Archive for the ‘Culinary and New Product Solutions’ Category

Day 2: New Products Conference Highlights

September 28th, 2012 (franklin)

By Rocco Cardinale, Franklin Foods

Day two of the New Products Conference featured many informative presentations from a variety of talented executives: Dr. Scott Edgett, CEO and founder, Product Development Institute and Stage-Gate International; Bob Jones, CEO, Scientific Nutrition Products, Inc.; Kevin Hilgar, director of operator product development, Technomic; William Bigelow, VP business development/R&D and Jeff Wirtz, corporate executive chef, Blount Fine Foods; and Mike Helser, associate director, General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network.

The highlights of the day were the Collegiate Awards and Mintel’s Top 10 Trends presentation and tasting session.

Collegiate Awards

Collegiate DuPont & Danisco_Knowledge Award Winners

Since 2003, DuPont has “partnered with leading universities to encourage and reward student innovation.” Participating students“physically create a new food and beverage product that addresses modern food science challenges.” The 2012 DuPont/Danisco Knowledge Award competition received 24 submissions from 12 universities. The award winners were:
1st Place – $10K: Clemson University – Harvest Fresh Fruit Smoothie

2nd Place – $5K: Kansas State – Sweet Potato Crisps

3rd Place – $2K: Clemson University – Blast Sorbet

Mintel’s Top 10 Trends and Tasting Session

Mintel, a platinum event sponsor, hosted two highly informative and fun events. First, Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago presented their “10 Trends You Must Keep in Mind When Developing New Products” presentation. Lynn and David are two of Mintel’s top CPG experts and take high-level insights on market, consumer, and product trends and boil them down to actionable takeaways for the attendees. The top 10 trends we all should be mindful of in our new product development efforts are the following:

  1. Weight loss evolves into hunger management.
  2. Everyone but consumers is focused on calories
  3. Smuggling fruit and vegetables into the diet
  4. Products for seniors are products for everyone.
  5. “Economy” is more than just low price.
  6. Private label ramps up innovation.
  7. Taking out the “fake”
  8. “Green” isn’t just about recycling – it involves the whole supply chain.
  9. Flavors go experimental and experiential.
  10. Technology helps consumers “play” with their food.

Lynn and David’s parting words of wisdom:

Technology means connectivity. Know that the powerful private label is here to stay. The food world has gone local. Focus on the positive features and benefits rather than on calorie and fat reduction. Most important, “keep it simple” is the driving theme across messaging of product features, benefits, and ingredients.

Mintel Tasting Session

Mintel Tasting Session

At the Mintel Tasting Session, where conference attendees were able to sample more than 60 products from around the world. Products from France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, and the USA caught my attention.


Japan: Diet Black Coffee Jelly

Diet Black Coffee Jelly from Japan

USA: Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt
Healthy Choice Frozen Greek Yogurt PDP from USA
USA: Assure Beverage
Assure Beverage from USA
Netherlands: Cyberry Healthy Eyes Beverage
Cyberry_Healthy Eyes Beverage from Netherlands
UK: Tesco’s Choka Blok Premium Private Label Ice Cream
Tesco Premium Private Label Ice Cream Choka Blok Brand from UK
UK: Tesco’s Goodness Pasta Sauce with “hidden vegetables”
Tesco Private Label Hidden Veggies Sauce from UK
UK: Tilda’s Sweet Vegetable & Wholegrain Rice
Tilda Kids Sweet Vegetable & Wholegrain Rice from UK
Spain: Corpore Satiating Bars
Corpore Satiating Bars from Spain
France: Casino Supermarket Packaged Cookies for Children
Casino Supermarket Bakery Item. from France

See you in San Diego in 2013!

Rocco Cardinale

Rocco Cardinale

Rocco has over 15 years of marketing and branding experience in the food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods industry. His background stretches from founding a specialty coffee company in California to his current role as director of marketing for Franklin Foods, an innovative dairy manufacturer. Rocco’s marketing and branding successes have appeared in Bon Appetit, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, The Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine. Connect with Rocco on LinkedIn and Twitter @RoccoCardinale.

Day 1: New Products Conference Highlights

September 28th, 2012 (franklin)

By Rocco Cardinale

The Prepared Foods 2012 New Products Conference kicked off on Monday, Sept. 9 in Palm Beach, Fla. This is my third conference and the combination of intimate setting, information-packed presentations and diverse industry professionals make this a worthwhile event.

