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Press Release

Navigating The Frozen Aisle At The Grocery Store

By | Press Release


Happy National Frozen Foods Day!

Did you know Frozen Foods Day has been celebrated all the way back from 1984? I’m sure majority of your grocery shopping trips make a pit stop to the frozen aisles for at least one item, if not more. The frozen aisle has definitely improved over the years.

I like to bring this question up in many of my nutrition group discussions – Which do you think is healthier: fresh or frozen? Many raise their hand for fresh and a few brave participants raise their hands for frozen, even if they don’t exactly know why. The answer is both are healthy! Frozen can be just as healthy as fresh thanks to American inventor Clarence Frank Birdseye II, who invented the process of flash freezing. Flash freezing of fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood preserve flavor, quality, and nutrients. Birdseye discovered the key was freezing the food quickly, locking in foods nutritional value. Flash freezing forms small ice crystals which prevent the cell walls from bursting. Large ice crystals turn the food to mush.

Previously working as a supermarket RD, I know how to navigate the aisles like a pro! Let’s first shop by food group.


  • Check your ingredient list. Make sure it is just the fruit itself. Avoid added sugar.
    My Picks: Campoverdue Fruit & Veggie Blenders, Dole Fruit and Veggie Blends, or Dole Dippers (for a portion controlled sweet treat)
    Tip: Skip the syrup for topping your waffles or pancakes. Try using frozen fruit! Simply add frozen berries to a small pot over stove top and let simmer. It will turn gooey and syrupy. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to thicken.


  • Opt for the plain varieties. Skip the vegetables with gravies, cheese sauces, and even those labeled as “lightly seasoned”. They may be light in taste but check the nutrition label for hidden excess sodium and fat.
  • Watch out for “par-fried” items. I’m looking at you frozen french fries. Par-fried means blanching or half-frying that involves partially frying the food but not browning it, so that it must be cooked again before serving. So even though you might bake them in the oven, they were still fried.
  • Look for new items like riced cauliflower and other riced vegetables. So far I’ve seen riced carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes too!
  • Cauliflower is popping up everywhere for a low-carb option. They are even making cauliflower tots to replace potatoes.
    My Picks: frozen cauliflower rice, Veggie fries, (ANY!)
    Tip: Give yourself a break prepping in the kitchen. Get a stir fry going in minutes with pre-chopped onions, peppers, and carrots!


  • Look for the first word on the ingredient list to be the word “whole”, for frozen products like waffles.
  • Now ancient grains are even easier to get on the dinner table. No need to wait for them to cook in a pot. Warm up frozen whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
  • Do steel cut oats take to long to cook in the morning? Don’t worry there is frozen version that can heat up in seconds.
    My Picks: Van’s Whole Grain Waffles, Kashi Whole Grain Waffles, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Ezekiel bread


  • Again, watch out for “par-fried” items.
  • Opt for protein, like chicken or fish, without a breadcrumb coating. Choose lean choices of meat.
  • Look for plant-based proteins like edamame. Now they even have frozen beans available!
    My Picks: Hip Chick Farms, Good Food Made Simple, Hanover Beans

This is typically your ice cream section of the frozen department. There is a whole other refrigerated aisle dedicated for wholesome dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheeses.

  • Check your ingredient list. Look for real food ingredients.
  • Opt for yogurt-based items
    My Picks: As a dietitian, I always practice what I preach that everything in moderation. Now if you want that Ben and Jerry’s, go for it, being mindful of the portion sizes. There are so many new ice creams out there that I do have mixed feeling about. Some have sugar alcohols. For me personally, they bother my stomach, but it can be a good alternative for ice cream lovers who are looking to enjoy their ice cream a little more often than not. Halo Top, NadaMoo, Yasso, Enlightened are a few.

Frozen Meals

In general, look for meals that include one or more servings each of vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat, fish, or poultry. This combination will be higher in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber (which helps fill you up). Skip frozen dinners with cream sauces, gravies, or fried foods. And although dessert may look like a bonus, maybe have a piece of fresh fruit instead, for more fiber, nutrition, and fewer calories.

When comparing labels for frozen entrees, many eyes jump right down to the sodium, because come frozen meals can be sodium bombs. Look for a frozen entree < 600 milligrams.

It’s also important to pay attention to serving sizes. Although they may be lower in calories, smaller entrees may leave you hungry. But don’t be afraid to add a few extras to boost nutrition and satisfaction. Add a side salad or an extra bag of steamed veggies to up nutritional value of the meal and add fiber, so it will fill you up and satisfy your hunger. Looking to bump up the protein? Add 1/2 cup of beans or a sprinkling of nuts to your meal. No additional cooking required!

My favorite trick: I place a big bed of baby spinach or zoddles on my plate then pour the piping hot Luvo frozen entree right on top straight from the microwave. It wilts the spinach or softens the zoodles and bulks up the meal with extra vegetables.

My Picks: Luvo, Grainful, Evol, Garden Lites, Kashi, Amy’s

Frozen Pizza
Check your serving size. Often those pizzas contain multiple servings. Again, bulk them up! Keep it simple so there is no additional cooking required. Add toppings like frozen grilled chicken strips and plenty of veggies. Also, look for pizzas that use whole grains in the crust.

