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Tariffs and the threat of tariffs…it’s a new age of bargaining being wielded by the White House as well as other countries in response. And whether your view of this is positive or negative, as with any move in global trade, there are implications to consider for your packaging strategy. In fact, there are even a number of reasons to be bullish on the future, especially with U.S.-based manufacturing.

To put things in perspective, here is an excellent graphic from Statista that shows what has happened thus far on the tariff front:
 

This graphic from Statista does a nice job of summarizing the key actions that have happened between the U.S. and China since the latest trade war began in the summer of 2018. And while no tariffs have yet to be levied against Mexico, the threat is there. Image Courtesy: Statista

 
To help make sense of this and what it means for your flexible packaging needs, here are some quotes from Portco’s Rich Castillo, VP of Operations:
We are paying close attention to the developing global trade situation and the implications it could have for our suppliers. Part of our strategy when developing supply chain partners has been to ensure that we source domestically as much as possible, and that when we need to work with companies that import materials, it is done in such a manner that we don’t have supply coming from just one area of the world. This strategy has served us well over time as we have been able to minimize the impact of the costs associated with things such as forces of nature, labor strikes and slowdowns at our ports and now, shifts in global trade policies.

And now a quote from Portco’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Linda Malmstadt:

The cost implications are widening for companies that are importing their packaging materials.  With the full 25% tariff now in place for products out of China, the potential for 5% on all goods from Mexico, and the ending of special trade treatment with India as a developing country, there could be significant direct and indirect cost impact on overall packaging costs.

And now, with a deal just struck with Mexico (warding off a trade war on the home front), the current administration is pushing back even more on China. More tariffs could be levied. We know this is more than just a threat having seen the current action on tariffs come to pass. So, the time for planning and action is now. Don’t get caught in a bad tariff position.
 

Some Good Tariff Articles for Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to consider when looking into the current trade war and how it might impact your company.

Trump levels new tariff threat against China, defends Mexico showdown
US Stocks Climb After US Suspends Tariffs on Mexican Goods
Tariff Battle With Mexico Ends, But What About Trade War With China?
One Tariff Crisis Is Averted. What’s Next?
 

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Blind taste testing a meatless burger against the “real thing?” How might you fare? I have to say, as an admitted “regular burger” consumer, it’s tough to imagine not being able to instantly tell the difference. That said, and as are many saying in the comments I’ve been reading, “Even the most ardent “burger eaters” out there are having a heck of time picking what’s real meat and not. Of course, most of us are familiar with the real damage done to the planet (and not to mention animals) by the mass production of meat for our protein needs. Countless articles have been written about the pluses of avoiding “meat,” stemming from the vegetarian angle over how it’s far more healthy to eat plants, to the environmental angle, which shows the negative planetary impact nurturing large animals for our consumption truly makes. However, “real meat” still sees a huge level of use. Yet…with plant-based, meat-fooling alternatives (and plant-based beverages) out there, and getting better and better, solid and fast-growing inroads are being made. In fact, check these recent stats from a few recent articles:
 

  • Plant-based food and beverage sales in 2018 exceeded $3.7 billion in the United States, rising 17% over 2017, and there are few signs the pace of category growth is going to decelerate (source: Food Business News article, Quoting The Good Food Institute, Washington).
  • Thirty per cent or about a third of consumers are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption, but they don’t want to sacrifice taste (source: Food Business News article, Quoting Caroline Bushnell, associate director of corporate engagement for the Good Food Institute).
  • When our editorial team tried the final product, the kitchen fell silent. Nobody could believe how good it was. The texture may have been a little soft, but overall, everyone was seriously impressed (source: Eater.com’s article which quotes Tasting Table’s review of Beyond Burger).
     

    Just look at this “burger” on the grill. Tough to tell… Image Courtesy: BeyondMeat.com

      Are Meatless Alternatives Healthier? Tastier?

    Well, this is a real question worth pondering. So looking into this, there is a great deal of research being done (with many new ingredients launched) that are firmly advancing the taste, texture, look and color of meatless alternatives. One burger even “bleeds (red beet juice)” as it cooks. Things have come quite far since the first Gardenburger’s. I also found the following links that will allow you to dive as deep as you wish. That said, it’s not a complete panacea. Here’s a nutrition-based quote from Livestrong.com to kick this element off:
     

    In general, you’ll get less fat and calories and more fiber in veggie burgers than in their beef counterparts. The downside is veggie burgers are higher in sodium — although still in a moderate range — and lower in protein. When you eat veggie burgers, you typically get three times less total fat and seven times less saturated fat than when you eat average beef burgers, according to the American Dietetic Association. You also consume 3 to 4 grams of fiber, whereas beef burgers have no fiber.
     
