John Scharffenberger, co-founder of the Scharffen Berger chocolate brand now owned by Hershey, recently became CEO of Hodo Soy Beanery, a California company that makes fresh tofu. He says the tofu, made from organically grown soybeans, is "absolutely delicious," and he sees a growing market for artisanal tofu.
Travel plazas and convenience stores will provide free coffee on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Plazas on the New York State Thruway will give free coffee from 11 p.m. Dec. 31 to 7 a.m. Jan. 1, while VPS Convenience Store Group locations will give away coffee on New Year's Day and 7-Eleven stores will give away coffee and other hot drinks from midnight to 6 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Pawel Szczesniak, managing director of Polish confectioner Wedel, predicts the Polish chocolate market will increase in value by 6% to 7% in 2011. He said Japanese Lotte, which owns Wedel, is ready to investment in central and eastern Europe.
New Year's Eve is one of the busiest days for food retailers, says Janet Hoffman of Accenture's global retail practice. Paula Janssen of Janssen's Market in Wilmington, Del., said she hopes customers will buy cheese and caviar.