Rollout: The month's most interesting new foods

New products from Jennie-O, Sargento and Keebler together, Lucini Italia, Dewar's, Pittsburgh Brewing Co., and Halo Purely for Pets hit the shelves.

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‘Rockwellian’ turkey experience

Willmar, Minn.-based Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., has revolutionized holiday turkey preparation with Oven Ready Whole Turkey. Preparation time eliminates the hassle of defrosting and cleaning the turkey, so it takes only minutes from freezer to oven. In fact, it’s so simple to prepare, mom might want to serve whole turkey all year round.

Cleaned and pre-seasoned, the turkey comes in a proprietary Fool-Proof oven roasting bag developed by Jennie-O, allowing the novice cook to create a juicy, tender holiday centerpiece with confidence. Cooking time varies from three and a half to five hours, depending on the size of the bird. Best of all, there are plenty of juices to make homemade gravy.

“This is truly the first whole turkey to deliver key consumer benefits vs. merely enhanced product attributes,” says Chuck Meath, vice president-branded whole turkey sales. “Oven Ready whole turkey (and half turkey) comes injected and hand rubbed, there are no messy necks or giblets and it can be taken directly from the freezer to the oven – no thawing. The end result is a deliciously moist whole turkey that requires a minimal amount of consumer interaction, yet delivers the Rockwellian whole turkey experience.”
Oven Ready Whole Turkey is available in two varieties: Home Style and Butter, Garlic & Herb. Suggested retail price is $2 per pound.

Do the Highland fling

For those who appreciate the finer things in life, John Dewar & Sons Co., Miami-based maker of Dewar’s White Label, the No. 1 Scotch brand in the U.S. at 1.4 million cases, launched a limited edition of Dewars Ultra-Premium Blend Signature.

“To add to the intricacy of the blend, I have selected the finest and rarest malts from each distilling region of Scotland to create a full-bodied flavor that allows the discerning palate to discover something new every time Signature is tasted,” says master blender Thomas Aitken.

Deep amber in color, the 86-proof Signature is crafted in small batches. Its nose is sweet and balanced, rich, with the fruity, mellow tones of sultanas, raisins, apples and honey with vanilla and toffee overtones. Alberfeldy 27-year-old single malt, with notes of honey, heather and vanilla, is at the heart of Signature, and each bottle is individually numbered to ensure authenticity.

Signature comes in a crystal-quality decanter with a polished metal stopper that is packaged in a silk-screened wooden tartan gift box along with a card.
Suggested retail price is $200 for a 750ml bottle. For those on a budget, Dewar’s 12 Year Old is a $30 alternative.

An affordable luxury

Lucini Italia, Miami, known for its extra virgin olive oil and specialty vinegars, rolls out Lucini Italia Pasta Sauce, a collection of five regional pasta sauce specialties that take bottled pasta sauce to the next level – you won’t believe it’s not homemade.

Made by hand in small batches, the sauces are prepared using Marzano tomatoes from the rich volcanic soil surrounding Naples, fresh herbs and hand-cut vegetables. Completely natural, all varieties include Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, are non-GMO and contain no artificial flavorings, colors, thickening agents or preservatives. It’s ideal for carb-watchers as well; it has up to 50 percent fewer carbs than leading brands.

Varieties include Spicy Tuscan Tomato, Sicilian Eggplant and Olive, Sicilian Olive and Wild Caper, Rustic Tomato Basil, and Hearty Artichoke Tomato.

Suggested retail price is $7.99.

Sargento and Ernie team up

Plymouth, Wis.-based Sargento has partnered with Ernest J. Keebler, head baker and spokes-elf of Kellogg Co.’s Keebler brand, to provide tasty dual-branded non-refrigerated snacks.

Ernie, as he is affectionately called, is one of the most recognizable advertising icons in the world, and looks forward to being featured on the packages of seven varieties of single-serving snacks. They include Cheese Dip and Sticks, Cheese Dip and Pretzels, Cheese Dip and Cheddar Sticks, Cheese Dip and Crackers, Strawberry Dip and Cookie Sticks, Chocolate Dip and Cookie Sticks and Smore’s.

“This licensing program is a great opportunity to partner with the Keeber brand – a great match between the best in cheese and one of the largest cookie and cracker companies in the U.S.,” says Lou Gentine, Sargento CEO.
Sold in 3.8-oz. to 5-oz. packages, the suggested retail price is $1.89.

Brewing up innovation

Iron City premium lager from Pittsburgh Brewing Co. is getting a sleek new look. It’s the first North American beer to be introduced nationally in an unbreakable aluminum bottle that keeps the beer cold for more than 60 minutes longer than glass. Made by CCL Container, Hermitage, Pa., the bottle uses Alcoa aluminum.

This isn’t the first time Alcoa and Pittsburgh Brewing have collaborated for an industry first. In 1962, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa developed the first snap-top can (also known at the time as “Easy-Open Snap Top”), and gave Pittsburgh Brewing an exclusive to use this new technology. Following its debut, snap-top cans changed the beverage industry. PBC also was the first brewery to use the twist-off cap on its products.

Kevin Lowery of Alcoa says the company is happy to be part of another innovation at PBC. “We are glad to be involved in the new aluminum Iron City bottles," he remarks. "This is an exciting step not only for the aluminum industry, but also in packaging. Both Alcoa and PBC recognize the importance of being leaders in introducing such a unique product."

“All of our innovations have not only been revolutionary, but successes as well because they are rooted in delivering true consumer benefits,” says Joseph Piccirilli, Pittsburgh Brewing’s vice chairman.

Iron City aluminum bottles are packaged in specially designed 24-packs and suggested retail price is about $1 more than beer packaged in glass.

Festive Holiday Squares

Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., San Francisco, captures the holiday season with an addition to its popular Squares line. Ghirardelli Limited Edition Holiday Squares includes the festive flavors of Peppermint Bark, Eggnog, and Cinnamon Spiced Almond.

"Ghirardelli uses a precise blend of deep-roasted beans and hand-selected ingredients to create our intense signature taste," says Tinka Gordon, vice president of marketing. "For these Ghirardelli Holiday Squares, we selected the most popular holiday flavors to complement our rich chocolate and create a unique and pleasurable indulgence for the holiday season."

For a limited time only, Ghirardelli Holiday Squares come individually wrapped in brightly colored jewel-toned foil wrapping, and will be available in Holiday Chocolate Assortment or Peppermint Bark bags, as well as a variety of special gift packages.

Suggested retail price for a 9.4-oz Holiday Chocolate Assortment and a 9.3-oz. Peppermint Bark-only bag is $5.99 and a 3-oz. Peppermint Bark Bar is $2.49.

Stocking stuffer for Fifi and Fido

Invite your pets to a gourmet … er, gour-mutt holiday gathering courtesy of Halo, Purely for Pets, Palm Harbor, Fla. Halo’s Dinner Party combines freeze-dried USDA-approved chicken or beef with savory seasonings, herbs and vegetables. Just sprinkle it over your pet’s food, and the meal becomes a gourmet treat.

Dinner Party, which stimulates digestion and provides an extra healthy source of protein, is available in two flavors: Chicken & Herbs and Beef & Herbs. Move out of the way as you dog dives or cat-a-pults into the bowl. Even the most finicky pet will jump for joy. Suggested retail price is $9.98 for 3 ounces.

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