PB&J 2.0

PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jelly) is an iconic, American classic. The first written peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipe was published by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. Today manufacturers are getting creative and launching new PB&J applications for kids and adults alike to enjoy.  It’s PB&J 2.0.

Hormel Foods’ dropped Skippy P.B. Fruit Bites, a line of bite-sized real dried fruit snacks covered in peanut butter. Described as “portable and poppable,” they are offered in two variants: Strawberry-flavored Dried Cranberry and Dried Grape. In the frozen aisle, Hormel Foods’ introduced Skippy P.B. & Jelly Minis, bite-size buns filled with Skippy Peanut Butter and Grape or Strawberry Jelly in White Bakery Bread or Whole Grain Bakery Bread.

Smucker’s has upped the peanut butter ante with a variety of new Jif launches. Jif Power Ups Chewy Granola Bars feature peanut butter and granola in five flavors: Creamy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Flavored, Salted Caramel FlavoredStrawberry, and Banana. Jif Power Ups Creamy Clusters highlight a peanut butter center rolled in toasted oats in three flavors: Creamy Peanut ButterApple Cinnamon, and Strawberry. Jif Poppers are a new Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn snack in three varieties: Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Dried StrawberriesPeanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Pretzels, and Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Bobo’s just launched Stuff’d Oat Bites, which are snack-size whole grain oat bars filled with organic fruit jam in Apple Pie and Peanut Butter and Jelly flavors. The products are gluten-free, vegan and non-G.M.O. Halo, the cult-followed ice cream maker, even joined the cause and launched Peanut Butter and Jelly ice cream made with peanut butter ice cream, a strawberry swirl and cannoli bites. Theo Chocolate introduced PB&J Chocolate Clusters, which are organic, Fair Trade, non-GMO, and free of soy and gluten while Kraft Heinz has partnered with The Hershey Company to offer a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup whipped topping.

The humble PB&J sandwich is so well-liked that it has trickled its way into hair color and has inspired the “Peanut Jelly Hair” treatment, a golden brown and purple balayage.

For those that enjoy celebrating food holidays, you’re in luck because April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Go ahead, mark your calendars!

Edible Straws – Creative Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is a continuing subject of interest. The latest trend is the banning of plastic straws.  In response, consumer goods manufacturers have gotten creative and are launching sustainable, edible flavored straws.

PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) season is upon us and Starbucks announced the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws while Kellogg’s brought back its original Froot Loops Cereal Straws, which were discontinued in 2009.  These edible straws were only available at the Kellogg’s NYC Café for the week of August 6, 2018.

For those looking for an alcoholic cocktail, Ruffino Wines and Sweet Saba Candy Couture released a limited-edition line of Prosecco-infused candy straws. These hand-painted paper straws are offered in three flavors with edible candy charms garnished with edible gold: Peach (peach emoji charm), Elderflower (flower charm) and “Bubbles and Celebration” (gold bars charm). Diageo recently launched a range of edible flavored straws to complement its premixed canned RTD cocktails in the UK. The Gordon’s Pink Gin and Schweppes Tonic and Pimm’s and Lemonade feature strawberry flavored straws while Gordon’s & Tonic comes with lemon and lime flavored straws. A chocolate straw accompanies Baileys Iced LattePernod Ricard announced a collaboration with Loliware, the edible plastics company, which will produce the “straw of the future” made from hypercompostable and marinedegradable materials.

So go ahead, drink responsibly and get a hold of an edible straw!  Cheers!  Watch for additional edible straws and creative sustainable packaging.

‘Tis The Season for Bone Broth Soup

Bone Broth (photo by Kui-Doraku)
Bone Broth Soup (photo by Kui-Doraku)

I’ve never been a fan of organ meat, bone marrow or oxtail soup, but it seems like ’tis the season for bone broth soup. Bone broth soups are known to be nutritious and aren’t new. For example, Hakata Tonton in NYC’s West Village, has been serving ‘collagen cuisine’ with dishes based on pig’s feet since 2010. However, thanks to the popularity of nose-to-tail cooking, bone broth soups are hot now.

