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The Circle of Conservation

Alan Menken and Stephen Laurence Schwartz wrote Colors of the Wind for the movie “Pocahontas” and today I’m reminded of the importance of their lyrics:

 

“The rainstorm and the river are my brothers

The heron and the otter are my friends

And we are all connected to each other

In a circle, in a hoop that never ends”

 

Today’s decision to publically and demonstratively turn our back on the environment is shameful and heart-wrenching.  Our planet knows no politics.  It knows neither Democrat, Republican, Argentinian, Brazilian, Croatian, Danish, Egyptian, Fujian, Georgian, Honduran, Indian, Jamaican, Kenyan, Laotian, Malaysian, Nigerian, Omani, Peruvian, Qatari, Romanian, Syrian, Tanzanian, Uzbeki, Venezuelan, Welch, Yemeni or Zambian.   All it knows are those who protect, preserve or plunder.  It’s keeping track, by letting us know its temperature, its temperament, and our ability to listen to it, to recognize what it says, is a science.  The repudiation of the Paris Agreement is an affront to Science, to educated men and women around the globe who are listening to the planet; it’s a betrayal to those who are passionate about our environment and it is a disservice to our future generations.  It is our duty, our responsibility, as conservators of the planet we inhabit today, to ensure that our humanity and our way of life continues to thrive and that means we must leave the next generation this beautiful, glorious, mother earth in good health.  We are, every one of us, connected to each other, no matter where we live.

 

As a company, Eagle Beverage stands with all the other corporations and businesses that support the Paris Agreement, not just because of economics or trade, but on principal: We stand with all our brothers and sisters around the world in our commitment to do our part to protect our only home.

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Reflection & Thank You

As we wind down the year and look back, it was definitely a year fraught with twists and turns.  Could anyone have imaged 2016 would have brought us Brexit or Trump?  Or taken away such larger than life pop culture influencers like Prince, Bowie, Za Za or Muhammad Ali?   It has been all rather dreamlike and I’m not sure when we will wake up.

At Eagle, though, we would take this opportunity to say thank you to all our team members.  You have worked tirelessly, silently and even though we don’t always have the chance to stop and talk, we want you to know how much we appreciate your commitment to the company, the pride you bring with every box and case you package and in every shipment that leaves our door.  Our team is, and always will be, the heart and soul of this company.

The volatile events of this year have occasioned concern and confusion among our team regarding their place in the United States.  As a company, we do not define anyone based on religion, ethnicity, country of origin, gender or other life choices.  We hope we will always have a peaceful union, one that we can perfect together, as a culture, community and civic society.  It is our shared responsibility to work together and support each other.  We wish everyone a happy, safe, peaceful and wondrous holiday season!

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A-Musing about the Seahawks

Everytime I think about the Seattle Seahawks, I can’t decide if I’m naively optimistic about them, or cautiously pessimistic… And here’s why… Sometimes they are amazing, and sometimes, well, you know….  And it’s a franchise and a “profit center,” so I’m even more puzzled.  If our Customer Service team approached every interaction we have with our customers the same way the Seahawks play a game, what would that look like?  Would somedays be Outstanding customer support, other days, mediocre?  And who decides how the interaction will go?  The customer, the tone of the email, what you did last night?  I’m no sports buff, but I see parallels in providing great customer service and providing great entertainment.  The seattlite in me cheers and waves for our Hawks, but the business person inside me says…. Let’s be consistent, make every encounter count and be the one that elevates the game!

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Strength Through Diversity

Diversity is important in the workplace.  At Eagle, we pride ourselves on our diverse team who come from an array of countries – Nepal, Somalia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Samoa, and so many more.  We always joke that we have the United Nations represented at Eagle, and our diversity allows us to succeed in a competitive environment.  We always hope that our customers appreciate the diverse points of view we bring to the table.  When we have tastings for new flavors, we ask our team members to evaluate the flavors.  They all bring feedback that we use to improve the quality of our products.  In manufacturing, our diversity is the backbone of our manufacturing.  We are especially proud to be featured in Starbucks’ diversity newroom recently.  Thank you Starbucks for recognizing all that we do!  The full article from their newsroom can be found here.

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Changes to Labeling Laws

Over the next year or so, the FDA is requiring changes to nutrition panels.  For larger companies with a bevy of techs able to assist in converting labels this may not be such a burden.  But for smaller companies, this is feat to accomplish (at least it feels like it).  What are the some of the highlights of the changes?  Here they are:

  1. Requiring the declaration of “Added Sugars” on the label
  2. Removing the requirement for declaring “Calories from fat.”
  3. Revising the nutrients of public health significance that must be declared on the label.
  4. Revised Daily Values for certain nutrients that are either mandatory or voluntary on the label.

There’s also a new design, updates to the serving requirements and a host of other changes.   At Eagle Beverage, we have been busy starting the conversion process and evaluating all the major ingredients to ensure that they are in compliance with the new labeling laws.  Our private label customers will start feeling the effects as we start rolling out new Specification Documents and asking for changes to current label designs.

If you are considering a new private label program, make sure to ask your supplier (hopefully Eagle) what will need to be done to print the Nutrition Fact Panel within the guidelines, so as to save yourself the extra cost down the road.

