A sweet time in the sunshine state

Flavor, nutrition and sustainability were just a few of the trends underlying the innovations at the 2013 IDDBA Seminar and Expo.

Orlando may be the home to the world’s most famous mouse, but for three days last month the sunny city also housed one of the fresh food industry’s largest shows—IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake 2013. With fresh foods more popular than ever, there was a lot for the industry to discuss. Cheese mongers are seeing demand for bold flavors; deli suppliers cannot develop enough healthy, unique salad and sandwich options; and bakers’ shelves are still selling out of individual-sized sweets. Here is a synopsis of what took place.

Without the plastic bagcraft
BagcraftPapercon is ditching the plastic with its Dubl View bakery packaging. The bags are designed to provide visibility to the product while offering space for companies to print brand and product information.

“There is a tremendous amount of rigid plastic packaging in the bakery,” says Barak Bright, director of marketing for the Chicago-based company. “What we are trying to do is bring more of an artisan or homemade image to bakery products. With the perfect balance of paper and Polyfilm, we developed a package that maximizes both visibility and printability with an upscale look.”

The packages can also be heat-sealed to extend product freshness and the company can customize print and package sizes.

A prime package
Cans may soon be a thing of the past. Clear Lam is building on its PrimaPak Packaging line to include a recloseable, hinged lid that snaps tight. The line of flexible, stackable packaging is designed to replace cans, bottles, trays or jars and is ideal for ready-to-eat snacks, meats, cheeses, cereals, coffee, produce and confectionary, say company officials.

“The goal is to take plastic out of packaging; the PrimaPak Packaging is made from flexible film that produces a lighter package,” says Jim Foster, marketing manager. “We have received a good response in focus groups: consumers love that it stands up in the pantry and then squishes down to be thrown away.” Like all of the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based manufacturer’s products, the PrimaPak technology is designed to reduce its carbon footprint.

Clear Lam was also featuring its Peel & ReSeal Technology that eliminates rigid lids and shrink bands, as well as its renewable, plant-based rigid rollstock, developed with up to 30% plant-based materials.

The whole of it
Under the spotlight of an old-fashioned muffin cart sat Bake’n Joy’s latest addition: Whole Grain muffins. The North Andover, Mass-based company launched a revised line of All Natural 100% Whole Grain PanFree muffin batters.

Part of Bake’n Joy’s line of PanFree Predeposited Muffin Batters, the whole grain varieties are available in traditional and unique flavors, such as blueberry and double chocolate. The premeasured batters are flash frozen in freezer-to-oven-to-merchandising bakeable paper pans, available in 2.5- and 4.25-ounce sizes, in a 96- and 36-count respectively.

The electronic baker
IDDBA attendees had their hands on Bakery Crafts’ new In-Store Kiosk. This ordering system houses a complete library of cake design offerings for customers to choose from. The system’s functionality allows retailers to cross-promote products from other departments with on-screen banners.

Printed cake books that are out-of-date will be a thing of the past, say company officials, since the updates can be added at any time. The Bakery Crafts Kiosk can also take cake orders so the bakery can spend more time decorating cakes. Orders and reports can be viewed through the Bakery Crafts Copy Confection System, helping eliminate lost or misplaced orders.

Premium value
Carl Buddig & Co. is hoping to take the deli category to new heights with the introduction of its premium deli lunchmeat products. The line consists of six varieties: honey-smoked turkey breast, Black Forest ham, smoked ham, smoked honey ham, oven-roasted turkey breast and rotisserie-flavored chicken breast. The products are gluten-free and have no MSG and 0g trans fat per serving. They have a suggested retail price of less than $2.50.

“This product is designed to appeal to those consumers who want a premium quality product at a value price,” says Robert Gay, the Homewood, Ill.-based company’s marketing director, who adds that sales of Black Forest ham and rotisserie chicken meats are showing significant growth. “Consumers are demanding more for their money and these items fit right into their needs.”

Get a grip
The Cryovac booth was packed with its latest technologies, including its new Grip & Tear brand of packaging. Aimed at deli product manufacturers, the bags include a perforated seam for users to grip and peel back, allowing for opening without need for touching the product or using a cutting utensil.