This year started off with a timely and informative keynote presentation by Rick Lenny. Rick is an accomplished industry veteran and former chairman, president, and CEO of the Hershey Company and former president of the Nabisco Biscuit Company. Currently, Rick is the operating partner of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, LLC. The key theme of Rick’s presentation was “relevance” and how important it is for companies and brands to maintain their relevance with consumers. As Rick pointed out, in just over 20 years half the companies that comprise the Dow are no longer on the Dow. Obviously, these companies didn’t plan for this to happen. Today, consumer-oriented companies dominate the Dow, and the big question is, how do companies today stay relevant for the future? To address this critical question, Rick laid out his E³ strategic framework: Enhance Relevance, Extend Reach, and Enhance Growth. This comprehensive presentation is worth viewing at the conclusion of the conference on

Next, Tulin Tuzel, chief technology officer of the Sabra Dipping Company, spoke about the growth of the Sabra brand and the hummus category in the US. In three years, the hummus industry in the US has grown by 61% and is now a $600MM category. With 2011 sales of $401MM, Sabra is now 50/50 JV between Pepsi and Straus Group. What’s next? Now the Sabra mission is to expand the Sabra brand into other fresh dip categories, and under Tuzel’s leadership the company is building the R&D infrastructure to make it happen. Sabra is committed to delivering what today’s consumers desire –“enriching everyday life with culinary experiences from other places.”  Stay tuned – it looks like Sabra is just getting started.

Lastly, Lori Klein, vice president, and Chris Olesen, director of strategy development & innovation of The Family Room, presented “Exploring Highest Common Ground Decision Making.” Marketing and new product development teams need to take notice of how family decision making, shifting grocery-shopping gatekeepers, family relationships, and the redefinition of the family unit are impacting product and brand choices. For example, with 39% of dads making purchases at the grocery store at least once a week (present company included), why is marketing still focused on women? Lori gave a robust presentation, which is worth reviewing in more detail. Please message me directly @RoccoCardinale, and if I’m able to get a copy of the presentation, I will be happy to share it.

Next, putting the “highest common ground decision making” to test, Chris moderated a live panel composed of four parents and their children. Each parent and child was tasked with choosing food and beverage items to satisfy specific parts of the day. The choices, reasons, and eventual “highest common ground compromise” are sure to make every parent and marketing and product development professional take notice. Now I know why Honey Nut Cheerios, Oreos, M&Ms, Ritz, and Lays always make their way into the shopping basket. Go to after the conference, and if the presentation and panel have been uploaded, they’re worth watching.

Family Room Panel

Family Room Panel

Day one also featured the 2012 Excellence in Innovation Awards, cosponsored by the American Egg Board and Prepared Foods, which acknowledge products and teams in both retail and foodservice channels. Each first-place winner was presented with a check for $2,500 that was donated in their name to two top culinary programs – The Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales.

2012 Foodservice Award Winners

1st Place: Sandridge Foods – Ancient Grain Salads

2012 Retail Award Winners

1st Place: Tofutti, Inc. – Hooray Hooray Crispy Crunch Bars

Check back tomorrow for Day 2 conference highlights.

Rocco Cardinale

Rocco Cardinale

Rocco has over 15 years of marketing and branding experience in the food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods industry. His background stretches from founding a specialty coffee company in California to his current role as director of marketing with Franklin Foods, an innovative dairy manufacturer. Rocco’s marketing successes have appeared in Bon Appetit, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, The Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine. Connect with Rocco on LinkedIn and Twitter @RoccoCardinale.

Franklin Foods Headed to Prepared Foods New Products Conference

September 7th, 2012 (franklin)

Franklin Foods is headed to the Prepared Foods New Products Conference in Palm Beach, FL, September 9-12, 2012.  Prepared Foods is celebrating 30 years of new product innovation. This years event will be three days of speakers, new product tastings, and sharing of new ideas. Follow the conference happenings on our Blog or on Twitter @FranklinFoods


Interesting Article in the Times Union: White House chef whips up desserts with chemistry

February 28th, 2011 (franklin)

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses puts the finishing touches on a dessertWASHINGTON (AP) — Some sweetened tangerine juice. A little soy protein. A blender. Voila: A trendy, frothy dessert becomes a lesson in kitchen chemistry. It turns out the chef who whips up pies for the president is also a bit of a scientist — calling on knowledge of how to help bubbles hold their shape and how crystals affect chocolate and salt, in the quest for healthier goodies.