For further information regarding the Nutritional Labeling changes, please click here.

Best Coffee Cities in the World

A recent article at ccn.com listed the top 8 cities for coffee. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/travel/best-coffee-cities/index.html?hpt=tr_c2)

In reading through the list, I’ve been to most of the cities mentioned and I concur  these cities do have the best coffee.  Here’s my view on 6 of the 8 cities I’ve visited.

  • London – While I do believe you have to venture around the city for your perfect cup of coffee, their cappuccinos and flat whites are really good just about anywhere!   The service in some of the coffee shops leaves room for improvement, but the quality is great.
  • Melbourne – Not quite as big as Sydney, but definitely amazing coffee.  Coffee roasters in Melbourne take their craft seriously and roast coffee that is just sublime.   Next time you are in Melbourne, ask for a tour of the roasting plant.  You won’t forget it and you’ll see their dedication to their craft.
  • Roma – In Rome, coffee is everywhere and you drink it standing up, sitting down, with food, without food, any which way you like.  Espresso is the primary form, but you can definitely find a fabulous cappuccino or mocha.  Paired with Italian Gelato, what could be better?
  • Singapore – While Asia is best known for its tea houses, the coffee scene has really exploded, as a lot of coffee shows are held in Singapore.  The scene is fun, young and hip and is a great place to try new pairings of coffee and food.
  • Seattle – Is there anything to say about Seattle coffee that hasn’t been said?  The SCAA show is coming to Seattle next month and everything coffee will be on display!
  • Vienna – one of my most favorite places in the world.  The Vienna coffee scene is truly amazing as are their pastries and tortes.  Any type of coffee is yours for the asking and the taste complements everything you are eating.

The only two cities I have not been to are: Reykjavik, Iceland and Wellington, New Zealand. I’ll keep you posted when I’ve been.

Vietnam – An Oasis of Beverages

On a recent trip to Vietnam, I had a grand time exploring the vibrant coffee market.  Coffee could be made hot, cold, sweet, un-sweet, from liquid bases and powder bases.  You name it, they made it.  With two coffee shops per block, there is no shortage of a place to sit and have a refreshing iced coffee.  My personal favorite was an iced coffee made from a coffee concentrate, added to sweetened condensed milk and served over ice.  It is terribly sweet, but once the ice melts and dilutes the drink, it’s heaven.

In my quest to find a coffee alternative, most restaurants offer the best fresh fruit drinks you’ve ever tasted.  My favorite was a Passionfruit Soda.  The server recommended it as the drink she likes because of the few calories it has.  Naturally, I had to try it.  It was made with real Passionfruit, evidenced by the seeds in the glass, and mixed with 7-up.  It was delightfully refreshing.

If you ever have the chance to visit Vietnam, enjoy their coffee scene but explore their other drinks as the fruits there are really sweet and juicy.  I can’t wait to go back and try more!

Tradeshows, Tradeshows, Tradeshows….

I have been thinking a lot about the tradeshows we used to do.  Back when we first entered this industry, I did about 15-18 trade shows annually.  They were domestic shows, customer trade shows and international tradeshows.  We exhibited as a company or represented our company in our customer’s stand and offered as much support as we could both physically and monetarily.
I still recall some of my most favorite international shows:
  • Anuga
  • Expo Café Mexico
  • FHA Singapore
  • FHA Hong Kong
  • Foodex Japan
  • Gulf Food Show
  • SIAL China
  • World Tea and Coffee Show – Rome, Hamburg, Singapore, Geneva and so many other fabulous places
This year, we will bring our Private Label message to the World of Coffee in Vienna.
After about a 4 year haitus from exhibiting internationally, our company is once again going to have its own stand and will actively target customers that are looking for a private label specialty beverage programs.  Please stop by our booth if you are also there!

Flavored Beer

On a visit to SE Asia to one of our customers we were introduced to a new craze…. Flavored beer. Truthfully, I do not like beer.  There’s something about the taste and smell and that I do not like.  However, when flavored, the taste was masked and the drink seemed less bitter to me.  In cafe shops around Indonesia, imagine a long tall beer glass alongside a syrup bar.  Various syrups with pumps for you to squirt into your beer.  The surprising standout flavor, for me, was Kiwi.  The color of the beer is only slightly tinted; the flavor, surprisingly good.  Other popular flavors are Peach, Raspberry, Orange, Lychee and Lime.  Have you tried flavor beer?  What was your impression?

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Happy New Year

It is with great excitement that I start to write for the blog again.  First of all, Happy New Year to all of you.  From us at Eagle, we wish you all a very prosperous and happy new year.  Second, I apologize for such silence on the blog.  Last year was busier than could have been imagined, considering I was covalescing for the greater part of the year.  I am back to being mostly functional and for that, I am very grateful.  Over the next few posts, I hope to share with you some of the facinating and exciting things that we expect for 2012, along with some of what we learned in 2011.

Aisha Kabani - Eagle Beverage
Ever wanted to know what goes on in a food manufacturing company? Read the newest blog by Aisha Kabani and see how a family owned manufacturing company manages the different facets of creating spectacular products and sharing them with the world.