My favorite trick: I pile my pizza high with extra veggies. (The more the merrier!) When there is about 5 minutes left until the pizza is done, I crack a few eggs right on top and finish cooking the pizza to add an extra veggie and protein punch. Plus, who doesn’t like a runny egg yolk?

MyPicks: Newman’s Own, Pea’s of Mind, American Flatbread, Kashi

Veggie Burgers
Check your ingredient list. Make sure there are actual vegetables in there! Don’t be fooled by packaging. Just because there is no animal protein in it, they can skimp on the veggies. Some veggie burger contain fillers like rice and potatoes to bulk it up. Look for a veggie burger with plenty of vegetables on the ingredient list.
My Picks: Dr. Praeger, Hilary’s, Gardenburger

NadaMoo! Organic Non Dairy Coconut Milk Ice Cream

By | Press Release
      It all began in Austin, Texas the year of 2004 with coconut milk based ice cream made in small batches for dairy-free friends and family. Ever heard of the term have fork will travel? Well for ice cream lovers it’s have spoon will travel!
      The news spread like wildfire at how cool and creamy their ice cream was and random people showed up on their doorsteps with spoon in hand and that’s how NadaMoo was born!
      NadaMoo is a phrase that means “no dairy”. which is unique and surprisingly delicious with it’s cool creamy concoction!
      So why coconut milk? Not only does coconut milk provide a rich creamy texture the saturated fat is different than the saturated fat that is in animal foods. The saturated fats in whole dairy products and meats for some causes the liver to produce way too much cholesterol where with the intake of saturated fat found in coconut milk to have any harmful effects. NadaMoo ice cream is concocted with a dairy-free coconut milk base that is super creamy made from high quality organic ingredients that develop unique flavor profiles.
NadaMoo! Dairy-Free Ice Cream is  
  • Gluten Free
  • Non GMO
  • USDA Organic
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan
  • Fair Trade Certified

NadaMoo Non-Dairy ice cream flavors include

  • Gotta Do Chocolate
  • Lotta Mint Chip
  • Vanilla…Ahhh
  • MMM…Maple Pecan
  • That Snicker doodle Dough
  • Himalayan Salted Caramel
  • The Rockiest Road
  • Birthday Cake Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie
  • Pistachio Nut
  • Cookies & Creme
  • Chocolate Almond Chip
  • Creamy Coconut
  • Java Crunch
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
     I recently made the choice to go dairy free and it sure has been a struggle because there’s nothing that I enjoy more than cool & creamy ice cream on a hot summers day to cool down with whether in a cone or in a dish it’s a treat that can’t be beat! I have tried non dairy desserts before and some I have liked but lacked in texture almost chalk like.
     I had the pleasure of trying NadaMoo! Non dairy ice cream to try out for review and couldn’t wait to try them to see how they differed from other coconut milk based ice creams I’ve tried. Would it be gritty? Icy? Or would it be creamy? The flavors that I chose to purchase at Whole Foods Market was the Vanilla, Chocolate, Maple Pecan, and Mint Chip.
     The Buttery sweetness of maple ice cream with the nutty pecans are the ultimate pair sandwiched between toasted pecan cookies
     What I loved about the Maple Pecan ice cream was the fact that it offered a slight crunch from the salty yet toasted pecans that pop in your mouth and the maple flavor was outstanding! It didn’t offer a subtle sweetness of maple it was the real deal like when you pop open the lid you wan’t to make waffles sort of thing and then top it off with NadaMoo’s maple pecan ice cream for good measure !
     Tastes just like a Mounds candy bar only melted! Decadent fudgey chocolate that resembles a hollowed out chocolate Easter bunny but in the form of ice cream and topped off with a chocolate chip cookie for good measure.. of chocolate! Gotta Do Chocolate ice cream was super creamy in texture and offered that rich chocolate flavor with a subtle sweetness of coconut!


Refreshingly cool mint ice cream with morsels of chocolate chips in a creamy concoction. NadaMoo! Lotta Mint Chip is hands down the best ever non dairy dessert I have tried! I love that it offered a creamy texture and not icy like the other one I have tried was it offered that real  refreshingly cool mint flavor with morsels of chocolate chips!

      What goes better with vanilla ice cream than a slice of cake with chocolate frosting? Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and a scoop of cool creamy vanilla ice cream make for a special treat! Look at those specks of vanilla bean! Vanilla…Ahhh is the perfect way to describe the flavor it’s sweet, it’s creamy, and the perfect topping for a chocolate frosted cake!

      The Nada Moo flavors that I chose to taste were amazingly delicious and I am so glad I got to try them because they were that good! I have tried other coconut milk based ice creams and their texture was a bit on the chalky side whereas NadaMoo! is creamy like real ice cream that melts in your mouth on a hot summers day for a refreshing sweet treat! Each flavor was unique in their own creamy way the mint chip offered the perfect balance of mint flavor to chocolate chip ratio, the vanilla was very creamy with specks of vanilla bean throughout each bite, the maple pecan was buttery from the maple and crunchy from the pecans and the chocolate was super chocolaty like eating a candy bar only melted!

