Comfort with a twist trend prevalent at Winter Fancy Food Show

CHICAGO — Dairy cheese, whether or not it comes from cows, goats or sheep, together with plant-based varieties had been plentiful on the Winter Fancy Meals Present, held Feb. 6-8 in Las Vegas. The occasion marked the Specialty Meals Affiliation’s first dwell commerce present in two years. Whereas cheese dominated the dairy area, premium butters and frozen desserts additionally could possibly be discovered among the many greater than 800 specialty meals exhibiting firms. The outstanding theme of the present was consolation meals with a twist. Such merchandise communicate to shoppers who proceed to hunt new but acquainted experiences at residence amid the continuing pandemic.

The $170.4 billion specialty meals trade encompasses meals and drinks, and their specialty nature consists of attributes corresponding to unique origin, specific processing (and sometimes an intentional lack thereof), design, restricted provide, uncommon utility/use, compelling packaging or channel of distribution/sale.

In 2020, specialty meals gross sales accounted for 21.5% of all meals and beverage gross sales. Cheese has lengthy maintained the No. 1 place by way of greenback share of gross sales (6.2% in 2018), however based on The State of the Specialty Meals Trade US market, which was revealed in June 2021, the meat, poultry, seafood (frozen and refrigerated) class ousted cheese from the highest spot, rising 30% in 2020 and 36% from 2018 to 2020. The 2 classes every exceeded $5 billion in 2020 gross sales, based on the Specialty Meals Affiliation.

Each meat and cheese turned pandemic staples, with many shoppers keen to splurge on specialty varieties to be able to convey pleasure to their day by day meals, particularly after cooking fatigue set in. Usually, the 2 are used collectively. Suppose wagyu burger with imported Havarti cheese and prosciutto di Parma with marinated complete milk mozzarella.

Previous to the pandemic, gross sales of cheese for Belgioioso Cheese Inc., Inexperienced Bay, Wis., had been break up between retail and foodservice, with mozzarella and Parmesan dominating its foodservice enterprise into universities, hospitals and quick-service eating places. The balanced combine enabled the corporate to simply pivot and ship extra cheese into retail in these early days of stocking kitchens.

“We had a balanced mixture of enterprise so we had been capable of rapidly shift our focus,” stated Cathy Shifflett, director of retail gross sales and dealer administration. “We didn’t dump any milk and, actually, even picked up some enterprise. We are actually just about again to that even break up, and all that Italian cheese we made is getting old properly.”

As nationwide away-from-home eating {dollars} elevated in the course of the summer season of 2021, Belgioioso developed a relationship with Subway, Milford, Conn. Its recent mozzarella turned a everlasting merchandise out there for all sandwiches, salads and wraps, with the model recognized on menu boards.

On the Fancy Meals present, Belgioioso launched some new comfort gadgets for retail, together with 8-oz sliced logs of “Scamorza-Rella,” which is a cheese like mozzarella and provolone. It’s out there in conventional and hickory-smoked varieties.

“Our new Artigiano mocha cheese is obtainable in 5-oz retail wedges and 11-lb wheels for in-store reducing,” stated Umberto Marconi, vp of promoting. “This cheese is bathed in wealthy cocoa and Italian espresso. We prefer to say it’s an awakening of candy and savory flavors.”

For FrieslandCampina, Paramus, NJ, the world’s largest Gouda and Dutch cheese producer, the pandemic had a optimistic affect on retail gross sales, which is the corporate’s focus. One of many drivers was shoppers’ burgeoning curiosity in creating charcuterie platters. Whereas charcuterie, by definition, refers to meats corresponding to salami, sausage and pate, the idea has developed to incorporate an array of cheeses, fruits and nuts.

“We got down to create the best pack in the best measurement for the best worth,” stated Debbie Seife, director of promoting. “Our new Royal Hollandia ‘entry packs’ are completely sized for shoppers creating boards who need to strive some new cheese sorts or add selection.”

