Key Food Stores debuts new banner

Key Food Stores Co-operative Inc., a chain of more than 180 independently owned and operated grocery stores, announced the grand opening of its first Windsor Farms Market location in Brooklyn, NY. To celebrate, Windsor Farms Market is hosting a grand opening celebration on Monday, July 20.windsor

“The community asked for a grocery solution and we’re here to deliver,” John Durante, vice president of business development, said in a press release. “It’s so exciting to open our doors to the Windsor Terrace community. None of this would be possible without the support of the community, former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and all the local officials.”

With a wide variety of fresh produce, Windsor Farms Market customers are sure to enjoy a selection of both organic and non-organic products. The store will also offer customers a full deli department with prepared foods, compliments of their on-site chefs. They can also expect to find a bakery boasting fresh goods, baked from scratch on the premises. Windsor Farms Market has a fresh seafood department with sushi options for shoppers to choose from.

Key Food executives — including Dean Janeway, chief executive officer; George Knobloch, chief operating officer; Chet Koby, vice president of strategic planning; and John Durante, vice president of business development — as well as elected officials will be in attendance for the grand opening. The celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony as well as food sampling from a variety of vendors.

Record early finish on cherries creates a sales void

With the unprecedented early cherry harvest, supplies are falling abruptly and retailers will now have missing sales dollars unless they fill the void with alternatives.

“Historically, mid-July to mid-August are some of the most productive weeks for cherries — averaging over $3,000 per store per week," Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing at CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-and-KIKU-5-box-shipperCMI is offering any freestanding displays free of charge while supplies last. "With severely limited volume, cherry dollars will probably fall to less than 50 percent of the historical average. That’s a shortfall of $1,500 per store per week that won’t be filled by cherries. Being aggressive about lining up promotions with alternative products that resonate with consumers can help offset this loss.”

The company suggested that imported KIKU brand apples and Ambrosia apples can fill this void for many retailers this season. Last year, during the summer selling season, sales of imported Ambrosia and KIKU peaked between July 15 and Aug. 10. This year they will be available all the way up until the domestic crop is harvested.

Following the lead of a very successful domestic Ambrosia and KIKU crop, Robb Myers, director of imports for CMI, planned an aggressive approach for this import season.

“These two premium apples have been such strong contenders during the fall and winter months, and we’re excited to bring in volume supplies for the late summer months for the first time,” Myers said in the release. "This allows sales momentum to continue for these high-performing apples all the way up until the Domestic crop begins again in the fall."

Bob Mast, president of CMI, explained what a large victory it is to have finally grown these two great programs to this capacity. “These exclusive apples and their new late summer availability will help energize apple sales during a period where slowed movement is typically experienced. We are entering unchartered territory as an industry, with the ability to add incremental sales on a category that has not had any new life injected into it over the summer. For years, all that was available during the later summer months were Reds, Goldens, Grannies and imported Gala,” said Mast.

Mast said that according to scan data results, the key to implementing any successful promotion starts with pricing. “Top performing retailers use price points to encourage trial, typically at $1.49 a pound on promotion and $1.79-1.99 a pound every day,” he said. “Along with pricing, display size and/or secondary displays are key.”

Avocados from Peru, Chef Martin Morales take NYC by storm

In conjunction with Global Brand Ambassador Chef Martin Morales, Avocados from Peru captured the imaginations and taste buds of New York's top foodies in a series of highly successful events to kick off the summer season.

Considered one of the pioneers of modern Peruvian cuisine, Morales has taken the United Kingdom by storm with his Peruvian-inspired London restaurants Ceviche SoHo, Andina and Ceviche Old St. He also published his first cookbook in 2014, which was promptly named the No. 1 Cookbook of the Year by The Times of London.aepfeChef Martin Morales (far left) plates a course at the first-in-category Peruvian avocado dinner at New York City’s James Beard House.

"Chef Martin Morales takes a modern and innovative approach to classic Peruvian cuisine," Xavier Equihua, president and chief executive officer of the Peruvian Avocado Commission, said in a press release. "He is the perfect global ambassador for Avocados from Peru, which are so essential to Peru's cuisine and culture and have been for thousands of years."

The week-long schedule of activities started with a live cooking demo on Sunday, June 28 at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show, held at the Javitz Center, in honor of National Ceviche Day. Attendees had the opportunity to watch and engage as Morales prepared two of his signature dishes: a vegan Ceviche of artichoke and avocado and avocado quinoa salad. Over the next few days, some of the country's top editors had the opportunity to sample Morales' avocado quinoa salad and Ceviche Andina, both featuring Peruvian avocados, at a very special Chefs' Table promotional appearance at the Hearst Corp. and Conde Nast's new One World Trade Center headquarters.