Read more:

Franklin Foods Awarded Business of the Year for 2010

November 22nd, 2010 (franklin)

Franklin Foods would like to thank the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation for awarding us Vermont’s “Franklin County Business of the Year” for 2010. Being acknowledged for our company commitment to our employees, community and manufacturing facility investments in New England’s largest milk shed and dairy county is a tremendous honor.  Also, a special thanks to the entire Franklin Foods team!

Click here and access the official press release on

Food Processing Magazine Article – Building Healthier Desserts

August 26th, 2010 (franklin)

Processors have been trying for nearly a generation to bridge the the gulf between the reality of dessert and the concept of health.

By Mark Anthony, Ph.D., Technical Editor

While the successful merger that is a “healthy dessert” does occasionally occur — think of now-ubiquitous frozen yogurt — the bottom of the great divide is littered with failures that seemed so perfect when they made the jump (e.g., candy bars laced with concentrated polyphenols, high-fiber ice cream or flax-and-quinoa cookies.)

Click here to visit Food Processing Magazine website and read the entire article.

QSR Magazine Article – Restaurants Should Offer Healthy Dessert Options

July 19th, 2010 (franklin)

Low Calorie, High Profits 

Author Barney Wolf

Some people may consider the term healthful dessert as a bit of an oxymoron.

Desserts are typically recognized as being indulgent—rich and flavorful—and not necessarily a part of the dining experience that would be considered good for you.

But perception is not always reality, and it’s not necessarily difficult for quick-service restaurants to feature desserts that are nutritious, low in calories, and, yes, even healthy.

“There are actually many good options available at restaurants right now, and new products are being added all the time,” says Kerry Neville, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a Seattle-based registered dietician.

Click here to visit the QSR website  and read the entire article.

Dairy Foods Magazine Author Sharon Gerdes Discusses Yogurts Growing Popularity as an Ingredient

July 16th, 2010 (franklin)

Timely article in Dairy Foods Magazine by Sharon Gerdes on the growing use of yogurt as an ingredient across multiple food categories.  Sharon includes Franklin Foods Green Mountain Farms Savory Yogurt Dips as a nutritious option to oil-based formulations. Read the full article at the Dairy

Read About Chef Tim’s White House Visit

July 16th, 2010 (franklin)

On Friday June 4th, I had the honor of being an invited guest to the White House to help roll out Chefs Move to Schools, the newest program developed as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign. Joining me for this wonderful adventure were 30 of my collegues from CT including Tagan Engel (pictured with me). Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading organization to ensure that no kid grows up hungry, was tasked to recruit and engage several hundred chefs from across the country to lend support to this new program that will surely change the life of children for years to come.

The day started, like most days do by consuming a healthy breakfast, this breakfast however was a bit different. Paired nicely with the meal was a breakfast symposium organized by Share Our Strength; Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids: How Chefs Can Make a Difference.

The program was chockfull of great information to not only engage chefs with Chefs Move to Schools but also to alert chefs to the growing issues related to both childhood hunger and obesity. This breakfast was eye-opening for many chefs in the room who may have been oblivious to the epidemic facing the children of our wealthy country. Through the words of Janet McLaughlin, the rock-star Director of Operation Frontline; Billy Shore, Founder of Share Our Strength; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (pictured); Janet Poppendieck, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York and author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America; and White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiatives Coordinator Sam Kass chefs were reminded how important it is to engage children to make a difference.
Following the words of inspiration from the invited speakers, a panel was convened of Chefs and School Administrators to speak about the trials and tribulations to working together is schools. The panelists were (L to R in picture)
• Chef Andrew Nowak, volunteer at Steele Elementary in Denver, CO, accompanied by Gene Boyer, Principal of Steele Elementary.
• Chef Bill Telepan, volunteer in New York City public schools, accompanied by Chef Jorge Collazo, Executive Chef of New York City schools.

• Chef April Neujean, former volunteer and current Food and Nutrition Services Coordinator for the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans at Samuel J. Green Charter School.
The panelists described their experiences working together; the good, the bad, but not too much of the ugly. There were quite a few laughs by the audience; this was certainly a relaxing and informative panel session.
Next came, Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs at the Food Research and Action Center, who enlightened the crowd to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act that is pending in Congress. She explained to the guests in the room that everyone here and at home can make a difference in school meals by contacting your Congressman and expressing your desire to see real change.

