PB&J is A-OK

A nationwide survey commissioned by the J.M. Smucker Company, Orville, Ohio, has determined that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become a gastronomic icon in America. The average American, the company says, will have enjoyed 1,500 of the sandwiches before graduating from high school.

Nonetheless, there is still some debate about the flavors and types of sandwiches preferred. For instance, while nine out of 10 Americans eat peanut butter, the crunchy-versus-creamy debate rages. Among adults, 62% favor the creamy variety, while 88% of children opt for the creamy style. The survey found that more men than women prefer crunchy by 10%.

The public is more divided over the fruit spread to accompany the peanut butter. Grape jelly is the favorite of 44% of adults and 66% of children, but strawberry was a close second—with 32% of adults and 25% of kids. Among other flavors (enjoyed by 25% of adults and 9% of kids) were red raspberry and blackberry.

Of course, the final component of the sandwich treat is the bread itself, and opinions varied here as well. However, white bread was the runaway winner, with 62% of the adult vote. Wheat bread proved popular with 27% of adults, and the other 11% preferred multi-grain or other types of bread on their PB&J.

The survey also serves as proof that kids can do without the bread crust. Virtually all adults opt to leave the crusts on their sandwiches (96%), but roughly one in four parents say their children want the crust removed.

Talking Turkey

A Restaurants & Institutions survey for the National Turkey Federation (NTF), Washington, D.C., has found that turkey is finding its way into more foodservice locations.

The survey gauged the opinions of a variety of foodservice segments, including casual/theme, dinner house, mid-scale, family dining, coffee house, cafeteria and contract foodservice. While 15% of the establishments reported serving turkey in their establishments in 1998, that number has grown to 85% in 2002.

Long a mainstay of noncommercial foodservice, turkey has seen dramatic growth in popularity among hotels, where the fowl is found on 31% of menus. Popularity also has blossomed in casual/theme restaurants and family establishments, where it can be found in 15% and 11% of those locations, respectively.

According to the survey, 31% of respondents added turkey to their menus in the past 12 months, with sandwiches, soups and salads being the leading applications. Additionally, 22% of operators without turkey on their menus plan to add it in the coming year.

When it comes to preparation, the foodservice segment prefers roasting, but grilling is gaining favor and has moved ahead of baking. Operators report that turkey has a healthy perception and is useful as a year-round menu item.

Kerry-ing On

Kerry Seasonings, a division of Kerry Ingredients North America, debuted its new headquarters, technical center and manufacturing facility recently with its Big Idea Summit. This event featured a number of educational seminars and tours of two of Kerry's Wisconsin facilities—the recently upgraded manufacturing center in Sturtevant and a brand-new headquarters and technical center in Waukesha.

An upgrade in 2002 has left Kerry's Sturtevant facility with state-of-the-industry equipment, including stainless steel lines, centralized PLC controls and a number of ergonomic and safety factors. The Sturtevant location features segregated allergen handling, and individual production rooms to avoid cross-contamination.

Kerry's headquarters and technical center in Kenosha is part of the company's internal expansion efforts, and the move to this location was prompted by the company's growth, both internal and via acquisitions. The facility includes a number of separate labs, arranged by focus.

Kerry Seasonings personnel demonstrated their expertise in a number of areas, including Prepared Foods, Meat, Snacks and Poultry.
Kerry's Snacks personnel demonstrated how seasoning blends are developed. Kerry's Meat and Poultry unit described how they start with a basic flavor and build it up with seasonings to boost the aroma, taste and appearance to produce a final product.

The Prepared Foods segment works with dry seasonings and explained how various factors must be considered in the development of a seasoning. A similar description explained the duties of the Meat Pilot Plant, where personnel described sauces for marination and the usage of either injection or tumbling for an application.

In the Culinary portion of Kerry's new facility, Chef Danny Bruns further described the seasoning process. He explained how resources in the field help them to stay current with products and profiles. Furthermore, he noted how the Culinary area impacts and is impacted by Kerry's other areas of focus (Prepared Foods, Meat and Poultry, etc.)

