Four things from the All Things Organic trade show and conference, which wrapped up today at McCormick Place:
* You won't find Cloud Top frozen yogurt in stores, nor will you find a Cloud Top store anywhere yet. And that's a bummer.
* Toats Organic Snacks. Is it a cookie? Is it a cracker? Is it a horse biscuit? The answer: all of the above.
* B.R.A.T. Ricemilk. Parents (those whose kids have ever had stomach flu), this is for you.
* And a tea tip from Shashank Goel, owner of Ineeka, a tea company based in Chicago (which just came out with a green tea beer): Most teas contain so-called natural flavors. Beware. "People say, 'Smell this, what a great tea.' That's basically the worst tea you're getting," Goel says. "When you pour the hot water, that's when the aroma should come out."
More on Cloud Top, Toats and B.R.A.T. after the jump.
* Kathy Kim, an affable young mom from Pasadena, lives in the land of Pinkberrys and Red Mangos. She admits she "very quickly" became a fan of the nouveau yogurt shops, as did her two sons. But there was always a certain creaminess missing from the hyped-up yogurt. With her background in food development and marketing, she figured she could fill in the blanks.
She quit her job in 2007 and starting making what she calls a "fortified dessert." Whereas other fro-yos start with a powdered yogurt base, Cloud Top starts with, well, yogurt. And while others are bright white and watery and leave an aftertaste, Kim's is a creamy, cream-colored treat with a pleasant vanilla tang.
For now, Kim is trying to find distributors to get her product into those same Pinkberrys that inspired her.
* Marisol Fernandini-Gaffney longed for a treat she could share with her dog and her horse when she went walking in her town of Leesburg, Va. (nope, this isn't the setup to a joke; true story). Store-bought biscuits were too sweet, so Fernandini-Gaffney started tinkering in her own kitchen with oats, almond meal and flax.
But oh, the irony: She had to sell her beloved horse to convert the barn into a Toats-making facility.
Toats look better than they taste. But if we had a horse, we're sure she'd love it.
* Ilsa Toepfer's husband called her in a panic: the kids are sick (the yucky, stomach flu kind of sick). Stick to B.R.A.T diet -- bananas, rice, apples, toast -- until I get home, she told him. When she got there, he got out the blender. What if we could make something that was an all-in-one B.R.A.T. source, he asked her.
The Toepfers say their B.R.A.T. Ricemilk (in four flavors) does Pedialyte one better -- along with the electrolytes, vitamins and calcium, it has the calories a sick child needs. Oh, and it tastes pretty good. Their three kids now pound the stuff daily just because, and their mom says they haven't been sick since.