    Here are some additional links to explore this topic:
  • Food Business News article “Plant protein innovation is accelerating”
  • Eater.com’s article The Verdict Is in on Beyond Burger, the Meatless Burger That ‘Bleeds’
  • Livestrong’s article Vegetable Burgers vs. Beef
  • My Own Taste Testing Plans

    O.K. So I’m on a mission now. Consider this article step 1 of 2. I’ll be making my (semi-famous) tacos with the Beyond Meat’s Meatless Crumbles…Feisty Version. I’ll work to test a few folks “blind” to see how they react. Hopefully I can get a few good pics of people being amazed (assuming they are amazed) with the great, meatless taste. Now…just to keep a watch on the sodium…
     

    My personal test will be cooking my (semi) famous tacos with this Beyond Beef Feisty Crumble. Reporting back soon… Image Composition: Dan Meyers; Individual Images: BeyondBeef and Auguson Farm

     
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    Care about your dog or cat? I sure as heck do. And that is precisely why I switched to NW Naturals for my dog’s daily meals. All natural raw or freeze dried, you are getting pure, whole proteins, fruits and vegetables with zero grain and not one single preservative. Sure that means a tiny bit more prep each time I go to fill my dog’s dish, since the food is raw and must be stored in the fridge or freezer. And sure this food ebbs toward the spendier side, but like nearly all other things in life…you simply get what you pay for. Just listen to my personal experience with my dog Bella. 

    Yeah. Bella, normally a dog of few words, will sit in the utility room around feeding time…just waiting. It’s all about the new food. So funny, but I love it! Image Courtesy: Dan Meyers

    Now 7 and-a-half years old, and in the company of my six and three-year-old daughters, Bella doesn’t get quite as much exercise as she used to when she was posing as our warm-up child. Over the years, Bella ballooned a little bit from a healthy weight of about 70 pounds to the mid 90’s. Feedback from the vet was pretty stern, “Get Bella to lose some weight or risk her developing conditions that could shorten her life.” Boom. Enough for me!

    Hopefully you can tell from the pictures here, but wow! With no change in activity level, and only a switch to NW Naturals Raw Beef Recipe, this happened in only 3 months. So cool. Images Courtesy: Dan Meyers

    As recommended by the vet, settling on some form of a raw food diet would not only help Bella with her weight, but also give her more energy, improve her coat, and almost surely extend her life. After quite a bit of research, I settled on raw food from local brand Northwest Naturals. In just under six months, Bella has lost 28 pounds and now hits the scale at a weight firmly in the healthy zone.

    Needless to say, I have been an evangelist ever since. I simply can’t say enough. So, let’s just check out Bellas’ reaction at dinner time:

    Northwest naturals can be found in several stores throughout the region. Here are some useful links to explore this awesome solution to keeping your pet healthy and around for a long time.

    Bella Loving NW Naturals - Vimeo

    Bella lets you know directly what she thinks of NW Naturals… Video Courtesy: Dan Meyers and Bella

    So perhaps your interest is now peaked after seeing what has happened with Bella. Bravo! I too was won over, but only after the urging from my vet and the subsequent transformation. That said, here are some additional resources to read up on raw food diets and NW Naturals in particular:

    Why Raw Food?

    NW Naturals Website

    NW Naturals Products

    Where to Buy

    What Other Dogs and Cats Think About NW Naturals

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    Who in the world doesn’t just love mashed potatoes? I’m not sure I’ve met anyone that doesn’t count themselves in this group. Indeed, mashed potatoes have long been a staple to many a meal, especially during the holidays, or when looking to balance a meat and vegetable meal. And now Idahoan, the preeminent producer of packaged potato and soup products, has won “Product of the Year, Side Dish Category” for its Idahoan® Family Size Mashed Potatoes. And hey, this award is no joke. According to PR Newswire: 

    Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation, where winners are determined by the votes of 40,000 consumers in a nationally representative survey conducted by research partner Kantar, a global leader in consumer research.

