Best Food Brands in New England
This article was first published in Casual Munch, the food tech industry's news organization of record. Casual Munch is a sister publication of the Exception.
Time to take a tasty journey across Red Sox Nation.
New England is renowned for its local flavors and regional fast food chains. Casual Munch analyzed the biggest brands in the area and present our picks for the top food company in each state:
Sure, we are a bit biased about Maine's high standing in America, which made picking the best food brand within Maine particularly challenging.
But if we had to pick one chain that dominates the "Pine Tree State," it's got to be Amato's. Serving "Real Italians" to real Mainers since its founding on the Portland docks in 1902, the chain has been expanding beyond Maine's borders to New Hampshire, Vermont and New York in recent years.
New Hampshire hasn't produced as many major brands as other states in the region.
Yet there is no denying Stonyfield Farms from Londonderry. According to CNN Money, Stonyfield is now the world's largest organic yogurt company. Not too shabby for a firm founded by two friends and seven cows about three decades ago.
Ben & Jerry's
This one is easy. Ben & Jerry's simply dominates the ice cream market and practically invented the over-the-top toppings desert category.
Although its founders remain committed to their hippie values, the company has been owned by the multinational corporation Unilever since 2000.
It's latest flavor, "Liz Lemon," is a frozen yoghurt honoring the recently retired 30 Rock TV show starring Tina Fey.
Chains like D'Angelos, Friendly's, Papa Gino's and Regina Pizzeria have certainly earned their diehard fans.
But no one can deny Dunkin' Donuts. Since its humble roots in Quincy, the doughnut powerhouse now has over 10,000 stores in 32 countries and generates $5.5 billion in annual sales.
And snooty Starbucks customers will never admit it, but Dunkin' Donuts coffee is surprisingly superior.
It's America's smallest state and has the region's smallest food footprint as well.
Del's Lemonade is a nice success story from the "Ocean State." It started as a pushcart business in 1948 and now slings frozen lemonade to fans in 36 states.