Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 117 of 207

Jungle Jim's International Market imports cookies that customers can't find throughout the year, like Italian Amaretti and an extended selection of Walkers Shortbread. Contemporary meets classic: Lark Fine Foods Whole Grain Espresso Chip Shortbread (left), Walkers Shortbread Rounds (right) today's innovative flavor combinations, they create an entirely new generation of classics. Shortbread's Stamina. Consumers love shortbread, a simple recipe of flour, but- ter, sugar and salt that results in a crisp, crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. And the love affair shows no sign of waning. Lisa Sherman, brand manager of Walkers Shortbread, the leading brand of Scottish shortbread sold nationwide in the United States and in 80 countries worldwide, notes that the company's sales have grown consis- tently year after year. Quite a feat considering Walkers has been in business since 1898. Sherman believes this success lies in the product's consistency. "The short- bread recipe has remained the same, and we've always been all-natural and have made no compromises to quality," she says. Consequently, the customer base has grown. "Our loyal consumers … have shared their love for Walkers with their family and friends who have in turn become loyal consumers." Further, she adds, "The fact that consumers travel more today and see Walkers worldwide helps reinforce the brand here in the U.S." While classic brands like Walkers remain strong sellers, innovative companies like Lark Fine Foods are taking this tradi- tional butter cookie and dressing it up. "We chose shortbread because it gives us a blank canvas for interesting and differ- ent ingredients," says Nicole Nordensved, managing partner of Lark Fine Foods, manufacturer of award-winning short- bread that includes such flavors as Whole Grain Espresso Chip, Burnt Sugar & Fennel, and the 2011 sofi™ Silver Finalist for Outstanding Cookie, Salted Rosemary Shortbread. "We've taken something people are comfortable with and added flavorful and palate-waking ingredients," she explains. To introduce consumers to these more adven- turous flavors, the company created the Shortbread Trio pack, which comprises bite-size samples of each flavor wrapped in an individual sleeve. Eastern Europe Meets the South. Delicate Moravian cookies, made popular by Salem Baking Company, which started producing them 80 years ago in Winston-Salem, N.C., has origins in the kingdom of Moravia, located in what is now the Czech Republic. "In the days of great exploration in Europe, spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves were some of the most sought-after ingredients in the world," says Brooke Smith, president of Salem Baking Company. "The people of Moravia saw these spices as rare treasures and created these uniquely thin cookies to showcase these precious ingredients and preserve their full, rich "These types of cookies give people a connection to their families—and even more so during the holidays." flavor." She goes on to explain that more than 200 years ago, Moravians who sought a better life in the New World journeyed to North Carolina in 1766, bringing along the cherished cookie recipes, which Moravian settlers shared with the community. While classic flavors remain top sellers across the board, there's plenty of room— and an audience—for innovation. "Our first Moravian Cookie flavors were Ginger Spice and Classic Sugar and they are still among our most popular," Smith says. Over the years, new introductions, such as Meyer Lemon, Pumpkin Spice, Toasted Coconut and Chocolate, among others, have grown the line to more than 20 varieties, including a collection of chocolate-dipped cookies. Biscotti Becomes a Household Name. Twenty years ago, biscotti—twice-baked cookies traditionally made with almonds— were seen as a distinctly Italian imported cookie. Today they're as American as apple pie and can be found in coffee houses and supermarkets nationwide. "In Italy, biscotti are eaten as a treat. In the U.S., they're eaten all the time," says Fernada Capraro, owner of Cookies con Amore, producer of handmade Italian cookies. The ubiquity of biscotti is help- ing regional Italian varieties make a name for themselves as well. Capraro has cre- ated a line inspired by regional specialties, JULY/AUGUST 2012 95

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