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Artisanal Bakeries Thrive On Long Island

The term “artisanal” has become a handy marketing claim these days, but when applied correctly it means handmade using traditional production methods. Several bakeries on Long Island can now make that claim because they are baking hand-formed loaves of artisanal bread – baguette, batard, boule, ciabatta, Pugliese, sesame-seeded semolina or caraway-seeded rye — using techniques that originated in France, Italy, and Germany. The trend began nearly 20 years ago with the opening of Blue Duck Bakery in Southampton and has since spread to other counties. Five genuinely artisanal bakeries now flourish in a region once known as “a dead zone for great bread.” [ Image credit: © Blue Duck Bakery ]

"Long Island Bakeries Making Amazing Artisanal Breads", Newsday, March 12, 2018

South Dakota Governor Signs Bill Allowing Alcohol Use In Baked Goods

A small family-owned cupcake bakery in South Dakota is back in business now that Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed legislation allowing the use of alcohol in baked goods and candy. Holly Jorgenson closed her Intoxibakes business when she found out that alcohol was an illegal ingredient, but local lawmakers rallied to her defense. The bipartisan legislation sailed through the state legislature. The new law allows mixing alcohol into confectionery and candy, as long as the alcohol volume is no more than .5 percent by weight. Businesses with a liquor license may use more if desired. [ Image credit: © Intoxibakes ]

"Governor Dennis Daugaard Signs Boozy Cupcake Bill", Argus Leader, March 09, 2018

Hostess Succeeds With A Blend Of Traditional, And Innovative, Snacks

Hostess Brands, which filed for bankruptcy six years ago and emerged a leaner entity under new ownership, posted strong fourth quarter earnings, thanks to the enduring popularity of its old favorite snacks and the success of some new ones. The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Ho-Hos credits its revenue growth, profit, and newly healthy stock price to the rollout of the Hostess Bakery Petites line, and to new versions of its traditional products. The Petites products have no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup, come in resealable bags, and are made with "real" chocolate and vanilla. Hostess earnings were $0.17 a share on revenue of $196.2 million, an increase of 9.7 percent. Bakery Petites accounted for 3.1 percent of the ...  More

"Upscale Snacks? With Earning Report, Hostess Get the Last Ho-Ho", Sentinel & Enterprise News, March 04, 2018

N.Y. Breweries Send Spent Grain To Flour Company Instead Of Landfill

Several breweries in the New York City area are sending their spent grain to a local flour company instead of the landfill. Rise Flour turns the grain into a “super flour” that contains 12 times the fiber, twice the protein, and a third of the carbs of standard all-purpose flour. The breweries are not only reducing their operational costs, they are also becoming zero waste businesses. [ Image credit: © Rise Flour ]

"New York Flour Company Turns Breweries' Waste into Nutrition", Specialty Food News, March 02, 2018

Quick Breads Have Several Advantages Over The Yeast-Based Stuff

Quick breads have remained popular over the years because they are easy to make, economical – they make use of ingredients often past their prime – and can be whipped up in far less time than yeast-based breads. Cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum says making quick breads – e.g., zucchini bread, apple bread, banana bread, etc. – is “comfortable baking” that is “no fail.” They owe their continued success to the introduction of two leavening agents that offer an alternative to yeast: baking soda and baking powder. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]

"Whether Banana, Cheese or Soda, Baking These Loaves Takes Hardly Any Time (and no Yeast)",, February 28, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Holding Company JAB Is Betting On A Caffeine-Based Corporate Strategy

Interviews with executives of JAB, a privately-held German holding company that owns a variety of seemingly unrelated companies, including recently purchased Dr Pepper Snapple Group, reveal that the company intends to build a “caffeine-fueled global powerhouse.” JAB began decades ago selling pool chemicals, but is now acquiring companies – i.e., Peet’s, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Dr Pepper and Stumptown – because it believes America’s beverage industry is about to undergo a huge reorganization. Hot drinks will no longer just compete with hot drinks; cold drinks will no longer just compete with cold drinks.  As Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz put it: “JAB wants to become the largest coffee company in the world.” Its likely next target? ...  More

"The Secretive Company That Pours America’s Coffee", The Wall Street Journal, March 07, 2018

Market News  

N.Z. Okays Merger Of Kraft-Heinz And Cerebos Gregg’s Food, Instant Coffee

As long as Kraft-Heinz divests licenses for some sauce brands owned by Cerebos Gregg’s, the company can acquire the food and instant coffee businesses of the Suntory-owned business, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has ruled. Under the ruling, Kraft Heinz would have to divest the licenses for the Gregg’s brand of tomato ketchup, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, and the F. Whitlock Worcestershire sauce brand. Cerebos Gregg’s will become part of the Heinz Wattie division. The commission said that without the divestitures the acquisition would “result in a substantial lessening of competition in each of these markets.”

"Kraft Heinz Cleared to Purchase Cerebos Gregg’s from Suntory", FoodBev, March 09, 2018

Marketing & Advertising  

Coca-Cola Fortifies Its Coconut Water Beachhead With New Zico Flavors

Coca-Cola is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the soon-to-be $7 billion global coconut water market, adding new flavors to its Zico brand family and building its portfolio of healthful, better-for-you beverages.  The company expects coconut water to be a $1.5 billion market domestically by 2020, though the climb will be a steep one, requiring lots of new customers who may have a tough time getting used to the flavor of coconut water. The solution to the problem is new flavors: it recently added chocolate, watermelon-raspberry, and jalapeño-mango to the line. In addition, newly-announced organic veggie juice-coconut water blends (ZICOCocoLixir) fuse two health-centric drinks: coconut water and cold-press juice. It may seem odd ...  More

"Coca-Cola Wants to Dominate a $7 Billion Industry with a New Type of Beverage that's Taking Over the World", Business Insider, March 09, 2018

Press Release  

Listening To Confused Consumers, Steaz Renames Flagship Cactus Water Product

After sampling its flagship Cactus Water product this past summer among “no less than one million” confused consumers, green tea beverage company Steaz has relaunched the drinks as Steaz Prickly Pear Water with new packaging. The main ingredients remain the pink fruit of the prickly pear cactus and green tea. The company says its beverage line is the only green tea-based certified organic prickly pear water product on the market. The drink is sweetened with organic stevia and organic fair trade cane sugar.

"Consumers Have Spoken: Steaz Cactus Water now Steaz Prickly Pear Water", News release, Steaz, March 07, 2018

Products & Brands  

The Ginger People Adds Turmeric-Infused Beverages To Product Portfolio

The Ginger People has launched several turmeric-infused ginger drinks at Natural Products Expo West. Each is made with either Javanese turmeric or aromatica turmeric from Fiji, both “arguably more effective than the common turmeric” as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, according to the company. The new products include a Turmeric Latte Mix, a turmeric-based version of The Ginger People’s Ginger Soother elixir beverage, and a Wild Turmeric Ginger Rescue Shot.

"The Ginger People Releases 3 Turmeric-Infused Drinks", News release, The Ginger People, March 08, 2018

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