Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News February 2015

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BY LUCAS WITMAN In the waning weeks of 2014, the White House announced that a federal taskforce assigned to de- velop recommendations for how the United States might best combat the dual problems of seafood piracy and fraud had concluded its investigation into these complex issues. The task- force, convened by President Obama in June, spent six months studying a problem that experts argue costs the international seafood industry between $10 billion and $23 billion annually, in addition to detrimentally im- pacting both consumers and global fish stocks. Led by Kathy BY LUCAS WITMAN In order to be a successful spe- cialty food professional today, it is essential that one also serve as an educator. In the 21st century consumer landscape, shoppers not only want foods that taste good, they want to know the pre- cise details surrounding the foods they are consuming. From cheese to truffles to seafood to choco- late, those hungry for specialty food are also voracious con- sumers of information about those foods. This is especially true when it comes to gourmet categories where a vast and di- verse product selection makes it Shoppers Eagerly Tap into Fresh, Seasonal Flavors at The Olive Tap Continued on PAGE 8 BUYERS GUIDE: Oils & Vinegars SEE PAGE 21 HOT PRODUCTS: Pastificio Felicetti SEE PAGE 9 UPDATE: Gluten-Free SEE PAGE 15 Continued on PAGE 6 Continued on PAGE 12 difficult to winnow down the of- ferings and find the right product for the right person and situation. Case in point: olive oil. Staff members at The Olive Tap, a national chain of stores specializing in gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars, are con- stantly working to educate them- selves about the products they offer and pass the benefits of that education onto the stores' clien- tele. "We continually train our staff so they are very knowledge- able about the oils," said Rick Petrocelly, The Olive Tap founder and co-owner of three stores. "Al- most all of our employees are home cooks or recreational chefs themselves. Customers get a lot of after-the-sale and during-the-sale experience in being able to talk to someone who can walk them through more novel ways to make dinners and salads and what- have-you." Petrocelly founded The Olive Tap in 2006. Today there are 13 stores located throughout the country, including in North Car- olina, Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Is- land. Petrocelly himself owns three retail stores, one in Long Grove, Illinois, one in Manitou Springs, Colorado and the com- pany's online store. For Petrocelly, who grew up in restaurants owned by his Italian family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylva- nia, it was always understood that he would make his career in food. "I have been a foodie my entire life," he said. "Italian food culture is what it is. We don't eat to live – we live to eat. From a very young age, I was working at the restau- rant and cooking. I always had this interest in food." It was not until later in life, however, that Petrocelly's interests were turned specifically toward olive oil. After Navajo Nation Passes Tax on Unhealthful Foods President's Taskforce Unveils New Federal Tactics for Confronting Seafood Fraud, Piracy Sullivan, an administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmos- pheric Administration, the task- force combined the efforts of 14 government agencies in the shared objective of curbing these twin concerns. In terms of overall financial impact, perhaps the most signif- icant problem hindering the global seafood industry today is the illegal, unreported and un- regulated (IUU) fishing of the world's oceans. According to NOAA, the United States cur- rently imports approximately 90 percent of the fish that is con- sumed in this country from for- eign suppliers. It is estimated that as much as 32 percent of this seafood (by weight) is fished il- legally. International laws are in place to ensure the long term sustainability of fish stocks and to protect global food security. However, economic incentive (a single Patagonian Toothfish often goes for as much as $1,000 in the current market) is driving seafood pirates to illegally har- vest overfished species. In addition to IUU fishing, the seafood industry today is plagued by the dual problem of seafood fraud. According to international ocean conservation organization BY LUCAS WITMAN Honoring the pioneers of an in- dustry that stretches back decades into the 1950s, the Spe- cialty Food Association an- nounced the inaugural inductees into its newly formed Hall of Fame at this year's Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The first 114 members of the Hall of Fame represent a vast cross sec- tion of the industry and include a diverse collection of manufac- turers, retailers, distributors, in- Continued on PAGE 6 Specialty Food Association Announces First Inductees into Gourmet Industry Hall of Fame dustry leaders and assorted vi- sionaries, all of whom helped build specialty food into an $88.3 billion industry. "The mission of this Hall of Fame is to honor individuals whose accomplishments, contri- butions, innovations and suc- cesses have significantly impacted the specialty food industry and are deserving of our praise and truly our recognition," said Shawn McBride, Vice President of Foah International and current Chair of the Specialty Food Asso- ciation Board of Directors. The induction ceremony was one of the highlights of this year's WFF show. The inductees were lauded on the first evening of the show, kicking off an event that also included the presentation of the annual Leadership Awards as well as a keynote address from Seth Goldman, cofounder and CEO of Honest Tea. BY DAVID BERNARD On November 21, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed an unhealthful food tax law, believed to be the first in the nation. The law slaps a 2 percent tax on food that has little to no nutritional value. A separate law imple- mented in October removed the sales tax on healthful food items. These pieces of legislation are aimed at confronting the signifi- cant nutritional deficiencies that exist on the Navajo Nation and working to bring more healthful foods onto the Reservation. For many residents of the Navajo Nation, a 27,000 square mile Southwestern region that has been classified as a "food desert" by the U.S. Department of Agri- culture, the roundtrip drive to purchase groceries can be as much as 100 miles. The nutrition picture among the Nation's 300,000 residents is serious in- deed. Plagued by a dearth of mar- kets and sparse, remotely grown produce that is often moldy, and hampered by desert land that is largely unsuitable for farming, the Navajo Nation is truly a food desert in a nation of plenty. The situation is further complicated by a 50 percent unemployment VOLUME 80, NUMBER 2 FEBRUARY 2015 n $7.00 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n Missouri Producer Brings a Taste of Middle Eastern Date Culture to the American Market PAGE 11 RETAILER NEWS n Under New Ownership, Fresh & Easy Reinvigorating Brand, Launching Smarter Market Concept PAGE 12 SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS & BROKERS n Craft Brew Alliance Forming Strategic Partnership with Appalachian Mountain Brewery PAGE 13 NATURALLY HEALTHY n Yacon and Baobob Join the Natural Foods Lexicon as Two Healthful Food Additives to Watch PAGE 14 SMALL ELECTRICS n Consumers Creating Lasting Freshness, Preserving the Flavors of the Season with Wave of New Appliances PAGE 22 News ..............................................4 Ad Index .......................................23 Smorgasbord ................................23 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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