Tag Archives: Beverages

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We’re sure you love our Deli teas as much as we do. From sweetened and unsweetened teas to flavored lemonades, the varieties available will go perfectly with your favorite sub or deli snack. Along with our staple offerings, we also have limited edition flavors that are always a welcome addition to our beverage line up. To tell you a little about what goes into creating these delicious drinks, we reached out to our friends in the Deli department for more information.


Fun With Flavors

You may have guessed that sweet tea wins the popularity contest, with lemonade, unsweetened tea, and diet sweet tea coming in as the runners-up. Green tea, raspberry lemonade, and raspberry tea aren’t far behind.

To create new flavors, we work with a number of other areas within the company to identify emerging and existing flavor trends.

Once we’ve brainstormed innovative and exciting flavor ideas, product samples of the new flavors are created. Next is the fun part — tasting them! After our teams try the samples and provide feedback, the supplier will make changes to incorporate our opinions. According to Deli buyer, Nicole Kolbasiuk-Beetem, feedback may include making changes such as enhancing the flavor of certain ingredients, or adjusting the sweetness of a product. “Sometimes, however, flavors don’t work out as well as we thought,” she says, “in which case we don’t pursue them further.”


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After new flavors have been chosen and tested , we gather a group of customers who get the chance to try them. Input from these groups allows us to get feedback on everything from how customers react to the name and taste, to how much they actually enjoy the product.

Our taste-testing group rates the product being tested on several different factors, and also provide their own comments. Their feedback is used to decide if our products need more work, and to decide if the flavors we’ve developed are ones that customers like you would want to buy.


Final Steps

Once we’ve officially decided on the new flavors and their recipes, we work on bringing the actual product to life, which includes creating product labels. Once final steps are complete, we’re ready to roll out the new flavors to stores.

For our limited-time items, we introduce them individually, taking into account 03_29_Deli_Image 3_AJwhich flavors will work best during each season. For example, chai tea around the winter holidays and refreshing flavored lemonades during the summer. Limited time flavors that are particularly popular have the possibility of becoming available all year long. Our raspberry lemonade and, more recently blackberry lemonade have become permanent items. This is based on the performance of the items in relation to other items in the category. For example, our limited time blackberry lemonade performed almost as well as our best seller, sweet tea, so we decided  to keep the blackberry year-round.

Buyer Nicole Kolbasiuk-Beetem shares, “We want to be sure that we keep the flavors that customers love most, and item sales are the best indicator for which items are the customer favorites.”


Now that we’ve given you an inside look at how our Deli teas come to be, we’d like to know which flavor is number one on your shopping list. Let us know in the comments!

Craft beer

Calling all beer lovers of the world! We have a new program that we know you’ll love: Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow! What’s this amazing program you may ask? Our Beer Purchasing Manager, Darrin, met with us to share more details.   Q: This program sounds exciting, but what does it really entail? A: This program … (Read the full story)

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The key to a successful St. Patrick’s Day is green, green, GREEN! It’s easy to find festive décor, but have you thought about the food? If you ask us, it’s never too early to start planning the menu.


Celebrate this holiday with a mix of green appetizers. Choose one or all! No matter which way you go, your party will be filled with delicious foods.


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Once you lay these on the table, they won’t last long! With a 5 star rating, these appetizers might just steal the show.

Get to these before the leprechauns do!

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No need to travel to the end of the rainbow to strike gold! Rumor has it, this side salad brings luck to all those who take a bite.

Here’s the scoop to whipping up this treasure!

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This refreshing assortment is a party favorite. It’s easy, fast, and festive! If you want to keep this dish kid-friendly, simply swap sparkling fruit juice in place of the champagne.

Toast to good luck by slicing up this recipe!

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You won’t need the luck of the Irish to whip up this delightful treat. This cheerful dessert is sure to catch not only the eyes of your guests, but their taste buds as well! Not to mention, it’s a hit for all ages.

Honor your sweet tooth with this green dessert!


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This unique idea is perfect for a buffet style party. Cook a few sandwiches and slice them up for a quick bite. If you want to kick it up a notch, use a shamrock cookie cutter to give them a festive shape.

Your guests won’t need to travel to Ireland to find these shamrock “sammies”.


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Shamrock or bell pepper? Either way, this recipe is perfect for any St. Patrick’s-themed party. Serve by itself or place as a centerpiece in a veggie or dip tray.

No need to search for a four leaf clover. We have the recipe here!


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Guacamole is a huge party hit! You can’t deny that its color makes it perfect for any St. Patrick’s Day event.

Dip in to the green spirit with this classic appetizer.



Now that you have some yummy ideas to choose from, all that’s left is to do is invite your friends.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Popcorn in a bowl on wooden table

Whether you’re hosting a casual movie night with friends or a lavish wedding, we know you’re always looking for ways to make your events special. What’s one way to bring a unique atmosphere to life? Building your own popcorn bar!

Let’s face it — popcorn is a fan favorite for guests of all ages. So, grab your party planning hat and read on for ideas that will make your next event POP!



First things first, you’ll want to set the mood with your popcorn bar presentation. From themed and detailed to kicked back and casual, this is your chance to dress up a classic snack in a fun way.


