Unilever Magnum Mini super premium ice cream logo Stacey BendetFashion, film and food come together in a new campaign by Unilever’s super-premium Magnum ice cream bar. Stacey Bendet, the founder of the fashion brand alice + Olivia, stars in a promotion called “Mini." Bendet introduces the new Magnum Mini ice cream bars, now available at grocery retailers nationwide. She will design an original mini-skirt which will be shown at Fashion Week in New York in September. "Inspiration is like ice cream. It always makes you smile," Bendet said. The brand is also the opening-night sponsor at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 18 to 29, the same venue where Unilever introduced the ice cream to the United States.
My view: I like Magnum P.I. and a magnum of Champagne, so no doubt I’ll like the Magnum Mini.

Peggy Biltz Dairy Council of CaliforniaPeggy Biltz, CEO of Dairy Council of California, will retire on June 30 after 22 years in this position. Under her leadership, the council worked to ensure that more than 90% of California schools use their nutrition education materials. She also bolstered Dairy Council’s nutrition education mission and aggressively worked to build its influence in a challenging California educational market. In 2000, Biltz spearheaded a dairy industry effort to change the Dairy Council of California law and adjust the assessment formula allowing the organization to expand its reach in California. Her most recent strategic efforts have been to demonstrate to health opinion leaders the importance of including all food groups as part of a balanced diet while proactively positioning milk and milk products as an “irreplaceable” food group for maintaining health.
My view: Peggy is a Grade A proponent of dairy foods in schools and on dining tables wherever they are. And she’s a genuinely nice woman.

Clorox Co. subsidiary HV Food Products Co., the maker of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, are taking aim at dairy products with its new Hidden Valley for Everything Topping & Dip. It’s billed as "The New Ketchup." HV Food Products says the new dressing has a creamier, thicker texture.
"The bottle may say salad dressing, but Americans put Hidden Valley Ranch on all types of food," said Jon Balousek, general manager of Hidden Valley Foods. "Now, we are creating a Hidden Valley product that is perfect for just that purpose. This thicker, creamier ranch is ideal for spreading on burgers, dipping French fries or just about any other place where people turn to ketchup and other condiments."
In a press release, the company makes these suggestions:

  • Put Down the Parmesan. Try topping your favorite pizza with the Original Ranch flavor for a delicious twist.
  • Step Aside Sour Cream. Swap Salsa Ranch for the typical sour cream, salsa and guacamole that accompany quesadillas and nachos. Baked potatoes taste great with a dollop and you only need one topping.
  • Chase Blues Away. Swap bleu cheese dressing as your favorite chicken wing dunker.

My view: What’s next? Ranch dressing instead of whipped cream on Belgian waffles? We must defend Parmesan, sour cream and blue cheese. To the ramparts!

Rickland Orchards launched this week a shelf-stable Greek yogurtRickland Orchards launched this week a shelf-stable Greek yogurt bar made with honey-roasted granola and real fruit dipped in strained Greek yogurt imported from Europe. The bars are layered with granola, real fruit and nuts, and authentic Greek yogurt. Flavors are blueberry acai, cherry almond, toasted coconut, cranberry almond, apple & honey, and orchard peach.
My view: The Greek gods are fickle. Also this week Kraft said it is discontinuing its Athenos brand of Greek yogurt.

SnöBar has expanded the availability of its alcohol-infused ice cream and ice-pop by adding additional resorts, liquor stores and restaurants, includiong the JW Marriott Camelback Inn, Friday’s Front Row at Chase Field and BevMo locations. The products are made with natural ingredients and premium alcohol.
The ice-pops, Margarita and Cosmopolitan, replicate the flavor and experience of the traditional cocktails. The Margarita ice-pop is made with premium tequila, lime and triple sec; the Cosmopolitan ice-pop is made with premium vodka, triple sec and cranberry.
The ice cream is available in the following flavors: Grasshopper, Pink Squirrel, Brandy Alexander and Brandy Alexander with Chocolate Chip. Each serving of SnöBar ice-pops and ice cream has the equivalent alcohol percentage of a full cocktail.
My view: Grasshopper brings to mind David Carradine of “Kung Fu,” making me think that this ice cream can kick a little (gr)ass.

Arena Cheese was awarded certification by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) for meeting the demanding food safety standards under the guidelines of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Arena Cheese makes prize-winning authentic Colby, Colby/Jack, Gouda and Naturally Hardwood Smoked Gouda cheeses. Bill Hanson is vice president and head cheesemaker at Arena Cheese.
The entire cheese team, led by Thad Hanson, head of Quality Assurance has taken the necessary time and training the past 12 months, in conjunction with substantial upgrades to the plant and equipment to make this certification possible and ongoing. With the Food Safety Modernization Act’s focus on prevention of food safety problems and increased consumer attention on safe foods, the BRC certification validates to Arena cheese’s customers that a robust food safety program is in place.
Arena Cheese makes Colby and Colby/Jack cheese in traditional 6-inch longhorns and 4-inch deli horns. The company won a medal for its Colby cheese in the current World Cheese Championships, its 9th medal since 2002 in the World, U.S. and American Cheese Society contests for Colby and Colby/Jack cheese. Colby/Jack was first invented at this plant in 1979.
My view: Congratulations to Arena Cheese for pursuing this certification. The company recognizes it competes in the world, not just the United States.