Private Label leaders

The Grocery Headquarters’ Private Label Trail Blazer Awards recognize outstanding private label manufacturers for their ability to innovate and stand out among their peers.

When you look at the factors that consumers consider when choosing a product, attributes such as quality, consistency, value and innovation rise to the top. Given that many of today’s private label products meet those demands—and more—it is no wonder that store brands continue to increase their appeal with shoppers looking to make the best choices for their families.

For their part, suppliers have risen to the challenge and in many cases raised the bar and infused excitement in categories where there was previously little to none. Their focus on customer service rivals that of national brands and their commitment to grow the category has been impressive to say the least. Looking at their future plans, it is clear private label companies will continue to hold a top position for years to come.

It is because of this effort that Grocery Headquarters is recognizing these achievements and honoring a handful of select companies with our 2012 Private Label Trail Blazer Award.

American Italian Pasta Co.
American Italian Pasta Co. (AIPC) is an independent operating division of Ralcorp Holding Co., and is the largest producer of dry pasta in North America, serving foodservice, retail and ingredient channels. AIPC officials say they are focusing on the company’s retail business, both in the core markets of its regional brands and nationally for its store brand business. As a private label supplier, AIPC’s extensive category expertise helps their retail customers develop and sell quality store brands at a value price.

Rob Persaud, vice president of marketing for the Kansas City, Mo.-based manufacturer, says the company differentiates itself with its partnership approach, providing category management expertise, consumer insights, proactive innovation and top-level service.

According to Persaud, health concerns continue to be an area of growth for pasta. “Whole wheat and whole grain pastas make up approximately half of better-for-you pasta sales, but the segment is fairly fragmented due to the many different combinations of health benefits consumers are seeking,” he says. “AIPC offers the full range of better-for-you products. And in fact we have launched a 100% Whole Grain pasta product in our regional brands. As consumers show growing interest in better-for-you pasta, our new technology delivers the improved taste and texture they are looking for in whole wheat pasta.”

The company’s vegetable pasta has recently generated a lot of interest. Persaud believes the interest stems from the fact that the product delivers the traditional taste and texture of regular pasta with the added benefit of a serving of vegetables.  “We have many more products in the pipeline that we are working on to reach tomorrow’s new needs,” he says.

To create excitement in the category, AIPC is investing in product and packaging innovation, as well as unique ways to encourage pasta usage. “By rooting our activities in consumer insights, we are able to stay on top of trends and anticipate our customer needs,” says Persaud.

For more information, visit www.aipc.com.

Associated Hygienic Products
Associated Hygenic Products (AHP) is one of the most tenured private label disposable diaper, training pants and youth pants manufacturer in the industry. Established in 1984, the company has one of the most experienced diaper teams in the private label industry.

Additionally, AHP’s parent company, Disposable Soft Goods, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

In 2011, the Duluth, Ga.-based manufacturer strengthened its team through the acquisition of Arquest, another long-standing U.S. diaper manufacturer. AHP’s product design philosophy continues to be one of innovation rather than duplication, featuring unique and proprietary qualities that can be successfully marketed against competing national brands.

According to Chris Ferdock, corporate vice president of marketing, their primary product inspiration comes from mothers and their babies. To tap into this resource, the company routinely conducts in-home testing with mothers from across the country. In addition, with company roots firmly planted in the Far East, AHP has a birds-eye view of product and consumer trends that will likely make their way to the North American marketplace.

“We anticipate that 2012 will be a banner year for our private label baby diaper, training pants and youth pants businesses for a number of reasons,” says Ferdock.

For more information, visit www.ahp-dsg.com.

Clean Ones Corp.
Since 1984, Clean Ones Corp. has been committed to bringing innovation and improvement to the household glove category. Driven by an unwavering commitment to quality and value, Clean Ones has become a leader in the industry, selling more than one billion gloves each year. Clean Ones produces gloves under its flagship brand, Clean Ones For Clean Hands On Dirty Jobs, along with Workin’ Gloves and many private label brands for national retailers. Based in Portland, Ore., Clean Ones gloves are distributed both nationwide and internationally.

Erin Crum, director of marketing, says the company’s Premium Household Glove is among the top sellers in the category as the glove meets and exceeds the leading national brand glove. She says with an added layer of material for durability and premium cotton flocking for comfort and moisture absorption, glove users get a more premium product at a value price. “What’s more, we’ve switched from the traditional yellow color glove to a consumer-preferred violet color,” she says.

