Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

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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giving back NON-GMO GLUTEN-FREE Almond Gold Bar Winner — 2017 Sofi: New Product Winner — 2017 Good Food Award 2017 Booth 3124 800.372.6808 | Seattle, WA frans .co m Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 3124 cocted in a brainstorming session between the two in order to reference the "miniature" size of the kernel. "Little Kernel is half the size of a typical popcorn kernel. It's less likely to get stuck in your teeth, and is much less of a choking hazard, especially for children," says Laurita. "We liked this f lavor profile and crunchier texture, and it absorbs olive oil nicely, especially when you add ingredi- ents like truff le sea salt or Himalayan pink sea salt. When it all comes together, it's really satisfying." The Little Kernel popcorn is popped in olive oil and uses no artificial ingredients. Current f lavors include Naked, Truff le Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, White Cheddar, Sweet & Salty, and Butter. Laurita and Epstein also use their social media reach to connect with The Little Kernel community, ensuring that people's questions and comments are heard. They are hands-on at on-site demos and presentations with retailers. Jacqueline's affiliation with "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," has given The Little Kernel access to a large social media following. "One of the most important things is having that interaction with the consumer directly and taking criticism and making changes that we think are necessary to have the best product we can possibly have," says Epstein. "One thing I've noticed on social media is brands don't actually interact with their customers. We can't please everybody, but we want to hear what our consumers have to say." What's Next As The Little Kernel continues its partner- ship with Generation Rescue, Laurita and Epstein plan to expand the brand with line extensions and new flavor introductions, including a S'mores popcorn with vegan mini-marshmallows. "We're really excited about this prod- uct, especially with the vegan mini-marsh- mallows," says Epstein. "It's unique and represents that same type of treasure hunt you had when you were a kid with Lucky Charms. I have children who range in age from 4 to 22, and they all enjoy the process of digging for those marshmallows." With these ideas for the future, Laurita and Epstein will continue to have The Little Kernel be a philanthropic company, making sure that they are giving back. "We are charitable people, and we are truly trying to build a brand with purpose," says Laurita. "We don't want this to just be a better-for-you product, but one that we can give back with too." More Companies Making a Difference Food Maven: Tackling Food Waste Food Maven, a startup in Colorado Springs, Colo., is cutting down on food waste by donating and reselling unused produce from farmers and retail- ers who have extra goods. Users, which include about 120 restaurants in the city, can search Food Maven's website and purchase products. The food is delivered from Food Maven's storage space within hours. While some of the food comes from local farmers, most of it is sourced from major dis- tribution companies in the area. Between 20 and 25 percent of the food collected by Food Maven goes to charity. (continued on p. 99) 58 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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