Mann Packing introduces Golden Roasteez

Mann Packing, a leader in ready-to-use fresh vegetables, is introducing a new item for foodservice operators: Golden Roasteez fresh-cut golden beets.

Mann’s Golden Roasteez are peeled and cubed fresh golden beets with all waste removed, ready for kitchen use — specifically roasting.Golden-Roasteez-Cubed-Fresh-Beets-Manns1

The golden variety of beets does not bleed like red beets; and mechanized cutting ensures consistent sizing and more uniformity when cut, Gina Nucci, director of foodservice marketing, said in a press release.

The beets are cut into approximately 0.75-inch cubes designed for optimal bite texture when roasted, Nucci said.

“Cubing first, then roasting allows for great caramelization and appealing presentation,” Nucci said. “Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of beets and is the best cooking method for most menu applications.”

Once roasted, Mann’s Golden Roasteez can be held for future use on salads, pizza, risottos or pastas. They may also be used as a potato substitute, as a hash or healthy side.

Mann’s Golden Roasteez are a fresh produce item, never frozen and have a 16-day shelf life from packing.

According to Dataessential MenuTrends Fall 2014, some 22 percent of independent restaurant menus include beets.

“We saw the increasing popularity of beets and decided to provide chefs a convenient method to achieve a consistent and visually appetizing menu ingredient,” Nucci said.

Allegiance, Foodtown name new president

Allegiance Retail Services LLC and Foodtown Inc. announced that John Derderian has been named the new president of the companies, effective June 1.John-Derderian

Derderian, who is currently vice president of sales, marketing and member development for Allegiance, will succeed Michael Stolarz, who will remain as a senior executive advisor to Allegiance, its board of managers and its executive management team through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition in the succession plan.

“The board of managers of Allegiance is grateful to Mr. Stolarz for his dedication and wisdom in guiding Allegiance through a challenging period for the independent grocery industry, and has every confidence that Mr. Derderian will provide leadership which will position Allegiance and its patrons for long term prosperity,” David Maniaci, the chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC and Foodtown Inc., said in a press release.

Allegiance Retail Services LLC functions as a retail services cooperative for the benefit of its patrons, which independently own and operate 88 grocery stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

New Apio salad kits to capitalize on federal dietary recommendations

New federal dietary guidelines recommending less meat and the ongoing consumer quest for healthy meal options are driving retail sales of alternative protein sources. Apio Inc. is at the forefront of the plant-based protein movement with three new single-serve Plant-Powered Protein Salad Kits — BBQ Ranch, Super Caesar and Yogurt Curry — available in June from Eat Smart. Each single-serve salad kit is deliciously satisfying with at least 13 grams of protein per serving — equivalent to salads with meat — and 40 percent or more of the recommended daily value of fiber.PPP traysImage052015

“Dieticians and chefs are leading the trend toward additive nutrition — the practice of powering up meals with more nutritious choices,” Anne Byerly, Apio’s vice president of marketing, said in a press release. “Eat Smart’s new Plant-Powered Protein salad kits are the perfect solution for consumers looking for innovative, convenient and healthy eating options that are easy to integrate into their busy lives.”

Single-serve, ready-to-eat salads kit sales are up 22 percent over a year ago, according to Nielsen FreshFacts 52 weeks ending February 2015. Eat Smart’s Plant-Powered Protein single serve salad kits are among the first to offer a range of highly nutritious and complex vegetable blends with delicious plant protein toppings. 

BBQ Ranch combines julienned cauliflower, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, kale and carrots, with chia seeds, roasted soy nuts, slivered almonds and crunchy freeze-dried corn topped with a tangy BBQ Ranch dressing. This vegetarian salad contains no preservatives and is gluten-free. 

The Super Caesar kit offers a non-traditional take on the No. 1 selling packaged salad kit flavor at retail, according to Nielsen. It blends nutritionally packed collard greens, Italian kale, red chard, broccoli stalk and savoy cabbage with chia seeds, sunflower seeds, dried roasted edamame, parmesan cheese and a classic Caesar dressing. 

The Yogurt Curry salad kit infuses a popular trend in ethnic inspired cuisine with the nutritional benefits of hearty vegetables and plant proteins. The kits features julienned cauliflower, kale, carrots, multicolor kale and green cabbage along with chia seeds, roasted chickpeas, slivered almonds, golden raisins, and a deliciously unique Yogurt Curry dressing.

The Plant-Powered Protein salad kits join Eat Smart’s successful line of chef-inspired Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits, which offer sophisticated blends of superfoods.