I received no compensation for this post but was provided with samples of NadaMoo to facilitate this review in exchange for my honest opinion which in fact are my own.

A retailer’s guide to Natural Products Expo West 2017

By | Events, Press Release

by New Hope

Expo West has three thousand-plus exhibitors, 77,000 attendees and a jam-packed education schedule. It’s almost time to gather in Anaheim for organic, non-GMO, health and doing business for good. Let Natural Foods Merchandiser help you find your way around with the tips below.

Frequently asked questions

Where do I need my badge at Natural Products Expo West?
To ease traffic going in and out of the exhibit halls, you need to present a badge and ID to enter the Anaheim Convention Center, not the show floor. Look for designated entry doors. Exhibitors and Super Pass holders have separate entrances. You will also need your badge to enter education sessions and on-site events.

I’m driving my car to the Anaheim Convention Center. Where is the best place to park?
It will be extremely congested near the convention center and parking will be limited this year because of construction and expanded on-campus activities. To avoid the chaos, we recommend parking for free at nearby Angel Stadium. Free shuttles are available throughout the day from the stadium to the Anaheim Convention Center and back. To take the shuttle from the Convention Center to Angel Stadium, load near Katella Avenue (by the Arena). Bonus: Avoid on-site registration lines by printing your badge at Angel Stadium after you’ve parked.

Can I register additional teammates in Anaheim?
Yes. Full-service registration will be available at the Hilton and education upgrades are available at the Marriott. While this service is available, Expo West organizers recommend registering staff before you arrive at the show to save time and avoid lines. If you do need to register someone on-site, don’t forget to bring valid business proof and identification.

How do I navigate the show floor?
The show floor is expansive, so it’s best to plan your route in advance.With all of the new exhibitors, though, you might need reading glasses to navigate by map. For ease, we recommend downloading the Natural Products Expo West/Engredea app for your phone or tablet. With the app, you can access the Exhibitor List, education schedule, events and a navigation tool, all while on the go. Get the app at m.expowest.com.

Is it hard to find places to eat while at Expo West?
There are restaurants nearby (think Cheesecake Factory, Anaheim Brewery, Joe’s Crabshack) but they fill up quickly. If you’re planning a dinner outing or team meal, call ahead and reserve space. If you need a quick bite to eat, the Hilton Food Court across from the convention center might satisfy your need. Pull up your favorite ride sharing app and get a ride to the Anaheim Packing House, 440 S. Anaheim Blvd. The food hall features several restaurants, bars, shopping and live entertainment. Downtown Disney makes for a nice walk or short ride, too.

I brought my children so we could go to amusement parks after the show. What options do I have for child care while I’m at the show?
Children 16 and younger are allowed to attend Natural Products Expo West, but they require a children’s badge and adult supervision. The cost for a badge is $25. If you need child care on-site, this is also available for $25 a day. To register, print badges or check children in to child care, go to the Hilton, Lower Level.

Registration and badge pickup lines have been difficult in the past. Will it be easier this year?
Yes! Lots of new registration areas have been added across the Expo West campus. Three examples are the Arena Box Office, the Hyatt Hotel and Angel Stadium. Additionally, keep an eye out for mobile registration carts. If badge pickup lines get busy, the mobile carts will roll that way to scan confirmation barcodes and print badges.

I love collecting product samples and bringing them home to try. How many am I allowed to take?

Attendees are limited to one sample bag per day. If you find that you’re getting too many samples to fit in one bag, encourage exhibitors to ship samples to you. This way, you don’t have to lug bags of food on the airplane and you’ll make sure to have the exhibitor’s contact information if you plan to place an order post-show. If you still have more than one bag at the end of the day, don’t worry. New Hope Network will donate the food to local food banks and charities, so it will go to a good cause.

What are Expo West essentials?
Water! Business cards. Expo West/Engredea app. Phone charger. Comfortable shoes. Snacks.NFM.

Is there anything new for Expo West 2017 I should know about?
The Hot Products show floors have expanded to include both the Hilton and Marriott this year. The exhibits will open a day before others and run March 10-12. If you see an “H” listed as a booth location, it means the exhibitor can be found in the Hilton; and “M” refers to the Marriott. The Super Pass is also returning. Even if you’ve already purchased a badge, you can log in to your registration account and upgrade your badge to get access to things like education sessions and a VIP Lounge with an electronics charging station.

Plan to’s

Plan to stay organized at Expo West
If you’re looking for the best way to plan your expo schedule, then head over to your phone’s app store to download the official Natural Products Expo West app. If you’re an iPhone user, open up the app store and type “natural products expo” into the search bar located at the top of your screen. Second, click “get,” then “install” and then type in your iTunes password to download the app. The next step is to open up the app. Once the app is opened, press “continue” to enable notifications, then “enable services” in order to get full use of the app. When that is done, sign in with your badge number and ZIP code (or use the app as a guest by pressing “continues as guest”). The Expo West app allows users to create their own schedule of events, view a map of Expo West, check out a list of exhibitors and so much more. If you’ve followed all the previously mentioned steps, you are all set to explore the app and create your ideal expo schedule.

