Greetings Fellow Foodies!
September 19th, 2011

“So you’re telling me I get to research and think about food and drinks all day long? Read and write about the latest on-goings in the big, fun world of cuisine? Dig through a database of the latest food and beverage products launched around the world? Oh, and then I get to actually eat and drink some of the latest and greatest new food finds?” (I know. Be jealous.)

Those were some of the immediate thoughts that swirled through my head as I began getting my bearings here at David Michael and Company as the new Marketing and Consumer Insights Manager. As I’m heading into my third month of being here, I’m quickly getting more acclimated with every passing day and really beginning to feel like a part of the tight family that makes DM such a special place to work.

I’m also realizing, very quickly, the inherent potential in me to morph into a complete and utter food nerd. Oh yea, believe it. In just under three months I’ve gone from library-dwelling nerd level to suspender-snapping, pocket-protector wearing nerd level. And. I. Love. It. So put some tape on my glasses and hand me the latest edition of Flavor & The Menu…if being a food nerd is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Greetings Fellow Foodies

I get genuinely enthused about diving into research projects, creating various trend reports and perusing through the dozens of different food and beverage publications we subscribe to. I now get to experience the delicious and ever-evolving universe of food in an entirely new way. And I couldn’t be more excited to start sharing it with you! So stay tuned…

Reflections on the Roadshow
April 27th, 2011

2011 Innovations Roadshow room 267

It’s hard to believe that another Innovation Roadshow® has come and gone. With 18 months of planning, our annual event was over quicker than you can even say the word “Roadshow.”

Throughout 26 booths, our global technical staff showcased almost 100 new concepts, flavors and technologies that got our attendees’ creative juices flowing.

All that noshing built up energy for presentations on food & beverage trends, alternative natural sweeteners and new EU flavor legislation. And the day culminated with a keynote presentation from Mary Wagner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Research & Development/Quality for Starbucks Coffee Company. Her presentation educated our attendees on how to remain authentic to your brand, yet appeal to the local market to which you are selling.

But back to the food! When it comes to the products we show at our Innovation Showcase, the tabletop exhibit mentioned above, everyone has their favorites – based on personal preference, uniqueness and applicability – but let me share with you some of mine….

Varietal Mint Ice Creams - developed with David Michael’s Michtex® technology

  • Varietal Mint Ice Creams – Inspired by chewing gum, we explored the use of spearmint (paired with blackberry) and wintergreen (paired with vanilla) in ice cream, as well as a new texture. Utilizing David Michael’s Michtex® technology, we were able to replicate the “stretchy” texture of Turkish-style ice cream, also known as dondurma.

 Fortified Fruity Chicken Nuggets Varieties - Cherry Pir and Apple a la Mode

  • Fortified Fruity Chicken Nuggets – For the picky eater in need of a nutritional boost, these nuggets boast vitamins and minerals, or deliver a serving of fruit. Choose from Cherry Lime or Apple Pie a la Mode (coated with real pie crust and vanilla ice cream flavored icing!).

Aloe Beverages - Borojo Rooibos Tea, Old Fashioned Lemonade, and Spiced Peach

  • Aloe Beverages – Each year at the Fancy Foods Show, the number of vendors showing aloe beverages grows and grows. With their sweet taste and flavorful adaptability, why haven’t these taken off? One theory is the large pulp. Our beverage group addressed this with three flavors with varying degrees of pulp. And the flavors! The beverages were shown in Borojo Rooibos Tea, Old Fashioned Lemonade, and Spiced Peach (with cinnamon, vanilla and mastic).

Mood Truffles - Aphrodisiac Foods

  • Mood Truffles – As in get-in-the-mood truffles. We’ve spotted some trends lately pointing toward aphrodisiac foods gaining favor with baby boomers. Anti-aging foods that enhance energy and vitality, are going a step further. The flavors also test our level of comfort, another emerging trend, with oyster and uni (sea urchin roe).

Maghreb Fruit & Almond Smoothie

  • Maghreb Fruit & Almond Smoothie – Not only does this fruit and almond milk smoothie highlight dairy alternatives, and North African flavors (honey fig, and honey fig with orange blossom and cumin), but it’s also a multi-purpose beverage. The smoothies can also be used as sauces for meats.

But these are just a few of the amazing items showcased this year. Learn more about the Innovation Roadshow. To taste samples from this year’s show, or get copies of the presentations, please contact your account manager.

The Best Part About Working for a Global Flavor Company…
April 13th, 2011

…is the cool swag. It’s true. Not only do I get to interact on a daily basis with co-workers worldwide, but we like to trade products, to give each other a taste of what’s out there.

Whether it’s trading American Heath Bars for Mexican Pelon Pelo Rico candy (mango, of course), trying exotic vinegar beverages from China, or giving a visiting French co-worker a tour of the local Whole Foods – we take care of educating each other on local flavor (and feeding those global food cravings).

