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Illy debuts first-ever extra dark roast coffee in U.S.

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — Italian coffee brand illy is celebrating National Coffee Day with a new product launch.

The company is introducing Extra Dark Roast, an even bolder approach to the illy blend of 100% Arabica. Illy says its researchers at illy headquarters in Trieste, Italy, spent months testing combinations of roasting temperatures, and roasting and cooling times, to achieve a precisely targeted aroma and flavor profile that would create a uniquely balanced, signature longer-roasted coffee lacking in the current premium coffee marketplace.

The new illy Extra Dark Roast offers an intense aroma with enticing notes of toasted bread, caramel and a finish of dark chocolate. It is available in illy's proprietary, pressurized 250 gram cans optimized to ensure freshness, ground ideally for at-home filter, drip and French Press preparation. 

"The extra dark roast market has for years been saturated with overroasted beans, marked by an unpleasant, overly bitter taste," said Mark Romano, SVP of Quality, Education, and Sustainability for illy North America.  "There are over 1,000 flavors and aromas that emerge as coffee is roasted. It takes skill, experience and scientific knowledge to push the parameters without burning beans, and create appealing aromas and flavors.  We have achieved this goal with new illy Extra Dark Roast."

Illy Extra Dark Roast is available now at retailers nationwide.

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FMI cancels annual trade show in Chicago

BY Gina Acosta

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute announced Wednesday that it has decided to cancel its annual trade show in Chicago, known as FMI Connect, beginning in 2017.

"At FMI we continue to believe that events designed to bring together the entire food retail industry and their partners for meaningful conversation, education, exploration and networking are desired and needed, but we have concluded these gatherings should occur in a framework that differs from the current FMI Connect design," FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement on the FMI website. "We also recognize that in recent years this event has fallen short of achieving the precise formula necessary for meeting today’s industry needs, particularly as the industry continues to change and evolve so quickly."

Sarasin said FMI plans to explore new, focused and more flexible events.

"The industry we serve is learning it must rethink and when appropriate, redesign all aspects of its business, including everything from customer service to checkout, and from the number of items on the shelves to innovative ways of getting products to shoppers," Sarasin said. 

 

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FDA begins process to overhaul rules for ‘healthy’ labeling

BY Gina Acosta

The Food and Drug Administration has started a public process to redefine the meaning of the word “healthy” when it comes to food labeling.

"Redefining 'healthy' is part of an overall plan to provide consumers with information and tools to enable them to easily and quickly make food choices consistent with public health recommendations and to encourage the development of healthier foods by the industry," according to a statement Tuesday on FDA.gov.

"As our understanding about nutrition has evolved, we need to make sure the definition for the 'healthy' labeling claim stays up to date," said FDA spokesman Douglas Balentine wrote in a blog on FDA.gov. "For instance, the most recent public health recommendations now focus on type of fat, rather than amount of fat. They focus on added sugars, which consumers will see on the new Nutrition Facts label. And they focus on nutrients that consumers aren't getting enough of, like vitamin D and potassium."

Balentine says the hope is to encourage food manufacturers to come up with better, healthier options.

"As a first step, we are asking for public input on a range of questions about what 'healthy' should mean from a nutrition perspective and how consumers understand and use 'healthy' food label claims," Balentine said. "While we are working on the “healthy” claim, we also will begin evaluating other label claims to determine how they might be modernized. We want to give consumers the best tools and information about the foods they choose, with the goal of improving public health. And, we will also engage with industry to explore other ways to encourage companies to change their products to have better nutrition profiles. The end result will be more healthy dietary choices for consumers, and that is a worthy goal."

 

 

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