Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category:

Disruption and the New Food World Order

By Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen

There are a lot of clichés thrown around our industry about disruption and the new food world order (NFWO).  It’s a hot topic, has been for a couple of years and will be for a couple of years.  The week before the Fancy Food Show in New York City this year, Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced the acquisition.  This caught almost everyone by surprise.  There will be many folks that can offer better analysis of the financial and strategic reasons for or against the merger, but what dawned on me was that it was the biggest single concrete example of the new food world order.  There are many different NFWOs, but this one certainly represents the biggest move on how people will shop and take ownership of their consumables.

As this happened right before the Fancy Food Show timing, I thought I would keep a lookout for those products that appeared to me to be representative of “disruptors”, or active in change of the NFWO.

 

  • Refrigerated Merchandising as “New Space” Innovation: The bar category is a giant, but it inexplicably keeps on chugging along in growth. Just when someone says the category is over saturated with items, you read that it is delivering 2-4 X the average grocery channel growth rate in revenue.  New entrants in the category succeed by segmenting consumers by eating occasion, lifestyle, diet, gender, and any hundreds of other ways to slice the category.  So where’s the room on the shelf for the next entrant?  I snacked on a Wella Bar at the Fancy Food show and it was delicious.  But, unlike its counterparts in the regular bar section, these bars are showing up in refrigerated sections of the store.  Not unlike another favorite of mine, the Perfect Bar, they both created delicious products that need some refrigeration to stay as delicious as the day they are made, so they’ve had to blaze a new trail and convert buyers and category managers at retailers to give them space in a new section. Suddenly, not so crowded of a merchandising launch.  New areas of merchandising.

 

  • Overhauling the Ingredient Deck as “Simplify” Innovation: Simple Mills started disrupting the baking aisle several years ago with gluten free, grain free, soy free baking mixes for breads, pancakes, muffins, etc… you know, the typical baking aisle features.  By using clever ingredient substitutes for wheat flour, like coconut flour and almond flour, and coconut sugar for cane sugar, this company has shaken up the baking aisle with delicious recipes that resonate with a lot of consumers.  Now they’ve launched a line of ready to eat cookies and crackers with similar, SIMPLE ingredient decks of alternative ingredients.  I tasted a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie that was as delicious or better than most I’ve ever tried.  I have to tip my hat to the recipe itself – it’s delicious and textured perfectly, with nothing on the deck that doesn’t make sense.  Disruption in a tired category seems like it’s easy, but you have to nail the recipe and that’s not easy.  In my opinion, taste and texture is the most certain predictor for success and this company has figured that out.

 

  • Shelf Stability as a “Make it at Home” Innovation?: I’m a big fan of a lot of brands of Hummus; all of them are refrigerated but seem to dry up in my refrigerator faster than I can finish them.  Since I like it so much, I’m always on the lookout for new flavors or brands.  Hope Foods used the HPP technology to create incredible flavor in a refrigerated hummus product, while Lantana (formerly Eat Well Embrace Life) has done a super job expanding innovation in that category with non-Chickpea and non-Tahini based dips like Beet hummus or Carrot hummus…great extension of a category.   Hummus has been on a tear for the past decade, but never had I seen such a new twist on this product than at the Fancy Food show when I saw the Hummustir company’s booth. Hummustir is shelf-stable until you make it (the cup you buy includes packets of chickpea puree, tahini, spice mixes and a little wooden spoon to stir it), so you are able to quickly bring all the pre-portioned ingredients together in a quick minute and stir it all up in the cup you buy it with.