According to Crum, the category is well poised for growth. She says research has shown the category trending toward upsizing package counts for disposable gloves, something she expects to continue this year. “Glove consumers prefer a large pack size for convenience factors and generally a larger package provides a better value,” she says.

In fact, when it comes to purchasing household gloves, Crum says consumers are driven to buy based on three distinct criteria: trusted protection from chemicals, cleaners and germs; high levels of quality and durability for extended use, and added comfort features to make performing household chores more pleasant.

For more information, visit www.cleanones.com.

Clearwater Paper
Consumers are voting with their dollars and it is clear that more are willing to consider private label paper products. Officials at Clearwater Paper believe the improved quality and a focus on the environment are among the factors inciting more consumers to try private label. What’s more, the expansion of the Forest Stewardship Council certification to premium and ultra-premium quality bath tissue products and ultra-premium quality paper towels is also expected to bring attention to the category this year.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of sustainable product options,” says Bruce Woodlief, director of marketing for Clearwater Paper’s consumer products division. “With FSC certified products, consumers are reassured that their store brand tissue products are made with quality fiber sourced from well-managed forests,” he says.

Another factor driving growth and improved quality this year, notes Woodlief, will be the expanded capacity for through air-dried papermaking. “This will improve the quality of our ultra-bath tissue offerings,” he says.

To better position itself as a leader within the private label tissue industry, the Spokane, Wash.-based company acquired Cellu Tissue Holdings in 2011.

Woodlief says 2012 will usher another series of product improvements, particularly in the premium and ultra-premium quality tiers of bath tissue and paper towels. As such he says retailers can expect to see enhancements in absorbency, strength, softness, feel and thickness to be the focus of product upgrades among branded and private label offerings over the next 12 months and beyond.

For more information, visit www.clearwaterpaper.com.

Dr. Fresh
Officials at Dr. Fresh understand that innovation is necessary for the oral category to stay vital ,which is why new product development, quality, and affordable pricing are top priorities. “We bank our success on being ahead of the curve in terms of offering the consumer new and better ways to practice superior oral care,” says Daniel Enriquez, vice president of sales.

With their private label focus on mouth rinse and soon toothpaste, the Buena Park, Calif.-based company recently developed a proprietary mouth rinse product called Orazyme. The technology that they developed for this product has allowed them to create similar private label rinses for other retailers and wholesalers. Orazyme Dry Mouth Mouthwash from Dr. Fresh provides relief from dry mouth symptoms and also controls the balance of good and bad bacteria in the mouth.

According to company officials there are several factors that can cause dry mouth, including age, diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and HIV and medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants.

Dr. Fresh will be introducing a convenient on-the-go solution for dry mouth relief —Orazyme Dry Moisturizing Spray. “We have already received new private label distribution and will be on the shelf at major retailers in the second quarter,” says Enriquez.

For more information, visit www.drfresh.com.

Global Tissue Group
As a manufacturer of household paper products, Global Tissue Group has spent years fostering a reputation of providing value and personal service to every one of its customers. As a result, retailers have come to depend upon the Medford, N.Y.-based company’s flexibility, confidentiality and quality, say company officials.

“Simply put, we specialize in comfort and trust,” says Daniel David, executive vice president. “As a privately owned family business, our goal is to provide comfort in everything we do, from our products to our relationships.”

Trust, he adds, is built by extending the same courtesy, flexibility and punctuality to their customers and vendors that they would to their own family. And because they buy the same products their customers do, quality is the focus of everything that they do.

Recently the company released a newly engineered embossing pattern with Drimatic pockets that allows for better absorption and softer paper feel, a move made in response to reengineering done in 2011 by the national brands.

“As an independent converter, we are at the forefront of this innovation by providing our Drimatic technology to our private label offerings,” he says.

This year, retailers expect to see the paper industry continue to reformulate products to meet specific retailer price points and consumer needs, says David.

For more information, visit www.globaltissue.com.

The Jel Sert Co.
The Jel Sert Co. has been making fun foods for more than 85 years. Its product portfolio of freezer pops, powdered soft drinks, fruit drinks and dessert mixes continues to grow in popularity and exceed both consumer and customer expectations today, say company officials. The West Chicago, Ill.-based company is a significant private label supplier in its product categories because they not only apply their manufacturing and distribution expertise to their programs, but they also offer creativity and innovation. “We partner with our customers to find ways to expand and strengthen their current product lines and ultimately grow sales,” says Susie Frausto, vice president of marketing. “As Jel Sert approaches its first century mark, we are continuing to help retailers offer affordable, healthy and immensely popular fun foods to their consumers.”

