Three Fun Kids’ Juice Recipes with Blenders and Juicers

Fruit juices and smoothies made at home are healthy and fun choices of snacks for kids. They are nutritious and are a great alternative to junk food. Making different kinds of juices and smoothies at home is easy with the right choice of juice extractors and blenders. Transform these healthful drinks into exciting refreshments with creative names, colorful glassware and lots of garnishes to delight your children. Here are three delicious recipes you can serve as snacks or party drinks for kids.

Rainbow Milkshake

Create a thick, colorful milkshake with bright sprinkles that kids are sure to appreciate. You will need marshmallows, sweet strawberry syrup, sugar to taste and rainbow sprinkles. Whipped cream and cherries make the perfect toppings for this milkshake. The marshmallows add a wonderful flavor and help to make the milkshake thick and creamy. Blenders with high speeds are ideal for making this creamy milkshake and can be used to make whipped cream for garnishing. Blend all the ingredients together, pour the shakes into tall glasses and top with whipped cream and cherries.

Cranberry Party Punch

You will need fresh cranberries, chilled cranberry juice, chilled pineapple juice, sugar to taste and almond extract to make this flavorful drink. Juice the cranberries and pineapples with a juice extractor. Juice extractors make it easy to substitute fresh, homemade juice for a store-brought one. Allow the juices to chill in the refrigerator before making the punch. Combine the juices with sugar and almond extract and mix well using a high-powered blender. This recipe can be easily adapted to make delicious cranberry ice pops. Simply pour the juice in ice pop molds and allow them to freeze.


To make this refreshing drink, you will need strawberries and blueberries along with two slices of lemon and two slices of orange. The rest of the ingredients are vanilla extract, ice cubes, and cranberry juice. Make fresh cranberry juice with a juicer while the rest of the ingredients can be combined in a blender. Blend the ingredients till you get an ice slush consistency. Mix the slush with the cranberry juice and chill before serving. Serve the drink in tall glasses garnished with sliced fruits.

It’s easy to make healthy and fun juices and smoothies for your kids and their friends who come over for birthday parties and sleepovers. All you need are the right blenders and juice extractors for your juicing needs. Create your own special recipes by combining different fruits and veggies.

Coconut Cream Pie Recipes

Coconut cream pie recipes are a great way to make a dessert thats easy but looks impressive. Even coconut cream pie recipes that are all from scratch can be assembled in under an hour, and if you use some time-saving tricks you can cut that down in half.

The first part of all coconut cream pie recipes is the crust. Use a commercial baked crust if you need to save time, but homemade crusts taste better. A simple one can be made by crushing one package of graham crackers and mixing with one stick of softened butter, and then pressing it into the pan.

A more traditional pie crust is made with 1 and a quarter cups flour, teaspoon salt, half a cup of vegetable shortening and 3 tablespoons ice water. Mix everything together except the water, making the mixture resemble coarse crumbs, and then drizzle the water over the dough. Knead until the dough makes a ball, then roll out into a circle with a rolling pin and coat the bottom and sides of a pie pan with it. This pie crust will work with any coconut cream pie recipes you might find.

The next step in coconut cream pie recipes is the filling. One way to do this from scratch is to use 3 cups half and half, 3 eggs, a cup sugar, four tablespoons corn starch, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cup of toasted coconut flakes (bake them in the oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes). Mix all the ingredients except the vanilla and coconut in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to boil and thicken. Remove from heat and then add the vanilla and most of the coconut (save a little to garnish the topping with). Pour on top of the crust and refrigerate for several hours.

If you dont have the time to do this, any coconut cream pie recipes can be adapted using a coconut pudding mix. Try a smooth and creamy one like Rawleighs coconut dessert mix and add the toasted coconut flakes to it and no one will know that you werent slaving over a hot stove for an hour.

Finally, top the pie with Cool Whip and sprinkled the rest of the toasted coconut on top, and youll have a pie that compares favorably with the best coconut cream pie recipes.

About Cooking and Recipes Healthy and Balanced Eating

Correct, varied and balanced (not least) food items has in our each day lives of great importance. But sad to say we do not continually remember this and tend not to provide sufficient time and interest to this subject. In our lives we’re often restricted eating habits, which brings us just a sense of satisfying hunger, generally forgetting that meals can deliver more enjoyment. Within the swiftly during weekdays, we are unable to usually manifest them in the kitchen, mainly because cooking a relatively laborious process, requiring sufficient time and prepare much more tasty and delicious food, largely only on holidays.

