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Safeway cooks up a new competition

BY DSN STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway is launching a first-of-its kind competition that could land one chef a job with the Safeway Culinary Kitchens and his/her recipe included in the Open Nature Skillet Meal line.

The competition will culminate in a final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, Calif., where chefs will cook their original, delicious and nutritious skillet meals. Executive chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network’s "Chopped" and "Iron Chef," will join an experienced judging panel of Safeway chefs and executives to select the winning chef who will join the culinary team.

"We know our busy shoppers want delicious, healthier and convenient meals," said Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. "Our state-of-the-art Culinary Kitchens feature 4,000 sq. ft. of food development work space, including a kitchen set-up reminiscent of what our shoppers have in their homes. It is here that we are able to develop innovative Safeway food products tailored to what our shoppers want – great tasting food at affordable prices."

Safeway will be hosting the regional cook-offs at the following three campuses: California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago on April 23rd, 25th, and 27th respectively. Safeway is encouraging top-notch chefs everywhere, from culinary schools to restaurants, to participate in this competition.

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Hain Celestial adds Almond Dream yogurt to portfolio

BY Allison Cerra

MELVILLE, N.Y. — It’s official: Hain Celestial has added a nondairy-based yogurt to its portfolio.

As previously reported, the company said it would launch a low-fat yogurt line, made with real almonds, under the Almond Dream brand that would cater to lactose-intolerant customers or those looking for less dairy. The yogurt line will be available in four flavors: plain, vanilla, strawberry and mixed berry.

"We are very excited about the new additions to the Almond Dream brand," said Basel Nassar, COO of Hain Celestial’s Hain refrigerated foods division. "Customer feedback from in-store demos is incredibly positive and consumers are delighted by the rich and creamy taste and texture and the fact that it is a nondairy yogurt."

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Kellogg’s to buy P&G’s Pringles business

BY Allison Cerra

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Kellogg’s is fortifying its snacks business by purchasing Procter & Gamble’s Pringles business for nearly $2.7 billion.

The companies expect to complete the transaction in the summer of 2012, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

The announcement follows last year’s agreement between P&G and Diamond Foods through which Diamond Foods would acquire Pringles for $2.35 billion. The deal was delayed "to allow Diamond Foods to complete an accounting investigation."

"We are excited to announce this strategic acquisition," Kellogg’s president and CEO John Bryant said. "Pringles has an extensive global footprint that catapults Kellogg to the number two position in the worldwide savory snacks category, helping us achieve our objective of becoming a truly global cereal and snacks company. We are delighted to welcome the employees of the Pringles organization to Kellogg. Their collective passion and commitment has resulted in Pringles’ well-deserved acclaim as one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Pringles is an exciting brand in a large and growing category," Bryant said. "The addition of Pringles to our global cereal and snacks portfolio will provide an excellent return for stakeholders and better position us for future, profitable growth."

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