    Well, having served these very potatoes myself, on more than one occasion, it is very easy to see why Idahoan has emerged as this year’s winner. In fact, I think a great commercial for Idahoan would be a situation similar to the old “Pepsi Challenge,” made popular in the 1980’s. Blindfold the taster and let them try grandma’s mashed potatoes up against Idahoan…and see who wins. My guess is folks would have a very hard time telling the difference between true “homemade” and those from this esteemed food maker. I’m sure several people would pick Idahoan outright…they are that good.

    Oh my oh my, if I hadn’t just eaten lunch I’d be trying to reach through the screen on this one! These Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes from Idahoan just won “Product of the Year, Side Dish Category…” Soo darn tasty. Image Courtesy: Idahoan.com Here’s the full selection of Family Size Idahoan mashed potatoes available at present. Too many potatoes, too little time!!! Image Courtesy: Idahoan.com

    The folks at Idahoan are, of course, appreciative of the award as they continue to be recognized for excellence. To be sure, this isn’t the first time the company has been recognized for its “genius level” products. Just google Idahoan and you’ll see what I mean. Hands down, these are the best, off-the-shelf potatoes you can buy. Here’s a quote from Ryan Ellis, Vice President of Retail Marketing at Idahoan:

    “It is such an honor that Idahoan® Family Size Mashed Potatoes have been selected as a 2019 Product of the Year Award winner. Coming on the heels of IRI sales data from 2018 that helped Idahoan® earn the title of America’s Favorite Mashed Potatoes, we’re proud to receive such a meaningful recognition from Product of the Year.”

    – Ryan Ellis, Vice President of Retail Marketing at Idahoan

    A full list of winners, in 36 product categories, can be view here:  productoftheyearusa.com. You can follow along socially with #POYUSA2019 on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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    Dairy innovator and global “best of dairy” brand Tillamook Cheese is rebranding itself and the new look is very, very cool. Inspired by some brand designs considered in the 1950’s (yes, Tillamook has been around a long time…110 years to be exact), the new logo and color treatments are bold, clean and, well, simply gorgeous. Take a gander at a few upcoming products that we’ll be happy to see here in Portland, Seattle, and a few other markets:

    Tillamook never ceases to amaze with its creative and VERY tasty ice cream flavors. The company incorporates many NW brands and products into its offerings; a great example is Pendleton Whiskey & Maple Frozen Custard (not pictured here). So cool. Image Courtesy: Tillamook Cheese

      Tillamook’s Products Expanding, Consumer-driven

    Tillamook Cheese has been growing, fast. In fact, rapid national expansion over the past five years has created 60% growth in the company and generated over $800 million in sales (2017). That’s up from $477 million in 2012. Wow. And with all that growth, new product ideas have been sought, mostly via consumer feedback. Indeed, Tillamook truly listens to its consumers and has made many product decisions based on this input. Makes sense, right? Listen to those who buy from you already. Brand loyalty x2. On this point, here’s an excerpt from Food Business News:

    “Consumers play a central role in research and development at Tillamook. The recently launched Sauce Starters line was inspired by a comment from a participant at a focus group. The just-add-milk cheese sauce mixes include seasoning blends and feature varieties such as creamy alfredo, aged cheddar, spicy queso and three cheese.

    We have a range of ways of engaging with consumers as we develop products,” Mr. Criteser said. “In some cases, it’s the more typical focus group structure or setting. We also spend time with consumers in their kitchens or in their gatherings with friends in their living rooms. We also invite them in to one of our R.&D. facilities or offices and ask them to taste and give feedback and cook with a product.

    In this quest to provide something that’s new in the marketplace, that’s still on-brand but meeting an unmet need for consumers, we try to have as much interaction with consumers in those various ways as we can.”

    Also from Food Business News, check out this new lineup of consumer-driven products:

    “The latest addition is slated to debut in March. Tillamook Cheeseboard is a line of premium snack packs featuring cheese, crackers and fruit spread. Varieties include Sharp Berry Crunch, with sharp white cheddar cheese, marionberry spread and rosemary crackers; Spicy Berry Bite, with Pepper Jack cheese, marionberry spread and multigrain crackers; Smoky Apple Crisp, with smoked medium cheddar cheese, apple spread and olive oil crackers; and Sharp Strawberry Heat, with sharp white cheddar cheese, spicy strawberry spread and rosemary crackers.

    The products will launch in select markets, including Portland, Ore.; Seattle and Spokane, Wash., and Denver.”

