Interview With Blount Fine Foods * Product Samples From Blount Fine Foods (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Blount Fine Foods (2 of 2) * Blount Thai Inspired Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl * Blount Chicken Ramen Bowl
I usually check my noodle news feeds every day on my phone. I use a news aggregator and have keywords like ‘ramen noodles’, ‘instant noodles’, ‘instant ramen’, etcetera. Well, I saw an article about an American company releasing a fresh noodle bowl soon and it sounded interesting to me. Well, I reached out and Blount Fine Foods agreed to participate in Meet The Manufacturer! Today we have an interview with Bob Sewall – EVP/Sales & Marketing to let us know more about the company.
Interview With Blount Fine Foods – United States
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Blount Fine Foods?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Blount Fine Foods is a family-owned and operated company that has been processing food since 1946. Our roots are in seafood, and especially clams. But for the last 20 years or so, Blount Fine Foods has become best-known as a leading manufacturer of premium, handcrafted soups, entrées, sauces and side dishes for retail and foodservice, and the market leader in fresh retail soups.
TRR> What was the first product you made?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Seventy years ago, we had one customer, which was Campbell’s. We sold them the clams they used to make clam chowder. But as the diverse maker of premium soups we are today, our first product was New England Clam Chowder. It is still one of our most popular products, which I would argue is because we make the best clam chowder in the world.
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Blount does not make the noodles, they are provided by a food partner.
TRR> Where does the name ‘Blount’ come from?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> It is a family name. Todd Blount is our president and CEO. Todd’s grandfather, Nelson Blount founded the company in 1946. His son Ted took over in the late-60s. Ted handed the reins to Todd in 2000.
TRR> I first read about your new ramen bowls online. The article mentioned some innovations – can you expand on this?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> The magic of a good ramen bowl is the ability of the ingredients to be fresh, which includes maintaining their “texture profile,” so the noodles and vegetables aren’t soft or soggy. These bowls are unique in that they are kept fresh in the refrigerated section. There are some packaging innovations our R & D team developed that allow us to keep fresh noodles separate until they are ready to be added to the broth. We are also able to include a microwavable bowl as part of the packaging that helps make it truly heat-and-eat. The ramen bowls are part of our Asian-inspired line of Blount Bowls which also include rice bowls. The ramen noodle bowls will be in-store in October followed by the rice bowls in November.
We’re very excited to be introducing these bowls, each one is a complexity of flavors and spices which gives our Asian-inspired noodle and ramen bowls their authentic and delicious taste. Our flavors are:
* Chicken Ramen Noodle – a comforting bowl of ramen noodles, chicken raised without antibiotics, shiitake mushrooms and scallions in a flavorful chicken broth with soy sauce and rice koji.
* Coconut Chicken & Noodle – a zesty bowl of ramen noodles, chicken raised without antibiotics and bamboo shoots in a coconut curry broth with lemongrass and cilantro.
* Hibachi Chicken & Rice – sweet and roasted flavors of garlic, ginger, red onion, and red peppers, simmered with tomatoes, chicken raised without antibiotics and long grain brown rice. GLUTEN FREE
* Vegetable & Rice – a creamy coconut broth with lemongrass and cilantro, blended with long grain brown rice and packed with Asian vegetables including cabbage and bamboo shoots. GLUTEN FREE, VEGETARIAN/VEGAN
TRR> In what countries are your products available?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Blount products are only available here in the United States.
TRR> Are noodles the only products you make?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Bowls are not the only product; Blount makes delicious dips, sauces, soups, sides.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> To start with, as part of our commitment to offering premium products that are also wholesome, we work very hard to keep our sodium levels as low as possible in all our products. There are ways, like using spicy ingredients for example, to prepare foods that don’t taste like they require additional salt. We do this whenever possible. Another aspect of dietary balance is moderation, which is important for every consumer to practice.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> Absolutely. As a company, Blount supports many causes in our community and across our industry. Personally, with the support of colleagues and friends, I was lucky enough to start an organization called Bob’s Big Give about 15 years ago as a way to inspire co-workers to give to those less fortunate around the holidays. Back then, if a colleague made a donation, I would match it personally and then work with churches and other community groups to make sure it found its way to those who needed it most. It’s grown so much over the years that we took the formal step to become a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit a few years ago. Our mission has also expanded to be there for the community throughout the year. We give away hundreds of holiday meal kits beginning with Thanksgiving and carry it through the holidays. We also award heating fuel grants to needy families, especially those who have endured a tragedy of some kind. This month, to help get kids excited about going back to school, we filled 250 backpacks with school supplies to inner-city kids in our area can return to school with the supplies they need to be successful, and so that their families have one less thing to worry about at this time of year. It is a labor of love for me personally, and I have many colleagues at work who volunteer their time to help me keep everything running smoothly.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> We are always introducing new products and flavors, but we keep them quiet until it’s time to launch them. You’ll have to stay tuned.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
BLOUNT FINE FOODS> A variety of options – green onions, cashews, red pepper flakes, that’s the best part – our bowls can be customized to everyone’s unique palate.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for this opportunity for me and my readers to learn more about Blount Fine Foods!