The popular Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Kit is Apio's best-selling kale salad kit in the country, according to Nielsen. The Wild Greens & Quinoa Vegetable Salad Kit and the Beets & Greens Vegetable Salad Kit round out this fastest-growing salad kit line, according to the same data.

Florida company launches single-ear corn pack

logoNext Level Fresh LLC, based in Belle Glade, FL, announced the launch of its “Fresh Life Harvest” whole ear sweet corn pack, complete with a chili pepper-lime seasoning.sweet-corn-photo-2

Developed by Next Level Fresh’s managing partner, Daniel Whittles, the whole ear sweet corn pack is one of the company’s initial products and enables sweet corn lovers to satisfy a craving for their favorite fresh veggie in less than two minutes.

Each ear of Fresh Life Harvest whole ear gourmet sweet corn is a premium non-GMO variety. Prior to harvest and again prior to packing, all corn is certified for sweetness.

All corn in this line starts out as single individually wrapped fully shucked, washed and ready-to-cook ears. It is then assembled and merchandised in three forms: as a retail grab-and-go item; or prepared as a four-pack for retail and eight-pack for club stores.

Each product is packed in a high-graphic information-rich cardboard box that can be efficiently merchandised in a refrigerated case. The retail pricing strategy varies depending upon the sales channel.

The product will be available year-round and aims to boost sweet corn sales beyond the traditional selling window of April through the Fourth of July.

Whittles partnered with two world-class growers and packers of sweet corn, who also grow a full line of celery and leaf items in South Florida’s Lake Okeechobee region.

John E. (Buddy) McKinstry, founder and owner of JEM Farms, and Rick Roth, president of Roth Farms, joined Whittles to create the Fresh Life Harvest gourmet whole ear sweet corn product. Both farmers are prominent agricultural business leaders, have multi-generational family operations that date back to the 1930s, and most importantly possess the courage to try something different and next level.

“Our goal with the ‘Fresh Life Harvest’ brand is two-fold,” Whittles said in a press release. “First, to create cutting-edge products using commodities where we own strong, vertically integrated production and packaging facilities. Secondly, to have a pipeline of creative, fresh and timely meal and snack solutions in order to proactively target exciting non-traditional selling channels as well as the established market that wants safely secured supply, best-in-class quality and next level innovation. Our industry's significant future revenue growth will in large part be a direct result of those who can capture more revenue value by thinking ‘it’ up better and bring classy execution to relevant innovation.

“We merge the best of tradition together with tomorrow's inspired vision to innovate, differentiate and bring wins to all the stakeholders as Next Level Fresh and farming for our ‘Fresh Life Harvest’ brand products,” Whittles added.

Instacart delivers for Whole Foods, Winn-Dixie, BJ's and Costco in Miami

Instacart expanded delivery service to Miami, its 16th city, covering most of the metro area. Customers can order from Whole Foods Market, Costco, Winn-Dixie and BJ'S Wholesale Club as well as Petco stores and have everything delivered by Instacart in as little as one hour. Instacart customers do not need a Costco or BJ's membership to shop from those stores.

"We had thousands of requests for service in the Miami area, and strong interest from retail partners such as Whole Foods Market and Winn-Dixie, so the time was right," Apoorva Mehta, founder and chief executive officer of Instacart, said in a press release. "We're thrilled to bring the first on-demand grocery delivery service to Miami."

Whole Foods Market was one of the first national grocery chains to partner with Instacart for delivery, and has seen average weekly sales through Instacart grow to over $1.5 million.

"Instacart has already proven itself as a strong partner for Whole Foods Market in 15 other cities, and we're very excited to now offer our Miami customers this great shopping and delivery experience," Juan Nunez, president of the Florida region for Whole Foods Market, said in the release. "Whole Foods Market shoppers will now be able to conveniently purchase our high-quality products online or through the mobile app and have them delivered directly to a home or office address in as little as an hour."

To celebrate the Miami launch, deliveries for Instacart orders were done in style on a Boatsetter chartered boat on May 19. Customers who were out on a boat or have a dock within Instacart's Miami delivery zone received their groceries by transport via water.

Originally launched in San Francisco, Instacart has disrupted the traditional grocery delivery space by connecting customers with personal shoppers, independent contractors who shop for and deliver grocery orders providing their own transportation in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses, trucks and full-time drivers. In January 2015, Instacart was named "America's Most Promising Company" by Forbes magazine.