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Dolce Vita USA – Michelle Mazzara

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Dolce Vita USA Shares Winter Fancy Food Show Trends

From USATODAY (Elizabeth Weise)

SAN FRANCISCO — Gluten-free is gone, baby. Quinoa is quiescent. Seaweed went, and hemp lost its edge. In their place, find a new South American cuisine, grains the Romans knew and a high-end take on a college staple.

Trendy new foods on their way to stores and restaurants near you were on display at this year’s winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Some 1,300 exhibitors from 14 countries sought to entice the 18,500 attendees with their newest offerings. Some to watch for:

Not for jerks. Jerky is the “it” snack for those following the paleo diet, which tries to emulate the eating patterns of our caveman ancestors. It guides eaters to consume only foods their hunter/gatherer ancestors might have found. A veritable carcass of dried meat products graced the showroom floor. There was Krave, a Sonoma, Calif., company which offered black cherry barbecue jerky. Salmon jerky was offered by Ocean Beauty Seafood in Seattle. Three Jerks Jerky offered the seemingly oxymoronic but very tasty filet mignon beef jerky.

Baby food grown up. Shelf-stable stand-up foil pouches engulfed the baby food market starting in 2008. As those infants grew to toddlers and beyond, the market followed them. Today, foil pouches of fruit purees and veggie mixes are one of the hotter trade items in many elementary school lunchrooms. Marketers are offering them in more adventuresome blends that appeal to adult tastes.
“When you go to the gym, while you’re driving, it’s a healthy new way of eating fruit,” says Damien Callery of Ouhlala Gourmet of Coral Gables, Fla.

Ever more exotic grains. The public’s hunger for once-rare grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, teff and sorghum seems to know no bounds. Even more obscure offerings are coming. Freekeh is a roasted green wheat with origins in the Middle East. Pronounced “free-kah,” it has a nutty, smoky flavor that stands out from blander grains. Wholesome Kitchen of Far Rockaway, N.Y.,offered tastes of ready-to-cook freekeh blends including apricot and raisin, herb and currant, and mushroom and herb. Another up-and-coming cereal grain is farro, an ancient Italian strain of wheat sometimes called emmer.

Fancy ramen. You may have lived on 30-cent packages of ramen in college, but they’re nothing like the high-end ramen noodles now appearing in upscale grocery stores. These come fresh or air-dried, often using surprising grains and tastes. One example is traditional Japanese ramen-style noodles made from rice and millet offered by Lotus Foods of Richmond, Calif. The jet-black forbidden rice ramen comes with a white miso and mushroom broth packet. Millet and brown rice ramen cooks up in four minutes.

Peruvian is the new Thai. San Francisco has at least 20 Peruvian restaurants, and the South American nation’s tastes found their way to the showroom floor. One example: air-popped, heirloom chulpe corn grown in the Andes, lightly dressed with avocado oil and Peruvian spices. Called cancha, they are a world apart from the Corn Nuts found in convenience stores. The creator is Ronald Flores, a native of Lima who was studying international business at San Francisco State University. He wrote a business plan that so captivated his professor, Bruce Heiman, that he invested in the company, Nazqiz. “Peruvian cuisine is a deep, untapped well of flavors. They started feeding me Peruvian food, and I was entranced,” Heiman says.

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2014 Dubbed ‘The Year of Retail Contradictions

Daymon Worldwide, Stamford, Conn., released its eight “Global Retail Trends Predictions for 2014 and Beyond” to help retailers successfully address the contradictory, challenging realities facing the industry in 2014. The company forecasts 2014 to be “The Year of Retail Contradictions.”

Each trend was identified through the lens of Daymon’s Global Trendwheel, a proprietary tool that tracks 72 consumer microtrends across eight megatrends that impact global retail success. The 2014 trends, Daymon Worldwide noted, include:

1. Big vs. Small: The Redefinition of the Hypermarket/Supercenter (Megatrend: Cultural Ecology) – There will be a shift from the large supercenter culture to a retail landscape where smaller formats prevail. This shift is driven by increasing urbanization, a rise in smaller households and the consumers’ changing notion of convenience. These smaller formats will become category killers, stealing share from supercenters and mass merchandisers.

2. A Sharing Retail Economy (Megatrend: Conscious Raising) — Consumers are more interested in sharing, renting and reusing options rather than owning bulky, rarely used items. This trend will have significant implications for global retailers in fashion, home improvement and office supply.

3. The Muddled Middle (Megatrend: Current-CY) — The middle class in the United States is shrinking, creating a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. Retailers with low-price positioning such as discounters ALDI or dollar stores will grow, as will premium retailers and specialty stores such as Whole Foods. Retailers without a clear position are at risk of becoming less relevant and losing traction.

4. The War on Obesity Escalates (Megatrend: B-Well) — Companies and governments will begin to take even more aggressive steps to promote healthful diets, leading to the rise of high-quality “cook and assemble” meals and stricter guidelines such as “no GMOs” becoming the cost of entry in retail.

5. The Kitchen Has Left the House (Megatrend: Always On) — Grocery trips are mission-based and no longer about stocking up. Grocery stores will become the kitchen. With the rise of snacking and component cooking such as heat-and-eat, retailers will need to cultivate an even closer relationship with their customers.