Between cookbook signings, media appearances and interviews, Morales also prepared a special dinner at the residence of the Peruvian ambassador to the United Nations for more than 40 VIP guests, including key culinary influencers, media and important government figures at the Peruvian Trade Commission.

Rounding out the week, Morales prepared dinner for a sold-out crowd at the James Beard House, one of New York City’s most prestigious and influential culinary institutions. The dinner, a first in the avocado category, focused on the versatility, nutrition and monumental flavor of avocados from Peru.

“I love integrating seasonal superfoods into my cuisine and every year I look forward to the summer avocados from Peru,” said Morales, referring to the fruit’s May to September availability. “Avocados are an essential part of my menus and Peruvian cuisine so I am thrilled to be working with the Peruvian Avocado Commission.”

The week of events was an overwhelming success for all involved and served as an important step toward familiarizing U.S. consumers with the cuisine and culture of Peru, which is the No. 2 exporter of avocados to the United States.

For recipes from Chef Morales and the Peruvian Avocado Commission — or for more information — visit


Mann Packing to showcase new veggie items at PMA Foodservice Expo

Mann Packing is celebrating all things veggie at the PMA Foodservice Expo this year with the theme Viva La Veggies — a party on your plate.

Mann’s Veggie Power Blend will be one of the new items featured at the show. The blend features several on-trend ingredients, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, kale, radicchio and golden beets, in various cuts. The product delivers an explosion of color along with a variety of textures that can be used in several applications.Kohlrabi raw-shot-07.15.15Raw Kohlrabi

“The Mann team continues to innovate time- and labor-saving delicious fresh products for our foodservice customers and this is a great place to showcase everything we do,” Gina Nucci, director of foodservice marketing, said in a press release. “We want to liven up the booth and have a little fun at the show — it’s all about surprise and having a good time.”

Mann will also introduce its special variety of jumbo kohlrabi. This larger variety delivers higher yields of useable product than current smaller bunching types, while maintaining great flavor and texture. Kohlrabi is part of the Brassica Oleracea family and is considered a cousin of broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts.  

Mann’s booth will have copies of the “Chef’s Guide to Kohlrabi” in its expo booth (No. 139) so attendees can catch the #kohlrabicraze.

Also, Chef Brian Copp, sous chef at Montrio Bistro in Monterey, CA, will serve samples of Jumbo Kohlrabi and Mann’s Veggie Power Blend. The jumbo kohlrabi recipe is a finalist in the PMA Foodservice Sensory Experience contest; Mann’s entries won the contest in previous years.

Mann will share highlights from its latest vegetable trends research report conducted by Technomic. Last year, the company shared results of a similar study around consumer satisfaction with lettuce at foodservice.

Fresno Food Expo debuts diverse new products

The 2015 Fresno Food Expo will debut 32 innovative new products, varietals and packaging concepts that were entered into the New Product Awards from 29 different San Joaquin Valley businesses. Now in its third year, the New Product Awards have become a strategic new product launching pad, and this year's products include traditional and organic produce.

All products entered are competing for the Buyer’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. The 32 products entered were reviewed, ranked and narrowed down to 10 finalists for the Buyer’s Choice Award by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders at the New Product Awards Preview event on July 8.FFE2015-Taste-Tally-Tweet-12Sierra Lopes and Richard Cowden of Baloian Farms with the company's Mini Pepper Dipper Cups, one of the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards’ top 10 finalists. These products will now advance to the Celebrity Judging Panel comprised of professionals from retail, restaurant, foodservice and packaging industries.

“This judging panel brings extensive experience to the awards with their unique understanding of an ever-changing consumer market from different categories within the food buying industry,” Amy Fuentes, director of the Fresno Food Expo, said in a press release. “They understand the critical attributes a new product needs to be a success in a very competitive industry.”

The People’s Choice Awards allows the public to share their thoughts as a consumer on what products stand out from the others in the marketplace and would be something they would purchase. It is also a great opportunity for those companies who submitted new products to get feedback from a real test marketplace. All 32 new products entered can be viewed on the Fresno Food Expo’s website or Facebook page. Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” on Facebook combined with the votes cast via email through the Fresno Food Expo website between now and the Fresno Food Expo on July 23. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced that night by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.

Nearly 4,600 votes were cast last year during the three-week People’s Choice Award voting period resulting in Baloian Farms being crowned as the 2014 People’s Choice Award winner for its Squash Sauté Kits. The attention garnered through the People’s Choice Award boosted product awareness online and gave added promotional value and marketplace energy to not just Baloian Farms, but all participating companies and the San Joaquin Valley as a whole.

The 2015 Fresno Food Expo will be held Thursday, July 23 at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center New Exhibit Hall.