Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News September 2013

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UPDATE: Grains & Flours Spices SFF Wrap Up SEE PAGE 41 SEE PAGE 23 SEE PAGE 29 E: D SI IN UPDATE: LY AL Y R U LTH AT A N HE BUYERS GUIDE: GOURMET NEWS ® T H E B U S I N E S S VOLUME 78, NUMBER 9 SEPTEMBER 2013 n $7.00 N E W S P A P E R n Special Events Make Market Street a Destination Supermarket PAGE 19 GROCERY & DEPARTMENT STORES n Kroger Purchases Rival Mid-Atlantic Supermarket Chain Harris Teeter PAGE 20 SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS & BROKERS n US Foods Named Official Foodservice Provider to World Food Championships PAGE 21 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n Robert Rothschild Farm Unveils Holiday Gift Line, Seasonal Specialties PAGE 22 News..............................................4 Ad Index .......................................43 Smorgasbord/Classifieds ..............43 www.gourmetnews.com T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y FDA Issues Official Rule Defining Gluten-Free Foods Energy Products BY LUCAS WITMAN AND SPECIALTY RETAILERS F O R JAZMINE WOODBERRY In August, the Food and Drug Administration issued an official rule defining specifically what it means for a product to be glutenfree. According to the newly minted standard, any product labeled "gluten-free," "without gluten," "free of gluten" or "no gluten" must contain no more than 20 parts per million of wheat, rye, barley or any other ingredient derived from these grains that has not been processed to remove gluten. "This standard 'gluten-free' definition will eliminate uncertainty about how food producers label their products and will assure people with celiac disease that foods labeled 'gluten-free' meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA," said Michael R. Taylor, Deputy FDA Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, in the official announcement from the FDA. Gluten, the protein that occurs naturally in many grains, is detrimental to the health of many Americans, especially those with celiac disease. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, causes the body's natural defense system to react to gluten by attacking the inner lining of the small intestine. This can cause the body not to absorb necessary nutrients from the foods being consumed and can lead to nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriages, short stature, intestinal cancer and other maladies. It is estimated that 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, with another 18 million experiencing some degree of gluten sensitivity. In recent years, awareness of gluten sensitivity and intolerance has exploded, resulting in a subsequent eruptive growth in the market for gluten-free products. According to market research firm, Packaged Facts, gluten-free product sales topped $4.2 billion last year. Thus, any change to the labeling standard for gluten-free products could have far-reaching industry-wide ramifications. It is likely that most food In April, Whole Foods Market made the announcement that it will work to label all genetically modifed organisms contained in the products offered in its U.S. and Canadian stores by 2018. Most common with corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets, but also appearing among a growing list of additional foodstuffs, such as radicchio, summer squash, alfalfa and wheat, genetically modified foods have recently garnered a great deal of scrutiny from health- and environment-conscious consumers. This is despite the fact that both the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have indicated that there is no safety concern when it comes to the consumption of these products. Regardless of their healthfulness, many consumers have already demonstrated a definitive aversion to GMO foods. In a recent poll conducted by the Huffington Post, BY JAZMINE WOODBERRY 82 percent of those surveyed stated that they believe food companies should be required to label all GMO ingredients included in their products. In the same poll, just 20 percent said that they believe that GMOs are safe to eat. It is this growing skepticism among today's consumers that is driving companies like Whole Foods to dramatically change the way it markets products in its stores, even prior to Can engrained visions of Red Bull giving you wings and a Food and Drug Administration investigation into energy drinks stop the energy products market from surging ahead—and straight onto gourmet retailers' shelves? Retailers are seeing beverage sales rise, and that rise is on the back of the power of the everwidening energy drink market. Energy drinks raked in billions last year, up 14 percent from five years ago, and energy shots themselves saw a 168 percent sales increase in that time period, according to market research firm Packaged Facts. "Caffeine is the legal drug of choice in the United States. It's in medications, it's in food, and because of the specialty coffee explosion with Starbucks, coffee is where you get your lift. Most people are habituated to it," said Tom Pirko, President of Bevmark, a food and beverage consulting firm based in Santa Barbara, Calif. "People have been drinking coffee and tea for caffeine forever and now people are reaching for Continued on PAGE 12 Continued on PAGE 14 Continued on PAGE 8 Specialty Food Companies Clamor to Address Consumer Call for GMO Labels BY LUCAS WITMAN Market Wide Awake And Going Gourmet, Despite FDA Investigation Retailers Must Navigate Olive Oil Slicksters in Seeking Out the Real Deal BY LUCAS WITMAN Few foods have reached the level of global ubiquity of extra virgin olive oil. Walk into any kitchen around the world, whether it be in a farmhouse in Genoa, a sleek Japanese apartment or a Texas ranch, and extra virgin olive oil is likely to be on the shelves. The culinary minded throughout the world seem to have unanimously chosen this aromatic green-hued nectar as the ideal base for dishes prepared in any number of cuisines. As such, extra virgin olive oil has developed a certain mystique that draws consumers back to it time after time, compelling them to open their wallets and pay often soaring prices for what they deem to be the highest quality offerings within the category. There are several reasons for the diffuse popularity of extra virgin olive oil. First, the oil pressed from olives simply has a singular flavor profile that is unmatched by any other oil in the world. Ranging from mild, fruity and olive-forward to pungent and grassy, olive oil truly captures the palates of its devoted followers. The nutritional characteristics of the product are also partially responsible for making it a favorite cooking ingredient, as it contains no cholesterol and offers polyphenols thought to reduce aging. Finally, as olive oil is especially versatile, it can be used in a number of different roles in the kitchen, from anchoring a vinaigrette to frying up an egg to supplying the necessary moistness for a unique olive oil cake. As extra virgin olive oil has grown in popularity in the United States and across the globe, grocery store shelves have become packed with a diverse array of product options. This has led to a new problem. With so many offerings to choose from, at least some are inevitably of lesser quality. And, to the untrained eye, it can be difficult to discriminate a truly well-made olive oil from an imposter. "When it comes to real Italian extra virgin olive oil, you know you have to read the label. The people who do fakery are very clever," said food writer Bill Marsano. Marsano recently moderated the "Find the Fake" panel at the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Continued on PAGE 10

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