Plan to get your groove on
Kat Myers and the Buzzards: A mix between rock and roll and the blues, Kat Myers and the Buzzards is a band right out of the classic rock archives. This performance on Thursday evening is sure to set the stage for a weekend full of good vibes. This trio uses its minimalistic setup to immerse fans in some feel-good music that is guaranteed to get you dancing. Be sure not to miss them on the Grand Plaza Main Stage on Thursday, March 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.

See-I: Washington, D.C., natives and brothers Zeebo and Rootz Steele have been sharing their influential reggae music with the world since the 1980s, and now they are bringing their talents to Expo West.

Unwind with See-I Friday night, March 10, as the Southern California sun sets on a full day of Expo West. You can be sure that there will be lots of dancing and fun at this event on the Grand Plaza. Show your best moves from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Funky Meters: What started out as a friendly jam at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1989 turned out to be the grounds for the formation of the band The Funky Meters. Their music can be described as a combination of funk, blues and dance grooves with a hint of rock and roll—a combination that’s sure to get you on your feet dancing the night away. Be sure not to miss The Funky Meters from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, at the Grand Plaza Main Stage.

Plan to watch this
Climate Day at Expo West is sure to be jam-packed full of big thinking and tough conversations as thought leaders give keynotes about climate change, networking with other professionals concerned about climate change takes place and attendees take part in the climate awards ceremony.

Be sure, though, to stick around (or join in) as the day caps off with a film screening of Kiss the Ground. Two acclaimed documentary film production companies have partnered with the nonprofit Kiss the Ground to share the story of Earth’s foundation—soil. The film preview and question-and-answer session take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March, 8, in Marriott Ballroom E.

Plan to take time to breathe
Don’t stress out at Expo West—recharge and unwind with early morning yoga under the beautiful California sun. Held on the Grand Plaza Main Stage, you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to stretch your muscles and clear your mind. Awake and find your bliss from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings (March 9, 10, 11 and 12).

Plan to sustain yourself
Sorry, samples will not sustain you for all of the networking, learning and product perusing you will do at Expo West. So to offer a little more sustenance on the Anaheim Convention Center campus (and the added bonus of being out under the California sun), The Park debuts this year in the Sheraton Parking lot behind the Hilton. Here you will find food trucks open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Natural brand trucks include: Nature’s Bakery, Nadamoo, Hippeas, Chefs Cut Jerky, Sundown Naturals and Vital Proteins.

Chobani, Vega, 4th and Heart, and Enjoy Life Foods will park alongside four Orange County-area food trucks to serve show attendees in the Grand Plaza. In the Convention Center, concession stands offer varied menus, including organic options, in the hall B/C breezeway and in halls A-D. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Across the plaza, the Hilton has a small food court including Sbarro, Baja Fresh Express, Just Grillin’ and Submarina. And both the Marriott and Hilton have Starbucks outlets with small grab-and-go offerings. Prepare for long lines.

Plan to focus on organic
Grow your organic offerings easily by strolling the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace. This single-afternoon event features solely organic products. Find unique exhibitors that will only appear at this event among others who will appear on show floors later. Join in under the big white tent next to the Marriott from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9.

7 Healthy Substitutes for Your Favorite Dairy Products

By | Press Release

by Sarah Kaye Santos丨The Cheat Sheet

Dairy seems like it’s always up for debate. We all know it’s a great source of calcium and protein, but it’s also been blamed for different health issues, including bloating and acne. The bad news is it doesn’t end there because dairy’s also been linked to an increased risk of life-threatening conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, prostate cancer, and heart disease. Understandably, this makes some people reduce how much they consume. If you’re looking to cut back, try any (or all) of these seven substitutes for your favorite dairy products. They’re full of quality nutrition and are completely dairy-free.

1.NadaMoo! Ice Cream 

NadaMoo makes it possible for you to enjoy frozen desserts without derailing your dairy-free diet. The secret is coconut milk, which is every bit as creamy as regular milk. All of their flavors are also cholesterol- and gluten-free. One serving of their vanilla ice cream is just 140 calories with 7 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar. The brand also sells classic flavors like fudge brownie, salted caramel, maple pecan, and more. Even if you’re a firm believer there’s no way a healthy alternative can taste as good as real ice cream, NadaMoo is worth a try. You may even like these tasty treats better.

2.Ripple Foods Milk

If you can’t have your coffee without milk or if you favor a bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning, you’ll want to check out Ripple Foods‘ 100% plant-based milk as a healthy alternative. The brand makes four flavors: chocolate, vanilla, original, and original unsweetened. A 1-cup serving of each offers 8 grams of protein, 32 milligrams of omega-3s, and 50% more calcium and less sugar than regular 2% milk. Not only are they dairy-free, but they’re also free of soy and gluten, making them great options for those with multiple food restrictions.

3.Daiya Foods Cheese

Let’s be real: Life without cheese just wouldn’t be the same. Luckily, Daiya makes a variety of dairy-free products, including cheese blocks, slices, and shreds. A ¼-cup serving of Daiya’s Cheddar Style Shreds is just 90 calories and has 6 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and no cholesterol or sugar. While it offers little protein or fiber, this cheese substitute is a completely plant-based product without any antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients. It also passes the test for those avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, and soy.

