Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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This month we look at savory pies, Whole Foods' GMO-labeling stance, raw tea and more. BY DENISE SHOUKAS Clearing the Air A PHOTO: BIGSTOCK Vitamin Milk Straws I t's not always what you're sipping; sometimes it's what you're sipping through. Unistraw's new Tubulars Vitamin Milk Straws add flavor, energy, vitamins, nutrients and even pharmaceuticals to liquids sipped through its Unistraw Delivery System. Each straw contains spherical pellets, called UniBeads, that dissolve gradually into the liquid passing through the straw, leaving no clogged mass at the bottom of the drink. Available in chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry and banana flavors, Tubulars are designed especially for adding nutrients to kids' diets in a convenient format. Cyber Jukebox for Stores and Restaurants M aking an eating or shopping experience more customized—even down to the music—is a ticket for increased sales. The Google-backed Rockbot is a new app that allows customers in retail stores, restaurants and bars to submit their picks on a venue's musical ambience. And while the business owner is always in control of the overall experience (customers can only choose songs cleared by the owner from Rockbot's library of more than 7 million tracks), patrons need only download the app to nominate a pick and vote on those in the virtual queue. The app then selects the most popular songs to play. Owners can be as involved a DJ as they choose, using existing stations or customizing their own. And ultimately they can press "Skip" on the Rockbot player if they don't like what's playing. Subscriptions range from $24.95 to $99.95 per month. PHOTO: ROCKBOT ccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of people in foodservice and food preparation smoke, making this field the second-highest population of smokers among U.S. occupation groups. Renowned restaurateur and TV personality Joe Bastianich has taken on the cause and is helping smokers, chefs and fellow foodservice industry workers kick the habit by partnering with Blueprint to Quit. The program provides smokers with a two-part plan, including nicotine replacement therapy (such as Nicorette gum and NicoDerm CQ patches) to help with the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking, and behavioral support through QuitNet, an online social platform. A twoand-a-half-pack-a-day smoker until last year, Bastianich hopes to improve the overall quality and health of the industry. Offering additional support, the National Restaurant Association has established Blueprint to Quit as its official quit-smoking program for its members. PHOTO: UNISTRAW food trends GMO Labeling Gets a Big Boost W ith GMO-labeling legislation moving ahead sluggishly, behemoth natural foods retailer Whole Foods Market has made a major leap forward for the cause. Starting in 2018, labeling on products containing genetically modified ingredients will be mandatory for all products sold at Whole Foods stores in the U.S. and Canada. This transparency stands to grow the chain as a choice for careful shoppers. Support from a retailer like Whole Foods offers a boost for manufacturers committed to GMO verification, like Saffron Road, which recently released Chana Saag, the U.S.'s first non-GMO verified frozen entree. "We fully support Whole Foods' efforts toward non-GMO verified products," says Jack Acree, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Saffron Road. To date, the Non-GMO Project has verified nine of Saffron Road's products, and another six to nine are in the process. "The time and effort right now is primarily the result of the current pervasiveness of GMOs in our food supply," says Acree, who concedes the verification process is a lengthy one. "With the advent of a more consistent supply of non-GMO ingredients, the verification process will shorten significantly." MORE TRENDS: DESSERT HYBRIDS, P. 70 16 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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