Getting crafty in Cajun country

The 2012 IDDBA convention provided retailers with a wealth of products and merchandising ideas. 

In the bag
Bagcraft Papercon has brought a lot of innovation to supermarket shelves, including the microwave popcorn bag and the honeycomb foil wrap. Now the Chicago-based company is revolutionizing how deli sandwiches are marketed with its DublView sandwich bags.

“There are a lot of great packaging options that do a phenomenal job of protecting and have great visibility, but what we’ve seen is that a lot of people are upgrading their ingredients and they want to showcase that in an eye-catching way as people are walking by and looking into a chilled merchandiser,” says Barak Bright, director of marketing.

With its new brown-paper artisanal bags, Bagcraft is offering consumers a bag with a side view allowing consumers to see the contents instead of just the bread. “Flexible packaging allows us to give that crystal clear clarity on the side with an anti-fog film whereas it is a lot more difficult to do that with some of the other packages that are out there,” Bright says. For more information, visit

Talking turkey
Consumers are going to be gobbling up the latest offerings from Butterball. The Garner, N.C.-based company has added three artisanal flavors to its deli sliced-to-order turkey breast line—Smoky Chipotle, Herb Roasted and Maple Honey.

“These are all hand-rubbed or infused and offer the consumer really good flavors,” says David Rodriguez, deli brand leader. “We are going to be launching them in September.” For more information, visit

Brownie points
Brownie sales have been down about 6%, but at Jackson, Mich.-based Dawn Food Products they are up 8%, say company officials. With Dawn’s new Layered Brownies, available in Red Velvet Cream Cheese, Sea Salt Caramel, Café Mocha and Classic Tuxedo look for that market share to go up even more.

“The biggest trend in brownies right now is size, particularly portion-controlled single-serve, and our newest brownies are ideal for single-serve or sharing for two,” says Dorothy Zeugin Radlicz, senior business manager, sweets. “Our studies show that brownies outscore all other bakery categories for out-of-home and evening consumption.”

The line is sold frozen and merchandised as a thaw-and-sell item. All are made from a proprietary mix that is also sold in dry and batter form. For more information, visit

Say “pepper cheddar” cheese
Leave it to the people at Schreiber Foods to find a way to make cheddar cheese even more sharp. The Green Bay, Wis.-based company has added Cracked Black Pepper to its Cooper CV Sharp Cheddar brand. “Cooper has been around since 1945. In fact, Cooper CV Sharp, which means Cooper Victory, was dedicated to World War II veterans,” says James Roth, branded deli sales manager.

Cooper CV Sharp Cracked Black Pepper American is sold in a 5-pound loaf in the deli case where it is sliced to order. Schreiber is also introducing Cooper 12-ounce cubes and 10-ounce chunks, both in a retail package, and three Weight Watchers deli slice-to-order items, marking the Weight Watchers brand’s debut in the deli. On the private label front, Schreiber is introducing Salsa, Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon Caramel Apple cream cheeses. For more information, visit

Blondies have more fun
General Mills is lightening up brownie sales with its line of Pillsbury Blondie Brownie Bites that are being introduced for the in-store bakery.

Pillsbury Blondie and Brownie Bites are shipped 12-containers to a case, fully labeled with tampering-proofing stickers. They are shipped frozen, fully baked, for thaw-and-sell and have a 10-day shelf life on Brownie Bites and seven-day shelf life on the Blondie Bites. The suggested retail is $3.49.

“We did a test in store and saw 18% sales growth of branded vs. non-branded using the Pillsbury Dough Boy,” says Cathy Meyer, marketing manager, Bakeries & Foodservice, at Minneapolis-based General Mills. “The Brownie Bites have been one of our most successful launches ever in the in-store bakery.”

General Mills is also sparking creativity in the produce department and deli case with its Yoplait/Nature Valley Granola parfait kits. The vanilla and strawberry yogurt is shipped in plastic bags and has 72% less waste than a tub. The granola is shipped separately and also available in a 50-ounce bag that can be used for other bakery applications. For more information, visit

Taking the cupcake
Providing shoppers with a premium cupcake program is easier than ever since Bake’n Joy Foods is offering fully baked 4-ounce cupcakes that are ready to thaw and decorate. Available 36 to a pack, the cupcakes are available in yellow, chocolate, carrot cake, banana and red velvet flavors.

