Food In Canada


On the Shelf!

A sampling of the latest new consumer products includes wine for the people, healthy meat and fruit snacks, brown rice cereal, soups on the go, lemon iced tea and mini ice cream bars

See below for photo gallery!

Healthy meat snack
Lacombe, Alta.-based Canadian Rangeland Bison and Elk has launched a bite-size, semi-soft meat snack called BisonBites. The snack is based on naturally raised high-quality and hormone-free Alberta Bison in combination with nutritious Prairie fruits, jalapeño or fresh cracked black pepper. The company says the ready-to-eat, shelf-stable snack comes in four varieties: Cracked Black Pepper, Mango & Pineapple, Mixed Berry and Jalapeño.  BisonBites are high in protein, low in fat and should appeal to health-conscious consumers. There’s even a website:

Kellogg’s new cereals
Kellogg’s has launched brown rice, gluten-free Rice Krispies across Canada. The company says as more Canadians are being diagnosed with celiac disease, they’re looking for more gluten-free food options. The cereal uses whole-grain brown rice to replace barley malt, which is the source of gluten in the original Rice Krispies. The product is being produced in a separate facility and comes in a 340-g box.
The company has also launched Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Centres, which is a lightly frosted whole grain biscuit with a burst of real fruit filling. The 100 per cent whole grain biscuit is a high source of fibre, low in fat, is trans fat free, low in sodium and a source of 10 essential vitamins.

Unique beer
Scottish brewer, Innis & Gunn, has launched Irish Whiskey Cask in Canada. The beverage is the brewer’s first-ever Scottish stout and the world’s first beer aged in barrels previously used to mature triple-distilled Irish whisky. It’s made from a select batch of only 300 barrels and will be available by the bottle in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The company says the maturation process resulted in a dark beer that is rich and intense on the palate with aromas and flavours of intense dark chocolate and treacle alongside Innis & Gunn’s signature vanilla and oak notes.

Soup on the go
Hansells Food Group from New Zealand is launching its Hansells Soup Singles in Canada. The Soup Singles are easy to prepare and designed for busy consumers at work, at home or on the go. Consumers just need to remove the lid, pour the soup mix into the cup and stir in boiling water. Spoons are included. The soups are made with real vegetables in a concentrated base, and contain no artificial colours or flavours. Hansells Soup Singles come in four varieties: Tomato Minestrone, Leek & Potato, Hot & Sour, and Tom Yum Soup. The soups also come in double-walled thermal cups and 285-mL servings each.

Exercise beverage
Powerade has introduced Powerade Zero Ion, a zero-calorie hydrating beverage that the company says provides effective hydration both during and after a workout without additional calories. It contains sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium and comes in three flavours: Mixed Berry (710-mL size), Lemon-Lime (710-mL and six 591-mL pack), and Grape (710-mL and six 591-mL pack). Powerade Zero Ion is available in grocery chains, mass retailers and convenience stores across the country.

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Sauces heat it up!
GraceKennedy (Ontario) Inc., a Toronto-based processor and supplier of Caribbean foods, has launched four new hot sauces. The company says the sauces offer an authentic taste of the Caribbean and are made with ripe hot peppers grown on the foothills of Jamaica. The new lineup includes:
Sweet n’ Spicy Hot Pepper Sauce, which is a mix of red Jamaican peppers with the tangy flavour of fiery red peppers;
Green Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper Sauce, which includes green scotch bonnet peppers, mashed and blended from a homemade recipe;
Jerk Hot Pepper Sauce, which unites a range of peppers and spices; and
Jamaican Red Hot Pepper Sauce, which is a distinctive blend of Jamaican red peppers and spices. Each sauce comes in a 140 mL bottle.

Close to heaven
Russell Brewing Company of Vancouver has launched its new super-premium, single-batch beer called Nectar of the Gods Wheat Wine Ale. The entire batch was pre-sold and is currently available in select private retailers in Metro Vancouver. Nectar of the Gods Wheat Wine Ale was aged in Tennessee Whiskey barrels for more than four months. The company says the aging process provides the beer with layers of flavour including a fruity-ester character and vanilla-like flavours and tannins. Premium malts were used including more than 50 per cent of Wheat Malt and a combination of Pilsner and Munich Malts. The hops were sourced from the U.S. and France. After the barrel aging, the beer was bottle-conditioned resulting in natural carbonation and sediment. The beer is available in 650-mL bottles.

Plus veggies
Canada Dry Mott’s has launched a new line extension to its Mott’s Fruitsations fruit snacks. The company says Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies offers parents a nutritious way to help their kids get the fruits and vegetables they need. The snacks are made with two-thirds fruit and one-third vegetables and are available in two flavours: Cherry Berry Carrot and Peach Apple Carrot. Both flavours are unsweetened and made with natural flavours and colours and contain no gluten. Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies cups are available in grocery stores across Canada.

