Tea launches heat up Winter Fancy Food Show

Beverage companies showcasing tea products led introductions at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Winter Fancy Food show this week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
 
The Republic of Tea, Novato, Calif., introduced several new products, including a new hibiscus-based tea line. Also announced were two new varieties, Dragon Oolong, an unblended semi-oxidized Oolong tea, and Peach Blossom Oolong, a semi-oxidized Oolong tea featuring spring blossoms and natural peach essence.
 
To mark 2010’s lunar calendar year, The Republic of Tea will release a limited-edition Year of the Tiger Tea next month. The Year of the Tiger Tea is an herbal blend of caffeine-free South African Rooibos, chocolate and orange peel, which is a traditional Chinese symbol of wealth.
 
Also launching next month are Republic of Tea’s five new hibiscus superflower teas. The teas are made with African hibiscus. The line includes Natural Hibiscus, Hibiscus Blueberry, Hibiscus Vanilla Apple, Hibiscus Key Lime and Hibiscus Pineapple Lychee in sachets.
 
Ito En also announced new Japanese-inspired ready-to-drink products at the show. The unsweetened, calorie-free line includes Oi Ocha Dark, Jasmine Green and Golden Oolong varieties. Considered a traditional tea for the serious green tea drinker, Oi Ocha Dark Green Tea offers a more robust flavor and is high in natural catechin tea antioxidants, the San Francisco-based company says. Jasmine Green Tea is infused with jasmine flowers, and Golden Oolong is a traditional Japanese blend of Golden Cinnamon and Iron Goddess oolong varieties.
 
In addition, several companies also made new tea announcements at the show. San Francisco’s David Rio sampled its newest flavor, Toucan Mango chai, which will launch this spring. Teatulia, Denver, released Lemongrass and Ginger Herbal Infusions organic teas at the show. Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Co., Basalt, Colo., expanded its line of whole leaf tea sachets with Gen Mai Cha, a green tea that includes roasted brown rice. In addition, Honolulu-based Noh Foods of Hawaii offered a new 12-ounce box with four 1-quart packages of Hawaiian Iced Tea Mix.
 
Other beverage companies also made announcements at the Fancy Food Show. Flavored water company Hint Inc. introduced new packaging at the show. In a move to attract more consumer attention at grocery stores, the San Francisco-based company has discontinued its clear labels, the company said, in a statement. Hint also announced a distribution agreement with Starbucks Coffee. The coffee chain will stock Hint Blackberry water nationwide beginning in March.
 
Dream Foods International, Santa Monica, Calif., introduced a new 8.5-ounce single-serve package for its Italian Volcano Blood Orange and Tangerine juice products, which are made from fruits grown along the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily.
 
Joining the beverage category, enriched baked goods maker Vitalicious Foods introduced Regular and Caffeine-free Strong & Gentle Coffee varieties. The coffees are specially blended to provide bold flavor from Arabica coffee beans without being harsh on the stomach, the New York-based company said.
 
For more information on the Winter Fancy Food Show and product launches, visit www.specialtyfood.com.

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