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At the 2017 Idaho Grower Shippers Association meeting in Sun Valley, ID, the Idaho Potato Commission announced the appointment of Mary Hasenoehrl of Gross Farms, the first female to represent potato growers. Randy Hardy of Hardy Farms and Nick Blanksma of Legacy Farms were also sworn in to serve second three-year terms.ipc

“I’m looking forward to working with Mary who has a long and impressive background in farming and agriculture,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission. “I have no doubt her perspective and experience will help us as we build impactful marketing programs to reach our primary target audience, women ages 25-54.”

The IPC’s marketing programs are developed to meet four overarching marketing goals: stimulate demand for all Idaho-branded potato products domestically and internationally; educate consumers that Idaho potatoes are nutritious, heart-healthy, and relevant for today’s lifestyles; build consumer and customer loyalty in seeking “Grown in Idaho” products; and increase grower understanding of and support for IPC programs.

Nine Commissioners represent the Idaho potato growers, shippers and processors. They are nominated by industry peers and selected by Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter. The seven other commissioners are:

  •     Lynn Wilcox (Wilcox, Floyd & Sons) – chairman
  •     Randy Hardy (Hardy Farms) – vice chairman
  •     Dan Nakamura (Idahoan)
  •     Peggy Arnzen (Bench Mark Potato Co)
  •     Tommy Brown (Lamb Weston)
  •     Nick Blanksma (Legacy Farms)
  •     James Hoff (Hoff Farms)

Efficiency is generally good for businesses, but changes meant to streamline decision-making at Amazon-acquired Whole Foods could hurt local suppliers. Starting in 2018 the retailer plans to change the way it allows companies to sell and market products in stores, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

At the core of the change is a shift toward a more centralized decision-making process, which is expected to make things more efficient but also cut down on variety. Additionally, the company's nearly 500 locations will no longer allow brand representatives to promote products, according to the report.

It's expected that standardizing operations and prices will increase Whole Foods' sales, which saw a boost after the merger went through and prices were lowered throughout the store, according to WSJ. 

Whole Foods had initiated some of the changes prior to the merger; however, but the process has been expedited now that Amazon is involved.

Albertsons Cos. announced the acquisition of Plated, a premier meal kit service. This move advances a shared strategy to reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase and experience food. Plated will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos.alb

In teaming up with Plated, Albertsons Cos. adds a meal kit company with leading technology and data capabilities, a strategic step as it continues to focus on innovation, personalization and customization. Together, Albertsons Cos. and Plated will leverage their diverse and complementary strengths to serve customers in a way that appeals to the evolving lifestyles and food preferences of people across the country. Among the key projected outcomes of this deal is for Plated to become the first omnichannel meal kit offering with national scale.

“Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” said Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons Cos. “With Plated, we’ve found a partner who shares our commitment to delicious, affordable food; superior technology and innovation; and world-class customer service. Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them.  We are excited to offer our customers more online options and fresh, quality ingredients along with distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips.”

Plated will benefit from Albertsons Cos.’ resources and national reach with over 2,300 stores to scale its business and improve its customer experience with new offerings. Albertsons Cos. will enable Plated to expand beyond its existing subscription model by offering Plated meal kits at many store locations, across its digital channels, and through a variety of distribution options to make it easy to create delicious meals at home by providing the flexibility, convenience, and access to high-quality, fresh ingredients coupled with chef-designed recipes that customers are looking for. Plated’s marketing and acquisition efforts will also benefit by gaining exposure to Albertson Cos.’ 35 million customers per week.

"Joining Albertsons Companies presents an amazing opportunity to accelerate our positive impact on the future of food in America by making fresh, delicious food more widely available," said Josh Hix, Co-founder and CEO of Plated. "Albertsons Cos. is at the forefront of the changing food and grocery landscape with their customer obsession, their large national store footprint, and their exciting plans for the future of the grocery store. We’re excited to be partnering with them to shepherd our growth while preserving the unique strengths that define Plated today. There’s tremendous upside for Plated’s customers whose experience with our brand will only get better. As meal kits continue to gain traction in the marketplace, we believe the winning formula combines choice, flexibility, culinary expertise, and the ability for customers to buy across channels–all of which we are now singularly positioned to deliver in collaboration with Albertsons Cos.”

