Customer Spotlight: Fifth Taste Foods
Join us for a new series focusing on Seawind Food’s customers and their products.
This week, we are joined by Mark Engel, the brains behind Fifth Taste Foods and the New Hope Media product finalist for Best New Condiment, oo’mämē™.
Let’s dive in:
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mark.
A: Before founding Fifth Taste Foods, I spent almost half my career in the Food Industry starting in Marketing at General Mills and most recently as COO of an Asian food manufacturer. Wanderlust early in my career led me to spend more than 5 years living and working in Taiwan and China, embracing the culture, people, and especially the food.
Q: What attracted you to partnering with Seawind Foods?
Fifth Taste Foods is strategic about choosing partners and searches for vendors that can grow with us over the long-term. Of course, price and product quality are essential considerations, but as important is finding a vendor that understands our needs and will work with us. The ability to speak with Garry directly and the flexibility and generosity of the Seawind team in supporting our product development puts them on unparalleled ground. Their commitment to all-natural is in lockstep with ours. Finding a partner that shares our values and quality assurance is a rare find.
Q: Where does the name Fifth Taste Foods come from?
A: Umami comes from the Japanese word umai, meaning deliciousness, also known as the “fifth taste,” complementing sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Think of umami as the conductor of an orchestra, amplifying the essence of the other four tastes. Umami spreads flavor across the tongue creating a longer-lasting sensation and can be found in foods from all over the world, like shiitake mushrooms and Parmesan. It is the foundation of our oo’mämē Chile Crisps.
Q: How would you describe your product?
A: We have two products, Chinese and Mexican oo’mämē Chile Crisp. Our Mexican flavor is a blend of four local chiles, dry roasted to release their smokey chipotle flavor, with a dose of toasted Mexican spices, pepitas, and dried orange peel. Seawind’s dried mango (sulfur dioxide free!) is the crown jewel.
Q: What has been a recent win for your company?
A: New Hope Media, the leader in the Natural Food Industry, named oo’mämē as a finalist for Best New Condiment 2020/21. The process for evaluating over 800 products focused on Innovation, Inspiration, and Integrity.
Seawind’s commitment to all-natural is exactly the INTEGRITY that makes them our perfect partner. oo’mämē is handmade in small batches, using all-natural products, like Seawind’s dried mango, right here in the USA. Foreign-made products simply can’t make the quality claims we can. Our experience and travel have shown that they are generally mass-produced, under unknown conditions, lacking the quality control we insist upon. We want to make sure to nourish our bodies with things we can pronounce, sourced from responsible producers. We are careful in choosing partners and purveyors, and we insist on pristine production conditions. We guarantee a quality product, safely made. Seawind helps us deliver on our promise!
We were incredibly pleased to be selected as a finalist and are eager to hear the winners, to be announced on October 7th. Stay tuned! You can check out the latest and learn more at www.oomame.net
Do you have questions about the all-natural ingredients Seawind Foods offers? Be sure to visit our products page and please contact our team to have samples sent to you for your next product innovation.