4.Earth Balance Butter Spreads

Earth Balance makes six different varieties of dairy-free butter that are some of the best choices you can find at the store. From the original to the soy-free to the organic whipped option, the five butter spreads are free of GMOs and MSG. They’re also a great source of omega-3s, and each serving is low in saturated fat. Top your toast with it, substitute it for butter when baking, or use it when cooking meals as a nutritious replacement without having to sacrifice the rich taste of butter.

5.Silk Yogurt

Silk’s dairy-free yogurt alternatives deliver a texture and flavor similar to regular yogurt, except they’re made with soy milk and contain plant-based protein. A serving of the brand’s vanilla flavor is 140 calories and has 3.5 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of protein. These yogurts are also a great source of calcium and vitamin C, plus they contain no artificial flavors or preservatives. Have one for breakfast or for an afternoon snack without having to sacrifice taste, nutrients, or protein — just dairy.

6. Hillary’s Salad Dressing

For all of you in need of a more nutritious version of ranch to use as dressing or a dip, Hilary’s Dairy-Free Ranch Chia Dressing is made with healthy ingredients and offers great nutritional value. It’s made with coconut milk and contains apple cider vinegar, chia seeds. A 2-tablespoon serving is 50 calories with 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein. You’ll even get some omega-3s. Not only is it a good option for those with a dairy or gluten intolerance, but it’s also certified paleo-friendly.

7. Simple Mills Baking Mixes

Simple Mills makes baking a whole lot healthier and easier with its Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix. It’s made with just seven ingredients: almond flour, organic coconut sugar, fair-trade cocoa, arrowroot, organic coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. You can make muffins, cake, or brownies, which makes it super convenient. All you have to do is mix it with water, eggs, vanilla, and oil, then you’re ready to bake. One package makes 12 servings, each with 110 calories, 5 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of sugar. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Dairy alternatives are becoming more prevalent

By | Press Release

Moo-ve over milk: Dairy alternatives are becoming more prevalent

Vegan cheese, ice cream and beverages are a treat to all consumers — even those with no dietary restrictions

by Keith Loria丨Food Dive

The non-dairy segment started out as an alternative category catering to those with food allergies, but it has since evolved beyond a trend.

Now, it embraces the plant-based and dairy-free lifestyle — one that is conscious of environmental, ethical, and health concerns. There are a significant number of consumers who can’t eat dairy. More than 40 million Americans are lactose intolerant. But many others are looking to dairy alternatives.

Daniel Nicholson, president and CEO of NadaMoo!, which makes certified gluten-free, fair trade, vegan, non-GMO and organic ice creams, said its consumer demographic has crossed over to encompass people who also consume traditional dairy.

“Consumers today are more educated than ever. They care about what they put into their bodies as well as how what they eat affects the environment, animals and the ecosystem around them,” he told Food Dive. “They are looking for more plant-based products that taste great and can leave them with a conscience as clean as our label.”

Based on the number of products coming out each year and major companies getting in the game, dairy-free food is here to stay. In 2017, consumers will be flooded with non-dairy choices as companies respond to demand.

Daiya Foods was the first company in the business to create a meltable 100% plant-based cheese. It has since expanded to frozen pizzas, Cheezy Mac, Cheezecakes, and a Greek yogurt alternative. It also just introduced Blue Cheeze Dressings.

“The plant-based lifestyle is becoming more mainstream, in part because consumers are catching on to the various health, environmental and ethical benefits of plant-based foods,” Andre Kroecher, co-founder of Daiya Foods, told Food Dive. “If you walk down what used to be just the dairy aisle, you will notice that plant-based alternatives to dairy are occupying a significant portion of the shelf. The sustained demand for great tasting plant-based dairy alternative products made from nuts such as almonds, seeds such as hemp or sunflower, potato, tapioca, rice, oats etc. indicate they are consumed and thought of as great tasting, staple foods that happen to be plant based.”

Greg Blake, co-founder of Daiya Foods, noted the company’s innovations are meant to inspire those hoping to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, and help those living with dietary restrictions who have felt limited in their food options.

“For us, plant-forward eating isn’t about limiting your options, but a means of expanding one’s view of food,” he said. “We’re unique in that food industry experts claimed this couldn’t be done without using animal based ingredients such as egg, meat and milk. Not only have we proven these products can be 100% plant-based, but we’ve made them so convincing that they are virtually indistinguishable from their animal-based equivalents.”

NadaMoo Snickerdoodle Dough Ice Cream

Meg Carlson, president and CEO of Prosperity Organic Foods and dairy-free alternative producer MELT Organic, predicted that and plant-based alternatives to traditional dairy products will continue to grow over the next decade

“Consumers are concerned about ethical sourcing of ingredients and especially that dairy products sourced from large dairy farms are not sustainable for the long term,” she told Food Dive in an email. “The methane gas from two cows is the equivalent of the emissions from a car driven 10,000 miles, for example. Consumers are also concerned about sustainably sourcing ingredients from third-world countries, especially coconut oil and palm oil, which historically have had disastrous consequences both for local farmers and for the rainforests.”

