label refrigerated soups. Family-owned
and operated, the Fall River, Mass.-based
company makes its soups and specialty
foods with the finest and freshest ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible, and handcrafted in small batches. Its
production facilities showcase the company’s commitment to energy conservation and sustainable business practices.
“As the market leader in fresh retail
soups, we are quite pleased to say that
quality drives sales more than anything else, and will continue to as the category advances,” says Bob Sewall, executive vice president, sales and marketing. “We set a very high bar when we created this category 15 years ago.
“Today, we are at a point where consumers around the country walk into
grocery stores and eagerly pay a premium for restaurant-quality soup. This
has come about through our commitment to quality and through the spirit
of collaboration we bring to every customer relationship,” he says.
ENJOY LIFE FOODS
The free-from category is projected to reach $12 billion by 2020, nearly
double the size of today’s $6.5 billion market. Joel Warady, chief sales and
marketing officer for Enjoy Life Foods, based in Chicago, says given that
the average free-from shopper spends $102 per basket, compared to the
average shopper spend of $46, it is important to be creative when reaching
out to consumers through their retail partnerships. “As the No. 1 free from
brand, we are excited to be at the forefront of driving innovation across
multiple categories for the 75 million people shopping for foods without
allergens or gluten,” says Warady.
To help drive awareness and trial of its free from foods, the company
launched a nationwide Enjoy Life school bus tour this year that is sampling
more than 600,000 snacks and coupons spanning 32 cities for 28 consecutive weeks.
Warady anticipates the number of allergy-friendly products exponentially growing across multiple grocery aisles in the near future. “As consumers become more aware of what’s in their food we expect to see more
innovative free from options hitting shelves featuring unique flavors, plant-based proteins, convenience and clean labels,” he says.
While exploring a street market in China, Explore Cuisine founder Joe
Spronz stumbled upon delicious bean noodles and knew he had found
something great. With new health trends and dietary needs on the rise,
Spronz decided to create a healthy version
of pasta made from organic beans, peas,
lentils and rice that was high protein, high
fiber, gluten-free and organic.
The brand strives to give back to those
who contribute to Red Bank, N.J.-based
Explore Cuisine’s innovation and success,
which is why two percent of all Explore
Cuisine worldwide proceeds go directly to
the Food To Thrive Foundation, providing education, empowerment and advancement in farming programs.
Kayco officials say the secret to
making the gluten-free products for its Absolutely Gluten
Free brand delicious is using
the finest natural ingredients. Flour-free, light and tasty,
Absolutely Gluten Free crackers
are uniquely made with potatoes
to deliver a crisp texture—with
no soy, corn or rice included.
Kimberly Cassar, vice president of marketing, says using unique ingredients to create new flavor profiles in gluten-free products is a growing trend
today. To capture this interest the Bayonne, N.J.-based company has created
Absolutely Organic Superseed Crunch, a light and crunchy snack with a
touch of sweetness. A mixture of chia seeds, whole sesame seed and golden
flax seeds, Superseed Crunch is a great source of Omega 3 ALA, dietary
fiber, calcium, iron and antioxidants. It is dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and
low sodium. “This is an organic gourmet delight and nutritional powerhouse all-in-one which also happens to taste delicious,” says Cassar.
The commitment to making healthy snacks and cereals that are fitness-, diabetes-and family-friendly is what
makes Kay’s Naturals stand
apart. The Clara City, Minn.-based company’s main line products include protein cereals, chips,
pretzels, puffs and cookie bites, all
which have 12 grams of non-GMO plant protein per 1.2-ounce serving and
4 grams of fiber with only 3 grams sugar.
While all of Kay’s products are part of the solution for obesity, diabetes
and gluten intolerance, Ann Jones Kazemzadeh, president, says the company is most proud of its protein cereals because they provide a hearty
breakfast in a convenient format with high protein, good fiber and low
sugar, a combination she says cannot be found anywhere else. “Today’s consumers are reading labels and limiting their sugar and starch intake, while
increasing protein and fiber,” says Jones Kazemzadeh.