You can find a number of recipes with which you are able to cook quite a few tasty and healthful lunches. There is certainly sturdy opinion that cooking takes time, it is generally acknowledged. However, in the event you know some secrets and methods in such a area, not forgetting to innovate, be resourceful and not be afraid to ideal, then prepare the meal is usually very much faster and take pleasure in it. Ability to prepare varied is surely an indispensable condition to the right and nicely balanced eating habits. Also do not overlook that cooking skills inside the cooking area is actually a source of health and an integral part of family daily life. Great value for the beneficial and healthful eating is the distribution of products and choice of recipes for the day time, taking into account the season. In the spring is important to choose foodstuff that contains herbs, fresh vegetables and fruit, such products as eggs and milk. Summer time ought to eat cold meals for instance salads. Winter must prepare beneficial hot dishes.

At the beginning of cooking food, no matter whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, you must ascertain to which time it must be done and just how much time it can take to it. Cooked food must be served for you quickly prior to they cool down and have not misplaced taste. Meals that preserve very well should be prepared so as to be able to make use of it for both dinner and breakfast. Broth, for example, may be boiled for two days, half can be used on the exact same evening, while the other 50 percent the following day for cooking other hot culinary creations. You’ll find such moments frequently in our life when time for cooking food is not sufficient, in such a case, you must select foods which will enable you to cook dinner quicker. In such a circumstance will help an enormous range of semi-finished products and concentrates in modern grocery shops, such as various sausages, meat pies, ready-made dumplings, fish products, etcetera.

Every one of the recipes are composed of two parts:

1) List of items with which we prepare, along with their amount, weight, volume, and so on.

2) And how we cook them – thoroughly clean, bake, fry, boil.

On the other hand, any recipe is like a template, a part of culinary artwork, and only shows the path that need to go.

The most significant element of wellness is appropriate nutrition, high quality, amount and varied assortment of chosen products. All this, plus the timeliness and regularity of meals, drastically affects the overall performance, daily life of the entire body and largely determines the duration of individual’s life. The use of semi-finished meals products, canned significantly facilitates the method of preparing a every day and dishes for the festive table. Effectively organized meals and good quality foods are of great importance not merely for health but also for the prevention of diseases. We have to do not forget that meals is really a necessary condition for human existence and culture. Not be superfluous to give additional attention to the attractiveness of the appearance of the cooked food simply because it has a good impact on its uptake by the human body. Generally in recipes indicate the amount of products and ingredients required to prepare tasty and healthy food for about four – five people. It’s essential to observe the ratio between the numbers of diners and is used for this quantity of food items. In conclusion we are able to say that cooking at its true well worth is one in the oldest and most ideal spheres of human activity.

Breakfast Backpacking Recipes

Most backpacking recipes focus on lunches and dinners. But a good breakfast is a great way to start a day of hiking. Here are a few ideas for keeping it simple and easy.


If you are used to eating cereal with milk, you might think you have to skip this when backpacking. Fortunately there are at least two good ways to still have your morning bowl of cereal. The first is to simply bring powdered milk. Add a little to the cereal and pour a half cup of water into the mix.

Some of us don’t like the taste of powdered milk much. The alternative for us is to just add water. This may sound too plain, but there are some ingredients you can add that will make you hardly notice the missing milk. One is shredded coconut. In fact, if you let the coconut flakes soak for a few minutes before you add the cereal, the water will have more flavor and a better consistency. Coconut goes especially well with granola cereals, but works with almost any of them.

Adding dried fruit makes the lack of milk less noticeable as well. Raisins or dried strawberries can be used. It may help to soak the fruit for a few minutes before adding the cereal.

A fourth option is to use freeze-dried ice cream. Having just recently tried this for the first time, I was surprised by how tasty it is. It’s great by itself, but you can also soak it in water and mash it up until it liquefies to use it with cereal. You’ll have to experiment at home to see which cereals go best with the ice cream flavor.