“It not only saves labor but reduces the risk of contamination and injury since the user does not need a knife or scissors,” says Mike Rosinski, marketing director for smoked and processed meats, for Cryovac Food Packaging division of Sealed Air Corp., based in Elmwood Park, N.J. “This is especially helpful as the USDA continues to address the Listeria concern in the deli department. We continue to bring technology to the market that will address it.”

Celebration time!
Want to know the best time of year for cake sales versus cupcake sales? Dawn Food Products has the answer. The Jackson, Mich.-based company is offering retailers bakery sales solutions and POS materials to go with them.

“We did a lot of research to determine when the best times were for merchandising different types of cakes,” says Hugh Brooks, senior business manager, Cakes & Icings. “Using this we can help retailers plan their merchandising strategy for promotions and advertising to maximize sales. Halloween, for example, is a huge time for cupcakes, while celebration cakes are popular at other holidays.”

Dawn was showing a number of new cake lines to complement their sales solutions. These included a line of 7-inch two-layer dessert cakes in year-round and seasonal varieties, a line of year-round celebration cakes in 5- and 8-inch two-layer and ¼- and ½-sheet varieties, a line of 8-inch single-layer holiday and seasonal celebration cakes and a line of 8-inch tortes and specialty dessert cakes.

Who’s The Boss?cakeboss
Officials at Dawn Food Products understand the need to tie in with a hot commodity. That is why the Jackson, Mich.-based company is expanding its relationship with the hit television series Cake Boss to include more bakery products.

The Cake Boss, starring Buddy Valastro, is in its sixth season on the TLC network. “It is one of the hottest shows on television and has broad awareness with consumers. These products will only help build new sales for retailers because of their quality level and the fact that they are so different than other items currently on the market,” says Angie Goldberg, vice president of consumer brands for Dawn Foods.

Using the term, “Hoboken to your home,” the company is introducing Cake Boss cupcakes in four flavors, three flavors of Cake Boss fondant cakes and seven flavors of Cake Boss buttercream cakes. “We believe that we are offering consumers a high-quality product at a place where they do the bulk of their shopping,” says Goldberg. “In the past they had to go to a boutique bakery to get this type of quality. Working with the Cake Boss, we can now deliver this level of product to a grocery store’s in-store bakery.”

The face on the cake
The Elf on the Shelf is leaving his perch to star in Decopac’s line of Christmas cake décor. Yet, he is only one of many who will be featured this season with the launch of Santa’s Bake Shop collection. “Every holiday we try to come up with a new theme, and so far we have received a really good response,” says John Gardner, director, customer marketing.
Decopac, based in Anoka, Minn., has also teamed up with well-known characters from movies, such as Monsters University and Despicable Me 2, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show, with the TMNT movie in the works for 2014. “When we are deciding on licenses, we look for ideas for cross promotional relationships,” says Gardner. “When something is happening in the supermarkets aisles, we want to jump on board with it.” The company was also showing an extensive line of NFL and Super Bowl cake decorations.

All boxed up
Enjay Converters, based in Cobourg, Ont., Canada, has extended its line of packaging for baked goods with Tulip Cupcakes boxes. The boxes are available in black laminate or 100% recycled KRAFT material in three sizes—single, double and quad—and come with matching cupcake inserts. The boxes are designed for either cupcakes or individual desserts, two items that are very hot right now in the bakery industry, say company officials.

Made in the U.S.A.
Flagship Food Group is going All-American. The latest addition to its 505 Southwestern line of salsas and sauces, All American Salsa, is supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. Available in mild or medium, the salsa is all-natural, gluten-free and 100% grown and made in the U.S. with green chiles.

One percent of the purchase price of every bottle sold between May 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014, with a minimum of $100,000 will be donated to the charity, which supports veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental illness. “We want to make a difference,” says Tina Waldmier, marketing director for the Los Angeles-based company. “Salsa has become an all-American condiment; it is a staple at football games, parties and even just hanging out.”

Grab a tray
Wholly Guacamole is ditching the pouch. Soon guacamole lovers will find the 7-ounce pouch replaced with an 8-ounce peelable tray. The 100-calorie snack packs will be called Minis, and packaged in 2-ounce trays. Jay Alley, vice president of sales and marketing for Saginaw, Texas-based Fresherized Foods, parent company of Wholly Guacamole, expects consumers to like the switch since the trays are more user-friendly.

