salads all dressed up

Salads, All Dressed Up
by Lori Murray
Fancy Food & Culinary Products
March 2007 – pages 30-34
excerpted
Also high on the flavor list are three new salad dressings from Milo’s Whole World Gourmet in Athens, Ohio. Owner and Founder Jonathan Leal has experienced great success making wine-based pasta sauces. Now he’s applying that same wine-based concept to salad dressing. The resulting flavors, which made their debut in November, include Pomegranate Port, Gorgonzola Pear Riesling and Mango Lemongrass Chardonnay – wow!

“With the flavors we have here, the fact that they are healthy is icing on the cake,” says Leal, noting that there is no sugar added to these products. The dressings are considered low-fat because they are made with so much fruit – and less oil. They contain no water, only fruit concentrate.

The Pomegranate Port is similar to raspberry vinaigrette, and it’s perfect as a fruit and fish. At the same time, Mango Lemongrass Chardonnay is smooth, creamy and mild and uses fresh lemongrass, making it a good match with raw vegetables. Nevertheless, Gorgonzola Pear Riesling is emerging as an early favorite among consumers. “These dressings taste good,” says Leal. “There are a lot of consumers looking for a health benefit (and it’s there), but what it really comes down to is taste.”

For this reason, Milo’s has implemented an aggressive demo program for its wholesale accounts in which they provide a free jar in every case. For store demos, Leal puts the dressings in bowls and provides chopped pieces of fresh vegetables on toothpicks for dipping. He strongly believes tasting translates into sales.

At Milo’s, Leal loves to see his dressings cross-merchanised throughout the store. “It’s a good idea to cross- merchandise these dressings in the produce department by the fresh greens or raw vegetables, and they are also good at the meat counter for a quick marinade,” he says. “It’s smart to do this because you end up selling two things rather than one.”

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