Crystal Farms debuts line of Latino cheeses
LAKE MILLS, Wis. — One of the nation's more popular dairy brands is launching a new line of cheeses aimed at America's rapidly growing Hispanic population.
Crystal Farms' new line features four cheese varieties popular for their versatility and melting capabilities important in Hispanic cooking:
- Quesadilla – Rich and creamy, Quesadilla cheese can be used in most recipes that call for melting cheese.
- Oaxaca – Named after a region in Mexico, Oaxaca melts effortlessly into casseroles, refried beans and soups.
- Asadero – A rich Mexican-style melting cheese, Asadero is ideal for adding buttery flavor to queso, enchiladas and your favorite Mexican fare.
- Muenster – Though not a traditional Hispanic cheese, Muenster has been adapted to authentic dishes because of its mild flavor and high melting factor.
"Our research shows that consumers are looking for ways to make more authentic and ethnic meals at home, and also prefer to use shredded cheese when cooking," said Katie Egan, senior brand manager for Crystal Farms. "Crystal Farms' new shredded varieties will meet that need and offer more options for enhancing ethnic meals."
Crystal Farms' Hispanic shredded cheeses will be available in the refrigerated case of major retailers nationwide. The packaging will feature recommended recipes for consumers to enjoy.
Mac & cheese gets a makeover in the refrigerated case
BENICIA, Calif. — Traditional boxed macaroni and cheese now has some real competition, this time from a fresh product in the refrigerated case.
Three Bridges says its new Creamy Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Kit is made with clean and simple ingredients, including fresh-shredded cheddar cheese.
"In our generation of fresher, cleaner eating, we questioned why it's still appropriate to make cheese sauce from a processed cheese powder, even if it's for something as iconic American as mac and cheese," said Ryan Tu, president and CEO of Three Bridges. "We deeply connected with First Lady Michelle Obama when she stated that 'cheese dust is not food.' Real food should be made from real ingredients. We have to do better for the health of our families by having better convenient options than traditional processed food."
Unlike conventional boxed mac and cheese, which is made from powdered cheese flavoring or artificial processed cheese sauces, Three Bridges Creamy Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Kit has lower sodium levels per serving and contains zero preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
While other store-bought mac and cheese can take up to 15 minutes to cook, Three Bridges Creamy Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Kit takes just three minutes. No microwave or boiling water required; simply add milk to the provided ingredients over stovetop for a quick meal.
The new Creamy Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Meal Kit (SRP $5.49) joins Three Bridges' existing line of refrigerated pastas and sauces, and will soon be available at major retailers nationwide, including Super Target stores.
Walmart, Kroger top Kantar Retail’s annual PowerRanking survey
NORWALK, Conn. — Both Walmart and Kroger were named to the top spot in Kantar Retail's 2016 annual U.S. PoweRanking survey, released Wednesday, which measures best-in-class retailers according to the supplier community.
"As we entered the 2016 calendar year, many of the same trends of 2015 continued, all of which reinforce the idea that we are in an era of permanent transition and change," stated Daniel Raynak, EVP strategy and development Kantar Retail. "However, those organizations that have embraced the change in 2016 and took swift actions against big, relevant opportunities are beginning to see the return on the changes they have implemented.”
According to Kantar, while Walmart’s long-standing dominance among U.S. retailers now has a formidable challenger, the supercenter chain continues to outrank all other retailers in the areas of clear strategy and supply-chain management. One manufacturer noted: “Walmart has consistent, clear, widespread strategies.”
A major factor in Kroger’s performance this year has been its ability to innovate and maximize the shopper experience by applying insights derived from both suppliers and its own 84.51° shopper insights firm. Manufacturers voted Kroger No. 1 in the categories of “best retailer to do business with,” “best buying teams,” “most innovative merchandising” and “best practice category leadership.” One manufacturer summarized: “Kroger has developed strong collaboration and partnership with manufacturers, and they continue to deliver strong business results.”
"We deeply value our CPG and manufacturing partners' commitment to our Customer 1st Strategy," stated Mike Donnelly, Kroger EVP merchandising. "We are excited about our ability to drive innovation for customers using data-driven insights from both our suppliers and our customer insights firm, 84.51°."
Polling retail partners to identify the best-in-class manufacturers, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola topped the rankings in the 2016 annual U.S. PoweRanking survey. The first- and second-place finishes for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola represent their highest historical rankings ever in the annual benchmarking study, which Kantar Retail has now conducted for 20 consecutive years.
PepsiCo showed broad improvement across many of the strategic and operational metrics measured in the study. The company was particularly praised for providing top-class capabilities in the area of data analytics. One major retailer noted: “PepsiCo has embraced the data and has brought new insights and analytics. They have really transformed the conversation [between our companies].”
Coca-Cola received the top ranking for innovative marketing, receiving plaudits from retail partners for creative campaigns, such as “Share a Coke.” One retailer commented: “Coke is building the interest of consumers with their new ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The customers are excited to look for their names or favorite songs on the bottles.”
The purpose of Kantar Retail’s annual PoweRanking study is to identify the manufacturers and retailers viewed as best in class by their major trading partners and to provide insight into what distinguishes them across key areas of the manufacturer-retailer business relationship.