Cold Weather Backpacking Recipes

If you are backpacking in cold weather you may need recipes for hot foods. You can still keep breakfast relatively simple though. Instead of foods that need longer cook times, bring simple cereals that can be eaten as hot mush. All you need to do then is get the water near boiling and pour it into the bowl of cereal. Add raisins or other dried fruits for a healthier start to the day.

Not having to actually boil the food or cook it for a long time, will save you stove fuel and therefore pack weight. But what if you are out in the cold and like myself you still prefer not to bring a stove at all? In that case you will want some fatty foods to start the morning. Fats create heat as they digest, warming you up from the inside.

I have no fancy backpacking recipes for this purpose, and there is no need for them. easy and fast is my own preference. A piece of bread covered in butter will do the trick. Bring cinnamon raisin bread if you have a sweet tooth. In cold weather you can also bring bagels and cream cheese. And if you really aren’t picky about what you eat in the morning, plain corn chips have a lot of oil to warm you up.

Healthy Lunch Recipes For Brown Bags

Healthy lunch recipes fit for a brown bag profile means different things to different people. I know lunches in brown bags bring back memories of boring monotonous lunches that one ate at the unpopular table before the school bully came and toppled it over, or even the crazy thoughts of how you would switch lunches with your friends.

All those negative ideas lunches in brown bags is about to change. If you use some of these recipes you will actually look forward to carrying those brown bags which hold some of the healthiest lunches imaginable.

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

In these hard economic times, it is difficult to find time for both our professional and personal lives, not to mention taking time to keep track of our eating habits. Because of all these circumstances, we tend to forget vital things like health and the importance of meals, which can have a disastrous effect on our health.

Luckily we can help avert this disaster from happening by limiting ‘eating out’ and ‘ordering in’ of food as much as we can. Not going out at noon does not mean you have to give up lunch. Instead you can pack a brown bag lunch and take it to work with you.

The following sections will give you a fair idea of how you can pack yourself a nourishing lunch without having to slave over the stove for hours

Good Old Sandwiches

If there’s one food that everyone loves and doesn’t mind eating at any time, its sandwiches. It’s also one of the easiest and quickest foods to fix. Some of the options include:

You can use lean meats and complement them with slices of low fat cheese.

You can also have some fresh veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers, dusted with little salt and pepper in the sandwich.

Hard boil an egg, slice it, dress it with some low fat mayonnaise and dust it with some pepper, It’ll make for a delicious sandwich.

If you don’t mind something sweet for lunch, you can try buttering one slice of the sandwich and applying fruit jam to the other.

By focusing on healthy meals here, its good not to forget that to use a variety of whole grain bread in making sandwiches and wraps. Another option are healthy tortillas to use as wraps.

Greens, Reds, and Browns

Salads are invariably the first thing that comes to mind when we think of healthy meals, below are some healthy salads.

Greens: As the name suggests, you can stock up on a lot of fresh greens when you go grocery shopping. Green leafy vegetables, along with cucumbers and the appropriate salad dressing are not only delectable, but also extremely healthy to eat.

Reds: Carrots, bell peppers, beets and tomatoes. These are more than enough to provide you a satisfying lunch. Throw in a little salt, pepper, some olive oil and a little bit of balsamic vinegar and you’re good to go.

Browns: Sausages and sprouts can make for a salubrious lunch and yet not take hours to prepare. All you have to do is stir fry the sausages for a bit and garnish them with a little dressing and bread if you want. As for the other ‘S’, you can pick an assortment of sprouts, wash them, boil them if you wish, mix them and add a little bit of salt, oregano and squeeze the juice of a full lemon in it, mix it and enjoy it

Leftovers for Lunch

Leftovers can be fun. In fact, some foods taste surprisingly better the next morning. Your lunch could be last night’s brown rice, or a special pasta you made. It could be spaghetti and meat balls or even a chicken casserole. Whatever you’re cooking for dinner, cook a little extra and keep it aside for lunch the next day. In the morning, all you have to do is remove it from the refrigerator, thaw it or heat it. If you have a microwave at your workplace, simply heat it up just before you eat it

Apart from these ideas, you can also opt for ready to eat frozen meals that are no doubt available at supermarkets. Go for the healthy options. As for desserts, you can carry a carton of juice or low fat flavored milk or yogurt instead of a cola. So, there you go a whole bunch of ideas to make your own healthy lunch recipes.