The corporate affords six of its hottest charcuterie-centric cheeses in 3.5-oz to 4-oz packs, which invitations curious shoppers to buy a pair choices with out the dedication of the everyday larger-size chunk. The cheeses are available in shelf-ready packs designed for simple merchandising within the deli with advertising and marketing language of “choose and blend.” Every particular person pack consists of data on the cheese’s taste profile and instructed pairings. The corporate now consists of such particulars on most of its cheeses as a part of a rebranding and new product rollout program.

FrieslandCampina’s portfolio consists of greater than a dozen cheese manufacturers. One of many new cheeses that debuted on the Winter Fancy Meals Present was Gayo Azul Cotija. As well as, there’s new Royal Hollandia snacks, that are grab-and-go gadgets. The pouch that holds the 5 – 6 individually wrapped 20-gram parts of cheese is made out of recyclable paper and could also be merchandised standing up or hanging from a peg.

Extra revolutionary purposes

Snacking and entertaining — even inside a bubble of pals or household — fueled many inventions this previous 12 months. Clever Apps, Parkville, Mo., used the present to introduce its Crackerology Cracker Kits. The corporate was based in July 2021 by three pals who recognized the necessity for fast, gourmand, high-end appetizers that could possibly be paired with cocktails, beer and wine.

The all-in-one kits had been created so every thing wanted to make 24 appetizers or desserts is included within the field and could also be assembled inside minutes. The 4 savory varieties all embody shelf-stable, dairy cheese from Dairyfood USA, Blue Mound, Wis. Wine & Rosemary, for instance, incorporates savory crackers with a contact of purple wine, rosemary and a touch of pepper, together with cheese schmear, preserves and a nut topping.

Anderson Worldwide Meals, Jersey Metropolis, NJ, launched Stuff n’ Roll, which is a sheet of recent complete milk mozzarella which may be crammed with flavorful elements to create low-carb snacks or upscale hors d’oeuvres. The corporate is making ready to debut Brigitte’s Spirit line of brie, which comes with an accompanying layer of fruit (apricot, fig or guava) paste for simple plating.

New goat and sheep cheeses targeted on flavors. Bellwether Farms, Petaluma, Calif., launched recent sheep cheese in flavors corresponding to Moroccan spice and Sonoma herbs. Websterville, Vt.-based Vermont Creamery gave attendees a peek at its new line of indulgent goat cheeses: strawberry spritz, which has candy hints of champagne; cherry cocoa, which is harking back to black forest cake; and candy truffle, which is made with Italian black truffles and a contact of honey.

For Accountable Meals, a meals startup firm based in 2019 in Reykjavik, Iceland, cheese or skyr are the bottom of its first providing: Næra Icelandic Snacks. The popped, dried snacks are processed and made with 100% inexperienced power, based on the corporate.

Inexperienced power, together with different sustainable practices, corresponding to grassfed, had been evident all through the expo. Wyke Farms debuted Ivy’s Reserve classic cheddar to the US market. The product is being marketed because the world’s first carbon neutral-branded cheddar. Matured for 18 months beneath wooden, the method offers the cheese a candy, nutty and sophisticated cheddar profile.

DolceVita gelato

Glanbia Eire’s branded division showcased its Actually Grass Fed line, which, along with cheese, affords a variety of butters. The latest product is a spreadable salted butter.

Different noteworthy dairy improvements noticed on the present included Parmalat Nata Crema para Desayuno (Nata Breakfast Cream). It’s a candy, clotted cream made with complete milk. Fashionable in Mexico and Latin America, the unfold could also be used on toast topped with honey, placed on fruit or blended right into a dessert.

Little Jasmine, Alhambra, Calif., showcased its US-produced brown sugar milk tea boba ice cream made with boba imported from Taiwan.

Heinlein Meals USA Inc., Miami, debuted its new Karinat frozen Greek yogurt, which is available in berry, dulce de leche, unique and fervour fruit flavors. Gelato Competition, West Hollywood, Calif., an organization that collaborates with cooks world wide to develop gelato ideas for its cafes in Europe and Los Angeles, is getting into the retail pint enterprise. Its debut dairy product is La Dolce Vita, a chocolate hazelnut taste, and the corporate has vegan oat choices as properly. 

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