6. Local Becomes ‘Personal’ (Megatrend: YOUniverse, All for One) — The idea of “locally sourced” products will change from foods and products sourced in the immediate area of each market to offerings available throughout the broader community, city, state and country. It will be more about personal interaction, authentic experiences and interest versus just geography.

7. Retailers Amplify Branded Experiences (Megatrend: JOYment) — Brick and mortar stores need to provide shoppers with even more unique experiences and not just in flagship locations. For grocery, food theater such as cooking demonstrations and sampling must become a greater part of the shopper experience.

8. A New Way to Service the Aging Population (Megatrend: YOUniverse) — With a growing aging population, retailers will need to reach out to these consumers with products, services and in-store services (such as ergonomically friendly shopping carts) that cater to their lifestyle.

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From Private Label Store Brands:

Brazilian cuisine, sophisticated sweets and bolder burgers are just a few food trends expected to hit in 2014, according to the “2014 Culinary TrendScape” report, a professional assessment of what people are eating now and what they likely will be eating in the coming year. And David Landers, senior chef of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. — the company behind the report — told Private Label⇨Store Brands that these trends could provide inspiration for store brand product development.

The inaugural report — put together by Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute (CCBI), a global network of highly trained chefs, bakers and culinary professionals — is part of Campbell’s culinary monitoring and tracking system, the company stated. This system identifies and categorizes the most impactful food topics and follows them as they evolve through six distinct stages — from the discovery phase (fine dining restaurants and cultural hot spots) to universal appeal and international availability.

“The stages in the ‘Culinary TrendScape’ report are about population reach and the number of people exposed to a specific flavor, ingredient or trend. Understanding your audience and knowing what they’ve been exposed to will help to determine which trend stage to take inspiration from,” Landers said, noting that specialty stores might take interest in the first three stages (discovery, introduction and adoption), while national grocery chains might be more interested in the last three stages (mainstream, established, and universal appeal and international availability).

The report also discusses how American tastes are evolving as a result of global influences and greater awareness about sustainability and nutrition, Campbell’s explained.

“We see Americans being more adventurous with their food choices — bolder burgers, new takes on pastrami and other old-world Jewish deli favorites and beverage-inspired flavors,” said Thomas Griffiths, CMC, vice president, CCBI. “As chefs and bakers, we are naturally inspired by emerging niche food trends that help keep us creative in the kitchen. What fascinates us at Campbell is how these trends have their own lifecycle, from emerging taste discoveries in South America to Japanese-inspired burgers popping up in middle-America restaurants.”

CCBI chefs set out on culinary immersion tours around the world, the company noted, observing and reporting on what they see as the latest trends and then tracking developments across different aspects of food culture.

The top 10 trends expected to hit in 2014 include:

Brazilian cuisine — Rio de Janeiro will bring its country’s seafood stews, grilling techniques and local ingredients into the culinary spotlight when it hosts the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Fresh juices — Craving better-for-you balance through “juicing,” the health-conscious are “going green” to refresh and recharge.
Sophisticated sweets — Spices, botanicals and fresh takes on fruit are hitting the dessert scene.
Yogurt going savory — Greek-style yogurt is showing up in savory non-spoonable applications such as condiments, baked goods and snacks.
Beverage-inspired flavors — The bar has inspired the kitchen, and barrel-aged, bottled and brewed flavors have moved beyond public house glasses into everything from hot sauces to barbecue. According to Landers, Campbell followed this trend to develop its Tavern Style Pot Roast Slow Cooker Sauce and Apple Bourbon BBQ Slow Cooker Sauce.

Bolder burgers — America’s iconic sandwich is changing with the times, with new buns; unique burger patty options such as chicken, lamb, elk and brisket; and a range of toppings—all redefining what a burger is.

Dolce Vita USA shares Top 13 Picks and Article:

Fancy Food Show Summer 2013: Sara Moulton’s Top 13 Picks

Credit: Specialty food Association

Foodies, feast your eyes on this. Behold, the 59th Annual Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. “Good Morning America” food editor Sara Moulton combed the booths at the specialty food show, which features edibles from more than 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries.

From designer mac and cheese, to the new “superfoods,” to chocolate confections, and more, Moulton picked out the most interesting new products around that foodies should keep an eye out for. See all of Moulton’s picks below.

Amazing New Feta Cheese

Ezra’s Dairy is a new Israeli feta cheese being manufactured in this country by the Bunker Hill Cheese company. It is most unusual in that it tastes like feta , a flavorful robust cheese, and it’s salty like feta, but it has a smooth creamy texture like soft tofu. Even the low-fat version has a creamy texture. Ezra’s is spreadable, meltable and you can puree it with other ingredients to make a smooth creamy sauce.

Designer Mac And Cheese

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, made at two locations, one in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and the second in New York’s Flatiron district, has been making artisan cheese since 2003. It ventured into the frozen mac and cheese business in 2009 with its “World’s Best” Mac and Cheese, which has won many awards. Now, Beecher’s has added three variations to the line-up: Smoked Flagship Mac and Cheese, Mac and Cheese with Roasted Poblanos and Chicken, and Mac and Cheese with Savory Mushrooms and Pork. I tasted the first two and they were astoundingly delicious.