Tanimura & Antle has launched a new and exciting addition to its Artisan Family of products: Artisan Dew Drop cabbage. Over the past year, the company’s in-house product development team has been testing the item at various growing locations to assure year-round availability and has now increased the volume of the program. tear

The Artisan Dew Drop cabbage was featured in the new product showcase in July at the annual Foodservice Produce Marketing Association Conference in Monterey, CA. With the overwhelmingly positive response from chefs and attendees, the company expanded acreage to fully launch the program into the market. Artisan Dew Drop cabbage joins an already proven successful product line including Artisan Lettuce, Artisan Romaine, Artisan Sweet Broccoli, and Artisan Sweet Red Onions.   

Artisan Dew Drop cabbage is a spherical, teardrop-shaped variety of cabbage that elevates the everyday meal experience in both restaurants and consumer’s homes.  With an exceptional shelf life of 21 days, this innovative product easily replaces traditional varieties of cabbage in common recipes with a more tender texture and sweeter taste than a standard head of cabbage.  The petite size and unique shape of each Artisan Dew Drop cabbage head allows for quick and easy preparation, as well as flexibility in size and cuts.  Like other Tanimura & Antle Artisan Family products, Artisan Dew Drop cabbage packs a high yield with a petite size, making the product more manageable in the kitchen and decreasing the amount of waste in consumer’s homes.   

With both foodservice and retail packs, the company expects the program to mirror and potentially surpass the growth of their other Artisan items and plans to explore offering the item organically in the future. Available in a 24-count foodservice case, the initial interest and demand for the item has stemmed from restaurants and foodservice customers. However, while the product is a natural fit for restaurants, Tanimura & Antle Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jackson also sees great potential for the item in retail stores as well.   

“More than ever before, consumers are seeking unique, specialty alternatives to traditional commodity items at their local grocery stores.  Our Artisan Dew Drop cabbage fits perfectly into our Artisan Product line and we’re excited to provide a new product with farm fresh flavor, quality, variety, and value to not only our customer, but consumers as well,” said Jackson.   

Like many of the company’s custom packaging designs, the Artisan Dew Drop two-count retail bag is unique to Tanimura & Antle and serves as a protective barrier for the product at the grocery store level. The innovative package design was crafted to fit the unique shape of the product and shares a recipe suggestion for consumers.   

The Tanimura & Antle Artisan Family of fresh produce includes select seed varieties that have been carefully chosen for premium flavor, freshness and variety. All Artisan products are field-packed for optimum freshness and packed with care by our employee owners to protect each product and extend shelf life.   

See the Artisan Dew Drop cabbage at the Southern Innovations Foodservice & Organics Expo at booth No. 303 Sept. 29 in Hilton Head, NC.

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Veggie Noodle Co. has completed construction on a custom-designed, 42,300-square-foot facility with five times the production capacity of its current operation.

The new building will employ over 250 people locally and is a SQF level 3 food production facility, meeting the highest level of comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management as certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute.

Incorporating several patent-pending “noodling” apparatuses to streamline production and improve noodle quality and longevity, the facility is expected to have a pasta-tively significant impact on increasing production and distribution. Primary funding for the new facility comes from a fresh Series A fundraising round, closed in May with a minority investment by San Francisco-based private equity firm Encore Consumer Capital.

Scheduled to begin full operation in early October, the new production facility will vastly improve efficiency, allowing noodle production to spiral out of control to meet Veggie Noodle Co.’s heavy demand for fresh, organic and allergen-free meal options.

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become,” said Mason Arnold, Veggie Noodle Co. founder. Noodle enthusiasts can expect more innovative twists in veggies coming soon from the new plant, including hot new takes beyond the spiral like cauliflower and broccoli rices.

Veggie Noodle Co. products are currently distributed in more than 2,000 stores in 35 states, including Whole Foods Market, Target, Kroger, Meijer, Sprouts and Safeway.