“Unlike bake-off products, these are already baked. All the bakery associate has to do is take them out, decorate them and put them out on the shelf,” says Tara O’Donovan, marketing manager for North Andover, Mass.-based Bake’n Joy. “It is an easy way to make a signature gourmet cupcake. You can do something very simple and make it look more elaborate by simply putting shavings or something on it.”

Under its Boston Coffee Cake brand Bake’n Joy has introduced marble, sugar-free and butter pound cakes as well as cinnamon walnut loaf cake.

“This is actually the coffee cake formula in a loaf,” O’Donovan says. “All the Boston Coffee Cake products are baked, packaged, labeled and ready to go. The retailer just has to thaw and put them out.” For more information, visit

Going nuts over cuties
Cuties brand California clementines are now available in a refrigerated juice marketed in the produce and dairy case. The juices are available in 8-, 12- and 48-ounce bottles in Tangerine (Clementine Mandarin blend), Tangerine Orange Mango and Tangerine Orange Pineapple varieties. “In the middle of our groves we built a state-of-the-art extraction plant and we take our product and squeeze it, resulting in a product that is 100% Mandarin Clementine juice,” says Bob DiPiazza, president of Sun Pacific Marketing, based in Pasadena, Calif.

Sun Pacific is also producing Califia Farms almond milk. Califia Farms almond milk is available in Unsweetened, Creamy and Vanilla flavors and is packaged in a 40-ounce old-fashioned milk-bottle shaped carafe. For more information, visit

Convenience cuisine
InnovAsian Cuisine Enterprises, wants to help consumers whip up a meal or snack in a jiffy. The Tukwila, Wash.-based company is offering Carry Out Cuisine, a line of four fully cooked appetizers that are shipped frozen and can be merchandised in a refrigerated display for up to 14 days.

Each package contains six potstickers or shumai (chicken or pork) in a microwaveable tray that includes soy vinegar and hot chili oil sauce packets. Consumers can open the wrapper, remove the sauce and place the tray in a microwave. The products have a suggested retail price of $4.99.

“These products take less than two minutes to make and are a great snack or make a great meal,” says Crystal Elmore, a category marketing manager for the company. “These items also offer minimal labor for the retailer. They can simply open the case and put the items on the shelves.” For more information, visit

Sensibly delicious
Officials at CSM Bakery Products want consumers to feel good about eating snacks from the bakery department. The Tucker, Ga.-based company has introduced Sensibly Indulgent, a line of cookies, brownies and whoopee pies that are all 150 calories or less per serving. Currently, the company offers seven SKUs in the line and will soon add cupcakes to the collection, according to David Nies, marketing director. The products have a suggested retail price of $3.99 each.

“These products completely shatter the consumer perception that healthier products don’t taste as good,” Nies says. “We conducted a consumer study that found that most consumers want a healthy option from the in-store bakery that also tastes good. These are great options for consumers looking to give their kids a healthier alternative for snacks.” For more information, visit

Portion control
Thinking small is a part of the strategy at the James Skinner Baking Co. The Omaha, Neb.-based company is introducing Perfect for Two, a line of bakery items designed for small one or two member households. The three SKUs (Bavarian Crème Serenade, Cherry Cheese Concerto and Cinnamon Symphony) address portion control issues and come in a microwaveable tray. Each item has a suggested retail price of $2.99.

“We are going after a younger demographic,” says David Skinner, marketing manager. “We have created a top-of-the-line product at modest price points that will attract a new consumer to the bakery section. Now consumers can buy a quality bakery product and not have to worry about throwing half of it away.” For more information, visit

Pizza time
Jane’s Dough Foods has introduced a number of items to its pizza line. The Columbus, Ohio-based company has introduced Sonoma Flatbreads by Donatos, a line of super-premium, all-natural flatbreads and gluten-free pizzas. The product is completely sauced, cheesed and topped and is ready-to-bake from the refrigerated deli case.