 

  • Refrigerated merchandising as “New Space” innovation Part II: Cold-Souping is a new thing for me.  I didn’t think I’d be a big fan when I first heard about it, but then I tried Tio Gazpacho’s Corn, Poblano & Lime soup in a drinkable cold-pressed plastic bottle (longer shelf life/better flavor) and said to myself… WOW!  That’s delicious and totally satisfying for a lunch or a snack.  I’ve also seen and tasted Zupa Noma, and saw that the Bonafide and Fawen brands of cold soup were also at the Fancy Food show with new soups to show.  Not unlike the refrigerated sets for energy or snack bars, these soup mongers need to disrupt the refrigerated sets to keep their product fresh.  Think of how long the canned aisle has been around and the type of innovation that has or hasn’t appeared there over the years.  Campbell’s has done well to keep their shelf-stable lines on the shelf with flavor, soup type, label marketing and can-type, but all of it shelf-stable, including the Pacific Foods aseptic cartons of soup that Campbell’s just announced they are acquiring.  But these cold-pressed soups are different. They need refrigeration, taste great, and will be in a completely different part of the store, likely expanding the soup market in total. And, possibly extending the seasonal consumption of soups: cold soup in the Summer to refresh while you wait for the winter to arrive to get back into the hot soups.

 

  • “Deliciousness” as innovation: Finally, taste as a disruptor.  At the end of our aisle at the Fancy Food show was a company called Anastasia Confections.  They were sampling bowls of their three new Coconut Cashew Crunch at all times of the day, so I tried a sample.  This stuff is delicious. I couldn’t help but pick up a small square every time I walked by their booth. I started adjusting my walks (for meetings restroom, lunch etc.) in their direction so I could snag one more crunchy square each time I walked by.  I am jealous.  I know how hard it is to get taste, texture, salty/sweet balance and inclusion proportions right.  It’s really hard and they nailed it.  It made me think of how important flavor is.  I found out on the last day that the Anastasia Coconut Cashew Crunch with Chocolate Drizzle had won the Product of the Year award from the Specialty Food Association. Only one product wins that prestigious award each show, and they got it.

 

That’s just a few of the innovators I tasted at the show.  So many booths with incredible food, it’s sometimes hard to whittle them down to just a few to share.  See you at the next show!

Prep Yourself for Meal Prep

Tips to Keep Meal Prep a Convenient Time-Saver

One of the reasons so many people choose to forego meal prep — in which you make a week’s worth of meals in advance — is that it sounds daunting, even though it makes your daily life much easier. But if you prepare yourself and your kitchen for meal prep, your week of cooking will be a breeze.

 

Plan Your Weekly Grocery Trip

If you only head to the grocery store when you’re already starving, or with just one meal idea in mind, there’s room for improvement. Before you even get in your car, you should plan out what meals you’ll be eating throughout the week so you can make one stop to get everything you need. And while you’re planning your meals, also keep in mind the ingredients they require: Aim to reuse as much as you can from meal to meal so that fresh herbs don’t go bad and vegetables don’t spoil in the refrigerator.

 

Have The Accessories At Hand

It would be a shame to go through all the work of preparing your meals in advance, and then realize you don’t have a place to keep them. Do a quick inventory of your similarly sized plastic storage containers to make sure you have enough to get you through the week. If not, add them to that grocery list! It’s key to make this process as convenient for yourself as possible, so think through your routine and focus on the pain points — what can you do to smooth them over? If it’s setting the blender out so you don’t have to wrestle it out of the cupboard every week, do it. If it’s buying a new set of portable dishware that actually seals and conveniently stacks in your refrigerator, go for it.

 

Set Aside The Time

One of the tallest hurdles to meal preparation is the time investment. It seems daunting to do all of your cooking in one afternoon, but it can be done. It’s much easier to swallow if you set aside the time on a weekly basis — don’t just try to fit it in when you have time. After you build the habit, it’ll be easier to devote the time each week. And besides, you’d be spending the time cooking anyway.

