Olé! Spanish deli meats in Canada
Piller’s Fine Foods of Waterloo, Ont. now distributes Campofrio deli meats, a popular brand from Spain. The Campofrio line include Jamon Iberico and Jamon Serrano, dry cured hams, and other Spanish charcuterie including Chorizo Classico and Chorizo Sarta. The products are available at Loblaw, Zehrs, and Real Canadian Superstores. Piller’s is a manufacturer of European deli meats.
Safe for school
Piller’s Fine Foods of Waterloo, Ont. has expanded its allergen-free Simply Free line of deli meats to help parents of kids with food allergies and their classmates stay safe in the lunchroom. The expanded line is free of gluten and other major food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, sesame, egg, fish, soy and sulphites. The line also includes more sliced meats like Pastrami and Capicola, meat snacks, sausages, ham and fully cooked breakfast options such as cornmeal back bacon and breakfast sausage rounds. The expanded line is available at grocery stores across Canada.
Cheers! New pilsner arrives in Ontario
Big Rock Brewery of Calgary, Alta. has released its Saaz Republic Pilz into Ontario. Pilsners date back to the 1800s and are a pale lager in style, which take their name from their birthplace: Pilsen, Czech Republic. Saaz Republic Pilz is a light lager generously spiced with Czech hops. In other news, Big Rock has appointed the Craft Brand Company as its new agency and branding partner in Ontario.
Salut! Mixing wine and chocolate
Stratus Vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. and Soma Chocolatemaker of Toronto have released the Stratus Bar, a 70 per cent chocolate made from Venezuelan Ocumare cocoa and produced in a lees-filled oak barrel. Lees is the residual yeast cells from the winemaking process. Winemaker J-L Groux suggested the lees might impart a more profound flavour to the roasted cocoa nibs. After three months of lees contact, Soma partners Cynthia Leung and David Castellan found the method did concentrate the flavours they wanted. The resulting chocolate doesn’t taste like wine but it does have added fruitiness and top notes. The 80-g bars will retail for $12.
Flavours from the U.K.
U.K.-based Green & Black’s Organic, a maker of organic and Fair Trade chocolate, launched two new products in Canada: Sea Salt and Burnt Toffee. The new flavours marked the first additions to the product lineup in four years and infuse uniquely British ingredients into the chocolate. The Sea Salt bar includes flakes of sea salt from Anglesey, a British island, and 37 per cent milk chocolate. The Burnt Toffee bar includes pieces of Yorkshire toffee and 60 per cent dark chocolate. The bars, which have a suggested retail price of $3.99 for a 100-g bar, are found at major retailers across Canada, as well as specialty food, natural health and organic food stores.
Haskap berry from Nova Scotia
LaHave Forests Inc. of Blockhouse, N.S. grows Haskap berries. From its 40 acres of orchards, the company produces Haskap Juice, Haskap Jamu, Dried Haskap and Haskap Honey. The Haskap berries, which originate in Russia and Japan, are high in vitamin A and C, iron and antioxidants. The juice has a tangy taste, the Jamu or jam is ideal for desserts, baking and smoothies, and the dried Haskap is ideal for salads, cereal or snacks. The honey is made using bees whose hives are established in the Haskap orchards.
Haskap berry from Ontario
The Boreal Berry Farm & Winery in Warren, Ont. has released Haskapple Juice, a blend of organically grown premium Ontario HoneyBlue Haskap berries and Georgian Bay MacIntosh Apples. The juice is made with fresh picked and pressed fruit, and has no added sugar. The Haskap berry is high in antioxidants, vitamin B and C and tastes like a combination of sweet blueberry and blackberry. Since 2011, Boreal Berry Farm & Winery has been producing Ontario HoneyBlue Haskap products from its organically managed 160-acre farm, such as Haskap syrups and sauces. The company says it’s also North America’s only Haskap Winery.
Muskoka Brewery in Muskoka, Ont. released its Vintage Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout also known as Winter Beard late last year. Winter Beard was available for a limited time. The brew is rich and sturdy with roasted dark chocolate malts, real cocoa, 70 per cent dark chocolate, freshly harvested cranberries, and an alcohol content of eight per cent. The brewery says it encourages consumers to cellar a bottle or two to enjoy the following winter season. The cellaring process allows for the complexities in the beer to mature in the bottle.