How Indian Curry Recipes Have Evolved Through History

India’s culinary traditions have resulted from various foreign impacts. Colonial influences are notable in many different parts of India as India has been invaded several times in history. The region of the northern plains of India has been highly affected by the Persian and Mughal cooking style.

Mughal cooking impacted greatly on the traditional techniques and therefore introduced the Indian cuisine to many new and delicious dishes by combining the two food styles. The Mughals brought with them their rich and aromatic dishes which have now become a part of the Indian cuisine. Besides the invasions leading to culinary influences, religions played a major role too. Except the northern region, the influences of the Muslim cooking styles can also be found in certain parts of south India like Hyderabad and Kerala.

The invasion by Timur in the fifteenth century was responsible for a large part of Muslim influence on the cooking techniques of the Indian cuisine. The introduction of butter sauces, cream meats and rich delicacies with nuts and dates has led to the modern dishes of korma and butter chicken over time. Besides the Indian spices the Mughals used spices they brought from their native region, hence leading to the introduction of these spices in the culinary arts of the Indian cuisine. The non-vegetarian dishes like the kebab are also due to the invasion of the Mughals.
Perhaps the most notable dish introduced by the Muslim rulers was the Pullao, a rice dish where rice is cooked with various vegetables, meat and occasionally fruits and dry fruits too. Within many Muslim communities, the cooking of pullao is considered an art form.

The nizams of Hyderabad on the other hand developed Biryani as their signature style of cooking. They introduced a style of marinating which involved putting chicken or some other meat in a large pot or cooking vessel filled with spices and vegetables. This was then placed on top of hot coal. The pot was then sealed with dough to keep the flavours of the spices and vegetables intact and hence infuse the meat or chicken with the flavours. Hot coal was then also put on top of the dough. This style is called Dumphukt and is essential to preparing the traditional Dum Biryani.
The the Mughlai cuisine is a very important part of the Indian cuisine. The cuisine is available all over the country but the centres of Delhi and Lucknow are home to his cuisine and arguably serve the most authentic Mughlai food. The influence of the Mughal cuisine is incredible. The coming of the Persians and Zoroastrians and also the spreading of Islam by the Muslim rulers brought with them their cooking styles and delicacies which were then blended with the Indian cuisine and have now been immortalised into one of the yummiest and richest cuisines of India.

Aloe Vera Recipes

Aloe Vera Recipes can be found for day to day facial cleansing, removing stubborn eye make-up or even for a more intensive scrub. In the slimy gel of the aloe leaves is the mysterious liquid that works as one of nature’s finest ingredients. The succulent plant called Aloe Vera has long been revered as the magical burn ointment it also is one of nature’s finest ingredients when it comes to caring for your skin. By using the gel found in the leaves of this wonderful plant you will find that it soothes and helps the healing process of burns.

One common recipe for exfoliating of the face can be made by mixing together the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons of aloe Vera gel, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Place those items within a bowl then mix together to create a cleansing gel that will scrub the dead skin from your face and body. Aloe Vera works well in this sense to cleanse your skin but also moistens and sinks deep within your pours to treat dryness. Another simple recipe for use that will help to soften those pesky rough patches of skin can be made using 1 cup of aloe Vera gel, 1 cup coconut oil, 2 cups of sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of honey. This mixture of sea salt and aloe gel works as a natural body scrub to remove excess dead skin. Many beauty recipes can be made with the addition of the aloe gel to help smooth, soften and exfoliate your entire body.

Not only has the amount of Aloe Vera Recipes popped up to treat burns or to soften skin but it also has many capabilities of treating dandruff. In your container mix together aloe Vera juice, coconut milk, and wheat germ oil in the same amounts to create a lotion to rub on the scalp. Now to treat your dandruff outbreak use the new aloe Vera lotion you have mixed by massaging into your scalp and allow to stay on the hair for at least 30 minutes. After that time has passed you can shampoo as normal. Repeat this practice until your dandruff has subsided.If you are longing to continue the aloe treatment for your hair the following shampoo recipe is just for you.

In the blender combine cup of aloe Vera gel, 2 tablespoon of vinegar (apple cider works the best), and 2 tablespoons of honey, after you have blended this items pour them into a bottle for easy use. One thing to remember is that this homemade shampoo will not foam or lather like the major store brands, however that does not detract from the deep cleaning it provides.