Eat Mediterranean
Jamie Oliver’s range of Mediterranean-inspired food products are now available at Sobey’s Urban Fresh stores across Ontario and more than 140 independent grocery retailers in the Toronto area. The range includes products such as Walnut and Red Pepper Pesto, Free-Range Egg Lasagne, and a Red Onion & Rosemary Pasta Sauce. The line, which includes more than 30 products, are priced at under $10. The line uses top-quality ingredients. For instance, the Green Pesto is made in Liguria, Italy using locally sourced ingredients where possible. For the Free-Range Egg Lasagne, Oliver partnered with a family business in Verona, Italy. The pasta sauces are made in Italy. In Canada, Shalit Foods Inc. is distributing the line.

New coffee bean source
Reunion Island Coffee of Oakville, Ont.’s latest launch, Organic Flores Green Dragon, comes from beans from the emerging new coffee origin of Flores, Indonesia. With its tropical climate and volcanic soil, Flores shares similar growing conditions with its sister islands of Sumatra and Java. While the island is still under-developed, the coffee shows clarity and maturity – signs of a well-grown crop, says the company. The new coffee is named after one of the island’s most famous inhabitants, the Komodo dragon, and the beans are being sourced from a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm. Reunion Island is roasting the Flores Green Dragon to a medium dark Viennese colour to develop its dried fruit and sweet chocolate notes along with a slightly floral aroma. Flores Green Dragon is available in single-cup coffee pods, portion packages and whole bean.

Super green tea
The new Boku Super Matcha Green Tea is a proprietary, whole leaf powered blend of 100 per cent U.S. Department of Agriculture organic green teas from a unique micro-climate region in Japan. The tea comes from California-based Boku International LLC and is completely non-GMO, grown entirely without pesticides and tested to ensure no contamination with fluoride, radiation, bacteria or heavy metals. The company says recent studies show the antioxidants in green tea are key in helping prevent cell damage that can lead to a wide variety of diseases. Green tea is also a more natural alternative to energy drinks and snacks. The company’s first-ever Matcha green tea proprietary blend maximizes functional ingredients like calming amino acids and antioxidants, and emphasizes Matcha’s unique flavour. It’s a tea that optimizes energy without the caffeine jitters and it also stabilizes blood sugar levels. Matcha tea is made from leaves from shaded tea bushes. The entire leaves are ground into a fine powder.

Mini pleasures
Magnum, which is part of Unilever, will launch Magnum Mini ice cream bars in May across Canada. The new mini bars are another premium ice cream the company has created with adults in mind. The new mini bars are just over half the size of regular Magnum ice cream bars and come in four indulgent flavours. The flavours are Magnum Mini Classic, which is a vanilla bean ice cream covered in a thick layer of Belgian chocolate; Magnum Mini Almond, which is vanilla bean ice cream covered in a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate and crunchy toasted almonds; Magnum Mini Double Caramel, which is a vanilla bean ice cream enrobed in a chocolatey coating, caramel sauce and all wrapped up in a layer of thick Belgian chocolate; and Magnum Mini Dark, which is a vanilla bean ice cream covered in a thick layer of 60 per cent Cocoa Belgian dark chocolate. Magnum Mini ice cream bars have a suggested retail price of $6.99 for a box of four.

New iced tea
Consumers will have a new take on iced tea this summer with the Brick Brewing Co. Limited’s new Seagram Iced Lemon Tea. The company says it’s not too sweet, has a natural lemon flavour and is made with pure Canadian spring water. The new Seagram Iced Lemon Tea is one of three new products the company launched this year, including Seagram 2012 and Seagram Cider. Seagram Iced Lemon Tea will be available in six-can packs for $10.95 in Ontario starting in mid-April.

Lighter roast
Starbucks Canada extended the availability of its new lighter-roast coffee, Starbucks Blonde Roast, to Canadian grocery channels in March in a variety of formats: whole bean, ground coffee, VIA Ready Brew and Starbucks K-Cup Packs. Starbucks Blonde Roast is a new coffee that features subtle and lighter-bodied flavours. The company also revamped its coffee packaging so it now clearly identifies three roast categories: Blonde, Medium and Dark. The new lighter roast and the new packaging is found across Canada in major grocery chains.

Apple cider
Alexander Keith’s has introduced Original Cider, a high-quality apple cider. The company says it’s crafted to offer a crisp, refreshing, clean taste with the flavour of fresh apples and just the right balance of sweet and tart. Original Cider is now available at LCBO stores across Ontario in both 473 mL for $2.95 single-serve cans and 355 mL bottles sold in packs of six for $14.

Wine for the people
The People’s Wine, created by Constellation Wines New Zealand and artist Martin Poppelwell, are coming to Ontario. Poppelwell had the idea for the wine – it’s his art on the labels – but his concept languished until he met up with an executive from Constellation. And the rest is history. In 2011, the wines began appearing in Canada with the launch of The People’s Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir into Western Canada and Nova Scotia. Poppelwell says he worked with the winemakers for months finessing the look, taste and feel of the wine. He adds that the final product and his label design make a bold and simple statement. It’s “definitely a wine for the people. There is nothing pretentious about this label; the relaxed, handwritten font gives you only the information you need,” he says.

Deanna Rosolen

Deanna Rosolen

Managing Editor, Food in Canada
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