Welcome back to AM Intel, a Monday morning round-up of mini news bites to kick off the week.
Here Come Pickle Drinks
Grillo’s Pickles is a familiar brand for local pickle lovers: Founded over a decade ago by Travis Grillo, it has grown from a downtown Boston pickle cart to a major wholesale operation, with pickles available in thousands of stores around the country.
Coming up next for the company is a transformation into Grillo’s Fresh and the launch of several new products, including cold-pressed pickle vinegar drinks and salsa. Grillo told BevNET that he’s positioning the electrolyte-packed drinks as sports drink alternatives or health beverages, and they come in two flavors — pickle and lemon. They’ll be available in several Whole Foods regions, including the Northeast, this month before spreading nationwide.
Grillo’s pickle-based salsa brand, Pickle de Gallo, will launch in April in sweet, mild, and hot varieties, along with single-serve cups of pickle chips.
“I just want to prove that Grillo’s is more than a pickle and we were always more than a pickle,” Grillo told BevNET. “But as a creative it’s been hard for 10 years to only sell pickles and finally I have the opportunity and this is me saying to the world I’m more than a pickle company and here it is.”
In addition to edible and drinkable products, Grillo’s has been expanding its lifestyle push with clothing collaborations with brands like Urban Outfitters and, coming soon, Nickelodeon. The latter collaboration will center around Rugrats; ’90s kids will recall that one of the main characters is Tommy Pickles. (And yep, Rugrats is being revived.)
English Muffin Gift Boxes
In other local brand news, Boston’s Stone & Skillet English muffin brand is now offering a gift box packed with tastes of New England: four packs of Stone & Skillet’s English muffins (in different flavors), a sampler of Somerville-based Taza chocolate, Cask Force maple syrup and Cabot cheddar from Vermont, North Country Smokehouse bacon from New Hampshire, stickers and coasters, and a coupon for a dozen Pete & Gerry’s eggs from New Hampshire.
Stone & Skillet has been baking English muffins since 2013, and the products can now be found at numerous Whole Foods, Wegmans, and other shops around the northeast.
In Other News...
- A Boston-based AI robotics company, Dexai Robotics, is raising quite a bit of money to fund its robotic “sous-chef” Alfred, which is meant to fit seamlessly into existing restaurant kitchens and help prepare a wide range of foods.
- Explosively growing local chain Tatte Bakery & Cafe has just opened its 15th location in the Boston area; meanwhile, its first out-of-state plans for the D.C. area have expanded from one forthcoming store to two.
- The gigantic annual seafood convention that was supposed to take place in Boston next weekend, Seafood Expo North America, has been postponed due to COVID-19 fears. The New England Food Show later in the month is still expected to go on as planned, though.
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