Included in their lineup are freezer pops, drink mixes and ready-to-drink beverages.
For 2012, Jel Sert officials say they plan to continue to lead through innovation by offering even more unique flavors, textures and better-for-you options to their private label partners. Among their newest launches are freezer bars with 100% juice and a line of all-natural, sugar-free powdered soft drinks.

For more information, visit www.jelsert.com.

John B. Sanfilippo & Son
John B. Sanfilippo & Son (JBSS) is one of the largest processors, packagers, marketers and distributors of nut and nut-based products in the U.S. As a supplier of private branded snack, baking, cooking and produce nuts, the Elgin, Ill.-based company is committed to quality, expertise and innovation. This year the company is celebrating its 90th anniversary, a testament to the quality of its products and dedication to supporting, promoting and growing the private label nut category.

JBSS operates five high-capacity, state-of-the-art production facilities, four of which are strategically located in primary nut-growing regions. Their solid infrastructure allows them to react quickly to changes in consumer preferences for alternative pack styles and flavors and increases in end-user demand. Company officials say it is the small details that make its nuts and the company unique.

Brendan Honan, director of brand marketing, says that to grow future sales, retailers will need to focus on consumer insights to maximize their growth potential on store brands and partner with vendors that leverage consumer insights to provide strategic recommendations on shelving, assortment and promotions. “At JBSS, we have dedicated consumer research and R&D teams to identify relevant consumer insights and translate those insights into store level recommendations,” he says.

For more information, visit www.jbssinc.com.

La Vita Health Foods
La Vita Health Foods was founded in 2003 by Zina Minz as a tribute to Zina’s grandmother’s love of baking delicious, great tasting desserts for people who suffer from gluten intolerance and diabetes. When Minz started the Suffern, N.Y.-based company, she designed La Vita products outside the stereotypical realm of bland, dry and nutritionally unbalanced cookies and desserts typically made for gluten-free and diabetic customers.

This past year saw many changes at the company, including explosive sales growth in its Zena’s Label Gluten-Free cookies as well as their private label business. Anticipating this, the company will be moving into a new facility this year which will increase their capacity ten-fold. What’s more, according to Minz, new developments in gluten-free raw materials and suppliers are allowing the company to develop new items like Truffles and Brownie Bites.

Looking forward, Minz believes a number of changes will impact the gluten-free industry, especially for products for that carry a gluten-free label, but are not produced at a Gluten-Free Certified facility. “These products will increasingly come under scrutiny from gluten-free organizations and consumer groups,” says Minz who anticipates seeing a greater recognition from grocers to offer more gluten-free cookies and sweets.

For more information, visit www.lavitahealthfoods.com.

L.B. Maple Treat
Luc Bergeron, founder and co-owner of L.B. Maple Treat (LBMT), started out three decades ago with a maple syrup stand in Vancouver’s Granville Island market. During this time, the business grew from selling his maple syrup off a wooden table into one of the leading maple syrup companies in the world. The 35-acre farm he started with less than 5,000 maple trees tapped each season, has now grown to more than 1,200 acres on his farm, with more than 110,000 maple trees now being tapped.

Normally packed in the traditional glass bottle with hook and plastic jugs, LBMT also offers a complete array of pure maple syrup in fancy bottles along with a wide selection of maple-derived products, including maple cream cookies, teas and sweet candies, developed with LBMT’s unique recipes. “We have experienced a steady growth in both sales and key accounts over the last three decades and a key reason for that is because our retail partners know they can rely on us to provide top-quality, pure maple syrup every time,” says Bergeron. “We do this by ensuring our quality surpasses industry standards and we have our barrels of syrup tested by third parties.”

In 2012, Burgeron expects continued interest in he company’s premium Maple Leaf Cookies. Maple butter, pure maple sugar and wider selection of maple syrup products will also be key trends going forward.

For more information, visit www.lbmapletreat.com.

Lidestri Food & Beverage
LiDestri Food & Beverage is a family-owned and family-oriented company known for its diverse private label food and beverage offerings. The company’s driving philosophy is to strive to make the products for its customers the best that they can be, treating the products as if they were their own.

Moreover, the addition of a new production facility in Rochester, N.Y, has greatly increased LiDestri’s production potential and provided new packaging options for customers. In addition, the company continues to focus on health and wellness initiatives including salt reduction and offering more DHA and omega-3 supplemented products.