The company is also introducing Fast Break by Donatos, a line of microwaveable personal pizzas that can be prepared in less than two and a half minutes. It is also unveiling Fresh Bake by Donatos, a line of “restaurant-quality take & bake pizzas, breadsticks and dough shells.

“We can help retailers sell more pizzas and make more money,” says Alan Hoover, general manager. “We have 49 years of experience in this field and we operate 157 pizza restaurants in seven states. No one knows pizza like we do and it pays off for our retail partners.” For more information, visit

Pie in the sky
Mark (Par) Grandinetti, the president of Rocky Mountain Pies, has a simple objective: he just wants to help retailers develop a program for pies that will “stop the shopping cart.”
His Salt Lake City, Utah-based company is well on its way to accomplishing that feat. The company, started in 2007, now has about 450 SKUs in the pie category, offering a wide range of products in the 6- to 12-inch segment that will help a retailer stand out amongst its competition in the bakery section.

Rocky Mountain Pies offers several options, including an unbaked program, thaw-and-serve and shelf-stable programs. The company also offers a number of unique pies, including a “red, white and blue” pie and specialty hand-woven lattice pies.

“Our job is to help retailers grow their pie program,” Grandinetti says. “We listen to our retail customers and can design a program for them that works. In the end, the pies will grab the consumer’s attention, stop the shopping cart and create a loyal customer base. I am so confident in our programs that I can say with certainty that our retailers will experience a 30% increase in sales when they utilize our program.” For more information visit

Sabra stays busy
Officials at Sabra seem to be quite busy introducing items. The White Plains, N.Y.-based company is bringing three SKUs of Garden Hummus to the market place. The products, Tuscan Herb, Asian Fusion and Southwest, are available in a 17-ounce container and have a suggested retail price of under $6.99.

The company is also introducing four SKUs of its Greek yogurt veggie dip. The flavors are onion, garlic, spinach & artichoke and cucumber & dill. The line has a suggested retail price of under $4.49. For more information, visit

A sweet snack
34 Degrees sweet crisps were a hit at IDDBA. Inspired by the trend of sweet and savory blends, the sweet crackers are light and airy and made with all-natural ingredients, say company officials. They come in four flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Graham.

“People tend to think of sweet as a dessert type item but these work with cheese to create a sweet and savory combination,” says Craig Lieberman, founder and president. The Denver-based company’s chef has created a number of recipes using the sweet crackers that are featured on recipes tear-off pads, online and through social media.

Launched this past spring, the crackers have received an “amazing response,” says Lieberman. “Our product is really unique because there are only 50-60 calories per serving.” The sweet line of crackers follows the company’s five savory varieties: Natural, Sesame, Cracked Pepper, Rosemary and Whole Grain. The crackers have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 depending on the region. For more information, visit

Containers for the earth
Clear Lam is continuing on its mission to provide eco-friendly packaging made from plant-based and other recyclable products. The PrimaPak line is designed to replace rigid containers. It is made from a roll of film that collapses when empty and features a Peel/Reseal closure on top that company officials say is easy to use, intuitive for consumers and will re-peel about ten times. Designed for nuts, dried fruit and coffee among other items, the packaging will become available later this year in 16- and 32-ounce sizes.

Catering to the small dessert trend, the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based company’s Indulgence line includes two sizes of single-serve cupcake and muffin containers—Jumbo and Regular. The clear stackable design allows for merchandising from the top and side. “Retailers are asking for a gift box-style package,” says Roman Forowycz, group president and chief marketing officer. “It’s received a very positive response from the market.”

Also focusing on single-serve, ready-to-eat foods, the Harmony line includes an array of containers that feature utensils on top. Applicable for the dairy, deli and bakery departments, they target the busy consumer seeking convenient, prepared foods that they can eat on the go. For more information, visit

Covered up
Anchor Packaging’s Gourmet Classics line has a new look. The redesigned bowls include a tear-away hinged-lid and cold anti-fog technology. Textured tabs on the lid make it easy to open and the lid then locks into place on the bottom of the bowl. The lid will not fog up in cold temperatures like other containers, say officials for the St. Louis-based company.

