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Gourmet News May 14

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BY LUCAS WITMAN At a press conference on Febru- ary 27, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the Food and Drug Administration is pro- posing major updates to the nu- trition facts labels for packaged foods. If passed, the FDA's pro- posed revisions will be the first changes made to nutrition facts labeling since 1994. The agency is currently soliciting public feed- back on the revisions until at least June 2, although that dead- line could be extended. "Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery BY LUCAS WITMAN On March 6, Cerberus Capital Management, an American pri- vate equity firm and owner of national supermarket chain Al- bertson's announced that it will purchase fellow supermarket chain Safeway for $9 billion and merge the two companies. The merger is expected to cre- ate a network of 2,400 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants across the country. "Albertsons has successfully transformed underperforming re- tail grocery stores into strong performers by focusing on en- Customers to See No Change at Albertsons, Safeway Until Q4 Continued on PAGE 6 UPDATE: Confections SEE PAGE 15 SPECIAL FEATURE: Frozen Desserts SEE PAGE 21 MARKETWATCH: Barbecue Sauces & Rubs SEE PAGE 26 Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 4 Continued on PAGE 4 hancing the local customer expe- rience," said Lenard Tessler, Co- Head of Global Private Equity and Senior Managing Director at Cer- berus in a statement announcing the merger. "Similarly, Safeway has consistently provided out- standing value and customer service throughout the communi- ties it serves. Combining these strong management teams will strengthen the ability of Safeway and Albertsons to deliver on a shared commitment to offering customers higher quality prod- ucts at lower prices, which will undoubtedly yield positive results for all stakeholders in the busi- ness." On March 28, a three-week "go-shop" period ended in which Safeway had the opportunity to solicit other companies that might be interested in purchasing the grocer for a higher price. No companies indicated that they were interested in buying the chain before the deadline expired. The merger now moves onto its next phase, even though another buyer could still make a compet- ing offer as long as that offer is unsolicited by Safeway itself. According to the merger an- nouncement, no store closures are anticipated following the merger. Customers should not see any changes to their local Safeway or Albertsons store at least until the merger is finalized, which is ex- pected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2014. It is as yet un- clear if the two brands will merge under a single banner. According to executives at Al- bertson's, this merger is expected to allow both supermarket chains to better serve their customers, lowering operation costs and thus passing those savings on to con- sumers. "This transaction offers us the opportunity to better serve Globalization Propels Interest in Spicy Flavors Food Industry Reacts as FDA Proposes Changes to Decades-Old Nutrition Facts Labels store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it's good for your family," said First Lady Michelle Obama in a press statement announcing the proposed changes. "This is a big deal, and it's going to make a big difference for families all across this country." If the current revisions are ap- proved, the FDA will mandate a series of revisions both to the form and content of nutrition facts labels. Among these, pack- aged foods will have to declare their added sugar content, as well as potassium and vitamin D. Vita- mins A and C, not considered nu- trients of public health concern, will no longer be required to be listed on the label. A major change will be made to require- ments regarding the serving sizes for many products, with compa- nies being required now to list the serving sizes based on what most people actually eat today as op- posed to what they "should" be eating. In addition, the format of the label will be refreshed to boldly emphasize the calorie amount, serving size and percent daily values of certain nutrients in the product. Although not everyone is ex- cited with the FDA's proposal, a BY LUCAS WITMAN Until the 1930s, few Americans had ever tasted a taco or burrito, but since then, Mexican cuisine has become a ubiquitous staple in this country. Likewise, before the 1980s, most American diners would have found it appalling to sit down to a plate of raw fish and rice, but today it seems that there is a sushi bar on every urban street corner. And living in a country with 43,000 Chinese Up-and-Coming Global Cuisines Look to Capture American Palates and Compel Consumer Spending restaurants, it can be easy to for- get that there was once a time when the cuisine of China was about as foreign to American eaters as the cuisine of Mars. Throughout American history, palates (and, subsequently, the foods American cooks place on their dinner tables) have con- stantly evolved. There are a vari- ety of reasons for this, including the effects of immigration, Amer- ican travel abroad, the careful marketing of global cuisines in this country and the simple transformation of tastes. It is un- derstood that the dishes most popular with one generation are almost certain to be different from those most beloved by the next. With American palates shifting so rapidly, and with the potential rewards for staying on top of the trends so great, many BY LORRIE BAUMANN As the world's economy emerges from economic recession, Ameri- can foodies are ready to launch out from the safe harbor of Ital- ian-American and traditional American comfort food and into deeper culinary waters, and all in- dications are that this is going to be a spicy voyage. Demand for ex- otic seasonings and spices in this country is increasing due to the increasing demand for new fla- vors and flavor ingredients, the growing popularity of ethnic cuisines and increasing health awareness among consumers. This is according to a 2013 report from market intelligence com- pany Transparency Market Re- search. The growing popularity of in- ternationally sourced seasonings and spices in this country is at least in part a product of the larger economic phenomenon of globalization. The Food and Agri- culture Organization of the United Nations released a report in 2011 on growing opportunities for small farmers in developing nations to participate in the global spice trade. India is one of the world's largest manufacturers and exporters of seasonings and VOLUME 79, NUMBER 5 MAY 2014 n $7.00 TRADE SHOW BUZZ n Largest Participation Ever Expected at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo PAGE 8 GIFTWARE n Numi Organic Tea Gift Sets with Carla Hall Petite Cookies PAGE 9 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n Hammond's Candies Brings Handcrafted Confections to Hungry Consumers PAGE 11 RETAILER NEWS n Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam, N.Y. Reimagines the Classic Sugar House PAGE 12 SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS & BROKERS n US Foods Turns up the Heat with New Product Line PAGE 14 News ..............................................2 Ad Index .......................................27 Smorgasbord ................................27 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

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