Archive for September, 2013

Washington, DC  (Food News)  A new study of traveler behavior reveals that the way to tourists’ wallets may be through their stomachs.

Conducted by the travel market research firm Mandala Research and sponsored by the World Food Travel Association and other tourism organizations, the study shows that almost a third (30%) deliberately choose destinations based on the availability of activities related to local food and drink, whether it’s a beer or wine festival, a farmers market, or a farm to table experience.

“For ‘deliberate’ culinary travelers, the availability culinary activities is a primary reason for taking a trip,” said Laura Mandala, managing director of Mandala Research.  “In fact, authenticity and local flavors are the greatest drivers of destination choice for these travelers.”

Over half (51%) of all respondents said they travel to learn about or enjoy unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences, and nearly two-thirds (61%) are interested in taking a trip to a destination within the U.S. to engage in culinary activities within the next year.

Asked what U.S. destinations come to mind when thinking of food tourism, the top five responses included New York City (46%), New Orleans (38%), San Francisco (21%), Chicago (21%) and Napa Valley (12%).

“While the results are not unexpected as classic foodie destinations, there is a tremendous opportunity for secondary and tertiary destinations to invest more effort in luring the foodie traveler,” advises Erik Wolf, executive director of the World Food Travel Association.

Added Mandala, who has worked extensively with the U.S. Department of Commerce and has conducted national studies for resorts, hotels, shopping malls and destinations: “This study goes beyond just eating and drinking, and identifies travelers who are seeking out unique and memorable experiences that are authentic to the destination they are visiting.”

Among the implications of the study’s findings are:

  • Travelers are most interested in local and authentic foods and culinary experiences that are different from those they can get at home.
  • Most travelers combine culinary activities with other activities, also participating in culture, heritage and nature-based activities.
  • Increasing reliance on reviews and recommendations of friends makes getting the word out through social media and other user content sources critical for destinations.
  • Festivals motivate culinary travelers, so destination marketing organizations should consider hosting a beer, wine or culinary festival to feature local fare, products and unique food activities like chef demonstrations and samplings.
  • Foodies want to be educated when traveling.  Eighty-three percent enjoy learning about the local culture and cuisine of the destinations they visit. And the same percentage say they will spend more money on food and drinks while traveling.

Additional sponsors of the study included the California Travel & Tourism Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Delaware Tourism, U.S. Cultural and Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and the Shop America Alliance.

The survey included 2,113 web interviews from May 2-10.  All interviews were conducted via an online panel.  To qualify for the survey, respondents must have taken at least one trip in the past 12 months for pleasure, vacation or personal purposes within the United States that included an overnight stay.

Those interested in learning more about this market and how to benefit from it may order a copy of the Culinary Traveler Study at www.Mandala Research.com.

Contact:  Nicole Rychtanek, (708) 935-5548, nicole@mandalaresearch.com

About Mandala Research

Mandala Research is one of the leading travel and tourism research companies in the world.   The firm has pioneered the “firsts” of many niche studies in the travel industry and offers extensive knowledge of several growing demographics and trends, including U.S. Hispanic travelers, wine and culinary tourism, Gay and Lesbian travelers, The International Shopping Traveler, Travelers from Growth and Emerging Markets, and the African American Traveler.

Mandala’s clients include destinations, major travel brands, government agencies, associations and more, with extensive expertise in brand tracking, brand equity, and brand identity research.  For more information visit www.MandalaResearch.com.

About the World Food Travel Association (WFTA)

The WFTA (formerly International Culinary Tourism Association) is the world’s leading authority on food travel, with robust programs in food tourism education and research, food tourism development, and food tourism promotion.  Join us at the World Food Travel Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden September 21-24.  For more information visit www.worldfoodtravel.org.



