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Arnold Coombs of Coombs Family Farms Talks New Products and Maple Category Growth

Arnold Coombs of Coombs Family Farms Talks New Products and Maple Category Growth


BRATTLEBORO, VT
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

From an early age, I developed an affinity for maple syrup, and I mean the real stuff—none of that high-fructose “pancake syrup” business. I craved pure maple syrup. Unlike the gloopy, highly-processed impersonators, real maple syrup provides a complex and unique flavor that is a more elevated and versatile product. Coombs Family Farms has spent the last seven generations honing its skills in the woods of Vermont, where it has become one of the top producers of maple products in the U.S.

Arnold Coomb, Director of Sales and Marketing, Coombs Family Farms, credit: Russell French Photography“My family began working in maple 176 years ago—I am the seventh generation,” commented Arnold Coombs, Director of Sales and Marketing. “When I was three, I was riding behind in the tractor while family members tapped trees. Today, Coombs Family Farms still works with family sugarmakers. We source maple from more than 3,000 small family farms across the Northeast who share our commitment to sustainable forestry and high-quality maple.”

With consumers shifting away from high-fructose corn syrup and other processed sweeteners, maple holds a unique place in the market. Sometimes called the “smarter sweetener,” maple provides a natural alternative to processed sugar and chemical sweeteners, while at the same time providing extra flavor and several health benefits, Arnold told me.

Coombs Family Farms has spent the last seven generations honing its skills in the woods of Vermont, credit: Russell French Photography

“Pure maple has a unique chemical composition with micronutrients and phytonutrients including polyphenols,” he said. “More than 67 bioactive natural plant compounds have been found with potential health benefits. Pure maple consumption has been associated with controlling blood sugar, better brain and liver health, reducing chronic inflammation, producing healthy gut biome, and even preventing wrinkles."

Health-conscious consumers are beginning to turn to maple products as not just a breakfast table staple, but as a viable substitute for traditional sweeteners. Coombs Family Farms produces organic and 100 percent pure maple syrup in various grades, sizes, and formats, including its Maple Stream “sprayable” maple syrup that the company launched in January of this year. The first-of-its-kind syrup comes in a seven-oz recyclable spray can that streams out real maple syrup.

Maple Stream is a no-mess option for consumer craving pure maple syrup, credit: Russell French Photography

“Maple Stream is great for families and is convenient, eco-friendly, and fun. In talking with parents, we found that they were reluctant to give their children real maple syrup because they wasted it. Yet, they want their kids to stay away from high-fructose corn syrup and chemical sweeteners. Maple Stream makes it easy for parents to choose real maple, and super fun for kids,” said Arnold.

Portion-controlled, Grade A organic maple syrup is available at the push of a button, and with no flammable propellants, consumers can rest assured that their no-mess dose of rich tasting, amber colored syrup is completely pure. It’s no surprise that Maple Stream has gotten an enthusiastic response from parents, kids, and consumers of all sorts. Maple Stream is now available nationwide through the company’s online store; natural food stores; cooperatives; and major retailers like Weis Markets, Market Basket, H-E-B, and more.

Coombs Family Farms isn’t content to invent a dynamite product and then stop—the company is working with retailers to grow the entire maple category. Although often thought of as a winter or early spring flavor, Arnold contends that maple is too good a taste to relegate to one or two seasons. Instead, Coombs Family Farms challenges its consumers to expand their minds and palates when thinking of the one-of-a-kind flavor.

Coombs sources maple from more than 3,000 small family farms across the Northeast, credit: Russell French Photography

“While maple is delicious in breakfast and lends a rich taste when used in desserts, it’s also great in vegetables, salads, and sides. A few tablespoons of pure maple coaxes out the earthy sweetness of vegetables. Maple-glazed roasted Brussels sprouts or root vegetables are energizing to the tastebuds,” Arnold commented. “Maple also gives vinaigrettes a special touch on salads, especially with nuts, seeds, or cheese. Barbecue and grilling recipes are easily enhanced with a bit of maple to balance smoky or spicy flavors, and at the bar, maple is a festive substitute to simple syrup, making any cocktail special.”

Coombs Family Farms encourages consumers to take to its website for inspiration where the company posts inventive recipes like maple ginger roasted grapefruit and spring veggie tart with maple chevre. Whether consumers are spritzing Maple Stream on their waffles, using it to concoct a culinary masterpiece, or spraying it directly into their mouths, Coombs Family Farms’ maple products set the standard for both flavor and innovation.

For more specialty food news, keep reading Deli Market News.

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