The term artisan is as subjective as natural, and just like natural, is increasingly being used in the marketing of foods, more precisely, specialty foods. Artisan foods also are often described as culinary-inspired, hand-crafted, home-style, limited-edition, seasonal, special-recipe and, yes, natural.
According to the Specialty Food Association, two-thirds of consumers purchase these products simply because they want to try something new. Quality and health are also drivers, and to these consumers, health increasingly refers to the absence of artificial ingredients.
Although one would think “specialty” implies “small, entrepreneurial,” this does not need to be the case. In fact, earlier this year, Nestlé USA showed Americans that “big food” can get small with its new Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection.
Taking inspiration from its roots, the brand collaborated closely with notable culinary artisans from around the country to introduce a line of six indulgent ice cream flavors. The new limited-edition flavors claim to remain true to the taste of the artisans’ original creations.
For example, the Spiced Pecan Turtle variety is made with chocolaty covered spiced pecans from Kansas City, Mo.-based Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate. Tres Leches Brigadeiro is made with inspiration from New York City’s My Sweet Brigadeiro, which makes the traditional Brazilian confection brigadier, a mixture of chocolate, condensed milk and butter. Häagen-Dazs deconstructs the brigadeiro to make a decadent sauce, then swirls it into tres leches ice cream. The other four varieties in the Artisan Collection are: Applewood Smoked Caramel Almond, Banana Rum Jam, Chocolate Caramelized Oat and Ginger Molasses Cookie.
More Specialty Products On the Menu
Limited-edition Artisan Gelato and Sorbetto, www.ciaobellagelato.com
Ciao Bella recently debuted three new limited-time frozen desserts exclusive to Whole Foods Market nationwide. Inspired by the spirit and passion of this time of year, Honey Almond Nougat gelato, White Chocolate Peppermint gelato and Mulled Apple Cider sorbetto provide nostalgic holiday sentiment with every spoonful.
“Our seasonal varieties have proven to be very successful in the past. With that, we are excited once again to partner with Whole Foods to introduce three unique flavor combinations that deliver on our brand promise to consumers,” says Carlos Canals, CEO of Ciao Bella. “We hope that everyone will find a little bit of the seasons within each pint, sparking old memories, while creating new ones.”
Ketchup Goes Gourmet, www.beavertonfoods.com
Beaverton Foods Inc.’s Inglehoffer brand introduces its first ketchup product. As a manufacturer of specialty branded condiments in the U.S., Beaverton offered its first ketchup in 2010 with Beaver Brand Gourmet Ketchup. This item offers a sweeter flavor profile, which combines the company’s proprietary ketchup recipe with its award-winning honey mustard.
Inglehoffer Gourmet Ketchup is a natural extension of the Inglehoffer brand lineup, which includes nearly 40 mustards, horseradish, tartar and cocktail sauces, and other specialty condiments. The suggested retail price for the certified gluten-free ketchup is $3.15 to $3.59. It comes in a shelf stable, easy-to-use 10-oz. squeeze bottle.
Hand-crafted Seasonal Date Rolls, http://www.naturaldelights.com/
Natural Delights, a leading provider of Medjool dates, introduces two new flavor varieties and a new package design for its popular Date Roll line. The new seasonal flavor options are Pecan Pumpkin Pie Spiced Date Rolls and Dark Chocolate Orange Date Rolls. The company has plans to launch a springtime flavor in March 2016.
“We’re committed to providing new ways for consumers to enjoy dates, and our seasonal date rolls, in combination with the traditional varieties, will give shoppers an opportunity to choose healthy and flavorful options throughout the year,” says Dave Anderson, director of marketing. “It’s our goal to provide snacks that get people away from the junk food aisles and into the fresh produce section.”