Recently, our Deputy General Manager of David Michael Beijing contributed a bag of goodies from his local supermarket, which included various flavored Oreos (vanilla ice cream, green tea ice cream, blueberry raspberry and orange mango), seaweed flavored Pringles, candied waxberry (aka, yumberry), and both blueberry and cucumber Lay’s potato chips.

Beijing Goodies - Blueberry and Cucumber Lay’s potato chips - Seaweed Pringles

In Philly, our overall favorite was the Orange Mango Oreo – the flavors were so juicy and authentic – we could definitely see this one working here in the U.S.

Another surprise was the use of cooling sensation in both of the ice cream flavored Oreos, as well as the Lay’s chips. It added a fun dimension (especially with the ice cream flavors) and was exotic to our palates.

If you work for a global flavor company or manufacturer, take advantage of it! Set up a trade program between locations – send new products to each other on a quarterly basis. It’s fun and engaging, and will keep your ideas flowing (not to mention your taste buds interested)!

On the Fence?
February 23rd, 2011

David Michael Innovation Roadshow Convention Floor

By now, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about the David Michael Innovation Roadshow – whether on our Twitter feed, an industry magazine, or right here on this very blog. If you’re a procrastinating gal (or guy) like myself, you may be thinking, “oh yeah…I’ll have to look into that…”

Well, I’m here to tell you that time is running low! We are a mere FIVE weeks away from our eighth annual show – and registrations are at an all-time high.

So, if you’re in need of a little push, I’m here to give it. Below are our top 10 reasons to attend this year…

  1. The Innovation Roadshow is a FREE event! There is no cost other than your travel and accommodations.
  2. You will experience innovative flavors and applications – from out-of-the-box concepts to ideas that are ready for market.
  3. Learn from experts on technologies and regulatory issues that impact product formulation in today’s marketplace.
  4. Re-charge your innovative edge – we’ll get you thinking in new ways!
  5. See and taste product concepts in a variety of categories – from confections and baked goods, to distilled spirits and ice cream!
  6. Learn how to adapt these concepts to your own product line. Think a savory frozen snack concept doesn’t have applications for your cookie line? Think again.
  7. Learn how to create, or adapt, a brand that is market flexible – how to remain authentic, yet appeal to local tastes.
  8. Interact with David Michael’s global creative team, as well as others in your field.
  9. Learn more about current and emerging food and beverage trends.
  10. Taste exotic flavors from around the world!

It’s (almost) Roadshow Time!!!
February 17th, 2011

This last month has been busy, to say the least. As the 2011 Innovation Roadshow® nears, we have been flooded with preparations.

Our Roadshow committee sat down with the David Michael technical team to taste final concepts for the show. (It’s a hard job, folks – but someone’s got to do it!) While I can’t reveal any of the concepts for this year’s show, I’ll give you a few hints…

We’ve got a couple of hand-held foods to show, and at least one gives a new meaning to sweet & savory. One of our ice cream concepts will literally have you playing with your food. A number of exciting new healthy trends will be on display, and with all of the global flavors, you may feel like you’ve toured the world in two hours. Plus, we’re showing an interesting take on the aphrodisiac trend. And, as always, everything tastes FABULOUS!

Of course, once the review is over, it’s time for each of our concepts to get their close-up. Once again, committee members Denis Blais (senior account manager) and Danielle Durso (marketing coordinator), as well as Kelly DeFusco (senior food technologist, bakery & cereal) took over our board room, along with photographer, Anthony Sinagoga for an intensive photography session, styling for this year’s 26 booths!

Below are some behind-the-scenes shots of the photo shoot – be on the lookout for clues!

David Michael Flavors Food Photo Shoot

Just a small selection of the ingredients needed for this shoot.

Denis prepping for Food Photo Shoot - David Michael Flavors

Denis “in the zone.”

Danielle - Food Photo Testing - David Michael Flavors

Danielle tries out the role of photographer for a shot.

Kelly  - Food Styling for Photo Shoot - David Michael Flavors

Kelly styling her own creation!

Chef Anh Nguy - Food Photo Shoot - David Michael Flavors

The group works alongside Chef Anh Nguy.

David Michael Flavors Photo Shoot Team (Clockwise from left, Anthony, Kelly, Denis, Danielle.)

At the end of three long days, the team takes a breather! (Clockwise from left, Anthony, Kelly, Denis, Danielle.)

Tis’ the Season for Giving
December 21st, 2010

This short week before Christmas often involves a lot of running – running to the mall, running to the store, running off cookie weight, running, running, running.

And as my head swims with about a million things that need to be done before my own party on Friday night (cookies, presents, cleaning – oh my!), I wanted to take a moment to brag about the generosity of my wonderful coworkers in Philadelphia.

Recently, we had the opportunity to participate in two separate drives organized by our David Michael Social Committee. Aside from the fun stuff (barbecues, snack days, and chili cook-offs), our social committee is also responsible for coordinating efforts in our local community.

