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After moldy hummus, how Hope Foods spread nationally overnight

Four years ago Hope Foods whipped up hummus with a Vitamix blender at a Colorado farmer’s market. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find a Whole Foods or Costco that isn’t stocked with the company’s hip dips.

So how did Hope grow from local purveyor to national manufacturer so fast? Avure’s high pressure processing (HPP), and a passion for spreading good things.

“Our motto is ‘Spread Good Things.’ It’s on our product labels, but it’s also what we stand for as a company,” said Morgan McArthur, director of commercialization at Hope Foods. “Avure is critical to helping us deliver on that promise.”

“In this industry, it’s unheard of for smaller players to compete with billion dollar brands. But with HPP, we’re doing it.”

The company purchased its first Avure HPP machine, an AV-10, in 2013 after moldy hummus shut down its first expansion plans.

“We had success locally because Boulder and Denver are hotbeds for natural and organic foods,” said McArthur. “It wasn’t until we tried shipping to California that we saw molding and bloating ruin entire shipments. This forced us to pull out of the region.”

At that time, Hope had no kill step for pathogens, and its hummus stayed fresh for only 20 days.

HPP keeps Hope (and its customers) from turning colors

Before adopting HPP, Hope dabbled with other processing methods like flash pasteurization and freezing, but they all turned the company’s bestseller – spicy avocado hummus – brown.

“We knew that wasn’t going to fly. The reason we started Hope Foods was to serve fresh foods with bright colors, bold flavors and clean textures,” she said. “That’s why we chose HPP. The hummus on shelves is the just the way we intended it to be. And, we sleep better knowing we’re selling the safest possible product.”

"Since starting HPP, Hope Foods has tripled its business every year, and in 2015, it’s on track to grow by a staggering 400 percent."

With HPP and a new shelf life of 90 days, Hope’s hummus found its way back onto California shelves – free of mold and other potential pathogens. And, the company expanded its distribution nationwide practically overnight.

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Are your customers bugging out over GMOs?

Consumers love clean labels, but according to new research, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are creeping up on their radar. The Hartman Group found that four out of 10 shoppers claim to avoid buying foods made with GMOs.

Though widely debated, evidence shows that GMOs could negatively impact health and the environment. With nearly half of all consumers choosing to ditch GMOs in their diets, it’s clear they’ve made up their minds. Now, it’s time for manufacturers to respond.

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Clean up your label to win consumers’ hearts (and wallets)

There’s a reason Hormel scooped up Applegate Farms, maker of oh-so-good natural and organic meats and sausages. Consumers are filling their shopping carts with clean label foods and juices, and the brands that make them are seeing the impact on their bottom lines.

Food Online recently caught up with Lisa Pitzer, Avure’s marketing director, to talk about the surge of clean label foods, and how HPP is leading the charge.

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The fine art of leftovers

We turned food into fun faces, so it’s only fair that we spotlight a student who’s taken this idea a step further.

Lauren Purnell, a Canadian student who lives in London, takes fruits and veggies that are on the verge of expiring, and turns them into art on a plate.

She posts the work to her Tumblr page, called Culinary Canvas. Cool pieces like a flamingo made of dragon fruit, an American flag pieced together with rhubarb and blueberries, and a margarita whipped up with cabbage have helped Purnell amass more than 46,000 social media followers.

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Hormel Foods celebrates record year, honors Avure

It’s been a big year for our friends at Hormel. In January, the food giant celebrated record earnings, and last month it announced its purchase of Applegate, the top maker of HPP natural and organic meats.

We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the growth. For the second year in a row, Hormel honored Avure with its Spirit of Excellence Award, which recognizes the company’s partners who “go above and beyond” to help it achieve its goals.

“It’s an honor to help a great partner like Hormel help surpass its expectations,” said Jeff Williams, CEO of Avure. “We believe we don’t just build HPP machines, but we forge partnerships that drive long-term growth. This award strengthens that belief.”

Hormel highlighted much of its recent success to its foodservice division and refrigerated foods segment, which feature all natural meats treated on Avure’s high pressure processing machines.

“Our ability to identify new customers and deliver on-trend menu solutions through a talented and unique sales team has allowed us to exceed industry growth rates,” said Deanna T. Brady, group vice president, Hormel foodservice.

Applegate joins the Hormel family

“A growing number of consumers are choosing natural and organic products. This deal allows us to expand the breadth of our protein offerings to provide consumers more choice,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, CEO of Hormel Foods. “Together, we can provide a faster path to expanded offerings in this high-growth category.”

The future is bright – and full of tasty HPP offerings.

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Can’t pronounce it? Don’t eat it, says Panera.

What’s on Panera’s menu? Not potassium lactate, maltodextrin, BHT or sulfur dioxide. The bakery and sandwich chain recently announced it would give more than 150 artificial ingredients the heave-ho to win the trust of consumers.

"People are continuing to be much more conscious of what they put in their bodies,” said Panera CEO Ron Shaich in an interview with the Associated Press.

“I want to serve everyone the food I want my daughter to eat.”


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What’s in a food scientist’s fridge?

In the lab, our food scientists abide by an unwritten rule: no matter how loud your stomach rumbles, do not – under any circumstances – grab a quick snack from the test kitchen fridge.

Why? Because “Peach Mint Mango Chutney – 3/6/15 - Stability & Microbiological Profile Analysis” isn’t meant for consumption.

Fortunately, at home, those rules don’t apply. So we thought it would be interesting to find out what HPP foods and drinks our food scientists stock in their personal fridges.

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