Colorado Food News: New Asian supermarket slated for Aurora

Regional potato chip flavors include, from left, Poore Brother’s Habanero, Route 11 Chips Chesapeake Crab, and Boulder Canyon’s Red Wine Vinegar. (AP Photo)

Colorado consumers like their chips thicker, crunchier and spicier

Americans spent $9 billion on potato chips in 2010, 50 percent more than on the No. 2 snack, tortilla chips. In the Rockies, Boulder Canyon chips pair their kettle-cooked crunchy bite with artisanal seasonings such as red wine vinegar, spinach and artichoke, and balsamic and rosemary. Down the map in the Southwest, Arizona-based Poore Brothers offers kettle-cooked chips with mouth-numbing heat from jalapenos and habaneros. “People in this region really tend to like this pepper, these stronger, spicier flavors,” says Steven Sklar, at Phoenix, Ariz.-based Inventure Foods, which owns Boulder Canyon and Poore Brothers. Even Frito-Lay plays the regional game including a thick-cut deli chip just for Colorado, according to the Associated Press.


Denver-based Asian market to expand to Aurora

The owner of Denver-based Pacific Ocean Market Place plans to build a third location of his franchise in Aurora which he expects to be open in summer 2013, pending Aurora City Council approval in September. Owner Trong Lam plans to redevelop the vacant Albertson’s grocery store at East Mississippi Avenue and South Peoria Street to create a 40,000-square-foot Asian supermarket. Lam said he chose the Aurora location because of its proximity to Interstate 225 and the city’s diverse population.


Sunflower Market equipment sale benefits theater shooting victims

Sprouts Farmers Market and Sunflower Farmers Market recently donated $100,000 to a fund for victims of the Colorado movie theater shootings. The grocers’ donation to the Aurora Victim Relief Fund was made with proceeds from selling excess equipment after their recent merger.


Fat Tire bottler testing for fire-tainted municipal water

New Belgium Brewery will be monitoring the water it gets from the city of Fort Collins to check for residue from a deadly wildfire that put ash in northern Colorado’s Poudre River. According to the Associated Press, the brewery’s chemists have identified six compounds in the river water that could affect the flavor of its beer.


Chipotle spends on food, not marketing reports that Colorado-based Chipotle Mexican Grill spends just 1.75 percent of each sale on marketing — the industry average is 3 to 5 percent — doesn’t talk about new product launches and rarely offers coupons. Instead, it sells the idea of support for farmers and using fresh food, primarily via social media. “Our food costs are much higher than the typical fast-food restaurant,” said Chipotle marketing head Mark Crumpacker says. “We’re at 32 percent of sales, most are in the low 20s. That necessitates taking a different approach to marketing.”


Farmers market offers bonus for food stamps

The Larimer County Farmers Market is offering food stamp customers a bonus. The Colorado Farmers Market Association and Kaiser-Permanente are contributing $1,800 for the program, which matches up to $10 customers spend on food. The market is open Saturday mornings in Fort Collins through October.


Kennedy to use his noodle on Colorado brand

The Denver Business Journal reports that Gov. John Hickenlooper has hired the founder of the Noodles & Company restaurant chain as Colorado’s first chief marketing officer. Aaron Kennedy started working in early August on creating a brand to make it easier to attract businesses to Colorado.

Staff and wire service reports