Promoting regional food manufacturers and suppliers is good business. But national retailers have been aggressive about getting rid of smaller suppliers, preferring to reduce the number of SKUs, or products, and allowing manufacturers to buy up and fill up center aisles. These trends go in cyles; the chain like WalmartMORE HERE

At one time, not too long ago, there was no such thing as “decaffeinated” coffee. You either had coffee, or Sanka. And a key part of the Sanka identity was orange. Orange appeared on the bands on decaf coffee pots in restaurants, and in the packaging of Sanka. However, overMORE HERE

Comstock is one of the nation’s early canned pie fillings and may be the nation’s first. The idea? Instead of cutting and cooking apples before you bake them in a pie, all you have to do is buy a crust, open the can, pour it in, and bake. No Peel!MORE HERE

PEACH GLEN, Penn. – Supporting local farmers is often seen as finding fresh, local produce, or visiting a locavore restaurant. But there are easier ways to change the food process. Buy American, and buy from co-ops and smaller suppliers in the center aisles, with prepared and canned foods. Lucky Leaf,MORE HERE

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Uncle Wiley’s is a food seasoning brand for the produce aisle, geared to vegetables like yams and greens. With simply titled seasonings, each flavor packet describes what it is for, no explanations needed. Flavors include Eat Your Beans, Eat Your Greens and Eat Your Yams. Retail pricesMORE HERE

Chestnut Hill, Tenn. – If one wants to see the perfect template for promoting a consumer product brand, steal a few ideas from Bush Brothers & Company, makers of Bush’s Best beans. The brand, founded in 1908, is still family owned, with offices and plant in East Tennessee. The brandMORE HERE

Parsippany, N.J. – Last December, B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS) announced the purchase of the Crisco brand of shortening from J. M. Smucker Co. for $550 million in cash. As part of the acquisition, B&G Foods also acquired the Crisco factory and warehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. B&G specializes in “shelf-stable”MORE HERE

The mid to late 20th century was the era of mass marketed snack cakes; national brands like Hostess were the best-known, but there were others including Drake’s Cakes (1896), Philadelphia’s Tastykake (1914) and the nobly named Dolly Madison. Dolly Madison began in 1937, and was formerly owned by Hostess’ thenMORE HERE

HP Sauce England Vintage

There are few foods more indicative of a place, and amenable to high margins, than food sauces. Sauces are the ultimate example of a profit-making brand of food. They keep for a long time. They can be cheaply made. Secret recipes can give a certain allure. They also cannot beMORE HERE