 

Mise En Place

Put “everything in its place.” Basically, get your ducks in a row — or your chopped vegetables, as the case might be. Before you start all of the cooking, prepare your ingredients: dice your tomatoes, julienne your carrots, mince your onions, and whatever else might trip you up while you’re tending to a pan on the stove. And, if you have all of your pea pods washed and your peppers cleaned, you’ll have easy fodder for your snack bag, making it that much easier to grab a handful of veggies instead of fried potato chips (of course, reaching for some delicious and nutritious beet chips or kale chips are a great and convenient way to get your veggies in too!).

 

With all of the technicalities tended to, all you have to worry about is throwing your food on the stove, filling your new travel containers, and making your week go that much smoother. Now all you need are a few new recipes — and Rhythm Superfoods has you covered, with healthy, simple dishes.

This article was provided by Sam Radbil, a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO apartments.

6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Parents can have a hard time convincing their kids to eat vegetables. The nutrient rich, colorful veggies on the plate seem to be the least attractive ones to many children. Vegetables have numerous benefits for the mind and body. To help maintain a healthy lifestyle children, parents should work on getting their kids eat more vegetables. Scientific research studies have been carried out on this subject of getting kids excited about eating vegetables.
Below are 5 ways that will help parents incorporate vegetables into their kids’ diets. Remember that children are very picky eaters and take time to recognize flavors. So be patient and use these tips, which are proven to help your child become a healthy adult in the years to come:

1. Food should be fun:

Kids are often attracted by shapes and new designs on the plate. This can be a very important trick in incorporating vegetables into your child’s meal (e.g. you can cut out different broccoli shapes for your kid). Similarly, you can cut cabbage as a flower or try new shapes with a cucumber. Creating fun on your child’s plate will increase his chances of eating and liking vegetables.

2. Plant vegetables and shop for vegetables with children:

A kitchen garden is a great place to initiate vegetable liking among your children. You can plan some activities on weekends and get your kids into the garden to sow vegetable seeds. Getting them involved in growing veggies will make them anxious to see them, water them and eat them. This activity will give them awareness about the nutrients vegetables contain and the reason why you ask them to eat them more often. 

Also, you should bring your kids along while shopping for vegetables. Ask them to pick their favorite ones from the stall. Make some easy vegetable recipes with your children in the kitchen – they will definitely enjoy this!

3. The “one-bite” rule:

If your child refuses to eat a vegetable, you should expose him/her to this vegetable at least 8-10 times more. You should try the “one-bite” rule here. Ask your child to try it at least once. After repeatedly seeing the vegetable, the child will develop a familiarity with it and ultimately may enjoy the flavor.

4. Mix up Flavors:

Mixing up different flavors like garlic and butter with vegetables will make them more appealing to children. You should mix the flavors with something that your child likes e.g. you can serve chicken along with boiled vegetables with some pepper or herbs on them or you can add a salad leaf in a sandwich. Your children will get the intake and sometimes won’t even notice the veggies.

5.  Veggies as a Snack

Still having trouble getting your kids to try veggies? Have them try Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips, Broccoli Bites, Beet Chips, or Roasted Kale.  Kids will feel like they are eating chips but really you’re sneaking in some terrific nutrient dense veggies!

6. Be an example:

Lastly, your eating patterns are the biggest example for your children. If you are constantly asking them to eat veggies but not eating them yourself, you will not motivate your kids! However, if kids assume veggies are part of all meals since you are eating them too, they won’t know any different!  Lead by example!

Author Bio:

This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com

6 Superfoods’ Rise to Culinary Celebrity

By Contributing Writer and Rhythm Superfoods Fan Lauren Wolman. You can follow her at PeanutButterIsMyBoyfriend.com and on Instagram @peanutbutterismyboyfriendblog!

 

We know that superfoods are, well, super, because of their next-level nutritional stats. But the protein content of Greek yogurt and the antioxidants in acai alone aren’t enough to catapult these health foods to mainstream fame.

So how exactly did difficult to pronounce foods like quinoa and chia become trendy terms on every restaurant’s menu and everyone’s shopping lists?