GraceKennedy in Toronto has introduced Vitamalt Pristine, a malt soda that is made with 60 per cent malt. GraceKennedy says the finest barley grains are used and brewed into malt. It’s produced like a dark malt but from lighter malt types and without added caramel colour. A hint of fruit flavour, touch of sweetness and carbonation is added to create a unique malt beverage. Vitamalt Pristine is available in Pineapple and Strawberry, and can be found in Caribbean grocers.
If you prefer not to drink coconut water, there’s another option. Hippie Foods of Burnaby, B.C. launched Hippie Snacks Coconut Chips. The Coconut Chips are made from young coconuts and seasoned with cane sugar and sea salt. The company says it takes fresh slices of coconuts and roasts them until they’re crunchy. They’re not too sweet, slightly savoury and creamy. The chips can be consumed on their own or added on top of desserts. Each 56-g bag retails for $5.99.
Good things come in three
Whisky & Spice of Toronto has introduced a Trio of Mustards, featuring a 125-mL jar of each of the company’s mustards. The trio includes Porter Pepper Mustard, Whisky Honey Mustard and Riesling Apple Mustard. The mustards are perfect for cheese platters or charcuterie plates. They are sodium-free and use Canadian mustard seed, spices along with premium wine, spirits and craft beer. Each mustard is available separately in 250-mL, 500-mL and 1-L sizes.
Easy roast chicken
McCormick Canada has launched a new line of recipe mixes called Club House Bag’n Season. The unique seasoning mix format comes with an oven-safe roasting bag to lock in all the juices for tender, roasted chicken. The new line has three flavours: Mediterranean Chicken, Paprika Chicken, and Mixed Herb Chicken. Bag’n Season is sold in the standard dry sauce mix pouch but has a unique feature of two partitions inside the pouch. One opening holds the roasting bag and closure, and the second partition holds the seasoning blend. The included roasting bag and closure meet Canadian regulations for oven use with food products. Instructions on the back of the package call for consumers to ensure that there is enough room in their ovens for the bag, which expands eight inches or 20 cm while cooking, without touching the oven walls or racks. Bag’n Season has a suggested retail price of $1.49 to $2.49.
To go with that roasted chicken, McCormick Canada also launched Club House Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy and Club House Gluten-Free Brown Gravy mixes. The gravies contain no artificial colours and flavours and have 25 per cent less salt than the Club House original gravies.
Organic blend arrives in Canada
A certified organic rice, rain and lentil blend from San Francisco is coming to Western Canada. The Original SooFoo is a multi-grain and lentil blend of nine ingredients with six grams of protein and three grams of fibre. SoFoo is certified organic, kosher, vegan and grown in the U.S. The product contains no additives, no preservatives and no artificial flavours. It’s naturally low in fat, naturally sodium free and naturally cholesterol free. SooFoo is available in four varieties such as Original (unseasoned), Hint of Curry, Garlic and Herb, and Moroccan Medley. SooFoo is available at Whole Foods, Vita Health, Sprouts and independent retailers in Western Canada.
Corn on the cob all year
Lassonde Specialties of Saint-Damase, Que. has introduced Sunbites Corn on the Cob. The Canadian product is available in the refrigerated produce section. Sunbites Corn on the Cob is cooked and vacuum packed on the day it’s picked for maximum freshness. The ingredient list contains only one single ingredient: corn. The company says the innovation is significant because corn on the cob typically comes from places like Florida and can take up to four days to reach supermarkets in Canada. But the taste of corn is at its peak within the first 24 hours.
An alternative beverage
KiKi Maple Sweet Water from Arthur, Ont.-based Troll Bridge Creek Inc. offers a unique alternative to bottled water, sports drinks and other beverages. Maple sap, which is the main ingredient of KiKi Maple Sweet Water, is the pure liquid collected from sugar and black maple trees and contains the same ingredients that nourish the tree. No water is added. Maple sap has only two to three per cent sugar and has a light maple flavour. The beverage contains only natural flavours, has no preservatives or additives, is low in calories, is naturally sweet with hints of vanilla, is nutrient dense and a source of health promoting active ingredients such as prebiotics, organic acids and antioxidants.