For the layout, you can simply line a folding table with a nice cloth that goes with your theme. If your event takes place outside, you may want to take this up a notch by using old barrels, a 02_03_KS_Aprons_Popcorn_Image 3trolley cart, or something else robust and festive.

Once the table is covered, start with the basics. What will you put your popcorn in? You may choose country-themed snack bags, large glass jars and containers with ribbons, beautifully woven baskets, or (for the more casual event) just your nearest large serving bowls. Whatever you choose, make sure you have 2-3 good “starting” bowls that are large enough to fill with popcorn for your guests. And if you can score an old popcorn machine to hold it all? Even better! You’ll also want to find several medium-sized bowls or jars to hold your “extras”, which we’ll touch on later.

Next, you’ll want to provide your guests with their personal carrier. Whether you choose paper bags, small bowls, glass jars, or something else, make sure you find a size that’s small enough to carry in one hand yet not too small that guests will have to refill often. You can even take your guests’ personal popcorn holder to the next level by adding a fun saying with a sticker, marker, or personalized vinyl adhesive. For instance, “Life is salty, but love is sweet” for a wedding, “All because he popped the question” for a bridal shower, or “Let’s get this party poppin’” for an everyday get together or special occasion!


Once you’ve got the table lined and the containers ready, make sure your guests have clear directions on what to do. You can use a chalkboard sign to write it out or simply line up the table in a way that guides them, for instance, their individual containers at the far left of the table, then the large popcorn bowls, then add ins, etc.

02_03_KS_Aprons_Popcorn_Image 4Now all that’s left is to put your own personal flair on the setting! Grab a few LED letter lights to spell out “BAR” or use twine and flowers to decorate with a country style in mind. If it’s a fun movie night for the kids, you can line the table with blinking bulbs and play up the red, white, and black theme of a classic movie popcorn bar. This is your chance to add your unique touch, so go crazy!


The Base

Your table is set, so now it’s time to choose the ingredients your guests will use to make their tasty treats come to life. Up first? Well, popcorn, of course!

We recommend having at least two or three “starter” popcorns for your guests. For instance, you may choose salted, unsalted, and buttered popcorn for your large bowls. Or, if you’d rather give them flavor options, you could do butter, white cheddar, and caramel to start.

The important thing to remember is that this is your guests’ chance to make their own magical creation, so don’t go too crazy giving them a ton of popcorn choices. The simpler the better, as it’s the seasonings and add-ins that will amplify the flavor later.

You can always start with our famous Deli Popcorn. Easy peasy!



Now that your guests are armed and ready with their containers of popcorn, it’s time to let them jazz it up.

The idea here is to offer fun flavors they can shake over top. You might want to start them off with a light coating of melted, salted butter so that whatever seasoning they add sticks to their popcorn.

Next, simply fill regular salt and pepper shakers with custom seasonings and salts. Don’t forget to label them so your guests know what they’re getting. You’ll find a lot of these already pre-made at your local Publix, but you can also mix and match your favorite herbs and spices to make unique flavors of your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


  • Cheddar
  • White Cheddar
  • Caramel
  • Truffle Parmesan
  • Butter (powder or liquid form)
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  • Curry
  • Smoked Paprika, Saffron & Garlic
  • Garlic
  • Barbecue
  • Sriracha-Tandoori
  • Bacon-Maple
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Italian Herb
  • Spicy Jalapeno Cheddar

Now that the popcorn is dusted, time to kick up the flavor with some special add-ins.



Remember those medium-sized containers we laid out on the table earlier? Here’s where you’ll put them to use. Give your guest the option to add more than just seasoning to their popcorn. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few ideas:

  • Taffy
  • Chocolate (think M&Ms, Milk Duds, Reese’s Pieces, etc.)
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.)
  • Marshmallows
  • Pretzels

Again, this is your chance to really add pizazz. Have fun with your add-ins!


Finishing Touch


02_03_KS_Aprons_Popcorn_Image 5.1Wow, you did it! Your popcorn bar is an absolute masterpiece. But now, your guests have a salty-sweet snack that’s sure to leave them thirsty. So, for your finishing touch, offer the perfect complementary drink.

There are so many options for drinks to pair with popcorn. You can go simple with water (after all, they’ll be wanting that quench!) but you can also add in some extra flavor.

For instance, what about a soda bar? Line another table with regular cola as well as flavored syrups. Let guests fill their personalized jars/cups with cola and flavor to their liking, then finish with a themed straw and voilà! Ice cream is an added bonus for floats!

For the adult entertainment, you can pick the perfect wines and beers to pair with their snack creation. Our Aprons Meals Tech Specialist, Patrick Walley, says there are many pairing options. For instance, Pinot Grigio would pair well with the Truffle Parmesan while a nice India Pale Ale will complement the Sriracha-Tandoori.

Whether you choose simple or decadent for this last touch, your guests will appreciate the thirst-quenchers.


There you have it! Everything you need to know to put your popcorn bar together. For an added bonus, let your guests “vote” on the movie (if  it’s a movie night) or have them enter a competition for the best name of YOUR love story movie (for a wedding).

With so many ways to add your own unique touch, we know your next special event will have the whole town poppin’.


Have more ideas for a unique popcorn bar? Drop them in the comments below!