Summer 2017 Specialty Food Guide: Natural & Organic

It’s no secret that American shoppers are more informed than ever when it comes to what they eat. The trend toward healthier lifestyles means specialty foods, by definition, are more aligned with today’s spenders than mass-produced products.

“Consumers are more aware of the foods they’re buying, more aware of what’s in them, and they want to make good choices,” says Denise Purcell, co-author of the “State of the Industry 2017” report.

Specialty foods are, in part, defined by their “high-quality, clean and real ingredients” as well as “handcrafted, small-batch” processes. Their “organic,” “all-natural” and “non-GMO” claims are attractive to consumers.

However, according to the SFA report, consumers will consider “sustainable” to be the most interesting claim over the next three years. Getting ahead of the trend, 40 percent of specialty manufacturers produced “sustainable” products in 2016, which was a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Among retailers, sustainable products accounted for 16 percent of sales.

Plant-based foods are growing, too, especially in cheese and meat alternatives. “I think it’s on consumers’ radars. Again, it’s the healthy, better-for-you notion,” Purcell says.

Ebro Foods is one of the first to produce Organic Pearl Couscous in the United States. Under its RiceSelect brand, it’s made with organic, durum semolina wheat and available in both Original and Tri-Color varieties. It’s sold in 24.5-ounce re-usable, recyclable jars. 800/232-7423 or


Quinn Snacks’says its new Gluten-Free Pretzels are the first ancient grain, corn-free, non-GMO pretzels with full ingredient transparency. It’s made of whole grain sorghum, which produces antioxidants and polyphenols that protect from pests and disease.
203/421-8494 or

Sweetened with pure, organic, maple syrup, Coco-Roons are decadent enough for dessert yet wholesome enough for breakfast. In addition to chocolate chip, flavors include Brownie, Lemon Pie, Vanilla Maple and even Orange Dreamsicle.
855/293-5577 or



Natural Crisps from 34 Degrees brings out the nuances of whatever foods are paired with them. Thin and delightful on their own, they’re best with cheese, cured meats and spicy spreads. MSRP $3.99- $4.99
303/861-4818 or




Stoneridge Orchards’ dried blueberries are loaded with nutrients. They’re all-natural, non-GMO and free from preservatives. Eat them straight from the bag or add to yogurt, salads or muffins.
509/346-1520 or

Torie & Howard introduced a grab-and-go stick pack of its USDA Organic Chewie Fruities fruit chews. With 12 cases in a master case, the sophisticated flavor duos include California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine. SRP $1.99
888/826-9554 or

Upton’s Naturals now offer vegan, plant-based macand- cheese with Ch’eesy Mac and Ch’eesy Bacon Mac (bacon seitan), which both include a pouch of yeast-based cheese. They are free from dairy, trans fats, cholesterol and artificial flavors.
312/666-7838 or


After a successful regional rollout in November of 2016, Artisan Kettle Organic Chocolate now has national distribution for its Fair Trade, organic chocolate chips. Available in semi-sweet and bittersweet as well as white and milk chocolate.



In 2014, Tio Gazpacho debuted at Natural Products Expo East and has since been a leader in the “drinkable soup” category. New flavors include Maiz (corn, roasted poblano and lime) and Fresa (strawberry, basil, romaine). SRP $4.99 per bottle
917/946-1160 or

ColorKitchen has introduced an array of natural color and rainbow sprinkle sets for baking. Three sets include enough food coloring for 1 pint of frosting and a bag of sprinkles. The party sets come in blue, pink, and yellow with multicolored rainbow sprinkles.
510/227-6174 or

Baobab powder, from the baobab fruit, is a nutrient-dense superfood with prebiotics, antioxidants and 10 times the Vitamin C as oranges. Davidson’s Baobab Powder has a sweet, citrus-like taste and can be added to beverages and sauces or consumed like tea.
800/882-5888 or



Gluten-free Overnight Oats from Dave’s Gourmet blend organic oats, chia seeds, almonds and fruit that can be soaked overnight in milk. Loaded with protein, antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, each 2.1-ounce container makes a convenient breakfast or snack. SRP $3.49
800/758-0372 or



Pereg Gluten-Free Banana Flour is high in starch and requires 30 percent less product than wheat flour in recipes. Made from ripe bananas, it offers an earthy, wholesome flavor and a light and fluffy texture. Each 16-ounce resealable bag retails for $4.99.



Wine-A-Rita’s newest all-natural drink mix is a tropical vacation in a glass with a sweet blend of pineapple and coconut. All you need is ice, wine and a blender to create a frozen beverage. MSRP $12
903/832-7309 or




Crunchies freeze-dried fruit have no added sugar or artificial flavors and are non-GMO. Fruits include strawberries, mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, grapes and beets. SRP $4.99–$5.99 for resealable pouches and $1.25 for single-serve bags.
888/997-1866 or



Torie & Howard introduced a grab-and-go stick pack of its USDA Organic Chewie Fruities fruit chews. With 12 cases in a master case, the sophisticated flavor duos include California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine. SRP $1.99
888/826-9554 or

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