Killer Dip: Hot Parmesan & Artichoke Dip Mix

The Gourmet du Village company makes hot dip mixes and their latest is Parmesan Artichoke Dip, which won a gold Sofi Award (the Sofis are the specialty food show equivalent of the Oscars) in the appetizer/dip category. You could really wow your guests with this little appetizers.

Unique Meal Starters

Wild Veggie Soup Puree and Recipe Starter

Wild Veggie makes six vegetable purees — broccoli, red pepper, carrot, butternut squash, beet and edamame. You can use the purees as the base of a soup, or as a sauce, dip or dressing. I tasted the broccoli soup made from the puree and it was delicious. Each 14.8 oz container of puree is the equivalent of 3 to 5 servings of whole vegetables. What a great way to get veggies on the table during the workweek!

Kitchens of Africa Sauces

Founded by a young woman who moved to this country from Africa and missed the flavors from her native cuisine, Kitchens of Africa sauces will fill a big void on the supermarket shelf. For someone like me who is looking for a new cuisine to cook at home, these exciting, vibrant, all-natural sauces based on intense spices and fruits, will fill that gap. There are five to choose from, a peanut simmer sauce, an onion simmer sauce and three versions of jerk pastes – mild, spicy and fiery.

Artisinal Tomato Juices

Tomatina is an all natural blend of 100 percent fresh vegetable (beet, red pepper, cucumber, carrot and celery) juices and ripe red tomatoes. A 12 ounce bottle is the equivalent of three servings of vegetables and weighs in at just 80 calories. They’re refreshing and a great way to get some more vegetables into your diet.

Ubons BBQ Bloody Mary Mix

Ubons was first developed by legendary pit master Garry Roark in Yazoo City, Miss., about 20 years ago. During multiple BBQ competitions and events, Roark would share this little homemade concoction with friends, who encouraged him to bring the product to the marketplace. The mix incorporates traditional bloody mary flavors with a Memphis twist, including the flavors of fresh dill pickles. It is quite tasty straight up and I can see it being the secret ingredient as well in many recipes.

Healthy Choices

Chia Pods

Chia is the hot new seed, advertised as the “richest plant-based source of Omega 3, fiber and protein, loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.” You usually find it added to cereals, breads and other baked goods, but the Chia Co. has come up with an ingenious tasty new way to present it — in a “pod” meaning, a little individual cup, a single serving of chia cooked in coconut milk with fruit. There are four flavors of this new concoction. My favorites are the banana and mango. The texture of the “pod” is creamy, like tapioca.

Freekeh

Freekeh is the new “superfood.” Common in the Middle East, but fairly new to this country, freekah is actually plain old wheat but produced in a unique way. It is harvested in early spring, while still green and moist, and gently roasted over an open fire, scorching off and loosening any chaf. It’s high in fiber, protein and calcium. Freekehlicious makes two versions, wholegrain or cracked, in 9 ounce pouches. The cracked is similar in texture to bulgur wheat; the wholegrain to wheat berries in size and texture. It could be used as a breakfast cereal, or in salads, soups, or even as the base of a main dish. I love its nutty taste and chewy texture.

Chocolate Concoctions

Valrhona’s Dulcey Blond Chocolate Bar

Many great treats of the culinary world came about because of a mistake (champagne, for example) and now one of the darling producers of the chocolate world, Valrhona, is introducing their new delightful “mistake” for consumers. It is called Dulcey, a kind of “blonde” chocolate. Made with pure cocoa butter, the Dulcey bar is smooth and creamy with a velvety texture and warm blonde color. It was discovered when one of the chefs at the Valhrona chocolate school left white chocolate to melt in a bain marie and forgot about it until 10 hours later when he noticed that it had turned golden and its flavor had evolved into something reminiscent of “roasted Breton shortbread.”

Pop Corn Pop Chocolate Bars

Chuao, (pronounced chew wow), already packed one of my favorite flavor/textural combinations into a bar – chocolate and potato chips — but now they have come up with several new combos, equally unique: Pop Corn Pop, Rocky Road and Maple Bacon and in case you might feel guilty eating a whole bar, they have mini versions called chocopods that are just 50 or 60 calories.

Ultimate Hot Chocolate

New Yorkers go out of their way to sample the deeply rich hot chocolate from City Bakery, but until now it has not been available nationwide. Well, that has just changed. Owner Maury Rubin has come out with Tetra Paks of the liquid dessert, available in milk and dark chocolate and ready to heat. The City Bakery Hot Chocolate has a silky texture unlike those gritty powdery cocoa mixes. It is also delicious chilled.

Tea For Kids

A couple in Canada was trying to come up with a snack that was low in sugar for their kids and stumbled upon the idea of Tea Pops, which their kids just love. Deebees make three versions for kids based on rooibus, an herbal tea in mango tango, mint-a-licious and Tea-na colada, and two flavors for grownups — classic iced tea and cherry berry. Both versions are a terrific healthy pick me up for a hot day.