The company is also introducing two new salsas: Roasted Verde with Diced Avocado and Roasted Tomato with Diced Avocado are available now in a 10-ounce package.

The French connection
Officials at James Skinner Baking Co. do not mess around when it comes to French croissants. The company is introducing three SKUs in the thaw-and-sell croissants segment: a family-pack of six 22-ounce croissants, four 3-ounce croissants and eight 1-ounce petite batons.

“These products are ideal for sandwiches or breakfast,” says Gary Kyle, vice president of sales and marketing for the Omaha, Neb.-based company. “The thaw-and-sell approach allows us to offer retailers ready to sell items made of the finest quality. It is a big addition to their in-store bakery department and we believe consumers will notice.

Pie in the skyjjs
JTM Foods has the fried snack pie category covered, offering six everyday flavors (apple, peach, lemon, chocolate, blackberry and cherry) and two seasonal pies (pumpkin and cinnamon/apple) under its JJ’s Bakery line. The Erie, Pa.-based company also offers five SKUs of marshmallow treats, including original, rainbow sprinkles and chocolate chip.
“We are the largest producer of fried snack pies in the country,” says Byard Ebling, vice president of sales and marketing. “Plus we offer superior on-shelf merchandising with color graphics. The display and our packaging allow us to put 48 of our boxed pies in a space that can only handle 36 flexible-wrapped pies. The box packaging also gives our products a longer shelf life.

“With our shipper displays and product, we offer retailers the opportunity for great sales and great margins. For consumers, we offer a better-tasting product.”

Greek life
The benefits of Greek yogurt are reaching the bread aisle. Kontos Foods’ Greek Lifestyle Flatbread has been formulated in the dietary traditions of Greece and the Mediterranean with more protein than traditional flatbreads, say company officials.

“Part of what we wanted to do was play on the Greek yogurt trend, offering the same nutritional benefits—higher protein, lower carbs and fewer calories,” says Warren Stoll, marketing director for the Paterson, N.J.-based company. “Our Flex Formula, by design, delivers the protein and cuts the carbs.”

The flatbread has 15 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugar and 190 calories per serving, and it available for both retail and foodservice in a 4-pack.

Tortillas stay hot
LaTortilla Factory is pretty busy these days. The company is offering a wide range of products to catch the fancy of consumers. Its low-carb, high-fiber tortillas, available in two SKUs, have just 50 calories per item. The products are being re-packaged to allow for increased product visibility and freshness cues. The nutritional facts are also being placed on the front of the package.

LaTortilla is also offering softwrap mini tortillas in five flavors, including honey oats, multi and whole wheat. “We see this as great for moms who want to give their kids a healthy and tasty alternative,” says Stacey Payne, director of marketing for the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company. LaTortilla is also offering a $1 coupon good toward the purchase of fruits and vegetables with a purchase of a softwrap mini.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the company will donate 25-cents from each purchase of its limited edition SoftWrap to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $25,000.

Who wrapped the dogs up?
Stefano Foods was cooking up big things at IDDBA, including its BIGDOG. Available in beef hotdog, smoked sausage or kielbasa varieties, all wrapped in dough, the BIGDOGs come individually wrapped and can be heated in less than two minutes in the microwave, say company officials.

“The idea with the BIGDOG was to broaden our appeal beyond Italian specialty items,” says Alan Hamer, vice president of sales and marketing, for the Charlotte, N.C.-based company. “A lot of retailers market share is sliding to convenience stores. This is a product that can help retailers compete.”

The BIGDOG packages are color-coded by variety and have bold graphics, says Hamer. Shipped frozen and merchandised refrigerated with a 14-day shelf life, the grab-and-go items have a suggested retail price of $1.99-$2.49.

The company also introduced all-natural Premium Pizza Dough, made with European “OO” Flour, olive oil and garlic, resulting in a crispy crust. It was the next step for the company’s pizza dough offerings, says Hamer.

On-trend salads
Reser’s Fine Foods has its eyes on the deli case with its new line of artisan salads, sold under its Stonemill Kitchens brand. Available in eight varieties, the salads feature on-trend ingredients, such as quinoa, bulgur, curry, fresh herbs, agave, nuts, ginger and tabouli.