Protein shake 2 go
Saputo Inc. of Montreal has launched Milk2Go Sport, a protein beverage that uses fresh milk. The ready-to-drink beverage comes in a 325-mL bottle and contains 26 grams of protein. It’s available in two flavours, Chocolate and Vanilla. It also contains 70 per cent of the recommended daily calcium intake, one gram of fat, has 200 calories, and depending on the flavour Milk2Go has between 21 g and 22 g of carbs, between 340 mg and 360 mg of potassium, between 105 mg and 180 mg of sodium. Milk2Go Sport is available across Canada at major convenience stores, grocery stores and select foodservice outlets at a suggested retail price of between $1.99 and $2.49.
Premium baked goods right at home
Première Moisson has launched 189 Harwood, a new gourmet line of baked goods developed specifically for grocery and super store consumers. The first products launched under the new label are mini croissants, chocolate croissants and raisin brioches. Each product goes from the freezer to the oven with no need to defrost or wait for rising time before baking. The products are ideal for breakfast or snacking and are made with untreated, unbleached flour and premium quality unsalted butter. The mini croissants have a suggested retail price of $4.69 for a box of 10; the mini chocolate croissants have a suggested retail price of $5.19 for a box of eight; and the mini raisin brioches have a suggested retail price of $5.19 for a box of eight. The line is available in Metro stores across Ontario.
Cozy up to new soup
Canyon Creek Food Company of Edmonton launched a new refrigerated soup. Loaded Baked Potato was available at a large big-box style retailer in Eastern Canada last fall. The soup has the Canyon Creek brand.
New frozen veggie mixes
Cookin’ Greens of Toronto launched two new frozen vegetable products and celebrated its fifth anniversary. The new frozen products are the Artist’s Mix and Frozen Artichoke Heart Quarters. The Artist’s Mix is a blend of greens and yellows that include chopped spinach, kale, mustard greens, yellow squash and onion. The Artichoke Hearts are to make it easier for consumers when it comes to prepping whole artichokes. The package includes artichokes that are cleaned and quartered. The artichokes also only have 45 mg of sodium. The frozen artichokes package also includes a unique VELCRO Reclosable feature that helps to keep the vegetables fresh. The company says the technology is also a first in the frozen foods aisle.
Taste Southeast Asia in a chip bag
Indianlife of Burnaby, B.C. launched a new line of all-natural vegan chips under the Indianlife brand. The chips are low in sodium, non-GMO Project Certified, and preservative free. The chips are made from pure enriched wheat flour, sunflower oil, sea salt, garlic, cumin seeds or cayenne, and a blend of Indianlife spices. The chips come in Masala and Samosa flavours. The company received Non-GMO certification from the Non-GMO Project for several of its products last year.
Smooth and Happy
Happy Planet of Vancouver introduced four new smoothie flavours: Blackberry, Boysenberry & Blackcurrant; Coconut & Pineapple; Raspberry & Cherry; and Mango & Passionfruit. The company’s Extreme smoothie line has also been refreshed with a boost of greens in Extreme Green; yerba mate in Extreme Energy; and camu camu in Extreme C. The smoothies are all made with premium, all-natural ingredients.
Soup and Happy
Happy Planet of Vancouver also launched four new soup flavours that were inspired by the ingredients in Canadian consumers’ backyards. The new soups feature locally grown vegetables: Fraser Valley Mushroom and Mascarpone; Chilliwack Broccoli and Cheddar; Montérégie Potato and Leek; and Chatham Carrot and Ginger. The new soups can be found in grocery stores across Canada.