Bob Goldberg, CEO and founder of Follow Your Heart — which makes non-egg mayonnaise alternative Vegenaise, non-dairy cheeses and vegan eggs that scramble — agreed that what was once a smattering of alternative products for people who had food intolerances of one kind or another has become accepted in the mainstream as more people seek relief from food-related problems.

“Any time you have something to offer which can solve a problem for someone, that gets their attention,” he told Food Dive. “The biggest challenges are tradition and resistance from big food. We tend to grow up eating like our parents. The lag time associated with breaking that mold can be as little as a few years, or it can take decades.”

Milk — from any source —does a body good

According to Mintel, US non-dairy milk sales grew 9% in 2015, while dairy milk sales declined 7% over the same period. One only needs to look at the refrigerator case at a grocery store to see that retailers are increasingly stocking more plant-based milks with fewer artificial ingredients.

Greg Steltenpohl, founder of Califia Farms — which exclusively produces plant-based products such as almond milk and cold brew coffees — noted these items are fast growing, taste-driven, on the cusp of becoming mainstream, and essential to the sustainability of our planet.

“This trend, which we believe is on the tipping point of moving from food trend to food system reality, is primarily driven by millennials, but also being adopted by other demographics, who are looking for healthier, simpler, ‘cleaner labels,’” he told Food Dive in an email. “They are mindful and seek food and beverages that do not sacrifice taste, nutrition or quality. Another growing number of consumers are those who understand that the sustainability of our food ecosystem is increasingly going to be reliant on a plant-based diet.”

And, it is important to note, this is not driven solely by vegans and vegetarians. In a survey Califia Farms conducted last year with BerryCart, more than half of omnivores surveyed reported consuming plant-based alternative dairy beverages several times a week. In addition, “I like the taste” and “healthier than dairy milk” were the top two reasons for choosing alt dairy beverages across all respondents.

“It is a hugely promising market for any plant-based company focused on delicious, taste-forward, non-dairy food and beverages that, first and foremost, begin with a cleaner label,” Steltenpohl said. “The challenge comes with the magnitude of the opportunity, as we manage dramatic sales growth, while keeping our mission of sustainability and mindfulness front and center.”

Flavor profiles

When it comes to dairy-free products, consumers are looking for a product that tastes just like dairy-based products. Today’s consumer also expects natural ingredients instead of just flavors.

“In order for plant-based beverage companies to gain a loyal following, a dedication to naturally sourced ingredients that don’t mimic or mask flavors, but, instead, enhance them, is critical,” Steltenpohl said. “And consumers expect these products to replicate homemade tastes while still providing a safe, extended shelf life. This means that less is more. Keeping ingredients as few and simple as possible, with no chemical compounds, makes for happy customers.”

Working on flavor profiles is a multifaceted effort for the NadaMoo! team.

“We look at consumer trends and flavors that we love. Once we settle on a few flavors, we test them rigorously using different ingredients until we find just the right combination,” Nicholson said. “We also collaborate with Texas chefs and pastry chefs on taste testing and flavor profiles to gather opinions on what is the most marketable.”

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie Ice Box PieBlake said the substantial in-house R&D team at Daiya utilizes the latest world-class sensory technology and software to measure all attributes of dairy-based gold standards. They then plot Daiya flavor and texture profiles and characteristics with their dairy equivalents.

“The contrast is obsessively worked on until we score results in flavor, texture, mouthfeel and meltability that mimic the dairy equivalent so closely that for many of our products, it’s incredibly difficult to detect what’s dairy vs. Daiya,” he said. “It’s super challenging because we’ve also got to make sure that the batches are consistent. A new consumer might only try a brand or product once and if they get a batch where the taste or texture isn’t 100% perfect, and they may judge the entire brand by that experience.”

Non-dairy dairy cases?

The dairy case of tomorrow may look increasingly plant-centric and much more like a “non-dairy case.”

At a panel on the plant-based food revolution at Natural Products Expo East 2016, Mathis Martines, emerging brands and innovation director at Kroger, said plant-based alternatives and healthy fats are two of the leading long-term trends that will influence the food industry in the foreseeable future.

Steltenpohl said innovations will continue at a robust pace in the category, taking plant-powered foods and beverages from isolated category to a food ecosystem imperative.

“As more of the population becomes aware that a plant-based diet is the only real sustainable option for the future of our planet, plant-based foods and beverages have a natural opportunity to succeed,” he said. “Couple that with the emphasis millennials and an aging boomer population, place on health and wellness, and plant-based food and beverages companies are destined to gain significant traction.”

Competition in this industry has increased over the last decade, but Daiya Foods sees that as a positive thing for two reasons.

“First, it’s good for consumers because the competition has forced the industry players to raise the bar in terms of taste, texture and other attributes of dairy-based counterparts, such as melting, stretching and handling characteristics for cheese alternatives, as an example,” Kroecher said.

“Second, most of the companies we compete with are actually friendly, and we have a fairly open channel of communication with them. We all realize that because of the growth of this space that there continues to be enough room for everyone and that as a group we can help each other and be more influential in the industry than we could be otherwise on our own.”