“Retailers are asking for new, upscale offerings to enhance their deli cases and build appeal, without additional labor,” says Peter Sirgy, executive vice president, sales and marketing for the Beaverton, Ore.-based company. “Consumer interest in grain-based salads, ethnic salads and healthier options is skyrocketing. These new salads offer the perfect combination of convenience, variety and delicious flavors, and they are ideal for retailers who hate having to deal with a kit.” All the salads are pre-made—some come with additional toppers—and will ship in August.

Reser’s has also added Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad to its American Classics. Made up of bacon, mini penne pasta and Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning Mix. The pasta salad is available in 16-ounce and 3-pound containers, with a suggested retail price ranging from $2.99 to $7.99, as well as in bulk for behind-the-glass merchandising.

It’s a wrap
Taylor Farms Prepared Foods is expanding its fresh deli offerings. Joining the company’s line of private label fresh, deli salads is a custom line of sandwiches and wraps.

The decision to expand into sandwiches and wraps was in response to consumers’ interest and demand for more variety, says Garth Borman, president of the Tracy, Calif.-based company. “We looked at what consumers wanted and both categories have seen huge growth. Retailers are looking at it from a labor perspective. Wraps, especially, are difficult to make. When a retailer can provide wraps fresh, with consistent quality, the sell-through approaches that of sandwiches. Improvements in distribution have made is possible to have them delivered fresh.”

The sandwich and wrap varieties are customized to each retailer so no two stores carry the same offerings, similar to the structure of their salad program. “We make each salad with a slightly different mix of ingredients and name for each retailer,” says Borman. The sandwich program is available now for retailers.

The company was also showing its line of Traveling Fare snack packs. They are available in 10 pre-set varieties or customized with a mix of ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, nuts or dips. Retailers can purchase them for private label or under the Taylor Farms brand with a suggested retail price of $3.99-$4.99.

White as a cheddar
Tillamook’s Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar has a sibling—Vintage White Sharp Cheddar. Available nationwide, the cheese was introduced as a gateway option for consumer just moving into white cheese, say company officials.

“The Vintage White Sharp Cheddar is in between our Vintage White Extra Sharp and other options,” says Matt Schaeffer, brand communications coordinator for the Beaverton, Ore.-based company. “It is aged over nine months and uses animal rennet instead of vegetable rennet, as most of our white products do.” The cheese is available in 8-ounce, 1- and 2-pound packages.

Hidden treasure
Four new flavors of Crumbled Blue Cheese have emerged from the cave—Saputo Cheese’s Treasure Cave brand that is. The bold flavors include Buffalo Wing, Southwest Chipotle & Black Bean, Chipotle Pepper and Southwest Smoked. The line was created in response to consumer interest in new and unique flavors in the blue cheese category, say officials for the Lincolnshire, Ill.-based company. All the varieties are available in 4.5-ounce cups except for the Southwest Smoked, which is sold in a 5-ounce cup.

The cheese manufacturer also launched Cheeseheads cheese sticks and cheese and meat sticks under its Frigo brand. The cheese sticks comes in five varieties—Chipotle Cheddar, Garlic & Herb White Cheddar, Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar, Wisconsin Colby Jack and Pepper Jack String—and meat and cheese sticks come in three varieties—Sharp Cheddar & Beef Sticks, Pepper Jack &Beef Sticks and String Cheese & Pepperoni Flavored Meat Sticks. All are shipping this spring.

Full of fiber
Uncle Wally’s, in conjunction with licensing partner Fiber One, has rolled out a trio of wraps that can be eaten right from the package or warmed in a skillet, griddle or microwave. The wraps come in traditional white, garden vegetable and honey wheat varieties.

Uncle Wally’s, based in Shirley, N.Y., also bakes Fiber One Muffins in apple cinnamon bun, banana chocolate chip, wild blueberry & oats and mixed fruit, nuts & honey flavors. “Adding wraps to our Fiber One product lineup seemed a natural extension of our association with this important General Mills brand,” says Jerry Ceccio, vice president of sales and marketing. “The company has long been known for high quality baked goods, not only in traditional recipes, but also in the nutritional specialty areas of fat free, sugar free, high fiber and portion-controlled products.”

Each Fiber One wrap contains 9g of dietary fiber, 80 to 85 calories and no saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol. Each package of eight wraps contains two recipe suggestions, printed on the back. The product is priced at $2.99 to $3.99 each.

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