Tall vanilla brew
The Mill Street Vanilla Porter tall from Toronto-based Mill Street was launched into LCBO stores in Ontario last fall. The Vanilla Porter was the latest Mill Street brew to be added to the line-up of year-round beers, joining the likes of the Cobblestone Stout, Tankhouse, Organic, Stock Ale, Coffee Porter and Lemon Tea. Vanilla Porter is an English-style porter, meaning that it’s a dark amber ale made with a great deal of caramel malt and roasted barley. It’s brewed with Nugget hops from Washington State to help dry the beer out without giving it any discernible bitterness. After fermenting house ale yeast, the beer has pure, natural vanilla extract added to it prior to filtration and gassing. The vanilla extract is cold processed from vanilla orchid bean pods.
How does she get that Glow?
Empress’ Secret of Reno, Nev. has introduced a beverage called Glow. The beverage is billed as an age-renewing, beauty-from-within drink. It’s all natural, 100 per cent preservative-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. The founder, Lola Wei, says she took the formulation for Glow from ancient traditional Chinese medicine studies. Wei used jujube dates, goji berries, dragon eye fruit, lotus seeds and ginseng because they help to boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress, and are rich in antioxidants, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, amino acids and vitamins C, E and A. Glow does not contain added sugar or sweeteners and has 50 calories for 16 ounces. Consumers can purchase the beverage online or in select health food stores for US$29.99 for a case of three 16-ounce bottles or a case of six 16-ounce bottles for US$49.99.
New formula, new package
Boucherville, Que.-based Danone has improved the nutritional profile of its Danino drinkable yogurt. The new formula contains less sugar – nine grams per 93-mL container compared to 11 g or more. The bottle is now available in a brand new dinosaur-shape suited for small hands. Danino contains no artificial colour or flavour and is made with real fruit purée. Each bottle contains three grams of protein.
Coffee to feel good about
Reunion Island Coffee of Oakville, Ont. announced that all of its flavoured coffees will now use only Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans. The company has nearly 20 flavoured coffees, which makes 30 per cent of the company’s coffees coming from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. The flavours include Banana Cream, Bavarian Chocolate, Butter Pecan, chocolate Chip Cookie, Chocolate Raspberry, French Caramel, French Vanillas, Irish Cream, Makin’ Me Crazy, Maple Cream, S’mores, Snicker Doodle, Tiramisù, Vanilla Hazelnut Cream and Pumpkin Spice.
The Good Bean of Berkeley, Calif. has introduced its chickpea snacks into Canada under the brand The Good Bean. The roasted chickpeas come in Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, Smoky Chili & Lime, Sweet Cinnamon, Mesquite BBQ, Thai Coconut and Chocolate. One serving has as much protein as almonds, as much fibre as two cups of broccoli and as much folate as three cups of spinach. The snacks are gluten-free, nut-free, cholesterol-free, low in fat and carbohydrates and no artificial ingredients.
Yogurt with stevia
Ultima Foods and its new iögo 0% with stevia extract is one of the first yogurts on the Canadian market to use the 100 per cent natural origin and calorie-free sweetener. The yogurt is fat-free, gelatine-free and has no artificial flavours or colours. It has 50 calories per 100-g container. It comes in multi-packs of 16 x 100-g containers in the flavours such as raspberry, blueberry, vanilla and mango-passion fruit. The company adds that a small amount of cane sugar was added to the recipe to soften the slightly bitter taste that stevia can leave. The yogurt is suitable for consumers with diabetes.
Aluminum cans for water
Nestlé Waters Canada of Township of Puslinch, Ont. has unveiled its Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Natural Spring Water in a convenient, 100 per cent recyclable 355-mL aluminum can. The water is also available in 100 per cent recyclable 500-mL single-serve and one-Litre multi-serve PET bottles and comes in four flavours: original, lemon, lime and raspberry lime, with zero calories, zero sugar and zero sodium. The new packaging has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $6.99 for a 355-mL 12 pack; $3.49 for a 500-mL six-pack; and $1.29 for a one-Litre bottle.
For baseball fans
Chicago-based The Little Slugger Cones LLC are now available in Canada. The company offers cake cones in the shape of a baseball bat, and sugar cones. Both packages come with red sprinkles. The company is also launching its line of fruits snacks in Canada. The fruit snacks are fat free, contain vitamin C and come in six flavours. The snacks are shaped in baseballs and baseball bats.