Here’s the story of six superfoods’ rise to culinary celebrity!

 

Kale

Kale is kalin’ it. “Kale Salad” is synonymous with healthy, delicious and trendy. But how did kale surpass spinach, chard and other nutritious leafy greens in popularity?

What started as a strange-looking garnish is now widely regarded for its high fiber, magnesium and folate contents.

In 1996, a poem dedicated to kale was published in the LA Times. After that, a slew of media “hits” by kale slowly introduced it to general public. This included a recipe by Martha Stewart, Whole Living dubbing it a “powerfood,” Gwyneth Paltrow making kale chips on Ellen, and in 2012 Bon Appetit named it “the year of kale.”

A fascinating article by Eve Turow of mindbodygreen traces kale’s rise in popularity to Oberon Sinclair – a PR professional who was dedicated to growing the green stuff’s reputation – going as far as creating the fake “American Kale Association.”

The stats are impressive. Kale sales jumped 50 percent in just 4 years! What a world we live in where we can eat kale brownies, kale ice cream and of course, kale chips.

 

Greek Yogurt

Just a few short years ago, Greek yogurt wasn’t exactly a highly-regarded dairy dish. Greek yogurt was seen as the chalky, chunky, thicker cousin of typical yogurt and people weren’t singing its praises.

But things started to change around 2007 when a popular Greek yogurt brand hit grocery store shelves.

It’s thought that Greek yogurt first grew in popularity thanks to upper middle class women who thought that it was “purer” and “simpler” than regular yogurts – plus its exotic connection to Greece was appealing. Greek yogurt, the more expensive type of yogurt, was in some ways seen as a status symbol.

Now, Greek yogurts are the Greek Gods of ‘Gurt – sales have skyrocketed as people point to its higher protein content and more filling nature.
According to The Atlantic, in 2006, Greek yogurt was a $60 million industry in the United States. By 2011, it had become a $1.5 billion business.

 

Quinoa

Maybe you, too, mispronounced quinoa for a good long while before figuring out this protein-packed grains true name.

Quinoa hits a trifecta of health benefits that has helped it become a mainstream whole-grain.

1. Quinoa is gluten free. For a few years now, sales of gluten free foods have been surging due to increased awareness about Celiac’s disease as well as the (widely debated) potential health benefits of a gluten-free diet.
2. Quinoa is a nutritionally dense “superfood.”
3. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids.

Quinoa first started making its way into people’s vocabulary as far back as 1913 when The New York Times named it one of 400 “charming botanical strangers” that would be introduced to the US by the Department of Agriculture.

For a while, it remained hidden on health food store shelves. But in 2008, Oprah Winfrey ate quinoa as part of a 21-day cleanse. Around the same time, more mainstream stores like Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods began to carry quinoa.

As quinoa imports began to rise, the United Nations decreed 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa.”

 

Chia

How did chia go from sprouting in ceramic-character-shaped-containers for children to being a health-food staple?

An interesting case study from American Marketing Association looks at how this super-seed went “from pets to protein powder.”

Marketing played a large role in making the public aware of chia seeds’ many nutritional benefits. They’re full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorous, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids.

Joseph Enterprises first made chia seeds popular as the hair in head-shaped planters. The Chia Pet launched over 35 years ago but now, Joseph Enterprises also sells raw chia seeds as a health supplement.

A huge boost to the visibility of chia was the publishing of the book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall in 2009. The book explains that chia seeds were used by Mayans and Aztecs as a snack that sustains energy.

 

Another huge win for chia was the creation of products that appealed to those consumers who were interested in chia, but didn’t purchase the raw seeds because they weren’t sure how to use them. Pre-packaged chia pudding, bottled chia beverages, chia granolas and more ready-to-eat products make chia easily accessible to the masses.

 

Acai

Acai berries are vibrant little guys hailing from Brazil. The Global Healing Center lists 12 major health benefits of acai berries – among them, heart health, skin health, immune boosting, and improved mental function.