“We believe it’s important to have healthy products, but those products should also taste great,” says Edward Salzano, executive vice president and COO of the Fairport, N.Y.-based company.

Known for its pasta sauce and salsa products, the company is also making a reputation with its gourmet-related products including herb infused oils, cooking wines, finishing sauces, BBQ sauces and Asian sauces. Additionally, LiDestri also offers spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink mixers, oils, wines and vinegars. “When launching new products we focus on our customer’s inspiration and goals, while remaining conscious of the ever-changing trends and advancements in the food industry,” says Salzano. “We excel at developing products that appeal to the everyday consumer. The commitment to low costs while maintaining quality and consistency ensure that we’re offering great products at a great price.”

In the coming months, LiDestri will be opening a state-of-the-art Innovation Center at the new Rochester production facility.

For more information, visit www.lidestrifoods.com.

Morgan Foods
The founders of Morgan Foods saw the Austin, Ind. area’s rich soil and favorable climate as the perfect place to start a canning business. Today, the family is still involved in the company, helping to make it a leader in private-label soup and other mixed-ingredient products.

To grow with the times and offer customers the greatest overall value, Morgan Foods has increased its emphasis on research and development and invested heavily in the tools necessary to produce consistently high-quality products. In fact, the company’s mission is boldly stated on its website­­­—creating products retailers are proud to put their store’s name on.

“Morgan Foods is constantly evolving to meet consumer and customer needs, while never straying from the founding principal to provide quality products,” says Kim Hannaford, director of marketing.

Hannaford points out that some examples of products that are furthering this tradition include reduced sodium soups, both condensed and ready to serve; MSG free soups; light soups; low sodium beans; easy open can lids and broth and stocks in aseptic packaging.

Moreover, Morgan Foods offers an array of services to put products on the shelf as well as move them off of the shelf. “We start with a variety of soups, beans, broths, sauces and gravies which are produced in state-of-the-art facilities that are Global Food Safety Initiative complaint and SQF Level 2 Certified,” says Hannaford.

For more information, visit www.morganfoods.com.

Nice-Pak Products
Nice-Pak Products started 55 years ago with a simple idea that wet wipes are a superior delivery system for cleaning and disinfecting. Today, the company continues to be singularly focused on wet wipes and is considered one of the top experts in the field.

Nice-Pak’s philosophy includes the belief that they can substantially expand wet wipe categories and consumer usage by delivering optimum functionality at attractive price points. By focusing on consumer insights, world class R&D, strong marketing support, and manufacturing excellence, Nice-Pak has become a trusted retail partner, say company officials.

With innovation a key priority, the company heavily invests in research to gain better consumer understanding and to guide the development of custom retailer programs tailored to shopper demographics. “Consumers won’t sacrifice quality/efficacy for price,” says Thomas Hernquist, president, consumer division of Nice-Pak Products, based in Orangeburg, N.Y. “They demand performance on key functional attributes which are fundamental to consumer satisfaction, repeat purchase and loyalty.”

In March 2011, Nice-Pak opened its new 20,000 square foot R&D facility with in-house packaging, applicator, formulation, and microbiology research capabilities. The company is currently working on next generation fibers, technologies, formulas and packaging.

As for the coming months, Hernquist says he is confident 2012 will prove to be an exciting year. Wet wipes, he notes, will continue to grow, driven in large part by consumer needs for cleanliness, convenience and affordability. “Retailers who build their wet wipe programs across categories to engage consumer loyalty will be rewarded with category growth and improved profitability,” he says, noting that Nice-Pak will continue to expand and invest in its manufacturing capabilities this year.

For more information, visit www.nicepakwipes.com.

Premier Brands of America
Premier Brands of America is a privately held manufacturer, packager and marketer of high-quality OTC and non-OTC health and beauty care products, say company officials. The breadth of the company’s product offering includes more than125 unique items that provide comfort and care in categories such as first aid, foot care, deodorant, body sprays and depilatories.

The down economy may have allowed for expansion opportunities in store branded products, but what is really driving their business, according to Ellen Manger, marketing manager of the Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based company, is the significant inroads Premier has made in developing “100% Solution” items. “Retailers have replaced underperforming or non-value added branded items with store brand offerings,” says Manger.

