Like coffee? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway on THE NIBBLE.com. Answer four fun trivia questions about coffee. Whether you answer right or wrong, you’ll be entered into the prize drawing. The lucky winner will receive this Starbucks Coffee Sampler (photo at right), chock full of goodies:
– 5 different Starbucks ground coffees,
– 2 boxes of Starbucks hot cocoa
– 2 packages of Starbucks graham crackers
– 2 packages of Starbucks biscotti
– 1 box of Marich’s delicious English Toffee CaramelsYou can keep them all for yourself or have an excuse to invite friends for coffee.
Win me! Drink me! Eat me! This Starbucks Gift Sampler prize is available at DelightfulDeliveries.com.
According to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), the world’s current cocoa shortfall is now 55% larger than previously thought, due to adverse weather conditions that caused crop reductions over the 2006/2007 season. The global production deficit is now estimated at 242,000 tonnes. Severe dry and windy conditions affected Africa at the end of 2006, and output declined 10% (Africa supplies 70% of the world’s cacao). Over the same period, El Niño temperature fluctuations led to crop declines of 8% in the Asia and Oceania region, and 6% in the Americas.
However, the ICCO states that demand has not decreased and remains at a record high. World cacao consumption has grown on average 3.8% each year over the last five years, and 2.5% over the 2006/07 season. This demand, combined with moves by some manufacturers to stocking up on cacao, has led to average price increases of 12%. Expect to see prices reflected in everything from bars to cocoa powder to baked goods.
Are you a standard cookie eater or a trendsetter? Although the overall $5.9 billion U.S. cookie market sales increased 14% in value from 2002 to 2007, standard cookies are losing ground and niche cookies are trending up. According to a new report by research firm Mintel, standard cookies still represent 57.5% of sales. But this figure has been declining over the five year period covered by the report, suggesting that more specialized cookies are gaining in popularity. What are “specialized” cookies?
– Health orientated cookies. These include cookies that consumers consider to be healthy, made with natural or organic ingredients, and/or in smaller portion sizes.
– Cookie bars. This category has grown a whopping 57% over the five years of the report. Future category growth could be driven by cookie bars, and new manufacturers may enter the category offering hybrid product lines such as energy and meal replacement cookie bars. What’s slowing?
Liz Lovely cookies are riding the trends of organic and supersized. Read our review.
Sales of premium and luxury cookies, the “indulgent” products. It’s not that consumers are moving away from indulgent cookies, the researchers say, but the premium genre will move towards producing cookie bar and health-orientated cookies (all natural and organic), causing a blurring of segment lines. Two surprise demographic findings:
– Baby boomers in the 55 to 64 age group will experience the strongest consumption growth up to 2012, preferring treats that contain heart-healthy dark chocolate, antioxidant-rich fruits, and nuts and whole grains.- Men apparently eat cookies more often than women. This indicates opportunities for more “manly snacks,” such as oversize cookies with large chunks or chocolates or nuts. Apparently, the U.S. will be in supersize mode for some time to come.
There are stainless-steel misters and acrylic or glass misters like this one, that enable you to see your oil or vinaigrette.
Even big companies are jumping on the bandwagon now, with prepackaged spray dressings. But we have been spraying olive oil and vinaigrettes from non-aerosol, refillable spray bottles for years before. The idea was born when we wanted a way to get more coverage of our greens by using less dressing, without hand-tossing the salad to cover every leaf (in other words, get more dressing flavor by using less dressing, with fewer calories). We started by buying empty plastic cosmetics spray bottles to fill and spritz, but the industry has caught up and now makes “misters,” shown in the photo at the left. You can buy high-tech looking, stainless versions, or more cruet-style versions that let you see your oil or vinaigrette. There are also pocket-size versions that you can carry with you.
Add a mister to your table to cut down on dressing calories. Alas, mayonnaise-based dressings are too heavy to fit through the spray, although you can experiment with making creamy vinaigrettes. Find more diet ideas in the Diet Nibbles Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
Glad SimplyCooking Microwave Steaming Bags invited consumers to vote for “America’s Steamiest Chef” last year, and the result is Glad’s Steamy Chefs Calendar. There are two pinup photos of the five steamy chefs (if white chef coats count as pinup wear), plus two recipes from each of the steamy chefs. – Govind Armstrong makes a truly impressive Steamed Corn And Spring Onion Pudding With Buttered Shrimp (a two-bag production) and a Steamed Bulgar (his spelling) Salad With Asparagus And Shiitake Mushroom. – G. Garvin whips up a simple but delicious Steamed Cauliflower And Goat Cheese Cup and Steamed Chilean Sea Bass With Baby Bok Choy And Cherry Tomatoes.
Good looking chefs steam up the kitchen. Download the free calendar.
– Dave Lieberman takes on Shrimp Curry and Mediterranean Style Artichoke.
– Aarón Sanchez cooks up Steamed Bass Yucatan Style and Bananas Faustos With Cherimoya Salsa. – Sam Talbot makes Steamed Mussels Provençal and Chinese Steamed Halibut Filet With Broccoli Rabe.All of the recipes are in the calendar. Download it free and steam up a storm.