At 10:15 AM, we were dismissed from breakfast and paraded through the streets of our Nation’s Capitol to the sidewalk outside of the White House gate. The sea of white was something rarely seen in Washington, DC; with exception to the dumping of snow the city experienced this past winter. We, all 700 of us, waited patiently in the 90 degree heat to gain access to the south lawn of the White House. Upon entrance we were given a paper toque and directed to the White House garden. Walking the grounds you felt like you were in any other city park, except for the Secret Service Officers in black tactical gear carrying their high powered machine guns. While it may have caught a few chefs off guard, it relaxed me a bit. With all those chefs in one place at the same time, the ego level was higher than any other time ever at the White House; the presence of officers with machine guns was a welcome sight.

Despite all the egos (us chefs have been known to feel like we are better than others…), when we were directed to proceed up the lawn to the chairs set up by the stage, we all proceeded in an orderly fashion. Many pictures were taken at this point, since we were only 20 yards from the majestic building.
The chefs ranged from corporate chefs to restaurant chefs; School Nutrition Association was well represented by at least ten of us chefs including myself, Tony Geraci of Baltimore City Schools, Brad Trudeau of Dallas Independent School District , Tim Prosinki of Berlin, CT Schools and Danny Seymour of SNA; there were also quite a few top notch celebrity chefs: Aaron McCargo Jr, Cat Cora, Rachael Ray, Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson, Ellie Krieger, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, Bryan Voltaggio, Monica Pope, Anne Burrell, Linton Hopkins, Marvin Woods, Jose Andres, Art Smith, Daniel Boulud and CT’s own Michael Nischan.
After a brief wait, the doors to the White House opened and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, accompanied by Sam Kass, Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant and the local school principal he has been working with.
Sam Kass introduced the First Lady and she spoke for about 15 minutes. The First Lady spoke about the connection between food and happiness. “So many good memories involve food,” she said. “You are all at the heart of this initiative because if anyone understands nutrition and food, it’s the folks sitting here in their whites today. You know more about food than almost anyone – other than the grandmas – and you’ve got the visibility and the enthusiasm to match that knowledge.” She talked about how many children go to school hungry and how school lunches were so crucial to their nutrition. “Let’s make salad bars fun,” she said with great enthusiasm. She urged us all to go home and find a school and make friends with the principal and teachers. “Bring them food, and they will welcome you.” She also spoke about encouraging Congress to pass the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill that is in Congress now and encouraged us to contact Congress.

As the Marine Corp Brass Ensemble played; the First Lady exited stage right and made her way to the first row of chefs to greet them. When she got to me, she said “Thanks for all you do”, I responded “Thank you for all your support.” Before another breath could come out, she was gone, walking down the line, hurried by her press secretary and the Secret Service.

Those five simple words she uttered will make a difference in the life of children. Knowing that the White House cares about the future of our children, does not make my job any easier, but it certainly offers the children a glimmer of hope.

In conclusion, I have said it before and I will continue to repeat it: “Systematic change in needed in this country to control childhood obesity and to educate our children on proper nutrition and choosing REAL foods. With the support of the Obama Administration, Share Our Strength, School Nutrition Association and many other local and national organizations this change has begun. Chefs are rock stars; children look up to us; when I walk into one of my schools in my chef jacket, the eyes of the children light up and I am asked if I am on Food TV, or Iron Chef. The children are interested to what I have to say, it is very easy to engage children with food, real food from local farms. Children want to learn and Chefs Move to Schools is the program to see through with the necessary change. I am very happy to be working so close with the White House to help make these changes.”

Washington Post Article: All We Can Eat – Obama’s report is in; now the questions begin

May 13th, 2010 (franklin)

First lady Michelle Obama, flanked by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, announces the findings of the Childhood Obesity Task Force report on Tuesday. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Interesting article in The Washington Post unveiling Michelle Obama’s White House task force report on solving childhood obesity. Regardless of one’s political affiliations or policy views all food outlets should be striving to provide healthier foods for both children and adults. Franklin Foods has been a leading innovator in naturally reducing the fat, calories, cholesterol, and sodium across a wide variety of dairy products for many years. We are proud that our Re-Inventing Cream Cheese mission is one small part of the solution. Currently our patented Hahn’s Yogurt & Cream Cheese is helping school systems, restaurant chains, and consumer packaged goods companies reduce the fat and calories on their menu items and products.