Times Staff Report
For 111 years, ALAGA Cane Syrup has been a staple of kitchen tables in the deep south and across the country as southern “expats” moved elsewhere over the decades.
Renowned Birmingham Chef Clayton Sherrod, developer and culinary consultant of Lawson State Culinary Arts Program, plans to introduce ALAGA to younger audiences. “ALAGA still means a lot to older generations, but I think Millennials will enjoy getting to know it as a perfect part of their own recipes, he said.
Now through social media, and other efforts, ALAGA is working to introduce itself to a new group of followers.
“People who have known me for a long time, know that I’ve got a strong history with the ALAGA brand . . . and ALAGA Syrup has been a strong component not only of my recipes, but even on a personal level from my boyhood days growing up with the product,” Sherrod said.
Still produced at Montgomery-based Whitfield Foods, ALAGA Cane Syrup is known for its original cane-flavored distinct taste and versatility as both a topping and key baking ingredient. ALAGA was founded in 1906 as the Alabama-Georgia Syrup Company by Georgia native Louis Broughton Whitfield Sr. and his Alabama-born wife, Willie Vandiver. Blending the two states is how ALAGA Syrup was branded from the start.
During its peak, the company and its syrups had a high profile, which led several notable people like Willie Mays, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Nat King Cole, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Hank and Audrey Williams and Hank Aaron to express their love for ALAGA Syrup in local newspapers and magazines.
Today, ALAGA parent company Whitfield Foods employs 95 people and sits on a 27-acre complex near downtown Montgomery. Whitfield manufactures, packages, warehouses and distributes food products across the U.S. primarily as a packager of well-known brands.
ALAGA products include the famous original cane-flavored syrup, a pancake syrup, Yellow Label syrup, and even an ALAGA hot sauce.
“We love ALAGA Syrup, no question about it,” said Whitfield Foods CEO Les Massey. “ALAGA is the legacy brand of the Whitfield family. We think it’s neat to have a unique Southern product like this around for more than a century. We’re looking forward to the next phase of ALAGA’s life as a staple of Southern-style kitchens.”
Consumers can find the product in Winn-Dixie, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Walmart and other stores across the Southeast, Kroger stores throughout the South and Midwest, and online at Amazon.com and Jet.com.
For more information about ALAGA Syrup, visit www.alagasyrup.com.