Moreover, Premier is seeing growth in treatment products with active ingredients. In Spring 2011, Premier successfully launched a new category in its store brand lineup with the addition of the simplyBare depilatory line for women, which the company produces under that label as well as a private label offering.

Premier employs an in-house product development, marketing, design and engineering team to filter new products and innovations by conducting research, third party testing and consumer trials to ensure the product potential is understood before it is released to the market. “We are very in-tune with what’s happening in the marketplace—we know what the national brand is doing and how the overall categories are moving,” says Manger.
For spring 2012, Premier will unveil a value product lineup in response to increasing demands from retail partners to develop products that fit within the dollar store economy.

For more information, visit www.premier-brands.com.

Ralston Foods
Ralston Foods has the distinction of being one of the top producers of store brand cereals. During its 100-plus years in business, the St. Louis-based company has earned a well-deserved reputation for producing quality cereals on par with if not exceeding national brands when it comes to qualities such as nutrition, appearance and most importantly taste. Consumers love their products for all those reasons and more, including that they save significantly when buying Ralston, say company officials.

Today, Ralston has more than 50 varieties of ready-to-eat store brand cereals that run the gamut of tastes and preferences from traditional favorites to the most recent new flavors and formulas. Likewise, Ralston’s hot cereal line parallels the brand leaders in innovation with more than 16 varieties and includes not only Oatmeal but also specialty hot cereals.

Company officials point out that their products are tested on an on-going basis to ensure they feature the best branded attributes possible. Consistent quality, a breadth of product choices and competitive pricing, officials note, are what helps to make Ralston a leader in the private label industry.

For more information, visit www.ralstonfoods.com.

Ranir Global
Founded in 1979, Ranir Global operates in the growing oral hygiene market and is considered a leader in private label and select branded products, along with a robust contract manufacturing business. In addition to continuously enhancing its consumer products business, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company focuses on being first to market with high-value oral care products comparable in quality to the leading brands such as its proprietary home whitening systems, power toothbrush handles and replacement heads and Nite Protector for the relief of night time teeth grinding. Ranir’s products are sold under numerous retailers’ store brands, as well as the Placker’s brand.

Ranir also produces leading national branded products as part of its contract manufacturing business.

With its broad array of innovative and differentiated products and a strong new product pipeline, Ranir is ideally positioned to capitalize on the rapid development of cosmetic dentistry, the increasing attention being placed on the link between oral health and overall health and growth in personal care private label and branded products. Ranir currently has 19 issued patents with additional patents in the provisional, application, or drafting stages. Ranir also owns 53 trademarks registered in the U.S. or Canada.

Ranir’s strong reputation for both quality and outstanding customer service has enabled the company to steadily grow its share of the highly fragmented private label market. The company has further differentiated itself from its major private label competitors by providing ongoing, unparalleled analysis of the oral care categories in which the company competes. Officials say this consultative sales and marketing approach, coupled with reliable product quality and on-time delivery, offers retailers the opportunity to grow both sales and profitability of their private label oral care business while simultaneously providing their consumers with a compelling value proposition.

Ranir has also expanded globally over the past year with the acquisition of Synpart Ltd. and Synpart AG, a leading manufacturer and marketer of store brand oral care products in Europe and contract manufacturer for global branded oral care companies. “Teaming with Synpart will not only allow us to expand our product selection in the oral care category and accelerate our growth through international expansion, it will also enable us to increase our focused commitment to innovation to continue to exceed the expectations of our retail partners,” says Christine Henisee, CEO of Ranir.

For more information, visit www.ranir.com.

Red Gold
Many consider making the highest quality, best -tasting tomato products in the world a lofty goal, but for Red Gold it has been a way of life since 1942.  Red Gold, based in Elwood, Ind., is the nation’s largest family-owned producer of private brand tomato products. The company is committed “to producing the freshest, best tasting, tomato products in the world.”

Red Gold is well-known throughout the private brand industry for quality products. They produce a variety of tomato product categories including canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, tomato juice, vegetable juice, ketchup, seafood cocktail sauce, chili sauce, pizza sauce, sloppy joe sauce and enchilada sauce.

“Red Gold strives for excellence every day to ensure that the quality and safety of Red Gold private brand products are unsurpassed in the industry,” says Gary Petersen, director of private brand sales. According to Petersen, to meet customer needs, Red Gold starts with the best tomatoes and adds the finest ingredients, creating a wide variety of product formulations. “From the seed to the store, Red Gold exceeds industry processing methods that result in superior quality and consistent flavor. Customers know that private brand products made by Red Gold will meet or exceed their standards for quality and consistency,” he says.

