According to http://www.popcorn.org, Americans consume in excess of 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually – or about 54 quarts for every man, woman and child. The world’s primary popcorn producing region is the Midwestern United States and an entire food industry has grown up around it. Why is popcorn so popular? Because it is nutritional, versatile and delicious! Popcorn is an easily prepared whole grain snack. Without butter or other additions, popcorn is about 31 – 55 calories per cup. It goes with almost anything, and can accept a wide variety of flavor enhancements. Today, you don’t have to do much work to enjoy this treat. While of course one can still purchase raw popcorn and either air or oil pop it, microwave popcorn has become ubiquitous. In fact, the first test of the microwave on food in the 1940’s was popcorn. By the 1990’s this product niche had over $240 million in sales. And while salt and butter remain the most popular flavors, today’s marketplace is full of gourmet popcorns — and not only caramel. There are cheese flavors, chocolate covered, nut balls and new flavor trends like jalapeno, too.
Americans today are looking for alternatives. This trend has manifested itself in many different areas but is perhaps the most pronounced in the health sector. How often do we hear about alternative medicine? As a result, more and more Americans are electing to have a homeopath, chiropractor, or kinesiologist be their primary care physician in place of the more conventional medical doctor. In a word, Americans are looking to lead a more ‘natural’ lifestyle. After all, what can be better than what nature itself has to offer?
Brandy is short for brandywine and is derived from the Dutch brandewijn, meaning burnt, or distilled, wine. The alcohol for brandy is produced by fermenting fruits to produce wine. Because fermentation is a result of the action of microbes in yeast, there is a natural limit to the alcohol content of the fermented material. When the alcohol concentration reaches a level of about 12 percent, fermentation stops. The reason is that the alcohol kills any remaining yeast so that no more alcohol is produced; the limit of alcohol content in wine, therefore, is around 12 percent. There is, however, a type of bacteria, called acetobacter, which thrives on alcohol, turning it into vinegar, thereby souring the wine. Thus, wine is ordinarily subject to two drawbacks in quality: The one is a limit to its strength, the other, a limit to its shelf life.
We at the OU product department are responsible for processing all of your company’s product requests (new products, changes, terminations, and private label applications). While we are on the topic of private labels, we thought it might be a good time to mention a couple of points when sending private label requests to our office.
If you read industry reports, you have surely realized that private labeling is the way of the future. Gone are the days when the term “private label” conjured up images of plain labels affixed to a bottle of watered down ketchup and oily potato chips in huge bags. As quality has increased exponentially, the number of private label products is growing unabashedly up and down each aisle of your local supermarket. While this growth may be bad news for the “name brands” that stand to lose market-share, clearly it is good news for manufacturers and consumers alike.
The astronomical growth of kosher foods over the last decade has driven many marketers to study the behavior of kosher consumers. Who are they? What are their buying habits? How much do they spend? Where are they located?
The Dairy Foods staff recently agreed to stop using trade-mark (™) and registration symbols (®) in editorial. The primary reason is that often status changes from the non-legally enforce-able ™ to the U.S. trademark office-approved ®, and we cannot monitor these changes. Furthermore, it’s not our job to protect your brands. That’s your responsibility.
Pareve means that that the food is “neutral,” neither dairy nor meat, which makes it that much more desirable. Kosher law allows for pareve foods to be consumed with all foods, whether meat, dairy or fish. A pareve salad dressing, ice cream sorbet, chocolate mints or confectionary delicacy can be enjoyed with both a sumptuous steak dinner as well as with a refreshing dairy luncheon. Essentially,pareve is the universal kosher category. In an astute Bakingbuyer comment, Betsy Hater points to an ever-successful pareve bagel as an example of how bakeries can reach a wider clientele.“Bagels by nature are pareve, as they typically include no meat, or dairy, only pareve ingredients such as flour, water, yeast, sugar, malt and molasses. However, Reyna Paulker, co owner of Bagel Fair in Indianapolis, IN, notes that many bakeries use oils based on animal fats or whey instead of wheat gluten.”
To answer questions that frequently arise during the Passover season, when the dietary laws are different and even more stringent from the ones that govern the rest of the year, the Orthodox Union Kosher Department for the second year has made available http://www.oupassover.org.
Some non-English kosher terms that you may come across along with their explanations.