With an avowed aim to improve snack foods as we know them, an iconic cobalt-colored mascot, and a commitment to using the highest-quality ingredients in its dips and spreads, Blue Moose of Boulder is a compelling organization. The company has made it a point to offer preservative-free, all-natural products to a growing fan base for years. And recently, Blue Moose has reinforced its commitment to creating the best possible hummus by tackling a rigorous organic certification process.
Starting this winter, Blue Moose's entire line of hummus will be USDA Organic Certified. I recently had a chance to catch up with Tenley Satre, President of Blue Moose of Boulder, to learn more about the certification process and the company's newly-certified line.
Q: Tell me a little about Blue Moose's USDA Organic Certification: what was the process like? How long was the certification in the works?
Tenley Satre: We've always prided ourselves on using high-quality, all-natural ingredients. And we also don't use high heat or preservatives on our products, instead we keep our delicious dips and spreads fresh with cold pressure (also known as HPP), which works to maintain key vitamins and minerals and also naturally extend shelf life to more than 90 days.
We've been wanting to pursue the USDA Organic certification for quite some time, and in 2017 we made it one of our top goals. We did not want to rush the innovation process as we believe our hummus has a deliciously-homemade taste, and as you can imagine it took some time to source the right organic ingredients that met our standards.
Q: Why did Blue Moose decide to approach Organic Certification? How does the certification fit with Blue Moose's mission?
TS: At Blue Moose, our mission is to make snacking better. We believe that food, as in life, what you put in is what you get out. And good for you isn't good enough; it's got to taste great and be great too! Therefore, it was a natural progression to take our hummus line Organic. Consumers are becoming more discerning about what they are putting in their bodies, and without regulatory seals it can be hard to trust claims on packages. We wanted to ensure we were backing up our statements with independent certifiers, so our consumers don't have to think twice before dipping into our hand-crafted hummus.
Q: What products will this Organic certification cover? What did the process require in terms of sourcing/replacing ingredients?
TS: The Organic certification will cover our entire hummus line, which includes: Original, Roasted Red Pepper, Green Chile, Roasted Garlic, Lime & Black Bean, and Lemon Turmeric flavors. We will begin shipping in early-March and expect products to hit shelves the same month.
The process did require extensive sourcing to ensure the ingredients met USDA, Non-GMO, and our personal standards.
Q: How does Blue Moose expect the news and certification to resonate with consumers?
TS: Consumer trends are shifting and across the board; shoppers are looking for certifications, whether it be Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, etc. We feel that our long-time customers will be excited by the news and that it will resonate with new customers and give them a reason to believe in and try our products.
Q: Will there be packaging changes to reflect the certification?
TS: Yes! We will be updating our labels to feature an Organic call out on the top, as well as the certification logos. We're fortunate to have a fun, irreverent moose icon on our package that draws consumers in and differentiates our products on shelf. You can expect to still see our Blue Moose front and center, with other elements that speak to Boulder, Colorado, where we are from as well as nods to Organic.
Blue Moose of Boulder's USDA Organic Certified hummus will begin shipping this February. And this March, Blue Moose will be exhibiting for the first time at Natural Products Expo West–held March 7-11, 2018, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Tenley tells me the company will be sampling both its newly-certified hummus line as well as some new, on-trend flavors set to hit the shelves later in the year, stop by tabletop #5501 to give them a try.
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