Collinsville, CT  (F00d News)  Passage Foods’ range of authentic cooking sauces are now certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The Passage Foods range includes Passage to Mexico, Passage to Thailand, Passage to Morocco, and Passage to Europe as well as several other classic and ethnic product ranges. Each of the 23 different simmer sauces is a blend of fresh ingredients creating a recipe deep in the traditional flavors of its country such as Moroccan Harissa, Red Thai Curry, Spanish Chicken and Chipotle Lime. “It has always been in our brand’s DNA that Passage Foods products be gluten-free and we have always used third-party testing to detect gluten to a level of 5 parts per million. The Celiac community understands the importance of this testing, but there is a much larger share of the North America population that is now practicing a gluten-restricted diet as a healthy lifestyle choice,” states Passage’s Mark MacKenzie. “We knew that the Gluten Intolerance Group through their GFCO program was the foremost trusted certification program available and we felt that partnering was an important message to both our healthy lifestyle and celiac customers.”

“There are 3 million people with celiac disease in the USA, but over 15 million additional people who are practicing a gluten-restricted diet due to gluten sensitivity,” states GFCO Director Channon Quinn. “We are the leading gluten-free certification program in the world and partnering with brands such as Passage Foods helps us to deliver on our mission to support persons with gluten intolerances so they can be assured that our partner brands are all inspected and practice the highest-quality control standards.”

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 who wants home-cooked meals that are nutritious, healthy and satisfy the demands for a gluten-free meal.  Each sauce is added to meat, seafood or vegetables and simmered for 15 to 20 minutes. Passage Foods USA is an affiliate of Flavour Makers Pty. Ltd., the second largest seasoning manufacturer in Australia. For additional product and consumer information, call 1-800-860-1045 or visit Passage Foods online at www.passagefoods.com.

About Gluten Intolerance Group

Gluten Intolerance Group’s (GIG) mission is to support persons with gluten intolerances, celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, through consumer and industry services and programs that positively promote healthy lives.  Gluten-Free Certification Organization is an industry-focused program of GIG. For additional information on GIG call 253-833-6655 or visit GIG online at www.gluten.net.

Magh Slecht, Ireland  (Food News)  Celebrating ancient Celtic traditions, Guinness & Co. today announced that GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout, a new, limited edition seasonal beer, will be available in the United States this fall.  This new craft brew, which captures the spirit of the fall season, provides a change of pace from the array of pumpkin beers often available this time of year while incorporating centuries old Celtic traditions.

With GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout, the makers of GUINNESS bring to the American beer drinker the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain.  In centuries past, Samhain (pronounced saw-wen) was the festival held every year on All Hallows’ Eve in celebration of the end of the fall harvest and the coming of winter. Legend tells that on this night, restless spirits are beckoned from the darkness with bonfires and sweet offerings from the bountiful fall harvest. GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout captures the spirit of this ancient Celtic tradition and represents Guinness’ brewmasters’ own crafting of this special offering to adult consumers for this fall season.

GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout celebrates the brand’s brewing tradition with its mildly sweet, velvety taste and deep red hue. The stout is crafted with a blend of lightly roasted barley which allows for aromas of caramel and toffee and is supported by a sweet malty taste. When poured into a pint glass, the nitrogen widget creates the iconic surge, unleashing the sweet and alluring flavors and delivering a distinctively smooth, flavorful taste experience to be enjoyed responsibly.

“GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout is perfect for fall and offers a great change of pace from the pumpkin seasonals crowding beer shelves,” said Doug Campbell, Brand Director, GUINNESS beer. “GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout has a unique ancient Celtic connection with Halloween through the story of Samhain, and we encourage adult beer fans to enjoy it in moderation with friends and family.”

Available in four-packs of 14.9oz cans (4.1% ABV) at a price comparable to other Premium Imports, GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout will be launched at retail and in bars nationwide this September.

When celebrating your own traditions this fall, Celtic or otherwise, Guinness reminds all consumers to enjoy GUINNESS® Red Harvest Stout responsibly.

About GUINNESS®

The GUINNESS® brand enjoys a global reputation as a uniquely authentic Irish beer and the best-selling stout in the world.  Famous for its dark color, creamy head and unique surge and settle, this distinctive beer has been brewed at the St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland since 1759.  Over 10 million glasses of GUINNESS beer are enjoyed every single day around the world, and 1.8 billion pints are sold every year.  GUINNESS beer is available in well over 100 countries worldwide and is brewed in almost 50.  Also from the makers of GUINNESS, SMITHWICK’S, Ireland’s oldest and best selling ale and HARP Lager, whose name pays tribute to the GUINNESS logo and the national symbol of Ireland.  Additional information about the GUINNESS brand can be found at www.guinness.com.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J?B, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

New York, NY  (Food News)  Under an amendment to the Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act which passed this week, training providers issuing personnel certificates to food safety handlers in the state of Illinois must be accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP). The new requirement, which applies to all businesses primarily engaged in the sale of food for immediate consumption, such as restaurants and nursing homes, licensed day care facilities, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities, is expected to improve public health and strengthen food safety measures statewide.