The vinegar will help to remove any built up oils or residue on the hair and scalp, while the aloe Vera and honey both work their magic to bring moisture to the hair. This shampoo is helpful in working with the scalp massage because of the anti-fungal properties of both the honey and the aloe Vera gel. In the beauty world of aloe recipes there are so many opportunities to treat your hair and scalp for the prevention or treat dandruff, moisturize and cleanse. When using aloe Vera or other natural ingredients it is best to remember to combine the ingredients as near to the time you use them as possible. Also, when it comes to creating a more pleasant scent the addition of your favorite essential oil works well.

When searching for a foot scrub that will soften your feet making them barefoot summer ready looking to aloe Vera as an aid is the best place to begin. Combine cup of oatmeal, cup of corn meal, 4 tablespoons of aloe Vera gel with cup of body lotion (preferably unscented lotion); place all the ingredients in a container and mix well. Once they have been mixed place them on your feet as a mask and allow to dry. After the lotion has dried wash your feet to remove the dead skin and finish with an aloe Vera based lotion for extra soft bare feet.Keep jars of aloe Vera gel on hand to help treat everyday issues, such as blisters, insect bites, or even for that extra push to help prevent acne. The miracle plant as some have called it works to treat even more pesky troubles from Athlete’s Foot to the rash from poison ivy.

While for years people have used the aloe plant as an aid in soothing sunburn that same gel can be added to everyday body lotions for an added bonus in moisturizing your skin..Many forms of aloe Vera are found not only in the products we use to enhance our beauty or to help soothe dry skin. There lies a world within the simple gel of the leaves of this plant that work to help regulate cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood as well as help to maintain a healthy body.

Adding aloe Vera juice to smoothies or creating your own drinks will work to aiding your body reach a healthier state.When making your favorite smoothie add cup of aloe Vera juice, the flavor of your smoothie will over power the bitter quality that the juice will generally have on its own. That one simple step with aloe Vera recipes will aid your body toward a better cholesterol count and take you many steps toward a healthier life.

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Cookery Lessons Are The Best Way to Improve Your Culinary Skills

With the prevalence of cookery programs on the televisions, it is somewhat unsurprising that as a nation we have become more interested in the quality and taste of our food. From Jamie Oliver through to Gordon Ramsey we are consistently bombarded with imagery through the media which offers us the means of enhancing our culinary skills, however in practice it is a different story. In reality, one of the most effective ways of improving our cooking skills is to take cookery lessons with a professional chef.

Many of us have the desire to be able to create an impressive meal by utilising a variety of ingredients and our culinary skills. The fact, however, is that many of us lack the required knowledge to produce the desired effects, tastes and textures. That is one of the reasons why one of the most popular activities through intotheblue, the UK’s leading activity company, are cookery lessons.

Cookery courses offer an opportunity to be taught first hand by a professional chef, the skills and knowledge to improve your cooking prowess. Intotheblue offer a diverse range of cookery courses catering for a wide array of tastes including Asian, Spanish as well as speciality dishes such as Sushi. They even offer the opportunity to get cooking with a renowned celebrity chef.

Whichever options suits, the courses provide a solid grounding and are available throughout various locations within the UK. Each of the courses offers something different, with a comprehensive range of food styles available. Information regarding each of the courses is available through the intotheblue website, with descriptions of the activity in the form of an experience summary, availability and any specific requirements. Many of the course details also include a video, which appropriately outlines the aspects of the courses.

Whether for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, cookery lessons are a thoughtful and ingenious gift, which offers benefits that will last for many years. If unsure as to which option suits the lucky recipient, then intotheblue offer the option of a gift voucher, which then allows the recipient the option to choose the ideal course and location to suit their individual circumstances.

Caribbean Food and Recipes

The Caribbean is home to some of the world’s most exciting culinary delights. From spicy jerk chicken and pork to some of the world’s freshest and tastiest seafood, Caribbean food is delicious, fresh and very healthy. Caribbean cuisine originates from a mixture of many different cultures including Spanish, British, African, French, Indian, Chinese and Dutch and the fusion of cooking from these different regions has led to dishes which are now unique to the Caribbean.

