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I'm back after a week off to see a niece graduate from Arizona State University. Now, on with the news:
Nestlé is supporting the development of the global dairy industry with a new partnership in Morocco. The collaboration with the local authorities in the Moroccan region of Doukkala-Abda aims to increase milk production, improve the quality of fresh milk and encourage the development of the dairy industry throughout the private sector.
The Doukkala-Abda region currently produces 22% of the milk in Morocco, sourcing over 340 million litres a year. Nestlé’s partnership with the Agency for Agricultural Development and the Regional Office of Agriculture seeks to increase the company’s own milk collection in the region by 10% by 2014.
Nestlé will invest more than CHF 5.3 million (50 million Moroccan Dirham) over the next three years. It will help more than 10,000 farmers by providing training and expertise in milk supply, technical equipment, management and finance.
“This partnership will expand our dairy operations in the country,” said David Saudan, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Morocco. “Our investment aims to encourage the growth of the dairy sector and help us to continue to deepen our engagement with farmers and their communities,” he added.
Today Nestlé sources about 73 million litres of fresh milk from over 16,000 dairy farmers in the country.
My view: Improving a population's health and nutrition through dairy is a worthwhile pursuit.
The National Restaurant Association said this week that the number of restaurant companies participating in its Kids LiveWell program has more than quadrupled since the initiative's launch last July. Applebee's and Chick-fil-A are the latest chains to participate. The initiative has 96 restaurant brands representing more than 25,000 locations nationwide.
Kraft Foods has joined the program as the first foodservice supplier to develop Kids LiveWell-ready recipes for restaurant operators.
"Participation in the 'Kids LiveWell' program has exploded in a short period of time, with restaurant companies from across the industry eager to showcase their healthful choices," said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. "As a result, parents are finding a growing selection of healthful children's menu options of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products."
My view: It's great that the restaurants serve low-fat dairy products, but I think children can live better if their parents bought and prepared fresh food at home.
Rita's Italian Ice is taking its brand to India and China. It awarded a Master Licensee development agreement to South Asian Food & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary company of South Asian Hospitality Services Pvt. Ltd. based in New Delhi, India. The group has plans to open 50 Rita's Italian Ice stores over the next several years in India. The first location will open in New Delhi in the fourth quarter of 2012.
A Master Licensee development agreement has been signed for rights to open and operate Rita's Italian Ice in five Southern Provinces, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hainan, and Fujian, in the People's Republic of China with Shenzhen Xing He Feng Trade Co., LTD, an established operator of American food brands in China. The first location in slated to open in Shenzhen in late July 2012.
Rita's Franchise Co. operates in 18 states with over 550 stores. The brand offers a variety of frozen treats including Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, layered Gelati, Misto and Blendini.
My view: More proof that U.S. brands carry clout overseas.
Delta has added seasonal offerings, including dairy foods, to its onboard food and beverage menus. For example, morning flights include a Bagel Bundle with fruit, cream cheese and strawberry jam. There is also a fruit and cheese plate.
For lunch and dinner, passengers can choose a fruit and cheese plate, a pastrami sandwich with Swiss cheese and basil pesto chicken sliders with Asiago. All sandwiches are made using Boar's Head meats and cheeses.
Also, Delta offers Ben and Jerry's ice cream on North American flights where the EATS menu is available this summer. The ice cream is served in a 3.6-ounce cup; flavors include vanilla and Cherry Garcia.
My view: Talk about flying the (dairy-)friendly skies!
Yogurt processor Chobani is sponsoring six U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls for the 2012 Games. They will represent the company as Team Chobani. The team is:
•Lauren Cheney, 2012 Olympic hopeful and 2008 Olympic gold medalist, soccer
•Lashinda Demus, 2012 Olympic hopeful and 2004 Olympian, track & field
•Matt Grevers, 2012 Olympian and 2008 Olympic gold (x2) and silver medalist, swimming
•Steven Lopez, 2012 Olympian and three-time Olympian and medalist: gold (2000 and 2004) and bronze (2008) medalist, taekwondo
•John Orozco, 2012 Olympic hopeful, gymnastics
•Allison Jones, 2012 Paralympic hopeful, cycling and five-time Paralympian and four-time medalist in cycling and alpine skiing in both Summer and Winter Paralympic Games: gold (2006) silver (x2, 2002), silver (2008)
As the official packaged yogurt provider to the USOC and Team USA, authentic strained Chobani Greek Yogurt will be made available to every athlete living or training at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., Chula Vista, Calif., and Lake Placid, N.Y. Additionally, Chobani will follow Team USA to London where it will be served at the USA House and High Performance Training Center during the London Olympic Games. The agreement, which runs through 2014, represents a new sponsor and category addition for the USOC.
Team Chobani athletes will be featured in mix of TV, digital and out-of-home advertising through the conclusion of the London Games.
My view: I'll be rooting for former Northwestern University swimmer Grevers.
A survey by a maker of outdoor cooking equipment found that nearly 90% of consumers believe that anyone can learn how to cook a great meal and that more than any other meal of the day, 65% of Americans say dinner is their favorite. John McLemore, the CEO of Masterbuilt, is also author of "Dadgum That's Good!," He shared this recipe for Deep-Fried Ice Cream:
1/2 gallon ice cream (preferably Blue Bell)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) water
3 cups corn flakes or frosted corn flakes cereal
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 gallon cooking oil
1. Use ice cream scoop and dip out several level scoops. Place on large tray, covered with waxed paper and place in freezer for at least 2 hours.
2. Combine water and eggs in a large bowl to make an egg wash. Place corn flakes, cinnamon, and sugar in a plastic re-sealable bag and have the kids crush corn flakes until no large pieces remain. Place corn flake mixture in a medium-size bowl. Working quickly, remove ice cream balls from freezer. All hands on deck, drop the ice cream balls in to the corn flake mixture. Coat completely, pressing corn flakes into ice cream ball. Roll ice cream ball in egg wash and coat completely. Finally, return the ice cream ball to the corn flake mixture and coat completely, pressing corn flakes into ball lightly. Place on large tray, cover, and return to freezer for 2 hours.
3. Fill Butterball or Masterbuilt Fryer with oil. Heat to 375 degrees F; this will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When oil has reached 375 degrees F, remove ice cream balls from freezer. Working quickly, drop ice cream balls one at a time into oil and cook for approximately 15 seconds, until golden brown. Remove and drain thoroughly on paper towels. Return fried ice cream ball to the freezer as you continue to fry additional balls.
4. Remove from freezer and serve with your favorite toppings or freeze for later.
My view: Sounds easy enough, but I'm going to map the fastest route to the ER before I fire up the fryer, just in case.