Sidebar: THE IN BOX:

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., announced that Agri-Sales, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ADM and part of ADM Specialty Ingredients Division, will begin conducting business under the name ADM Edible Bean Specialties Inc.

Unilever NV, London, will sell its edible oils and fats business, Loders Croklaan Group, to Malaysia's IOI Corp. Bhd for $214 million in cash.

Chr. Hansen Holding AS, Horsholm, Denmark, announced a strategic alliance with Novozymes AS, to ensure quicker and more focused production and marketing of new products for the dairy industry.

Barrington Foods International Inc., Las Vegas, has named Alejo Bermudez as the new director of international sales.

Dry Creek Nutrition Inc., Modesto, Calif., and San Joaquin Valley Concentrates, Fresno, Calif., have merged into a single, fully-integrated producer of grape-derived products. Effective August 1, all ActiVin® operations will be located at San Joaquin's Fresno facility.

Clextral Inc., Tampa, Fla., has opened an extrusion service center in Santiago, Chile.

Rhodia, Paris—through its subsidiaries Rhodia Food and Rhodia Japan—and Organo Corp. have formed a joint venture to develop and sell food ingredients and food additives to the Japanese market. The new company, named Rhodia Organo Food Tech Co., will target primarily the local market.

Robertet Flavors Inc., Piscataway, N.J., has added Andrew Green and Guy Dippolito as technicians, as well as Daniel Baraniecki as quality control chemist.

Charkit Chemical Corp., Darien, Conn., named Rodrigo Guzman customer service representative.

International Dehydrated Foods Inc., Springfield, Mo., promoted Ann Hollis to director of customer service and international sales.

SureBeam Corp., San Diego, Calif., has opened a new Southern California national service center in Vernon, Calif.

Roxlor International, Manasquan, N.J., has announced that BeFlora Plus®, the sweet bulking agent, has been self-affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

Ruiz Food Products, Dinuba, Calif., has named John Signorino president and CEO.

Newly Weds Foods Inc., Chicago, has acquired Dirigo Spice Corp., Boston.

Proliant Inc. has named Fred Johnson to the newly created position of director of North American sales for the company's meat ingredients Division.

UBF Foodsolutions, parent of International Food Solutions, Germantown, Wisc., has named George Zabrycki head of a new international foodservice division. In addition, Austin Jacobus will join the UBF North American Leadership Team.

Horizon Milling, Minneapolis, has improved its website (www.horizonmilling.com), with the addition of product and industry information. The website also features frequent market updates on product and consumer trends “of significance to Horizon Milling customers.”

David Michael & Co., Philadelphia, has promoted Claude Simeon to president of its international operation in Valence, France, Daroma David Michael, S.A.S.

Jeffrey Morse and growers Bruscoe Farm, Harvest Farm, Patterson Farm and Teddy C. Smiarowski Farm have acquired the foodservice and co-pack business of Cains Pickles, South Deerfield, Mass. The retail portion of Cains Pickles will be folded into the Minnesota operations of previous owner M.A. Gedney Co., Chaska, Minn.

Chr. Hansen, Milwaukee, has named James Elfstrum vice president of regulatory affairs.

Ann Hollingsworth has been elected president of the Institute of Food Technologists.

ConAgra Foods has promoted Jeff DeLapp to president of Lamb Weston U.S., Eagle, Id.

Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wisc., promoted Charles E. Zielski to senior national accounts manager in the foodservice division.

Stauber Performance Ingredients has added Laurie Burke and Bill Stephens as key account representatives.

Nutra-Park Inc. named Keith Rowley lab director of its Madison, Wisc. facility.

Baldwin Richardson Foods Co., Frankfort, Ill., has been selected as the exclusive producer of fruit fillings for Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal bars. The five-year contract is estimated to bring between $12.5 to $16.5 million in revenue.

BEVsystems International Inc. has signed a letter of intent to merge with Alfresh Beverages Canada. Terms of the agreement call for Alfresh to become a wholly owned subsidiary of BEVsystems, though it will continue to operate as Alfresh Beverages Canada.

U.S. Nutraceuticals LLC has acquired the astaxanthin business of La Haye Laboratories Inc.