Friday, March 13, 2020

Expo West: A Virtual Tour of All Things Dairy…and More (Part Two)

During these uncertain times, there’s one thing we all need to survive. That’s food. Thank you to all the dairy farmers, haulers, processors, distributors, retailers and innovators…for your time and energy to keep refrigerators stocked. Please be smart. Stay active. Eat healthy. Keep clean. Be kind. We can do this. xo

With that, here are numerous innovations that were to be showcased at Expo West. I’m sad we missed sampling them. Please enjoy…

Alexandre Family Farms had planned to sample its new Vanilla Cream Top Organic A2/A2 no-sugar-added 6% milkfat yogurt. The simply made probiotic yogurt comes in 24-ounce tubs. The milk comes from the company’s multi-generational, family-owned northern California farm started in 1988. The dairy cows graze on lush, green grasses. The new product is a pourable, sweet and tangy homestyle yogurt loaded with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and free of beta-casein A1. It is sweetened with organic monkfruit extract and loaded with probiotic cultures.

Ito En North America now offers Jasmine Milk Tea, which joins its popular milk tea line of Matcha Milk Tea and Black Milk Tea. Jasmine tea has been a longtime favorite for the discerning tea drinker for its fragrant and elegant aroma. Brewed with green tea leaves scented with jasmine flowers and all-natural ingredients, the new ready-to-drink Jasmine Milk Tea offers an on-the-go café experience. The beverages come packaged in playful cow-patterned bottles and Japanese kanji characters, with one 11.8-ounce bottle containing 140 calories and selling for $2.49.

Epicurean Butter was going to give attendees a sneak peek at its three new chef-created finishing butters set to hit the market very soon. Sweet meets savory in Black Garlic. It is a perfect mix of molasses-like richness with subtle garlic undertones. The black garlic is aged for weeks at just the right temperature to produce a unique flavor unlike ordinary garlic without any overpowering scent or flavor. The Everything Bagel Blend Butter is a homage to the famously popular everything bagel. It contains sesame seeds, garlic, onion, salt, poppy seeds and more. The Honey Vanilla Butter is a sweet compound butter that is the perfect companion to breakfast breads, lunchtime salad dressings, dinner veggies and party charcuterie boards.

Danone North America had an extensive menu of new dairy and dairy alternative products to reveal to the industry at Expo West. Starting with the Activia brand, there’s Activia Less Sugar & More Good. Loaded with billions of live and active probiotic cultures, the new yogurt is sweetened with only fruit and honey. There are four varieties: Blueberry and Cardamom, Fig & Cinnamon, Pear & Ginger, and Pineapple & Passionfruit. A 5.3-ounce cup contains 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of sugar, only 3 grams are added. The rest are inherent to the milk.

There’s also new Activia Dairy-Free. It is made with almondmilk and comes in Blueberry Acai, Peach Hibiscus, Raspberry Pomegranate and Vanilla Cinnamon flavors. A 5.3-ounce cup contains 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of total/added sugar.

New Light & Fit Collagen + Antioxidants is an excellent source of protein with 15 grams per 5.3-ounce cup. Collagen is a protein known to boost skin and joint health. Varieties are: Cherry Black Currant, Kiwi Mango, Raspberry Lime and Tangerine Grapefruit. The 5.3-ounce containers stand out at shelf with their vibrant purple packaging. One serving contains a mere 90 calories and 6 grams of inherent sugar. None are added.

Under the company’s Oikos brand comes Oikos Pro Bars, which capitalize on the growing trend of fresh, refrigerated protein bars. They deliver on-the-go nutrition with 20 grams of protein and 8 grams or less of sugar per 60-gram bar. Made with a Greek yogurt and nut butter base, varieties are: Blueberry Cashew, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel Almond.

The company is also growing its Two Good Greek Lowfat Yogurt with Mango Hibiscus and Raspberry varieties. Sold in 5.3-ounce cups, one serving provides 12 grams of dairy protein and only 80 calories and 2 grams of total sugar. The brand developed a patent-pending slow-straining batching process that removes the sugar from the milk used to make the yogurt. What’s left is a thick, creamy Greek low-fat yogurt. The no-added-sugar yogurt is sweetened with stevia Reb M. Tapioca starch builds full-fat body. The new flavors join Black Cherry, Blueberry, Coconut, Mixed Berry, Peach, Plain, Strawberry and Vanilla.