    There has been some stated consumer interest in plant-based products (a big trend these days), but Tillamook plans on sticking to its dairy guns. They are a dairy company afterall, so they’ll continue to do what they do best, all the while innovating within that realm. Here’s a quote on this element, again from the Food Business News article:

    “We’re a dairy company, so we stay focused on how we produce dairy products that consumers are going to choose as part of their diet,” Mr. Criteser (Tillamook CEO) said. “At this point we’re not considering adding any plant-based products to supplement our main brand offering. I’m not sure if we would ever do that in the future. It’s not something we’re thinking about right now.”

    Some More, New Branding Looks

    Here’s the look, once again, applied to some classics and some new, cheese-based items:

    Some of Tillamook’s core products are shown here, with the new branding. Very sharp, very smoky! Pun intended of course! Image Courtesy: Tillamook Cheese

    Here again, I am really enjoying this new look as it just seems to flow so well. The cursive, stylized font seems to jibe with all the cool chalkboard signage we’ve been seeing these days. Hats off Tillamook!

    Just check out these bold colors. While this design and look was being entertained almost 65 years ago, it’s amazing how perfect a fit it is for today. Full circle. Image Courtesy: Tillamook Cheese
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    When it comes to consumer food products in the grocery aisle or other point of sale, the packaging of the product is almost as important as the product itself when it comes to influencing the consumer’s buying decision. Packaging must be well designed and presented, be fit for use when it comes to storage requirements and conditions, and be easy to open and convenient to prepare. In addition to this there are a number of other challenges for food and packaging manufacturers, including safe transport and storage, control of freshness, and attractive shelf presence.

    The market for convenient, easy to prepare prepackaged foods continues to grow at a brisk pace. This growth is a result of the consumer’s desire for the convenience of pre-packaged foods that minimize meal preparation time. Packaging technology plays a key role in the ability of food suppliers to offer case-ready products, specifically the ability to offer flexible-packaging films that are tailored to match the specific food product to maximize its shelf life. New laser solutions from Portco provide answers to these challenges!
     

    The Comexi Proslit Cingular Laser (patent pending) guarantees the utmost accuracy in applications such as easy open, perforation, pre-cut, numbering, slitting and alphanumeric codes. Image Courtesy: Comexi

      First of its Kind in the US

    Operational by the second quarter of this year, Portco Packaging is the first US Company to invest in Comexi’s award winning technology, Proslit Cingular Laser (patent pending). According to the World Packaging Organization, “Comexi’s Cingular Laser is a revolution in the slitting and rewinding sector of flexible packaging, an in-line laser system that can be fully integrated in-line to any of Comexi’s slitters which guarantees the utmost accuracy in applications such as easy open, perforation, pre-cut, numbering, slitting and alphanumeric codes. The Comexi Cingular Laser is founded on the high quality of its laser, which is able to work in the most demanding jobs. The application incorporates complex software and laser control systems that enable the converter to create any shape in any direction of the packaging and at any speed, ensuring a perfect web tension control system.”
     

    An Intelligent Choice for Smart Packaging!

    Supercharge your packaging with the technology that laser offers. Whether it’s easy open, fast meal prep or lasting longer on the shelf, convenient, sophisticated and safe packaging is all about the ingredients! Add laser to your mix for an enhanced product experience.

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    The long term success of a company has much to do with hard work, staying ahead of the industry curve, treating people well and truly caring about what you and your organization do. Pride of ownership can pervade, positively, as can innovation and rewarding the people and processes that take you forward. Attention to these details, along with an unabating thirst to be the best across multiple generations, has been the recipe for Portco Packaging and why we will be celebrating our 85th year of healthy existence in 2019. We are extremely grateful.
     

    Howard Milton Wall began his entrepreneurial pursuit during the Great Depression by selling low-cost ping pong tables he built by hand out of reclaimed plywood. The first version of the soldier logo, The Major, was born at this time and followed Howard over to Portco when he later launched the company.

     
    From very humble beginnings that harken the American dream, from a time when times were tough indeed (The Great Depression), the entrepreneurial start of Portco, and its celebrated soldier icon, began of all things as a ping pong table making business. Yes, Howard Milton Wall started things off, taking a risk, when the country was down. 1934 to be exact, just five years after Black Tuesday. Well, I could tell it all here, but let’s take a moment to read what has been written about this great story, and how it all fed into what Portco Packaging represents today. Following this, we’ll take a look at the Portco soldier and how this classic icon has morphed over the decades into the soldier of today.
     