The “acai bowl” trend started in places like Hawaii and California, where acai berries were used as a smoothie-like base and topped with granola, fruit and other toppings to create highly-Instagrammable breakfasts.

But there’s more to the story if you do some digging. How did acai bowls get from Brazil to the US? According to an in-depth article by The New Yorker, it was all thanks to two brothers, Ryan and Jeremy Black and their friend, Edmund Nichols, who first experienced an acai bowl on a trip to Brazil and vowed to bring the trend to the States. They went on to become the founders of Sambazon – which now produces a variety of acai products.

It wasn’t easy to introduce a difficult-to-pronounce berry from the Amazon jungle into the food-vocabulary of always suspicious consumers – but after being featured in the best-seller “The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps” and a spot on Oprah, the Black brothers were in business and soon Sambazon was being featured in People magazine.

 

Beets

Who would have thought that beets – a bulbous root – would become so popular? But here we are, with beet references abounding in popular culture. Who remembers the cartoon Doug and the rock band, “The Beets” performing “Killer Tofu?” And who doesn’t know that Dwight Shrute from The Office is a beet farmer? A trendy tee shirt reads, “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe.”  

And according to an article from The Daily Meal, beets were the hippest food of 2016.

Low in calories, sodium and fat, beets are high in nutrients like folate, manganese and betaine.
And as Rhythm Superfoods knows – beets make great chips! It’s the newest snack in their line-up of famous superfood snacks!

Sources About Kale:

http://articles.latimes.com/1996-11-29/food/fo-4121_1_kale-olive-oil-vegetables
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22984/the-strange-mystery-of-who-made-kale-famous-and-why.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/28/kale-brownies-recipe_n_6041578.html 



http://www.purewow.com/food/Kale-Ice-Cream-Is-Officially-a-Thing-in-NYC

http://rhythmsuperfoods.com/our-snacks/kale-chips/

Sources About Greek Yogurt:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/08/how-did-greek-yogurt-get-so-popular/244025/

Sources About Quinoa:

http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/press-room/news/detail/en/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/a-trendy-food-now-kosher-for-passover/?_r=0

Sources About Chia:


https://www.ama.org/publications/marketingnews/pages/chia.aspx
http://www.mammachia.com/our-products/

Sources About Acai:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-acai/
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/05/30/strange-fruit-john-colapinto

Sources About Beets:

http://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/beets-hippest-food-2016-12-trendy-ways-consume-them

5 Top Habits of Habitually Healthy People

By Contributing Writer and Rhythm Superfoods Fan Kaitlin Krull of Modernize

While most of us understand the basics of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult to know exactly how to implement this routine in our everyday lives. Besides, a little reminder couldn’t hurt (and you just might find a few things on this list that surprise you). Take a look at our list of five of the top habits of habitually healthy people.

 

Keeping a well balanced diet

One of the most important, and obvious, ways to keep yourself healthy is by eating well. While those of us raised in the 80s and 90s remember the good old food pyramid, food science has come a long way since then. Embrace the new My Plate method by breaking down your food choices per meal, opting for roughly 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% starch. While this helps healthy eaters make good food choices at every meal, it’s also important to remember to always choose foods that are free from GMOs, organic when possible, and that contain unsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, and other healthy vitamins. It’s also a good idea to stay away from too much red meat, sweet treats, and processed foods.

wellbalanceddiet

Snacking Smart

Even the healthiest eaters face snacking temptation from time to time, so the key here is to realistically reign in your snacking by making smart choices between meals. Instead of munching on cookies and candy bars, choose healthy, flavorful alternatives that make you feel like you’re being naughty when you’re really packing your body with superfoods. Rhythm Superfoods is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a healthy snack, since their snack packs are all nutrient rich and packed with flavor. You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or bad fats here, because Rhythm Superfoods’ snacks are vegan, GMO free, and full of antioxidants, unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and other vitamins. Choose from a variety of chips, bites, and snack packs made from superfoods like kale, beets, and broccoli.

