June, 2013

 

Consulting firm Sterling-Rice Group has announced its top natural and organic food trends for mid-2013, and indulgent nut butters have made the list.

This follows in line with the recent Natural Products Expo West, where almond, peanut and coconut spreads featuring honey were a hit on the Expo floor.

At least six companies were on hand to present their nut butter products made with honey. Peanut Butter & Co.’s offering, aptly named “The Bee’s Knees,” is a new variety of peanut butter blended with honey. There are no trans fats or hydrogenated oils, and it is gluten-free.

Sweet Harvest Foods were a great advocate for honey at the Expo, not only promoting its Pure MEL-O Honey product, but also brought out the entire line of PB Crave, all made with honey and natural peanut butter. Varieties included Cookie Nookie, Choco Choco, Razzle Dazzle and CoCo Banana.

Old Home Foods and Justin’s also showcased their peanut butter line at the show. Old Home’s 100% all-natural line featured honey, crunchy and creamy varieties. Justin’s honey peanut butter features honey powder, dry roasted peanuts, sea salt and organic palm fruit oil.

Those allergic to peanuts weren’t left out at the Expo, as Barney Butter’s unique honey and flax blend is a traditional almond butter. Made in an almond-only facility, the honey, blanched roasted almonds and flaxseed blend is great for peanut-free environments.

Even coconut blends were included in this year’s nut butter trend. Melt Organic’s wildflower honey spread is blended with virgin coconut oil, and has half the saturated fat of butter. It is designed for those who love the combination of honey and butter, but want a more nutritious alternative. Delicious.

 

 

 

 

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18 Rabbits Funky Figs & Cherries Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

 

This soft granola bar combines plump figs and cherries with honey.

Also made with Veritas Granola and walnuts, this snack is certified organic by CCOF and certified kosher by Kehilla Kosher.

18 Rabbits started in Farmers Branch, Texas where founder Alison Bailey Vercruysse played outside with her siblings and their pet rabbit, occasionally stopping to eat some of their mother’s homemade granola. The mission of 18 Rabbits is to “bring food back to its roots through simple authentic granola & bars.”

Want to see what other snacking products contain honey?

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Photo by Scott Franz

The SolBites photo was taken by Scott Franz

Adam Spector, sales and marketing director for SolBites, is an outdoor and health enthusiast with a biology background.

A self-described atypical salesperson, he sold for the Barking Dog Café, a small coffee shop in Lyons, Colo. He then moved to Steamboat Springs and met the crew from Honey Stinger. Once he became national sales manager for Honey Stinger, his Lyons roots came back to him and he met back up with Arn Hayden, president and CEO of Two Rivers Foods. Their love of the outdoors and healthy food brought them together two years ago, and Spector joined the SolBites team.

What drove you to SolBites and becoming Arn’s partner?

I would say the love of the outdoors and healthy food has led me to the food industry. I enjoy working with people that are like-minded and really care about what they sell and eat.

I’ve known Arn for a long time—since the days I lived in Lyons. We’d ride and see each other socially and around town. Lyons is small, so it’s hard to avoid anyone! We are both serial entrepreneurs that have the energy and passion needed to start up companies. Our strengths complement each other.

Can you talk a little about the name SolBites and how the idea was developed?

SolBites comes from the word Sol meaning sun in Spanish. The sun is a common thread in almost anything that grows other than the organisms that grow by hydrothermal vents in the deepest ocean. SolBites as a brand name encapsulates the products we offer and where they come from. SolBites is clean healthy simple snack food that is grown from the earth in a responsible manner.

The idea for SolBites came from perusing the snack food isle at convenience stores while on the road looking for a healthy alternative to chips, bars and candy. We didn’t find much so we thought, “What do we want? Why isn’t it available? Can it be made and offered at a fair and appealing price?”

Why do you think food education is so important?

It helps us make educated decisions on the food we eat. There are a lot of good documentaries and books out there like Fork over Knife and Omnivore’s Dilemma.  You affect your health by the eating decisions you make. If you do not know the potential side affects of making poor eating decisions how can you make the right decisions? Besides, clean organic food tastes great; it benefits you and the environment.

Thankfully, more products are coming to the shelves. What makes yours different?

We are not reinventing the wheel but offering quality products for people on the go. SolBites snack packs contain components that almost everyone has in their pantry. However, when living today’s busy lifestyle not many people have the time to put together a pack of honey, almond butter, crackers and a knife for spreading before they go out the door. We take the work out of the process so you can have a delicious snack when away from home.

Formerly with Honey Stinger, and now selling a product that contains honey (the almond butter and honey variety), honey seems to follow you. Why do you love honey?

I have no idea. We had bees when I was growing up in Pennsylvania. My parents were always heath nuts and local honey was an integral part of our diet. I use honey for fuel when exercising and we use it as an alternative to other sweeteners when cooking. It has so many great properties and there are so many different flavors.

What are the benefits to having honey in your product?

Honey has a lower glycemic index than most other sweeteners, it is all-natural and it goes with almond butter. The sweetness of the honey and the savory nutty taste of almond butter make a great flavor. The Almond Butter and Honey is my personal favorite in the entire SolBites product line.

Where does SolBites get its honey and how much honey would you say you go through a year?

We use a local high plains clover honey. We have found it has the flavor profile we want for our products. We make the honey creamy and no mess by altering the naturally occurring process of crystallization. Almond Butter and Honey is the most popular flavor we offer.

We go through about 2,000 lbs, of honey a year.

Any future plans for more honey-infused products?

We are always thinking and discussing new product ideas. Being a small company it’s easier to be innovative than when you are a larger company. We have some new items in development that are really exciting and of course honey is an integral part.

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