David Michael Social Committee - Donated Food

Our pallet of food, ready for pick-up!

First, our Philadelphia office, labs and plant collected 637 pounds for Philabundance, a Philadelphia-based food bank that distributes throughout the Delaware Valley. And last week, we played Santa Claus for two local families sponsored through St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. We think there’s going to be some very happy kiddies on Christmas morning!

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children - Donated Toys from David Michael Flavors

Organizing all of the toys by child before wrapping.

Each year we strive to go above and beyond the efforts of the year before – which may seem impossible. But each year, we are amazed by the generosity of our coworkers, who continue to raise the bar.

So, that’s my shout out – great job to all of our folks in Philly, especially the Social Committee.

Happy Holidays – gotta run!

A Bit of a Downer….
November 23rd, 2010

I had the pleasure of heading to restaurants twice last week for lunch (typically I’m a brown-bagger) and was surprised to spot full nutritional information under each menu item. Last spring, legislation was passed stating that chain restaurants operating more than 20 locations, were required to list nutritional information for each menu item.

I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve been out to eat…at a chain restaurant, anyway. Or maybe I just hadn’t noticed.

But my response echoed my companions – “Wow, what a downer.”

When you go out to eat, especially when it is not that often, it’s nice to treat yourself. I went out prepared to indulge in some French fries and other less than healthy goodness, but I was blown away by the calorie and sodium counts for some of those menu items. And really, that’s kind of the point.

On the first trip, I felt guilty over my original choice, and opted for a salad instead. After all, there is a bathing-suit wearing vacation in my near future. But by the second trip, I decided to ignore the numbers, and just order what I want.

Now, do not get me wrong, I appreciate the information (especially as that vacation gets nearer), but there are times when I would just rather ignore it and enjoy myself. The other problem I had with this change (at the risk of sounding rather cranky) is that it made the menu REALLY hard to read. There was just too much text, too small, and too crowded.

A solution we discussed at one lunch was a nutritional insert. The menu would look as it did before with more white space and larger text, and an insert, similar to what is used for promotions, would simply list the menu item and nutritional data. That way, the diner has the option to review at their leisure – without the information being so “in your face.” Of course, whether or not that fits into current legislation, I just don’t know. But it’s an option I would rather see.

Sometimes, I just get a feeling…
November 3rd, 2010

There’s a lot of research that goes into predicting trends – reading through countless new product reports, tracking new articles, examining non-food trends for societal influences. All of these things fit into a big puzzle that is constantly changing.

But sometimes, it just comes down to a gut feeling.

Recently, I’ve spotted some announcements for a free Malaysian food truck in New York, sponsored by the “Malaysia Kitchen for the World” organization. This organization sponsored other food-focused events earlier this year as well, bringing traditional Malaysian foods to the residents of New York City.

And today, CNN’s Eatocracy blog (always a fun read, by the way) featured a video on Malaysian street food.

I know…it’s only two mentions…but I’ve got that feeling. Malaysian food is strongly influenced by neighbors Indonesia and Thailand, as well as China, India and Portugal, due to early settlers. Some of these countries’ flavors are currently on-trend, as well, which only adds to the intrigue.

So, it may not be tomorrow. It may not even be next year. But at some point in the not too distant future, I’d say to expect a bit of attention on Malaysian flavors…. I’ve just got a feeling.

Hungry? Try a hearty helping of DMFlavors…
October 11th, 2010

Here at DM, we’re all about flavor – whether it’s in the lab, or at home. Each month, our fabulous chefs develop a new recipe for our enjoyment. The recipes range from quick and easy, to those that require a bit more effort. Some of my personal favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie, Peruvian Chicken and Rice, Summer Rum Tea Punch, and this month’s Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich (a.k.a. Banh Mi). Go ahead and check them out tonight!

Click here for the Recipe of the Month!

Isn’t it time for the Roadshow?
September 22nd, 2010

The Innovation Roadshow is an autumn tradition here at David Michael. Held every October, the Innovation Roadshow is…

Wait a minute… You’re thinking – I haven’t received my invite yet! Do not fret – for the first time in seven years, we’ve moved the show, to the springtime.

Yup! We’re changing the timing this year. Based on attendee feedback, we learned that the spring is a much more convenient time to attend. But don’t worry,  the show is still the classic balance of tabletop exhibition and speaker presentations that you’ve come to love.

Keep an eye on our website for updates over the coming weeks, as well as more information in your mailbox. Don’t think you’re on our mailing list? Drop us a line and let us know you want to receive an invite. Remember, the Innovation Roadshow is an industry only event – food, beverage and foodservice manufacturers only, please.


David Michael Innovation Roadshow®

March 30, 2011

Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA

David Michael & Co. • 10801 Decatur Road • Philadelphia, PA 19154 • 1-800-DM-FLAVORS

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