Made with recyclable PET, the bowls come in 6-, 7 1/2- and 9-inch sizes in varying depths ranging from 14 to 40 ounces. They are stackable to make displaying and packing in takeout bags easy. For more information, visit

Grab-and-go snack cups are the latest product to join the Shelton, Conn.-based Inline Plastics Corp.’s Safe-T-Fresh line. The 12-ounce cups lock in freshness, extend shelf life and are available with either flat or dome lids. Ideal for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, bakery items, yogurt, parfait and a variety of snack goods, the perimeter seal provides for increase shelf life and improved leak resistance, and they fit in most car cup holders.

All Safe-T-Fresh containers incorporate a tamper-resistant locking mechanism and patented tear-strip hinge, and are manufactured from 100% recyclable PET. For more information, visit

All by themselves
Oliver Packaging & Equipment Co. is putting slicing back into consumers’ hands. The Simple Slice is an easy and safe option for shoppers to slice both soft texture and artisan loaves of bread up to 16 inches in under 12 seconds, say officials for the Walker Mich.-based company. It includes visible step-by-step instructions and operated quietly.

Less than 26” wide, it has a small footprint and has one of the shortest blade replacement times in the industry, taking about an hour, add officials. For more information, visit

An on-pack deal
Robbie Flexibles is helping retailers attract consumers with new package features. The Lenexa, Kan.-based company now offers on-pack couponing with discounts or cross-merchandising deals at the point-of-purchase. Featured on the front of the packages, such as rotisserie bags, the coupons peel off to be used at the register. Additionally, retailers can print on the backside of the coupon, giving them the ability to share a recipe behind the promotion.

The benefit of the on-pack coupons is the ability to target shoppers already interested in the product, says Patrick Starrett, product marketing manager. “Many consumers don’t have the time to cook from scratch and are looking for easy meal solutions. Offering them this type of discount will give them a reason to return to the same store.” For more information, visit

Chicken’s best friend
Officials at the The T. Marzetti Co. are out to help retailers boost sales in the rotisserie department with two new dinner rolls. Under The Good Oven brand, a package of take-and-bake cheese rolls with a 10-day shelf life will be available in September with a suggested retail price of $3.49. They come in three flavors: Cheddar, Cheddar Jalapeno and Five Cheese. The Columbus, Ohio-based company wanted to offer consumers a cheese roll similar to those found in restaurants. “We wanted to create something unique and indulgent,” says Jeffrey D. Noble, vice president of retail business development. “We saw cheese rolls in restaurants and no one had done them in the store.”

The second item T. Marzetti is bringing to dinner is a soft mini yeast loaf. The packaging was designed to merchandise in front of the rotisserie warmer. “We wanted a good roll to go with chicken. Remember when you used to go to KFC and the rolls would come sitting on top of the bucket of chicken? We wanted to bring that to the grocery store,” says Noble. The suggested retail price for a loaf of yeast rolls is $1.79. For more information, visit

One-bite indulgence
Ticklebelly is offering a plethora of bite-size treats. Elaborating on the cake pop trend was a range of cake truffles, available in Red Velvet, Chocolate Cake, Celebration, Coconut Lime, Frangelico Caramel, Carrot Cheesecake, Chocolate Raspberry and Brownie Truffle. They have a suggested retail price of $.99. “The small dessert trend is doing really well,” says Jorge Michael from Denver-based Ticklebelly. “We made more than one million cake pops last year.”

Also available are cake push-pops and molten lava cakes. Carrying a 5-day shelf life, the four flavors of cake push-pops are Pina Colada, Tiramisu, Raspberry and Triple Chocolate. “Push pops originated in the candy and ice cream industries. Ticklebelly’s Cake Push Pops updated the classic idea with cake, crème and mousse,” says Scott Chavkin, director of marketing. The microwavable molten lava cakes are five-day shelf stable items with a suggested retail price of $2.99 and come in Cookies & Cream, Chocolate, Red Velvet and Black & White varieties. For more information, visit

From the dairyland
Complementing the wide range of new cheeses coming from Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) was featuring its new Wisconsin Cheese Picks & Bites. The program includes more than 50 hand-held cheese creations for retailers and foodservice professionals, as well as consumers.