Moreover, product innovation that leverages consumer insights is at the core of the new item process at Red Gold. New for Red Gold is a full line of Enchilada Sauce formulas, two 10-ounce diced tomato products (one flavored with habaneros and one with chipotle peppers) and a green chili flavored tomato sauce.

For more information, visit www.redgold.com/privatebrands.com.

River Ranch Fresh Foods
River Ranch Fresh Foods is one of the leading grower/shipper/processors of value-added produce including Retailer’s Own Brand salads, River Ranch salads, Popeye Fresh! spinach and River Ranch fresh-cut vegetables. The Salinas, Calif.-based company’s product offerings range from traditional garden salads and salad blends to complete salad kits, spinach salads and cabbage items in flexible packaging, as well as field fresh commodity vegetables. With two processing facilities in California, the company is able to service a wide range of customers throughout North America.

This past year marked one of the company’s busiest ever. Early in 2011, River Ranch introduced Heritage Blend, a proprietary blend of petite Red & Green Lettuces, under Retailer’s Own Brand and River Ranch brand. The company worked closely for two years with an international seed company to develop numerous lettuce varieties that comprise the new Heritage Blend.  And it seems all that work paid off. According to Kim St. George, director of marketing,  the robust new Heritage Blend won “Best of Show” for its 2011 Best New Product Launch at the PMA Fresh Summit October 2011.  “Retail and foodservice customers are looking for new and innovative products and River Ranch’s Heritage Blend has been called the new and improved Spring Mix,” says St. George.

But innovation is nothing new for the company. River Ranch has been producing a large variety and breadth of products for its private brand partners for more than 20 years. “Our company has private brand partnerships with 13 private brand retailers and foodservice distributors throughout North America, producing over 200 salad and vegetable SKUs in all,” says St. George.”

For more information, visit www.riverranchfreshfoods.com.

TH Foods
The mission at TH Foods is to bring innovative, authentic, better-for-you balanced nutrition, rice-based crackers and snacks to North America. According to Jim Garsow, director of marketing for the Loves Park, Ill.-based company, TH Foods achieves this by leveraging their diverse culture and unique, proprietary Japanese rice baking techniques to create products with the best of both worlds in mind—traditional rice snacks from the East combined with tempting taste sensations from the West.

TH Foods is one of the only manufacturer sof usuyaki style (Japanese for thin and flat) baked rice crackers in North America. Recognizing the need for more gluten-free certified foods, the company has partnered with the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO). Currently, all of their Crunchmaster crackers and many of TH Foods partner brands feature the GFCO symbol.

“The level of consumer interest in better-for-you snacks has grown significantly over the last few years,” says Garsow. He notes that product features that are desired by LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health & Sustainability) consumers include savory taste, calories per serving, whole grain, high fiber, all natural, baked/not fried, multi-grain, low sodium, crunchy/crispy texture, low sugar, cholesterol free and gluten-free.

As Garsow points out, this should be another exciting year for gluten-free products which are expected to continue to grow by double-digit rates in 2012. “As the economy improves, the development of premium private label products will accelerate,” he says. “With our heavy investment in research and development, TH Foods is prepared to assist our retail partners in building a healthy snack business.”

For more information, visit www.crunchmaster.com.

White Toque
White Toque is a leading importer of frozen specialty products servicing all of North American continent. The Secaucus, N.J.-based company’s  mission, according to marketing manager Adeline Stefani, is to identify and bring unique products made with high quality ingredients to market.

As such, White Toque works closely with major manufacturers and product facilities in Europe to establish strong standards of quality. “We guarantee the quality of our ingredients and finished products which include croissants, escargot, butters, sauces, cheeses, desserts, fruits, specialty dough, mushrooms, grilled and frozen vegetables,” says Stefani.

As for where the inspiration for their innovation comes from, Stefani describes it as a tripartite relationship between White Toque, its customers and its partners. “We work on a daily basis with our customers so we know what they are looking for and what they expect from us.

We work hand-in-hand with our partners in Europe to develop high-quality items adapted for the U.S. market,” she says, noting that the company also attends all the major food shows to keep an eye open to new business opportunities.

For 2012, the company is working on developing several new private label programs and items with both new and current customers. “Our frozen food products represent 80% of our sales with a majority of these products packaged under the White Toque name,” says Stefani.

For more information, visit www.whitetoque.com. 

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