The National Honey Board recently went on a road trip from St. Louis to Minneapolis, visiting bakers, brewers and confectioners formulating amazing products with honey.
Check out our first installment on Companion bakery in St. Louis.
Blonde Hunny is an unfiltered Belgian style Blonde Ale with wheat and local honey in each pour.
Wild Wolf Beer has added a special spice blend to give it an additional kick. This beer is smooth and refreshing, with a straw yellow color and sweetness in the middle.
Mary and Danny Wolf build Wild Wolf Beer Company in their own back yard in Nellysford, Va. Since 2011, this company is one of just a few mother/son operations in the country. Their 10-acre property features an authentic Biergarten, a gazebo, a large koi pond and a working water wheel.
Whether it’s piping hot or refreshingly cold, a good beverage can do wonders for the body.
Consumers are taking a look at beverage ingredients more than in previous years, and aloe- and protein-inclusions are making waves across the category.
According to market research firm Mintel, 225 beverages containing aloe vera were launched around the world last year. This is a 7% increase from 2012. The supplement, known for gastrointestinal and immune system benefits, is a perfect pairing with honey-infused drinks. The International Aloe Science Council says that aloe can present a vegetable-like odor and taste. Honey is the perfect mask to this somewhat unappealing flavor profile.
While tea, sparkling water and flavored water are the most popular drinks that include aloe, Alo Exposed is an original drink made with real aloe vera extract and honey. The drink is all-natural and gluten-free, and it is full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
Protein is another drink additive showing signs of growth across the beverage market. While protein shakes aren’t anything new, beverages with added protein are. BevIndustry.com says the ready-to-drink market is booming due in part to consumers looking for something different containing high levels of protein. The demand is particularly high in iced teas, flavored waters, smoothies and dairy-based beverages.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, chances are you are part of the $10.5 billion gluten-free food industry phenomenon.
However, you are only a small part. According to FoodBusinessNews.net, even though people who have gluten sensitivities are part of the growing demand for gluten-free products, they only amount to one-quarter of that market. Three-quarters of gluten-free purchasers do so simply because of a belief that it is a healthier choice.
The Mayo Clinic reports that only 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease. Only about 6% of the population has gluten sensitivity. However, the gluten-free retail food and beverage category grew 44% from 2011 to 2013 according to Chicago-based Mintel International. The market research firm reports that the category will continue to rise in the future, with a $15.6 billion by the year 2016 prediction. This is due in part to flavor innovations and better quality products. Simply put, gluten-free products continue to taste better.
Gluten-free products sweetened with honey, particularly in the bakery category, have a better chance of a great taste because honey masks off flavors found in some ingredients used in gluten-free products.
Honey, a natural humectant, also offers gluten-free foods a distinct flavor, color and textural enhancement by retaining moisture. Honey’s moisture content is about 17%, which helps keep gluten-free foods moist. Honey also is an all-natural mold inhibitor.
French Meadow Bakery’s Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread is certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Made with organic honey, egg whites, rich bran and corn starch, this sandwich bread is also great for stuffing and toast.
Cybros Gluten-Free Rice Rolls are sweetened with wildflower honey. Cybros is the leading producer of fresh sprouted grain breads, which enhance naturally occurring nutrients.
Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Hamburger Buns and Organic Harvest Seeded Muffins both are sweetened with organic honey. Rudi’s Organic Bakery currently is the only nationally available brand offering a full line of certified organic bread and baked goods.
Sweet Leaf’s Mint & Honey variety puts a spin on homemade goodness with crisp, refreshing flavors inspired by Morocco.
A touch of organic honey mixed with spearmint leaves in every bottle creates an organic green tea that is full of antioxidants. This variety began being produced in 2004.
Sweet Leaf Tea Company produces ready-to-drink organic teas and lemonades and is owned by Nestle. The company is headquartered in the Penn Field Business Park in Austin, Texas and was founded in 1998 by Clayton Christopher, when he decided to make a bottled tea just as tasty has the one his grandmother Mimi used to make.