NadaMoo Joined Whole Planet Foundation

By | Big News, Events, Press Release

Whole Planet Foundation® and partners host pre-GRAMMY® benefit and showcase at OHM Nightclub in Hollywood

by Whole Planet Foundation

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, Whole Planet Foundation, Clamorhouse and other valued partners will honor Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde, co-founders of Alaffia, for alleviating poverty in Togo and around the globe. The celebration will take place at Whole Planet Foundation’s biennial pre-GRAMMY benefit, which will be held at OHM Nightclub in Los Angeles.

Whole Planet Foundation LogoGRAMMY-nominated artists Kris Kristofferson, La Santa Cecilia, and Rene Marie will perform at the benefit along with The Reluctant Apostles featuring Katey Sagal, Chris Assaad and Givers and Takers. Celebrity hosts include drummer/producer Vince Wilburn Jr. (Miles Davis Estate).

Alaffia, an organization based in Olympia, WA, empowers West African communities to become sustainable through the fair trade of indigenous resources and the sale of handcrafted body care products. Olowo-n’djo and Rose encourage empowerment through Alaffia’s community projects, women’s cooperatives, education, and involvement in their local communities. Since 2006, Alaffia has funded 4,463 births, planted 57,575 trees, donated 7,482 bicycles to Togolese students, built ten schools, and provided school supplies to 32,842 students. “The only things that are certain is that my life will be forever sacrificed for the empowerment of all disadvantaged people, and that even if Alaffia was to disappear today from the face of the earth, the support and the opportunities that each and every one of you have given us over the years has profoundly impacted my communities for generations to come,” said Olowo-n’djo Tchala, co-founder.

Alaffia is a top donor to Whole Planet Foundation’s global microfinance programs in 69 countries including Togo and the United States, “Given the first average developing world loan size of$184, Alaffia’s donation of $200,000 to the Foundation has created more than 5,775 opportunities for impoverished entrepreneurs and their family members to live a better life.  We are proud to honor Alaffia for their trailblazing impact in Olowo-n’djo’s native Togo and abroad, and to be joined by this year’s generous event sponsors like truRoots to raise funds for global poverty alleviation,” said Joy Stoddard, executive development and outreach director of Whole Planet Foundation.

Proceeds from the evening will go directly to Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market non-profit, to fund microcredit loans to provide the world’s poorest entrepreneurs with the opportunity to create home-based businesses for the chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. To date, Whole Planet Foundation has disbursed $61 million in microlending programs, funding 1.75 million microcredit loans for microentrepreneurs, 88%women, in 69 countries.

The invitation-only benefit will be held at OHM Nightclub in Los Angeles, in the heart ofHollywood and the Walk of Fame.

The event is supported by Presenting Sponsor truRoots and Community Leader Sambazon. Foundation Partners are BluePrint Organic, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, City National Bank, Saffron Road, SeaSnax, Lifeway Kefir, Lily’s Sweets, PopChips, prAna, and VOSS Water. Event Supporters include Coyo, Harmless Harvest, Health-Ade Kombucha, Justin’s, KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks, NadaMoo, Playing for Change Foundation, Rishi Tea and Volvic.  Event Contributors include Cabo Chips, Castor & Pollux, Doctor Kracker, Greyston Bakery, Heavenly Organics, KIND Bar, Madécasse Chocolate, MS Event Production, Navitas Naturals, Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, Planet LA Records, Purely Elizabeth, Putumayo, Rhythm Superfoods, Scarlette Bartending and The Seaweed Bath Co.

About Whole Planet Foundation®
Founded in 2005, Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market foundation that alleviates poverty worldwide where the company sources products. The nonprofit’s mission is to empower the world’s poorest people with microcredit and the chance to create or expand a home-based business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. As of September 2016, Whole Planet Foundation is funding microlending programs through microfinance institution partners in 69 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the United States, creating 9.5 million opportunities for entrepreneurs and their families to have a chance for a better life. To date, the nonprofit has authorized more than $71 million and disbursed $61 million through microlending partners worldwide.

What Will Fill Your Cart in 2017?

By | Press Release

What Will Fill Your Cart in 2017?

by Instacart

At Instacart, our customers browse the aisles online and on their phones, meaning we have the advantage of knowing not just what people are picking up from the shelves, but what they came to the store to look for. Our search trends are the best way to surface the big movers and shakers from 2016, headed to your grocery cart in 2017.

The people have spoken — through the search bar. Here are the biggest food trends of 2016.

Our Top Five of 2016

Last year we saw the domination of La Croix and the rise of the spiralizer. This year we saw the surge of healthy ice cream and a distinct interest in healthier snack options.


Dairy-Free Delights

2016 provided many satisfying and delicious alternatives to dairy. With coconut, soy and almond milks as a creamy substitute (at a fraction of the calories), we noted a significant uptick in dairy-free purchases of yogurt, milk, creamer and frozen treats.

Prediction: 2017 will usher in more delicious ways to ditch dairy. Keep an eye on nut-based yogurts (Forager Cashew Yogurt, for example) and Daiya, makers of vegan cheese that has a reputation for capturing the taste and texture of traditional cheese.


Gluttons for Gluten-Free

General searches for anything gluten-free, such as “gluten-free snacks,” “gluten-free hot dog buns” and “gluten-free crackers,” cracked the list of top trends in 2016. Even “gluten-free meatballs,” it seems, are in high demand.