Enter Brodo from NYC’s Hearth restaurant; it’s a take-out window focused on sippable bone broths. Bone Deep & Harmony is another new player, which is subscription based. Similar to other subscription services, customers can purchase monthly, seasonal, or annual subscriptions for their soup.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ‘Locally sourced meats and seafood’ and ‘New cuts of meat’ are two of the ‘Top 20 Food Trends’ from the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2015” Culinary Forecast. Additionally, ‘Artisan butchery’ appeared as #23 on the ‘new top trends in 2015’ list. Get your spoons ready, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more bone broth soups this winter.

Red Maca the “It” Superfood

Red Maca Roots (photo by The Maca Team)
Red Maca Roots (photo by The Maca Team)

Red Maca is a Peruvian root known for its health properties and it’s the “it” superfood emerging. Yellow/Cream Maca and Black Maca are also other varieties of the root.  All are used in food and medicine and are said to help enhance strength, endurance, and fertility. According to WebMD, it has an odor similar to butterscotch.  Until recently it was most commonly used in health supplements, but now maca is popping up in natural and raw foods.

Navitas Naturals offers Maca Maple Cashews, which are made with maca powder, raw cashews and maple syrup while Maca Chocolate by Vega combines “4,000 mg of organic gelatinized maca with 70% cocoa dark chocolate.” Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter by Jem Sprouted Nut Spreads is a unique application; it’s artisanal nut butter.

Better get your hands on some maca soon because there’s a global shortage due to Chinese buyers.

Since When is Beer Healthy?

Cheer for Beer
Cheer for Beer – photo by Mor Naaman

I’ve heard that red wine and dark chocolate have health attributes because of the ingredient resveratrol found in both. Now it appears that beer is being touted as healthy, particularly for a post-workout recovery beverage. Some research studies suggest that beer can help the body rehydrate. For example, Lean Machine Ale from Canada is a low-alcohol, protein-packed “fitness” beer in four variants – Lager, Lemon Ale, Honey Ale, and Pepper Ale. Across the pond, Dune Surfer claims to be a post-exercise recovery beer made with antioxidants from Goji, Acai and Yuzu fruits.  

Although not a beer, Ficks All-Natural Cocktail Fortifiers are formulated with a proprietary blend of vitamins, electrolytes and antioxidants “designed to help promote liver health and reduce some of the negative effects of alcohol consumption such as preventing hangovers.” They are offered in Lemon, Lime, and Ginger flavors. And for those that aren’t interested in the health benefits of beer or alcohol, there’s always Chaser Strips. They are like Listerine strips that can be used after a shot to “alleviate the harsh after taste.”

Cheers to working out and drinking!

Ads Get Splashy

Fairlife Purely Nutritious Milk, Milk Life, and Schick Hydro Silk ads
Fairlife Purely Nutritious Milk, Milk Life, and Schick Hydro Silk 2014 print ads

Seems like print ads are getting splashy. The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has replaced the National Milk Mustache Got Milk? ad campaign with the Milk Life campaign. The new ads focus on the “8 grams of high-quality protein found in each 8 ounce glass of milk” and use images of propelling milk splashes that fuel consumers through activities such as playing sports.  Similarly, Chicago-based Fairlife LLC introduced a sexy ad campaign of women dressed in milk splashes in pin-up poses to promote the company’s new Purely Nutritious Milk, which contains 50% more natural protein and calcium than ordinary milk. To connote hydration, Schick’s Hydro Silk Sensitive Care ads feature water splashes on the legs of active young women doing activities such as kickboxing and skateboarding.

Noticed other recent ads that are using splashes?  Please share.

Visit 4 Latin Countries Without Leaving NYC

You’ve got to love NYC because it’s truly a melting pot.  According to the latest 2012 Census figures, the Hispanic population in the US grew to 53 million and is expected to more than double to 128.8 million by 2060.

With this is mind, if you’d like to visit Mexico, Spain, Brazil, or Chile and you don’t have a passport or a plane ticket, you can visit 5 specialty shops* without leaving NYC.

Las Palomas Mexican Grocery Store & Deli (by Sonny D. Foursquare)
Las Palomas Mexican Grocery Store & Deli (photo by Sonny D., Foursquare)

 

Las Palomas Mexican Grocery Store & Deli is a tiny grocery that features a variety of Mexican goods such as espazote, dried chilies, spices and fresh-made tamales on weekends.