Traditional dishes of Caribbean are the representation of their history and culture. Through the dynamic and innovative minds of Caribbean people, they learn to adopt and mimic ideas from other foreign culture. Therefore Caribbean tend to combine food elements and techniques which make their food interesting and exciting to eat.

The blend of Caribbean, African Food is popular all over the world and for great reasons. There is such a variety when it comes to Caribbean Recipes, Cuisines. You can taste combinations you never have before. Many people appreciate the great Spicy Jerk Chicken which is becoming popular in all over the world. The Caribbean Foods thrill our taste buds, the smells excite our minds, and the looks please our eyes, enrich, and inspire our souls.

The national dish in Barbados is cou-cou and flying fish, a name that tends to pique the curiosity of people wanting to sample the more exotic food on offer at their 5 Star Caribbean hotels. Cou-cou itself is a mix of cornmeal and okra, and is usually prepared with the aid of a special cou-cou stick, a unique wooden utensil with a long, flat rectangular shape. Many people say it reminds them of a miniature cricket bat.

Cuban cooking is also very popular in Barbados. Cuban cooking is a mixture of Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines. The techniques and spices are akin to African and Spanish recipes and there is also some influence from the Caribbean. There is also a small Chinese influence in the Havana region recipes.

In addition, it is widely known within the island that Rice and Beans have become an essential component of meals in Cuban cuisine. Aside from that, famous baked goods and desserts are also abundant in island most especially the Cuban Flan popular Cuban dessert.

An Alternative To Venture Capital In The Food And Beverage Industry

If you are an entrepreneur with a small food or beverage company looking to take it to the next level, this article should be of particular interest to you. Your natural inclination may be to seek venture capital or private equity to fund your growth, but that might not be the best path for you to take. We have created a hybrid M&A model designed to bring the appropriate capital resources to you entrepreneurs. It allows the entrepreneur to bring in smart money and to maintain control.

We have taken the experiences of a beverage industry veteran, a food industry veteran and an investment banker and crafted a model that both large industry players and the small business owners are embracing.

I recently connected with two old college mates from the Wharton Business School. We are in what we like to call, the early autumn of our careers after pursuing quite different paths initially. John Blackington is a partner in Growth Partners, a consulting firm that advises food and beverage companies in all aspects of product introduction and market growth. You might say that it has been his life’s work with his initial introduction to the industry as a Coke Route driver during his college summer breaks.

After graduation, Coke hired John as a management trainee in the sales and marketing discipline. John grew his career at Coke and over the next 25 years held various positions in sales, marketing, and business development. John’s entrepreneurial spirit prevailed and he left Coke to consult with early stage food and beverage companies on new product introductions and strategic partnerships.

Steve Hasselbeck is now a food industry consultant after spending 27 years with the various companies that were rolled up into ConAgra. His experience was in managing products and channels. Steve is familiar with almost every functional area within a large food company. He has seen the introduction and the failed introduction of many food industry products.

John’s experience at Coke and Steve’s experience at ConAgra led them to the conclusion that new product introductions were most efficiently and cost effectively the purview of the smaller, nimble, low overhead company and not the food and beverage giants.

Dave Kauppi is now the president of MidMarket Capital, a M&A firm specializing in smaller technology based companies. Dave got the high tech bug early in his business life and pursued a career in high tech sales and marketing. Dave sold or managed in computer services, hardware, software, datacom, computer leasing and of course, a Dot Com. After several experiences of rapid accent followed by an even more rapid decent as technologies and markets changed, Dave decided to pursue an investment banking practice to help technology companies.

Dave, John, and Steve stayed in touch over the years and would share business ideas. In a recent discussion, John was describing the dynamics he saw with new product introductions in the food and beverage industry. He observed that most of the blockbuster products were the result of an entrepreneurial effort from an early stage company bootstrapping its growth in a very cost conscious lean environment.

The big companies, with all their seeming advantages experienced a high failure rate in new product introductions and the losses resulting from this art of capturing the fickle consumer were substantial. When we contacted Steve, he confirmed that this was also his experience. Don’t get us wrong. There were hundreds of failures from the start-ups as well. However, the failure for the edgy little start-up resulted in losses in the $1 – $5 million range. The same result from an industry giant was often in the $100 million to $250 million range.