Brands that are trending: Banza, a chickpea pasta, is up 343%, and Cappello’s, a product line that offers gluten-free, grain-free items, including pasta, pizza and cookie dough is up 314%.

Prediction: People will feel compelled to branch out from pre-made gluten-free items in 2017 since gluten-free ingredients, like almond and flaxseed flour, are readily available. Also, mixes like those made by Simple Mills make gluten-free baking easy. Rest assured, gluten-free is going strong.

People are Partial to Paleo

Searches for “Whole 30,” a popular paleo-based diet, are up this year by 292%. Other popular staples like chicken bone broth and grass-fed ground beef are up 268% and 381%, respectively.

Prediction: More and more brands will seek out the “Whole 30 Approved” label, following the footsteps of brands like Fatworks Oils and Naked Bacon, and more and more retailers will carry these brands.


We examined the change in Instacart user behavior by comparing growth adjusted year over year changes in the popularity of various search terms. We used a data set comprised of millions of searches from consumers spread over the 18 US states in which Instacart operates. Our results are focused on the terms that have experienced the strongest relative rise in customer interest.


Free-From Labels Drive Ice Cream Growth

By | Press Release

Food Navigator-USA 丨by Adi Menayang, February 7, 2017

According to retail data company Packaged Facts, “food industry marketers are astutely churning out a variety of healthier, yet still decadent, frozen treats to please modern American consumers.”

Based on data from IRI sales tracking through US supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers with annual sales of $2mn or more, there has been an increased “introduction of products that fit in with the ‘free-from’ trend in the food and beverage industry in general,” the Packaged Facts report revealed.

Examples of this trend include Arctic Zero, which markets its lower sugar content and use of monk fruit as a sweetener. “In 2015, our business doubled from 2014, and in 2016, we’ll double again,” Amit Pandhi, Arctic Zero’s CEO, told FoodNavigator-USA.

There was also a slew of probiotic ice cream product launches last year, such as Foxy’s Thoughtful Ice Cream and Brio, which is positioning its ice cream as a snack food instead of dessert.

Leading tags for frozen packaged treats include non-GMO, gluten-free, and ‘made without rBGH milk,’ referring to the hormone injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk.

NadaMoo Rockiest Rock Ice Cream

Successful introductions hurt established brands

In addition to ‘free-from’ and ‘better-for-you’ positioned ice cream, “there has been an increase in gelato and super-premium ice cream introductions and sales,” according to the report——and this all comes at the expense of existing products and established brands.

“The market for ice cream and other frozen desserts is, as it has been for a very long time, and extremely mature market with little room for growth,” according to the report.

“Occasionally a new product will cause a stir that increases sales, but usually the success of a new product comes at the expense of existing products, rather than as added sales to the category overall.”

But for the frozen dessert industry in general, there has been sales growth. In calendar year 2016, there was a 3.1% increase of US sales of ice cream and other frozen desserts in the retail channel, hitting $12bn. From 2012 to 2016, the increase for retail sales is estimated at 4%, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1%.

When combined together with the foodservice sector (which may also sell packaged products), the market increased nearly 5% in the same time period with a CAGR of 1.1%.

Nielsen: Dairy-free among biggest climbers in ice cream category

Sales may be on a steady increase, but according to Packaged Facts’ data, in term of total households using them, ice cream and frozen desserts usage rates have seen declines in various degrees over the last several years.

The one category showing an increase has been non-dairy frozen desserts——mirroring data from Nielsen, which was published last summer. In Nielsen’s report, US retail sales of non-dairy ice cream surged 43.7% to $75.2m in the 52 weeks to May 28, 2016, as more consumers purchased almond and coconut-based products.

An innovator in the non-dairy category includes NadaMoo, a frozen coconut dessert that first hit shelves in 2005 targeting vegans and people with food intolerances before winning appeal from mass audiences in recent years.

Vegan Ice Cream Company Debuts Two New Flavors

By | Big News, Press Release

By Anna Starostinetskaya | VegNews, February 10, 2017

Pint of Nadamoo Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Dairy-Free Ice CreamPint of Nadamoo Rockiest Road Dairy-Free Ice Cream

     Texas-based vegan company NadaMoo! introduces Birthday Cake Cookie and The Rockiest Road flavors to Sprouts stores across the country.

     Austin, TX-based vegan ice cream company NadaMoo! will expand to Sprouts markets nationwide this month. The company currently offers 12 coconut milk-based ice cream flavors through distributors such as Whole Foods Market, HEB, and Albertsons. In conjunction with its expansion, NadaMoo! will add two new flavors to the line-up this month: Birthday Cake Cookie Dough (classic vanilla ice cream with alternating layers of frosted yellow cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and rainbow sprinkles) and The Rockiest Road (with gluten-free cookie chunks, almonds, and gelatin-free marshmallows). “We are so proud to bring these exciting new flavors to stores nationwide,” NadaMoo! CEO and President Daniel Nicholson says. “For the past year, we have been working tirelessly on creating these fun, innovative flavor profiles that no other dairy-free ice cream brand has dared to offer.”

Click here for more flavor details: Birthday Cake Cookie Dough; The Rockiest Road

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