Zatarain's Debuts Reduced Sodium Rice Mixes

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According to an industry survey of more than 500 foodservice chefs and operators, 89 percent currently menu rice and more than half expect their rice usage will continue to increase.

To meet the growing demand for great tasting, lower sodium rice dishes, Hunt Valley, Md. based McCormick For Chefs, the Food Away From Home Division of McCormick & Co. launches a portfolio of rice mixes from Zatarain's, the brand synonymous with authentic New Orleans Style flavor.

These flavorful rice mixes with inherent health benefits were designed with lower sodium, no MSG, contain natural ingredients, no partially hydrogenated fats and no trans fatty acids. They also meet the less than 250mg sodium nutritional guidelines for schools and healthcare side dishes.

Zatarain's varieties include:Brown and Wild Rice Mix (a good source of fiber); Creole Pilaf Mix with Long Grain and Wild Rice (45 percent reduced sodium); Dirty Rice Mix (50 percent reduced sodium); Jambalaya Mix (40 percent reduced sodium); Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix (made with natural ingredients); Red Beans and Rice Mix (55 percent reduced sodium and a good source of fiber);Rice Pilaf Mix (made with natural ingredients); and Yellow Rice Mix (55 percent reduced sodium).

Additional enhancements include new pouch packaging with clean labels in English and Spanish, a special design for improved freshness, and they are eco-friendly with 50 percent reduced material by weight. The user-friendly products also make back-of-house prep easy with one pouch equaling one hotel pan prepared.

"Our product innovation is consistently grounded in the realities of fulfilling the industry's needs," says Ian Wesson, director of marketing, McCormick For Chefs.

"By introducing the Zatarain's rice mix portfolio, it further demonstrates our ability to provide flavorful products that meet nutritional and operational requirements while still exceeding the taste profile patrons crave."

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