    The Long Dangerous Life of the Portco Soldier:

    The Portco Soldier’s birth pre-dates my father, Howard Milton Wall’s ownership of Portco. When Howard was in his early twenties, the depression was in full swing. When he had to drop out of college, jobs were scarce. So, he had the idea of using reject plywood, in those days just few knots meant rejection, to make ping pong tables, as table tennis was cheap, and therefore popular. He named his start up, Major Manufacturing. His logo was a wooden toy soldier a “major”, really a woodcut that could be stamped on his ping pong tables, stamped on his home made business cards and his home made stationary. He finally got a job as a salesman for Perfection Twine Company. In 1934 he and my uncle purchased the company and renamed it Portco. He brought his “major” with him and began using it for Portco’s logo, for no other reason than that he liked the little fellow.

    As you know, the “soldier” has changed greatly over the years and along the way lost his rank. Starting as a Major then becoming a “Sentry” and then a lowly “Guard.” Products were named after him, Lumber Guard and Beam Guard and he felt proud. But there was a conspiracy in the 1980s to kill him, he was thought to be too old fashioned. But he is a tough old boy and still guards the Portco Community and all our products as a symbol of safety, longevity and quality. – Macy Wall, Chairman of the Board

     

    Here Portco Packaging is shown in its SW Washington locations over the last 85 years. A second location opened in Toppenish, Wa. in 2013. You can see the soldier logo in the form it was for each year. Click Picture to Enlarge. Image Courtesy: Portco Packaging

     
    And now for a version of Portco’s overall story from some of the family at Portco today:
     

    Here the history of Portco is told by members of the Portco family. Click Picture to Enlarge. Image Courtesy: Portco Packaging

      Flexible Packaging Full Circle

    Needless to say, we here at Portco are extremely thankful for all of our wonderful employees and our quality, loyal customers. The relationships we’ve built both inside the organization and up and down our supply chain have been the difference maker on so many occasions. The family run atmosphere at Portco has allowed us to flourish by allowing new ideas, innovation and energy to feed our business and help us to maintain our strict adherence to safety and quality. We’ve made it this far because we truly care. In the end, Portco is and has always been a great place to work. A place where pride is felt throughout. So, as the holidays come and go and we ring in the New Year, our birthday will approach and we will have much to celebrate. Let’s keep doing great things together!
     

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    Smog is a silent killer. The air that we breathe in each day in many cities is being polluted by trucks, automobiles, burning oil and coal, and other fossil fuels. Millions of people are subjected to serious health concerns from smog, which is composed of very small particles and toxic pollutants. This should come as little surprise as, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average adult breathes in over 3,000 gallons of air every day. And by pound of body weight, children breath in even more and are thus even more susceptive to air pollution. Of course, its not just humans that suffer from the effects of smog, animals do too (although there is less study on this).

    Nope those aren’t rain clouds! That’s smog and it is far from healthy to breath. Image Courtesy: Seattletimes.com

     
    So why are we talking about smog here today? Well…it’s all about a move by Malarkey Roofing:
    Minnesota-based manufacturer 3M has created a material for roofing shingles that, when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, breaks down smog particles so they can be washed away by rainfall, thereby reducing pollution.
    Enter Malarkey Roofing: Signing on to Drastically Reduce Smog

    With this important innovation now available from 3M, a top, U.S. manufacturer of roofing shingles, Malarkey Roofing, is now utilizing 3M’s smog reducing granules in ALL of its roofing shingles. I think it’s time for a new roof! And get this, according to Josh Orman, strategy and marketing manager at 3M:

    Malarkey’s products have already reduced an amount of smog equivalent to 100,000 trees. We hope next year it’s 200,000 and the year after that 400,000.

    Read more about this great move by Malarkey Roofing here.
    Read more about the major health issues that smog brings to us here in the U.S.
     

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    Smog is a silent killer. The air that we breathe in each day in many cities is being polluted by trucks, automobiles, burning oil and coal, and other fossil fuels. Millions of people are subjected to serious health concerns from smog, which is composed of very small particles and toxic pollutants. This should come as little surprise as, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average adult breathes in over 3,000 gallons of air every day. And by pound of body weight, children breath in even more and are thus even more susceptive to air pollution. Of course, its not just humans that suffer from the effects of smog, animals do to (although there is less study on this).

