creamy Stroganoff and Three Cheese Marinara while Chicken fans can look forward to serving Cheddar Broccoli and Creamy Parmesan. For those looking to make an even heartier meal, a variety of recipes have been created that are easy and convenient and include Smothered Pork Chops & Pasta, Southwest Cheddar Chicken Pasta and Creamy Cajun Pasta. Each recipe starts with the Ultimate Hamburger or Chicken Helper and combines herbs, spices, vegetables and savory ingredients to make the ultimate home-style meal for those busy nights.

Betty Crocker Ultimate Potatoes

Betty Crocker introduces three new delicious Ultimate Potatoes with the perfect blend of 100 percent real potatoes and a rich and creamy cheddar sauce. These items are ultimate due to a cheddar sauce pouch that amplifies great tasting Betty Crocker potatoes to a new level of deliciousness.

“The Ultimate Betty Crocker Potatoes really complete the meal, but also make a perfect meal solution,” said Jennifer Barnes, Meals marketing manager. We’ve created a variety of delicious recipes using the Ultimate Potatoes that you can feed to your family and they’ll feel good about it.”

From the Cheesy Mashed Potato Chicken Chowder and Loaded Potato Dogs, to Buffalo Potato and Chicken Casserole and Mashed Potato Stuffed Meatloaf, mom does not have to feel guilty about making these meals for the family and they are easy to prepare on those busy nights.

Both products are available nationally. The Ultimate Hamburger & Chicken Helper have a suggested retail price of $2.79 and the Creamy Stroganoff and Creamy Parmesan are available in 9 oz packages, the Cheddar Broccoli in 8.7 oz. and Three Cheese Marinara in 9.8 oz. The Betty Crocker Ultimate Potatoes have a suggested retail price of $2.29. The Cheddar Mashed and Loaded Mash are available in 10 oz. packages and Au Gratin in 6.2 oz. Go to for recipes and ideas to make dinner tonight.

About Betty Crocker

Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has enjoyed a distinguished history as a multimedia superstar. Featured in radio, TV, print, and now online, this cultural icon has rightfully earned her reputation as the “Original First Lady of Food.”  Minneapolis is the home of the Betty Crocker Kitchens, where a team of culinary experts develop food ideas that combine trends with consumer needs. is one of the top websites in the food category. Betty Crocker’s Facebook community has over 1.75 million fans that enjoy interacting with the brand, and millions have downloaded Betty Crocker’s mobile app. Betty Crocker branded products garner more than $1 billion in sales annually. For more information, visit

Bannockburn, IL  (Food News)  The gluten-free industry is expected to reach $8 billion in 2013 as more people begin to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle. Pasta is one of the foods that is missed most amongst people who are living gluten-free, and yet the options for enjoying a gluten-free pasta meal fall short, with limited brands and varieties available on store shelves. Now, Barilla, the world’s leader in pasta production, is stepping in.

For more than 135 years, Barilla has been committed to making authentic, high-quality pasta for everyone to enjoy. The goal in producing the new Gluten Free pasta line is to offer convenient, versatile and tasty solutions for anyone living a gluten-free lifestyle, ensuring it is readily available at the local grocery store and easy to find.

“Barilla has a rich heritage of delivering quality, trusted products, and we are committed to making sure everyone can enjoy delicious pasta,” says Claudio Colzani, Chief Executive Officer of the Barilla Group. “We felt it was important to invest in developing a pasta line for the ever-increasing number of people who are adopting gluten-free lifestyles, ensuring that it delivers the taste and texture pasta lovers expect from Barilla.”

Barilla® Gluten Free Pasta is produced in a facility in Italy that is dedicated to gluten-free and is made with a combination of non-GMO corn and rice. There are four varieties in the Gluten Free Pasta line – Spaghetti, Penne, Rotini and Elbows – which will be sold in 12 ounce boxes for $2.39. All four varieties will become available in select retail stores beginning in September 2013, with full national availability in early 2014.

Gluten Free is a strategic addition to the Barilla pasta portfolio and to the pasta category overall. Many consumers who are making the choice to purchase gluten-free products avoid pasta due to negative taste perceptions, high prices and limited availability. Barilla anticipates the new Gluten Free line will bring these consumers back to the pasta they love and trust.

About the Barilla Group

Barilla, originally established in 1877 as a bread and pasta shop in Parma, Italy, ranks as one of today’s top Italian food groups. Barilla leads in the global pasta business, the pasta sauces business in continental Europe, the bakery products business in Italy and the crispbread business in Scandinavia.

Barilla owns 41 production sites (13 in Italy and 28 outside Italy) and exports to more than 100 countries. Every year, about 2,500,000 tons of food products under the brands of Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Voiello, Pavesi, Academia Barilla, Wasa, Harrys (France and Russia), Golden Toast (Germany), Misko (Greece), Filiz (Turkey), Yemina and Vesta (Mexico), are featured on dining tables all over the world.

