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Summer Fancy Food Show

Lotito Foods’ Folios could revolutionize how consumers use cheese

By Elizabeth Crawford

Last updated on 11-Jul-2016 at 14:34 GMT2016-07-11T14:34:46Z

Source: E. Crawford

Source: E. Crawford

Consumers walking down the dairy aisle at a typical grocery store see a wide variety of cheese formats – from blocks to bricks to strings to shakers – but now there is a new format that could revolutionize the way consumers use cheese. 

At the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Lotito Foods launched Folios, which are par-baked, all-natural cheese that is sliced in large, thin disks that can wrap, roll, melt and even crisp into airy crackers and sturdy serving bowls.

“You can take them and you can wrap them and turn them into a … sandwich wrap, or what makes them very unique is you can put them in the microwave for a minute. When they come out they are warm and toasty and you can mold them … into a cone shape or a bowl or even to a little platter where you can do horderves,” said Chris Lotito, president and owner of Lotito Foods.

He added the Folios also are perfect to melt over a bowl of French onion soup, into pasta or in a quesadilla.

“So, you can melt it, you can crisp it, you could roll, you can wrap it and you can savor it; and that is what is on our package,” Lotito said.

Folios are positioned as a health food

The Folios also have appeal as a healthy food, Lotito added.

He explained:  “Our folios are carb free because they are aged cheeses. They are aged for at least 90 days so by that time all the reducing sugars that are in the cheeses have dissipated so it is very clean, minimal. And if you do the nutritional information there is zero carbs and there is zero sugar.”

In addition, the product taps into consumer demand for protein, Lotito said.

The high protein, combined with the lack of carbs, makes the Folios “an excellent source for anyone working out where you always have the high-protein, low-carb diet. This is an excellent product. A lot of people when they get a wrap, they try to get whole wheat wrap or something lower calorie or lower carb, but using our wrap there is no carb. So it is a healthy alternative,” he said.

The Folios are also low-fat because they are made with part-skim cheese, he noted.

Necessity as the mother of invention

Lotito came up with the idea to make Folios after a customer asked if the company could make, and ship, large Parmesan crisps without the cost of packaging to protect them from crumbling during shipping outweighing the value of the product.

The answer was no.

“To do something like that and the ability to be able to ship nationally a big size was nearly impossible,” Lotito said.

“As we started to argue the product, we realized that if we could package it and ship it to them half way done – par baked – that they are flexible and they can put them in the microwave when they are ready and crisp,” he explained. “From that came the fact that now you can mold them whereas the other ones were already just a flat surface … a disk and you can’t do anything with them.”

The Folios created quite the buzz at the Fancy Food Show, which Lotito says is promising.

“Hopefully we can’t fill the pipeline fast enough! Because I have been doing this show for over 20 years and I have a lot of great unique items, but I have never ever, ever had a show this exciting with so much buzz about this product,” he said, adding, “So, we are hoping we need to build more equipment lines and get more packaging out there. … We are excited about its future.”

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