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Stratford company unveils new variety of trail mixes
Friday, August 26, 2011 By Monica Szakacs for the CT Post
STRATFORD -- Aurora natural granola, dried fruit and trail mixes are billed as healthy choices incorporating All Natural, nutrient-rich ingredients. Now, the company, Aurora Products Inc., is introducing two new trail mix flavors: Crunchy Asian and Red, White and Blue.

Crunchy Asian mix is full of almonds and cashews that provide protein, fiber and omega 3s, while Red, White and Blue mix contains cell-protecting antioxidant ingredients, such as dried cranberries, blueberries and yogurt-covered raisins, the company said.

What is the unique about these products? Aurora, when possible, replaces sugar with apple juice and milk chocolate with dark chocolate in its recipes, as some examples, it said. None of the snacks contain preservatives, additives or artificial coloring, and the products are made with the highest grades of nuts.

"The new flavors were added to... appeal to consumers' increasingly varied tastes," said Laura Blackwell, Aurora's marketing manager. "Consumers' palates are more attuned than ever and they demand products with diverse flavorings."

The company's initiative is to increase the health benefits of trail mixes and broaden the consumer base, Blackwell said.

"Aurora Products packages only the highest quality and freshest All Natural and Organic dried fruits, nuts, trail mixes, salad toppings and granolas under the Aurora Natural brand name," Blackwell said. "Aurora offers a variety of All Natural and Organic trail mixes with flavors that appeal to varied consumer tastes."

The flavor of Crunchy Asian is a mix that appeals to those who seek more spice than with a traditional mix, because it contains tamari flavoring. Red, White and Blue was created for a snack of choice during festive occasions, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day.
After Aurora developed the two new recipes, the products were tested by first introducing them to a gourmet retailer in New York City on a trial basis.

Aurora Products, located at 400 Long Beach Blvd. in Stratford, was established in 1998 by Stephanie Blackwell and continues to be a family owned business that distributes nationwide. The company, which employs about 150 workers, is run by Stephanie's daughter, Laura, and two sons, Matthew, the operations manager, and Gregory, the customer service chief.

According to Aurora's website, other than delivering "healthy heart" products, Aurora strives to maintain a sustainable environment by using recycled plastic for packaging and conserving energy by recycling bio-fuels from oils used in nut roasters.