For every Hansen Natural or Red Bull, there are literally hundreds of companies that either flame out or never reach a critical mass beyond a loyal local market. It seems like the mentality of these smaller business owners is, using the example of the popular TV show, Deal or No Deal, to hold out for the $1 million briefcase. What about that logical contestant that objectively weighs the facts and the odds and cashes out for $280,000?

As we discussed the dynamics of this market, we were drawn to a merger and acquisition model commonly used in the technology industry that we felt could also be applied to the food and beverage industry. Cisco Systems, the giant networking company, is a serial acquirer of companies. They do a tremendous amount of R&D and organic product development. They recognize, however, that they cannot possibly capture all the new developments in this rapidly changing field through internal development alone.

Cisco seeks out investments in promising, small, technology companies and this approach has been a key element in their market dominance. They bring what we refer to as smart money to the high tech entrepreneur. They purchase a minority stake in the early stage company with a call option on acquiring the remainder at a later date with an agreed-upon valuation multiple. This structure is a brilliantly elegant method to dramatically enhance the risk reward profile of new product introduction. Here is why:

For the Entrepreneur: (Just substitute in your food or beverage industry giant’s name that is in your category for Cisco below)

1.The involvement of Cisco – resources, market presence, brand, distribution capability is a self fulfilling prophecy to your product’s success.

2.For the same level of dilution that an entrepreneur would get from a VC, angel investor or private equity group, the entrepreneur gets the performance leverage of smart money. See #1.

3.The entrepreneur gets to grow his business with Cisco’s support at a far more rapid pace than he could alone. He is more likely to establish the critical mass needed for market leadership within his industry’s brief window of opportunity.

4.He gets an exit strategy with an established valuation metric while the buyer helps him make his exit much more lucrative.

5.As an old Wharton professor used to ask, What would you rather have, all of a grape or part of a watermelon? That sums it up pretty well. The involvement of Cisco gives the product a much better probability of growing significantly. The entrepreneur will own a meaningful portion of a far bigger asset.

For the Large Company Investor:

1.Create access to a large funnel of developing technology and products.

2.Creates a very nimble, market sensitive, product development or R&D arm.

3.Minor resource allocation to the autonomous operator during his skunk works market proving development stage.

4.Diversify their product development portfolio – because this approach provides for a relatively small investment in a greater number of opportunities fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit, they greatly improve the probability of creating a winner.

5.By investing early and getting an equity position in a small company and favorable valuation metrics on the call option, they pay a fraction of the market price to what they would have to pay if they acquired the company once the product had proven successful.

Dean Foods utilized this model successfully with their investment in White Wave, the producer of the market leading Silk Brand of organic Soy milk products. Dean Foods acquired a 25% equity stake in White Wave in 1999 for $4 million. While allowing this entrepreneurial firm to operate autonomously, they backed them with leverage and a modest level of capital resources. Sales exploded and Dean exercised their call option on the remaining 75% equity in White Way in 2004 for $224 million. Sales for White Way were projected to hit $420 million in 2005.

Given today’s valuation metrics for a company with White Way’s growth rate and profitability, their market cap is about $1.26 Billion, or 3 times trailing 12 months revenue. Dean invested $5million initially, gave them access to their leverage, and exercised their call option for $224 million. Their effective acquisition price totaling $229 million represents an 82% discount to White Wave’s 2005 market cap.

Dean Foods is reaping additional benefits. This acquisition was the catalyst for several additional investments in the specialty/gourmet end of the milk industry. These acquisitions have transformed Dean Foods from a low margin milk producer into a Wall Street standout with a growing stable of high margin, high growth brands.

Dean’s profits have tripled in four years and the stock price has doubled since 2000, far outpacing the food industry average. This success has triggered the aggressive introduction of new products and new channels of distribution. Not bad for a $5 million bet on a new product in 1999. Wait, let’s not forget about our entrepreneur. His total proceeds of $229 million are a fantastic 5- year result for a little company with 1999 sales of under $20 million.

MidMarket Capital has created this model combining the food and beverage industry experience with the investment banking experience to structure these successful transactions. MMC can either represent the small entrepreneurial firm looking for the smart money investment with the appropriate growth partner or the large industry player looking to enhance their new product strategy with this creative approach.

This model has successfully served the technology industry through periods of outstanding growth and market value creation. Many of the same dynamics are present in the food and beverage industry and these same transaction stru7ctures can be similarly employed to create value.