Why not both? Flavorful comfort foods are becoming ever so politically correct, with variations that are low in preservatives and high in natural attributes.
Pie in the Sky
Few things are sweeter than homemade pies, and Tyson’s reformulated Chef Pierre Hi-Pie desserts feature locally sourced fruits with no artificial flavors or colors. With more than a pound of fruit filling in every single pie, some are sweetened with sugar, while others get all of their sweetness from the fruit. Available in assorted flavors including Caramel Apple Nut, Strawberry Rhubarb, and No-Sugar-Added Cherry. Priced to order.
Chili for the Choosy Consumer
Operators and customers have even more reason to feel warmed by Campbell’s Chili line. Seven fully prepared chili selections—including flavors like Reserve Savory Beef Chili with Spicy Pepper Trio and Signature Southwest Vegetarian Chili—are now free of artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, and added preservatives. Priced to order.
Have a Cheese Ball
Customization is the name of this cheese game. Family Fresh Pack and Sugar Brook Farms created a line of bulk cheese ball mixes—available in 5-pound containers—in Sharp Cheddar, Port Wine Cheddar, Swiss Almond, Dessert, and Cheddar Ranch. All of the mixes are made with real Wisconsin cheese and fresh cream. The shelf life for unopened mixes is 180 days, and finished cheese balls will keep 10 to 14 days. Priced $3.20 to $4 per pound.
Fall into Fresh Salads
A new generation of salads is moving beyond summertime. Freshway Foods has introduced salads that showcase fall and winter produce: Sweet and Crunchy Couscous, Nutty Balsamic Kale Salad, Buffalo Cauliflower Salad, Ancient Grain and Garden Salad, and Pear and Broccoli Salad. Priced to order.
Bones to Pick
Using its 100-year-old curing method, Jones Dairy Farm debuts delectable Bac’n Bones, which are naturally smoked over real cherry wood, resulting in a fully cooked slab of ribs that tastes like bacon. Operators can add their favorite dry rub, marinade, or sauce. Approximately $1.15 per one rib portion.
As health-minded consumers continue to eschew white flour, Pereg Gourmet expands its alternative flour line with six new varieties: almond, banana, buckwheat, chickpea, coconut, and farro. All six are natural, dairy-free, and certified kosher, and—with the exception of the farro variety—all are gluten-free. Each package includes recipes for inspiration, and, in most cases, chefs can substitute these varieties one-to-one for whole-wheat flour. $3.99 per 16-ounce resealable package.
The Dark Side
Typically priced more favorably than traditional beef and pork options, dark chicken meat offers variety as well as a healthy alternative. Per the USDA, one serving contains a third of the total saturated fat of ground beef. Tyson’s dark meat line includes chicken sausage patties, chicken pepperoni, dark meat strips with teriyaki sauce, taco meat, and more. Priced to order.
Health-conscious guests seek information, and the My Meal, My Way Nutrition Calculator delivers all the data with precision and ease. The interactive technology helps restaurants comply with FDA regulations and lets diners easily view 11 nutritional points, including calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. The calculator can be accessed on a website as well as via online ordering apps and tabletop kiosks. It will map data directly from a restaurant’s own nutritional data providers. Priced to order.