Morini Brands Launches Risofu™, New Food Innovtion to Break the Mold in Popular Plant-Based Meat Category

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Seeking to offer all consumers a true choice in the meat alternative category, Morini Brands is introducing Ground Risofu™ (pronounced rhee-ZOE-foo), a rice-based meat alternative, packaged in a ground format, designed for those who want to eat better, but are bored with the less-than-inspired pre-flavored and pre-formed foods that currently dominate the analogue meat category.

“I was inspired to create Risofu years ago, after learning about a rice-based tofu (as opposed to soy) used in the Shan Region of Asia for thousands of years. Initially, we went to market with the Bahama Burger, a line of pre-formed patties made with Risofu. Over time, it became increasingly clear consumers were bored with preformed foods and so I set out to transform Risofu – and the category – by creating a bulk ground product that can be crafted into whatever the consumer wants. We see this as a transformative new food innovation,” said Christopher Morini, CEO of Morini Brands. Mr. Morini continued, “While the research and development on this was quite extensive, the results are quite simple: If you can make it with ground meat, you can make it better with Risofu. And, more importantly, you can Make if Your Way! And we think that’s important to today’s savvy, health-conscious consumers.”

In addition to offering consumers the ability to “Make it Your Way”, Risofu has other appealing attributes: similar protein and nutrient content to that of meat without the saturated fats & cholesterol, vegan, made with whole-grain organic ingredients, gluten free and free of the top 8 allergens, including soy. “Consumers who are seeking to reduce meat consumption at home -- or at their favorite restaurant -- will be excited to learn they now have greater recipe flexibility when it comes to crafting nutritious meat-free dishes. And for those not wanting to go completely vegan, Risofu blends easily with any ground meat, creating a simple way to reduce meat consumption while still enjoying their favorite foods. There are other new entrants into this alternative meat category that are generating “buzz”, but we feel Risofu is going to appeal to vegans and flexitarians in ways these others just can’t,” states Tina Nelson of Tradewinds Food Solutions, advisor to Morini Brands.

Based on client tests in the foodservice channel, it is anticipated that there will be significant demand for Risofu. The company has recently licensed manufacturers and is in discussions with a number of interested partners. Mr. Charlie Manis, President and CEO of Vanguard Culinary stated, “Risofu is truly innovative, versatile, along with numerous features and benefits. Risofu opens up a wide range of opportunities now and in the future addressing the meat alternative category, we believe Risofu can give us a formidable competitive edge.” Additionally, the company has a full innovative product pipeline ready for launch later this year with Risofu Sandwich Spreads, offering consumers even more variety.

Risofu is currently available in 5-pound packages for foodservice operators & chefs whose vegan customers are seeking something beyond burgers on the menu. Morini Brands’ Executive Chef, Susan Harman, is available to select foodservice customers for recipe development. Later this summer, the company will roll out an attractive one-pound, retail-ready package designed to be merchandised in the traditional retail meat case. According to Ms. Nelson, “During the first phase of our launch, we plan on working with restaurants & retailers whose consumer base seeks first-to-market concepts. While this is an exciting breakthrough, we realize it’s a new concept in the alternative meat category and we want to reach out to early adopters and pay keen attention to their needs and expectations. We also anticipate Risofu will resonate with consumers & food service operators who are leaders in the blended burger movement taking shape across the US.” For those interested in learning more about Risofu, Morini Brands will be exhibiting at the American Culinary Federation’s National Convention being held July 9 – 13 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL in Booth 423.

About Morini Brands

The Morini family has been in the food business since 1919, when their grandfather, Mario Morini, opened his first of four grocery stores. With an inherited spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, Albert Morini and his three brothers became one of the first pizza manufacturers in the U.S. and by the mid-70’s began making cheese-related products. Christopher, Albert and their two brothers, pioneered the country’s first soy-based cheese and eventually transitioned into better-for-you foods market by introducing the first-ever healthy cheese alternative in 1983. By 1987 their company, Galaxy Nutritional Foods, Inc, became publicly traded and in 1991, a devastating fire resulted in moving the company to Orlando, Florida. In 1994, Christopher conceptualized Veggie soy milk cheese Slices and Rice milk cheese Slices which propelled Galaxy Nutritional Foods into a leadership role in the alternative cheese category. The company was eventually sold and, as Morini Brands, Albert and Christopher are continuing their passion for creating healthy, trusted foods with a new food innovation, Risofu™, Nature’s Alternative to Meat.

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