Barilla has become one of the world’s most esteemed food companies and is recognized worldwide as a symbol of Italian know-how by respecting its longstanding traditional principles and values, considering employees a fundamental asset and developing leading-edge production systems.

For more information, please visit:

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  Coffee may have been traditionally enjoyed steaming hot, but new research from Mintel reveals the habit for a “hot cup of joe” is changing as consumers realize colder coffee is a tasty and refreshing year-round alternative.

More than most countries, the US has embraced cold coffee—especially in foodservice, with Mintel research showing that cold-served coffee’s share of all coffee on menus of US restaurants and coffee houses increased from 19% to 22% between 2009 and 2012. However, looking at just the first quarter of 2013, its share has jumped from 22% to 24%, highlighting that interest in iced and frozen coffee is not only accelerating, but is now transcending a summer-only appeal.

Jonny Forsyth, global drinks analyst at Mintel, says:

“Cold coffee, especially frozen-blended, has become very trendy in major US cities such as New York, but it is more than just a momentary fad. Its usage has been building for the last few years and actually reflects the changing tastes of the younger generation. This new cohort crave indulgence and have grown up drinking sweet-tasting, refreshing soft drinks. They are looking for this taste profile to be reflected in ‘hot’ beverages.”

Mintel’s data shows that 18-24 year-olds, in stark contrast to older drinkers, are far bigger consumers of iced coffee and they will almost certainly take this habit into their middle age. While overall, one in five (20%) US consumers drink iced coffee, this figure jumps to 38% of those aged 18-24 – compared to just 11% of those aged 55-64 and 5% of those aged over 65. The findings also reveal that 77% of iced coffee drinkers perceive that drinking it makes them feel more productive at work.

“The fact that so many consumers feel that coffee makes them more productive at work explains why energy drinks and shots have been such a huge growth market, appealing to people’s desire to have more than just a tasty and refreshing drink but one which actually alters their mood,” adds Jonny Forsyth.

Meanwhile, iced coffee, which has dominated restaurant menus for some time now, is seeing its number of menu items decline as people move towards the more indulgent frozen blended coffee options. This is good news for US foodservice as frozen blended coffees have an incredibly high profit margin, estimated at around 65-70%.

“This cold coffee development has already filtered through to the US retail market, with a number of ready-to-drink variants now available. There is also an opportunity to premiumize the iced and frozen coffee sector. Although many of these products are not aimed at coffee purists, it would be wrong to assume that iced coffee is dismissed by connoisseurs. Cold press coffee is a method where coffee grounds are steeped in water for an extended period to reduce acidity and create a more mellow flavor, while the New Orleans chicory-flavored cold brews and the ‘Japanese Iced coffee method’ are other options revered among coffee aficionados,” Jonny Forsyth concludes.

About Mintel

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 40 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts client success. With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Sao Paulo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit

Follow Mintel on Twitter, LinkedIn, or catch up with the latest news, views and information from the team behind Mintel on The Mintel Blog. You can also like Mintel on Facebook.

Karoun Takes Home Four Top Awards, Including a First Place Prize for Yogurt

Turlock, CA  (Food News)  Karoun Dairies’ exemplary yogurts and cheeses won top prizes at the American Cheese Society (ACS) conference on August 2nd, 2013 in Madison, WI. The 30-year anniversary of ACS saw the highest attendance on record:  1,794 cheeses and cultured milk products from 257 different companies in North America. Among them, Karoun Dairies ( received four top awards to add to a growing collection that substantiates Karoun’s position as one of California’s finest cheese artisans.

Karoun Dairies’ awards include:

Yogurts with No Additional Ingredients:
1st place – Karoun Yogurt

Fresh Un-ripened Cheese:
2nd place – Fresh Basket Cheese

Hispanic Un-ripened Style:
3rd place – Karoun Queso Fresco

Smoked Italian Style:
3rd place – Karoun Smoked Braided String Cheese

“Our all natural yogurts have live probiotic cultures and are made fresh California milk that is free from BHG/rBST, and is also OU Kosher certified,” said Mr. Rostom Baghdassarian, COO of Karoun Dairies. “We take pride in the many extra steps necessary to insure Karoun’s products are the finest possible, bursting with purity and freshness. We thank the ACS for their acknowledgement of the quality yogurts and cheeses we produce.”

Over 1,400 members strong, ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. ACS proudly hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. Quality and tradition makes Karoun Dairies a natural fit for the high standards of the ACS.

About Karoun Dairies, Inc.

Founded in 1992, Karoun is a family-run business reflecting fulfillment of the American dream. The company has grown from creating hand braided String Cheese for local ethnic and specialty grocery stores, to producing a wide variety of Mediterranean specialty cheeses and yogurt products with nationwide mainstream distribution. All Karoun cheeses are natural and handmade using only milk from cows that are free from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified. All Karoun’s yogurt products are all natural and OU Kosher certified. For more information, please visit

For product samples, press materials, or further information, please contact Susan Nielsen, Christie Communications (, at 805-969-3744, or