Good Culture planned to highlight its new no-added-sugar Probiotic Smoothies. Made with pasture-raised, protein-rich kefir, the USDA organic smoothies are available in three flavors--Pineapple, Vanilla and Wildberry—and come in 7-ounce bottles. Loaded with 7 grams of protein, the smoothies do not contain any added sugars. The light sweetness comes from the pasture-raised kefir, fruits and organic dates. The smoothies are powered by 35 billion CFUs (colony forming units) and feature 12 strains of live and active cultures, including the probiotic powerhouse Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12, the world’s most researched and documented probiotic strain. The BB-12 strain is clinically proven to rebalance gut flora and help the microbiome, leading to overall improved gut health, as well as boost overall immunity by increasing the body’s resistance to common respiratory infections.

The smoothies complement Good Culture’s recently launched Wellness Gut Shots, which combine the efficacious probiotics in cultured kefir with functional superfood ingredients such as turmeric, matcha, chaga and collagen for a targeted approach to wellness.

siggi’s, a forerunner in lower-sugar yogurt with simple ingredients, is rolling out its first-ever kids’ yogurt pouches. The products contain 50% less sugar and 30% fewer ingredients than leading kids’ yogurts, according to the company. siggi’s kids’ pouches feature creamy, non-tart 2% milkfat yogurt in two flavors: Blueberry and Strawberry & Banana. The new pouches are part of a year-long launch of innovative products, which also includes siggi’s plant-based product line.

The plant-based products have been two years in the making. They contain three times more protein and 40% less sugar than leading yogurt alternatives, according to the company. The recipe contains 10 grams of protein and 8 to 9 grams of sugar per 5.3-ounce cup, and like all siggi’s products, is made with simple, recognizable ingredients. Launch flavors include Mango, Mixed Berries, Raspberry and Vanilla Cinnamon.
The siggi’s plant-based product line is made with a proprietary blend of coconut, macadamia, and pea protein. True to siggi’s long-held commitment to lower sugar and simple ingredients, this innovation contains more protein than sugar in each cup and consumers will find a list of all-natural ingredients that can be easily pronounced.

From the women-led team at Coolhaus, and just in time for Women’s History Month, comes Queens’ Coffee. The ice cream is made with Allegro Coffee’s Three Queens Blend, which supports women farmers.

Founded in New Zealand, a2 Milk is a nutritional wellness brand focused on providing dairy products void of the A1 protein, which for some, is believed to cause digestion issues. The brand is adding Fat Free Milk to its lineup of Whole Milk, 2% Reduced Fat Milk, Chocolate Milk and coffee creamers (Sweet Cream and Creamy Vanilla), all of which are produced from real dairy cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein.

For Organic Valley, Thick Cut off the Block Shredded Cheese was going to be its big dairy showcase. The new shreds come in five varieties: Mozzarella, 3 Cheese Italian, 3 Cheese Mexican, Mild Cheddar and Sharp Cheddar. These thick-cut shredded cheese varieties are crafted to elevate the meal experience, as they provide consumers a cheesier flavor, better cheese pull and a gooier melt, all attributes consumers are looking for in their home-cooked recipes, according to the company. The shreds come in 6-ounce bags and sell for about $5.49.

The Wisconsin cooperative was also going to give attendees a sneak peek at its new Organic Egg Bites. Each pack of two provides 14 to 16 grams of protein. The gluten-free bites are made with all organic ingredients and come in three flavors: Feta and Chives, Ham and Swiss, and Sausage and Pepper Jack. They are less than 250 calories and ready in 90 seconds in the microwave.

London-based Pots & Co was founded in 2013 by a Michelin-trained chef who recognized a void in proper desserts available through supermarkets. Sourcing only the finest ingredients, such as Cornish sea salt, Alphonso mangoes and sustainable Colombian cocoa, the refrigerated desserts quickly gained distribution through much of Western Europe. The company is now aggressively entering the U.S. with its extensive range that comes packaged in single-serve premium colorful ceramic pots or petite glass jars, both of which are marketed as being reusable and recyclable. The line includes posset, a cream, sugar and citrus-based British dairy dessert.

World Dairy Innovation Awards
Dairy processors around the world continue to amaze with their innovation efforts. Here’s a chance to receive recognition: enter The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2020. The U.K.-based FoodBev Media has organized and presented this award for the past 14 years. This year the judges will be selecting winners in 20 different categories. The finalists and winners will be announced at a special gala dinner during the 14th Global Dairy Congress on the evening of June 16, 2020, in Laval, France.
For more information and to enter, link HERE. This year, the closing date for entries is April 30, 2020.

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