219 West 100th Street (Amsterdam & Broadway)
New York, NY 10025
(212) 729-3469

Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery (photo by Nicole Franzen)
Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery (photo by Nicole Franzen)

 

Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery is a bodega stocked with authentic Mexican ingredients and a Mexican restaurant, which serves tacos along side a wide selection of imported beer.

215 Avenue A (13th & 14th Street)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 780-9204

 

Despaña SoHo (photo courtesy of Despaña)
Despaña SoHo (photo by Despaña)

 

 

Despaña SoHo is part market and part tapas café with an endless array of Spanish specialty items including Iberico and Serrano ham and 50+ specialty cheeses.

408 Broome Street (Centre & Lafayette)
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-5050

 

 

Buzios Boutique (photo courtesy of Buzios)
Buzios Boutique (photo by Buzios)

 

Buzios Boutique sells an eclectic range of Brazilian products from groceries and drinks to souvenirs and beauty products.

20 West 46th Street (Fifth & Sixth Avenue)
New York, NY 10036
(212) 869-6552

 

Puro Chile (photo by Puro Chile)
Puro Chile (photo by Puro Chile)

 

Puro Chile features a variety of Chilean products including handicrafts, jewelry and gourmet products with a sister wine store next door.

221 Centre Street (near Grand)
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-7871

 

 

So what are you waiting for? Go on, take a trip to Latin America by way of NYC. Know of any other Hispanic specialty shops? Please share.

*Trendincite LLC has no affiliation with any of these shops.

2014 Food & Beverage Predictions Continue…

2014 arrived…here are a few more food & beverage predictions for this year…

5 Booms to Shake the Beverage Room in 2014 by BeverageDaily.com

14 in 14: Our Food Predictions for the Coming Year by Epicurious Editors

14 Food Resolutions to Bring in the New Year by HuffPost

Food trends in 2014: from digital dining to healthy junk food by Amy Fleming from The Guardian

Fast casual execs predict 2014 menu trends

Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014 from Fast Casual

FoodNavigator predicts top five industry drivers in 2014

The chocolate prophecies: Industry fortune-telling for 2014 from Confectionery News

2013 StarChefs.com Trends Report (a look at 2013 culinary trends)

Happy eating!

More Food & Beverage Trends 2014…

2014 is around the corner and here are a few more food & beverage trend predictions of what we’ll be eating….

The 2014 Culinary TrendScape report identified by Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute

This year’s major menu trends for 2014 “What’s Hot” culinary forecast from the National Restaurant Association

Top 12 trends for food, nutrition and health from New Nutrition Business

Happy Eating and Happy Holidays!

Lo-Tech Reflections

It’s a year to date since I created my TrendIncite Xchange blog and I thought I should reflect. In my very 1st post Moving into the 21st Century I mentioned how lo-tech I am. I still consider myself lo-tech, but I’ve taken a plunge and made a few technological upgrades…

I’ve traded my trendincite@aol.com e-mail for amy@trendincite.com. I’m now on twitter @trendincite and I actually use it and like it. I find it helpful to research trends quickly and express random observations while they occur instead of waiting to formally write about them.

I upgraded my ancient Blackberry Bold 9930 to a Samsung Galaxy SIII (not 4, because I still don’t need the latest nor did I want to shell out an additional $200). Even my husband who was holding on to his slide phone, which he referred to as his “dumb” phone joined me and took the leap. I’m still adjusting to the touchscreen keyboard and the verdict is not out yet. Check back with me in a few months.

I just created accounts for Instagram and Vine, which I haven’t gotten into yet and really don’t need. By the time I do figure these apps out, I’m sure there will be several new and improved ones and I’ll continue to be behind the times.

As a holiday present, my sister just purchased a Smart TV for my family. I don’t think the kids will be too sad to give up our one and only tube TV. Even though I rarely watch TV, I have to admit I’m a bit excited about the change. The kids have been begging for a tablet, but we haven’t given in yet.  We’re considering buying them each one for the holiday, but I’m hoping to hold off for just a little while longer.

Who knows what the upcoming new year will bring. Maybe a year from now, I’ll have embraced technology and be addicted to my Android, the myriad of apps available and my new Smart TV. And maybe my kids will each have their own tablet.

Am I the only one struggling to keep up with technology? By the time I’m comfortable with a current technology, it’s become obsolete.