Expanding local foods
Chicago-based Here was created to help local, farmers market–worthy produce last longer by turning Midwest-grown fruits and veggies into cold-pressed juices, dressings, and dips. Here works with area farmers and distributes its products solely within the Midwest, and the company hopes to repeat this model nationally within other growing areas, such as the Pacific Northwest.
“Ninety percent of people prefer local if they can. Only 60% actually cook,” says Megan Klein, Here president. “Now we are giving people alternatives to fresh food that are mobile and convenient that have a longer shelf life.”
Here’s dips—a more local take on hummus, which is made from chickpeas—incorporate beans from a Michigan farm and pair them with other local produce, such as the Illinois tomatoes in the Black Bean Tomato or Indiana basil in the Basil Pesto White Bean. Local sourcing is called out in the ingredient statement, and the website explains that these products also help find new uses for “ugly produce.”
Here products are currently available in Chicago at Whole Foods, Mariano’s, and Eataly, and the company plans to expand to 500 Midwest grocery stores and foodservice operations by the end of 2017.
Salty favorites join forces
Kellogg’s Pringles brand teamed up with Nissin Top Ramen to create a Top Ramen Chicken Flavor Pringles, a limited-time offering available exclusively at Dollar General stores.
The Pringles team said it reached out to Nissin when it decided to create a chicken ramen flavor because of the company’s expertise in the field—the founder of Nissin, Momofuku Ando, was the inventor of instant ramen noodles.
The potato crisps retail for a suggested price of $1.50.
Catching seafood bacon
Simply West Coast, a division of Coldfish Seafood Co., introduced its Bacon-Style Salmon, a 2017 Nexty Award winner at this year’s Natural Products Expo West. “The product was originally made so we could bring it into our plant as a substitute for bacon so we could wrap scallops without worrying about any meat products in plant,” explains CEO Ross Bailey. “However, we did discover [that] our Muslim and Jewish workers can also enjoy bacon now.”
The bacon is made by smoking and curing wild-caught Pacific salmon, leaving the product without a fishy taste. The bacon bears the Ocean Wise mark, a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program that aims to inform consumers about sustainable seafood. Currently available in Canada, the bacon retails for $7.99, and Bailey explains that though the price is high, the product provides 80% yield after cooking, which he says is higher than traditional bacon.