kalechipsoriginal

Thinking positively

A positive mental attitude does a world of good for both the body and the mind, so take time every day to reflect on potential challenging situations and come up with an achievable plan of attack to tackle these kinds of positivity sucking events head on. At Modernize, we think that being proactive rather than reactive when complicated scenarios arise is key to maintaining a positive outlook. If you can, come up with a daily affirmation or mantra to repeat to yourself every morning before you begin work, and call upon those positive words whenever you find yourself swamped with negativity and challenges. You will be surprised at just how much better you will feel.

Staying active

We’ve saved the most obvious for last here, but it is important to remember that in order to live a habitually healthy life, an active lifestyle is key. While regular exercise and workouts are important, make sure to consider other active alternatives in your daily life, such as walking or cycling to work instead of driving or taking public transportation, exercising with family and/or pets, and playing games and spending time outdoors. There are so many ways to stay active, so keep yourself interested and accountable with smartphone apps and wearable activity trackers.

stayingactive

The New Food Pyramid On Our Plates & Snacking Healthier

Contributing Writer & Rhythm Superfoods Fan: Mark Kirkpatrick

For many years we’ve been told to reduce the intake of fat in our diet, but there’s plenty of healthy fats out there that we may be overlooking. As a matter of fact, according to the American Heart Association, in their “Get Healthy” section, they remind us that:

“Eating foods with fat is definitely part of a healthy diet. Just remember to choose foods that provide good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and balance the amount of calories you eat from all foods with the amount of calories you burn. Aim to eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts; and limits intake of sodium, sweets, sugar sweetened beverages and red meats.”

NewPyramidThe New Balance

Another thing we’ve had drilled into our heads over the years is using the food pyramid, but there’s a newer guide for getting a balanced diet through the “My Plate” method. The old pyramid method shows what we should be eating on a daily level, while the newer plate version gives a simpler view of what we should actually be putting onto our plates.

Another key difference is the increase of fruits and vegetables on our “plates,” the decrease of grains and most versions will recommend the consumption of more water. This follows along with the newer superfoods craze that has been sweeping the nation.

More Superfoods

By definition, superfoods are those which are packed with vitamins, nutrients and other important ingredients that are beneficial to our overall health and well being. Usually people first think of greens, fruits and vegetables, but they also include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Berries, especially blueberries
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Sweet Potatoes

Snacking Society

We’ve become a nation of snackers and it’s actually healthier to eat smaller amounts of food more often throughout the day rather consuming two or three large meals. But it can be very challenging to snack healthier since we’ve become more accustomed to eating things like chips and other unhealthy go-to foods. The key here is choice, instead of grabbing a candy bar, opt for a handful of nuts. Rather that buying a bag of greasy potato chips, try some healthier alternatives like Rhythm Superfoods kale chips or broccoli bites that actually come in almost as many flavors as their fattier their less healthy counterparts.

When spring and summer are in the air, there’s dozens of fresh fruits and vegetables available for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. But don’t let the warmer months be the only time you opt for these healthier choices since there’s plenty of year-round favorites to chose from, everything from apples and oranges, to broccoli and snow peas.

image01

Making Other Choices

Even though fresh is best, there’s still dried, canned, frozen and a plethora of different juices derived from fruits and vegetables.

Be creative with your meals and snacks. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your favorite foods. Cut down on unhealthy choices and simply make better meals and snacks. Your body and mind will thank you in the long run.

Other Reference Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56254

https://www.termlifeinsurance.com/10-healthy-fats-you-should-definitely-include-in-your-diet/

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/whats-in-season-spring

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramid-full-story/#Building-MyPyramid-and-MyPlate

Contributing Writer & Rhythm Superfoods Fan: Mark Kirkpatrick