    Nope those aren’t rain clouds! That’s smog and it is far from healthy to breath. Image Courtesy: Seattletimes.com

     
    So why are we talking about smog here today? Well…it’s all about a move by Malarkey Roofing:
    Minnesota-based manufacturer 3M has created a material for roofing shingles that, when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, breaks down smog particles so they can be washed away by rainfall, thereby reducing pollution.
    Enter Malarkey Roofing: Signing on to Drastically Reduce Smog

    With this important innovation now available from 3M, a top, U.S. manufacturer of roofing tiles, Malarkey Roofing, is now utilizing 3M’s smog reducing granules in ALL of its roofing tiles. I think it’s time for a new roof! And get this, according to says Josh Orman, strategy and marketing manager at 3M:

    Malarkey’s products have already reduced an amount of smog equivalent to 100,000 trees. We hope next year it’s 200,000 and the year after that 400,000.

    Read more about this great move by Malarkey Roofing here.
    Read more about the major health issues that smog brings to us here in the U.S.
     

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    Thanksgiving comes but once a year and when it does roll around, well, most of us are either planning, or planning to attend, a fabulous dinner. Family recipes abound, as do old traditions. However, once in a while it’s nice to add a new recipe or two to the mix. Thus, have a look at this collection of wonderful dishes, both sweet and savory. Heck, there’s even some recipes for your dog! Enjoy!
     

    Ajinomoto: Ling-Ling “Snake Bites”

    Snake Bites: Potstickers wrapped in bacon, brushed with sriracha-hoisin sauce, and baked golden brown – Yum! Image Courtesy: Ling Ling Frozen Food

    For an excellent appetizer or warm-up before the big meal, check out this tasty bite from Ling-Ling, a brand of the Ajinomoto Group. Follow this RECIPE HERE link to the Ling-Ling website to get all the wonderful details.
      Florida Crystals: Green Bean Casserole with Candied Corn and Bacon

    This is a modern twist on an old classic. You simply can’t go wrong here! Image Courtesy: FloridaCrystals.com

    This wonderful side dish serves up a twist on an otherwise expected dish at Thanksgiving. Heck, I wouldn’t consider it a full meal without some tasty green beans…and these are to die for! Follow this RECIPE HERE link for all the tasty details.
      C&H Sugar: Brown Sugar Pound Cake

    This Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe from C&H will have the whole family talking, in a sweet way. Image Courtesy: CHSugar.com

    One really doesn’t need an excuse (like a holiday) to make pound cake. One of my very favorite things, I’m excited to try this recipe for Brown Sugar Pound Cake from C&H Sugar myself. Follow this RECIPE HERE link for all the sweet details.
      Idahoan: Potato Rolls

    These potato rolls are just what you need to soak up all that gravy! Image Courtesy: kqed.org

    A Thanksgiving dinner without rolls, well, not quite the same. And while you might already have a great dinner roll recipe, do consider this amazing take on a critical item. Get the baked fresh details from great brand Idahoan by following this RECIPE HERE link. Hint: They also make WONDERFUL mashed potatoes of the “faster than from scratch” variety.
      Litehouse Foods: Herbed Holiday Sweet Potatoes

    This wonderful sweet potato dish cuts the carbs and brings the savory! Image Courtesy: Litehouse Foods

    With sweet potatoes containing less carbs than classic white potatoes, going the “sweet potato route” when making your mashed can be a healthier track. That said, this lovely recipe makes it tough to choose between either, healthy considerations aside. Follow this RECIPE HERE link for the low-down on this great dish.
      Sher: Southern Cornbread

    Employing one of the great flours from Sher (of the Sher Atta Family of Products) can only take your cornbread to the next level. Image Courtesy: SimplyRecipes.com

    Along with dinner rolls, cornbread is a very important item on the Thanksgiving table. A quality angle is to utilize one of the great flours from the Sher brand. They even have a sweet corn flour that, I believe, could make this extra special. Explore the various FLOURS you might utilize here…and see the RECIPE HERE link for directions on a few different ways to make this dish. Mmmmm…I can smell it baking from here!
      Attune Foods’ BulkGranola.com: Vanilla Almond Granola Squares

    Thanksgiving is all about food…and desserts are a key part of that. Can’t go wrong here with this lovely recipe that utilizes some wonderful granola from the Attune Foods familyBulkGranola.com Image Courtesy: bulkgranola.com

