Slices Concession sat with Stan Sitton from Green Mountain Flavors. The company started in 1992 to address a market need for better-tasting all-natural flavors and extracts. They currently have a broad spectrum of flavors ranging from almond to peppermint. Their products can be used to flavor ice cream and most other frozen desserts including frozen drinks. Sitton bought the company in 2005 because he saw hope for the product line.
Sitton noted several factors that differentiate Green Mountain Flavors from its competition. First, it was likely the first flavor manufacturer to focus solely on all-natural flavors and extracts. Second, besides its products being all-natural, they taste more natural than competitive offerings. Third, it offers a broader range of flavors than do most suppliers selling into the frozen dessert market. And, fourth, it offers more extensive applications assistance than its competitors, including a broad portfolio of starting-point recipes. The company has developed over two hundred starting-point recipes for frozen dessert applications. Stan Sitton’s favorite part of the industry is working with customers and gaining their perspective. He likes helping them excel in their niche. As with most flavor companies, the largest seller from their product line is vanilla, which is the most widely used flavor around the world. Some other flavors for which the company receives rave reviews include its coconut, strawberry and citrus flavors.
An increasing number of flavor companies are now offering natural flavors, though many of them are not all-natural, because that they contain artificial non-flavoring ingredients such as propylene glycol solvent, artificial preservatives, and artificial FD&C colors. Green Mountain Flavors’ products, on the other hand are all-natural.
Green Mountain Flavors also offers a line of organic flavors and extracts. These flavors and the facilities used to manufacture them must be certified organic under the National Organic Program, a process that includes an annual third-party audit. Organic-certified flavors must contain at least ninety-five percent of organic-certified ingredients, with the remainder being natural. Their website features a sampling of their products that are both all-natural and organic-certified, though they have many more flavors than are shown on their web site. They also now offer a number of colors from natural sources which are finding use as replacements for the artificial FD&C colors that have historically been used in the frozen dessert industry. Their colors are derived from sources such as annatto seeds, purple carrots, red beets and turmeric.
Sitton’s recommended flavors come down to the basics. He states it’s best to start with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel, mint chocolate chip and a type of nut flavor, maybe pistachio or pecan. With Green Mountain flavors, you have plenty of nut flavors to choose from, such as almond, black walnut, butter pecan, coconut, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, toasted almond, and toasted coconut. Beyond offering those flavors it comes down to how adventurous a venue wants to get. The great thing about Green Mountain Flavors is that their products can be included in frozen drinks as well as in ice creams, soft serve, gelatos, custards, sherbets, yogurts, sorbets, and Italian ices. Lastly, the best innovation he has seen recently has been the development of colors from natural sources which are rapidly replacing artificial FD&C colors in existing products, and are being used almost exclusively in new frozen desserts introductions.
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