Each petite pick or bite combines Wisconsin Cheese with a few luscious ingredients that deliver irresistible flavor combinations and easy preparation, say officials from the Madison, Wis.-based company. The choices range from savory to sweet and use fresh ingredients.

WMMB has developed a variety of in-store merchandising materials to support this addition to its in-store Toolbox retail programming that includes a recipe brochure, counter cards, iron man signage and table tents. The selection also is an innovative way to offer samples or enhance a deli or prepared food display. For more information, visit

New snacks in town
In response to retailer request, Guacamole Ranch is the latest product line to join Yucatan Foods’ line of guacamole and guacamole mixes. The Guacamole Ranch is a blend of Yucatan’s fresh guacamole and ranch dip. Available in 8- and 16-ounce tubs, they have suggested retail prices of $3.49 and $5.99, respectively.

The company plans to launch guacamole snack packs this October. Sold in a 4-pack of 2-ounce cups, they offer a single serving of guacamole. The suggested retail price is to be determined.

Los Angeles-based Yucatan now sells a bulk guacamole and pico de gallo package to be mixed in-store and sold at the deli counter. “This is for retailers selling guacamole/pica de gallo mix by the pound,” says Kristyn Lawson, vice president of sales. “It’s great because at the end of the day they can package it and sell it by the tub.” For more information, visit www.

Rolling in the dough
DeIorio’s has something for every baker, especially those catering to gluten-free consumers. Products include a gluten-free dough ball and gluten-free individually wrapped cookies. The Utica, N.Y.-based company’s pizza dough balls are its biggest seller so it was natural to expand into the gluten-free sector, says John Tackabury, marketing coordinator/ISR manager. The dough balls have a suggested retail price of $6 to $7. The individually wrapped cookies were developed for kids who have to eat a gluten-free diet and have a suggested retail price of $1.25 to $1.50. For more information, visit

Something for summer
Just in time for warm-weather snacking, Old Wisconsin Sausage is featuring its Turkey Summer Sausage. The entire line of turkey products including Turkey Sticks, Bites and Slices are low-calorie, trans fat free and gluten-free. According to officials for the Sheboygan, Wis.-based company, turkey products have seen a large increase in consumption. The company’s line of turkey products has seen a 28.5% increase in sales and an increase in dollar sales of $2.9 million, say officials. The Turkey Summer Sausage comes in a 9-ounce package with 12 to a case. For more information, visit

Going upscale
Enjay Converters is offering black laminated cake/bakery boxes that are designed to help retailers give an upscale look to their bakery departments. Officials for the Cobourg, Ontario, Canada-based company say the shiny black laminated boxes are easy to assemble and feature strong recycled fiber board materials. They come in a variety of sizes and in 50- and 100-count packages. The tulip boxes are ideal for cupcakes, and individual dessert items, add officials.

“Our goal is to help retailers gain a better image in their bakery department,” says Gary Coulson, international sales manager. “It helps the retailer get away from a club look and into a more upscale look. It also helps retailers develop a better presentation—and presentation sells.” For more information, visit

Happy about hummus
The Eat Well Enjoy Life (EWEL) brand of Tryst Gourmet, has three new flavors and a new low-fat low-calorie hummus made with Greek yogurt. The three flavors are Red Lentil Chipotle Hummus with Poblano Pepper and Corn Topping, Wasabi Edamame Hummus with Ginger and Black Sesame Topping and Black Bean Hummus with Spicy Roasted Corn Relish. In addition, EWEL offers hummus containing Greek yogurt as a lower fat and calorie offering. The new Lite line has 50% less fat and 33% fewer calories than the leading national brand of traditional hummus, say company officials.

“We continue to find ways to shake up the hummus market with exciting new offerings that meet the need for retailers and consumers for ‘something different’ than the same old hummus,” says Bob Ferraro, vice president of sales for the Alpharetta, Ga.-based company. “Our new flavors and toppings combinations are already seeing great acceptance in the market and the new Lite offering fills another void for an even healthier hummus that still has exceptional taste and flavor.” For more information, visit 

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