Beginning July 1, 2014, food handlers in Illinois who do not hold a food service sanitation manager certificate must receive training in basic food safety handling principles from ANSI-accredited training providers that meet the American National Standard (ANS) ASTM E2659-09, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs, within thirty days of employment and must renew this training every three years. Proof than an individual has received the required training must be shown upon request from local and state health department inspectors. Individuals who receive such training may switch food service employers without being required to retake their training.

“Ensuring that consumers can trust the quality and safety of the food they buy and eat is of paramount importance,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. “ANSI accreditation assures the consistency and integrity of credentials of all sorts, including those associated with the food safety handling training required by the state of Illinois.”

Launched in 2009, ANSI-CAP accredits organizations that issue education and training certificates to the U.S. workforce. The program is the first of its kind to offer a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of quality certificate programs, providing independent attestation that said program meets ASTM E2659-09. ANSI-CAP currently has twenty-three accredited certificate issuers, five full applicants, and twelve preliminary applicants that are identified in the accreditation directory on the ANSI website.

ANSI-CAP accreditation follows the process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. This process includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments, and make recommendations to the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions.

More information about ANSI-CAP is available on the program’s official website.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

Philadelphia, PA  (Food News)  Students eating breakfast or lunch at school will now be able to enjoy their favorite meals and snacks while consuming nutrient dense whole grains. This year, ARAMARK, a food and nutrition partner with over 500 school districts throughout North America, has added a variety of new whole grain meal and snack offerings to the school menus. To engage the entire school community in health and wellness, ARAMARK will also be hosting sampling events for students, parents and staff in K-12 districts across the country.

“ARAMARK is committed to ensuring that our students receive wholesome meals and snacks,” said Linda Sceurman, R.D.N.and Director of Nutrition and Menu Development for ARAMARK Education.  “By working with our team of chefs and dietitians as well as manufacturers, we have created healthier menu items that not only taste great but provide students with the nutrients they need to support their busy lifestyles, both in and out of the classroom.”

Examples of the new whole grain menu offerings include:

  • Chicken Nuggets made with whole grain breading
  • Macaroni Salad with vegetables and whole grain pasta
  • Chicken Caesar Wraps and Ranch Chicken Wraps featuring whole grain wraps
  • Fish Sandwich featuring baked fish with whole grain breading, served on a whole grain bun
  • Black Bean Veggie Burger made from scratch vegetarian burger served on a  whole grain bun
  • Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Bagels and Toast made with whole grains.

Many popular name brand snacks — including pretzels, granola and cereal bars, cookies and graham crackers — have been reformulated to feature more whole grains, less fat, salt and sugar and more fiber.  Along with tasting great, these new items have been developed to be nutritionally superior to alternatives that are purchased at stores and packed from home.

In addition to whole grains, menus also feature more fresh fruits and vegetables, low and non-fat dairy options, lean proteins, and 100 percent fruit juice and water.

ARAMARK is committed to improving childhood nutrition and creating healthier school environments through nutritious meal offerings and wellness education.  To learn more, please visit www.myhealthyforlife.com.

About ARAMARK Education

ARAMARK Education provides a complete range of food, facility, uniform and other support services to more than 500 K-12 school districts in the U.S.  It offers public and private education institutions a family of dining and facility services including:  on-site and off-site breakfast and lunch meal programs, after-school snacks, catering, nutrition education, retail design and operations, maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy management, construction management, and building commissioning.  For more information on ARAMARK’s K-12 food service programs, please visit www.aramarkschools.com.

About ARAMARK

ARAMARK delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people’s lives through innovative food, facility, and uniform services. United by a passion to serve, our more than 250,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people around the world. ARAMARK is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.  Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.