    Desserts abound at Thanksgiving, so this recipe for Vanilla Almond Granola Squares will not only fit right in, it’ll add wonderfully. Just don’t count on any leftovers! Get the details via this RECIPE HERE link.
      Harry’s Fresh: Cranberry Sauce

    Making cranberry sauce is an art…and one that can take a good while. That said, Harry’s Cranberry Relish will pass the taste challenge. Which is from scratch and which is Harry’s? Image Courtesy: Samsclub.com

    Harry’s Cranberry Relish is absolutely wonderful and will rival (or even surpass) most from-scratch concoctions. I dare you to do a blind taste test pitting Harry’s against your grandmother’s recipe ;). And sometimes you need to get things together quickly…so follow this CRANBERRIE SAUCE link to find out more about this great product from Harry’s Fresh.
      Columbia Fruit: Mixed Berry Smoothies

    The Three Fruit and Yogurt Blend from Columbia-Fruit needs little help in making a fantastic dessert! Image Courtesy: Columbia-Fruit

    Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be awaiting dessert after the big meal. A nice, fruit and yogurt smoothie goes along way in this particular role. Follow this RECIPE HERE link to get the low-down on this wonderful, sweet drink.
      Tillamook Cheese: Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cheesy Dippers

    What a great way to serve a truly 5-star soup. Gotta hand it to Tillamook on this one…just beautiful. And then the taste…wow! Soup’s on for sure this Thanksgiving! Image Courtesy: Tillamook.com

    A hearty and creamy pumpkin soup makes a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving meal. And what Tillamook Cheese has created here is both gorgeous and truly tasty. Utilizing pumpkins as serving bowls, well, your table is going to look as amazing the food tastes upon it! Get the lovely details via this RECIPE HERE link.
      Ruiz Foods’ El Monterey: Taquito Quiche Cups

    Corn, nacho cheese, green onions, bacon & (crushed) El Monterey Beef Steak Corn Taquitos…just a few of the very tasty ingredients going into these “perfect for Thanksgiving” quiche cups. Image Courtesy: wikipedia.com

    Some don’t think of Mexican-style dishes for Thanksgiving. Well, look no further…this Mexican dish from Ruiz Foods and its brand El Monterey will stun. Perfect as an appetizer, get all the yummy details via this RECIPE HERE link.
      Oregon Ice Cream: Eat it as is!

    Oregon Ice Cream feature three, incredible brands that will leave you with a difficult decision: Which to buy? Well, how about buying them all! Image Courtesy: OregonIceCream.com

    Oregon Ice Cream represents a family of three ice cream brands: Alden’s Organic, Julie’s Organic and Cascade Glacier. And while one can utilize ice cream in so many different ways, most of the time it’s just good right out of the package. So…follow one of the links and have at it. Better yet, get a selection from all three and grace your Thanksgiving table with a host of frozen treats!
      Plonkers: Popcorn for Days!

    Much like ice cream, popcorn, when prepared well like Plonkers does, needs little or no extra work. Just buy and serve! Image Courtesy: PlonkersPopcorn.com

    Much like the dilemma posed by Oregon Ice Cream and its three brands, Plonkers Popcorn makes the most incredible, pre-popped popcorn in a wide variety of flavors. Your toughest task here is choosing. Follow this POPCORN LINK here to see what’s on offer and where to find it!
      Hazelnut Growers of Oregon

    Grilled salmon with hazelnut lemon sauce. Hmmm….this could rival the turkey or ham on the table this Thanksgiving! Image Courtesy: Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (center image). Wikipedia (background image).

    Turkey and/or ham are two of the staples at Thanksgiving. That said, this dish from Hazelnut Growers of Oregon just might cause you to switch it up…or at least add to. Hazelnut lemon sauce on salmon…wow that sounds good. Get the lovely details via this RECIPE HERE link.
     

    Now, we would be remiss by not including a few items for our furry friends. Here are some great, pet-related brands with some tasty treats you could offer them on this upcoming holiday!
     

    Northwest Naturals: Turkey

    Treat your dog to some amazing turkey from Northwest Naturals…he or she will feel like they are a part of Thanksgiving dinner! Image Courtesy: https://nw-naturals.net

    While most or all of the “for humans” turkey might get eaten by, well, the humans, this very healthy and high-quality turkey from Northwest Naturals should make Fido feel like they are a direct part of the celebration. See this great pet food via this TURKEY LINK. Perhaps add a bit of gravy on top!
     

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