Rollout: Carb-craver's cornucopia

Those who don't buy into the carb-reduction craze will give thanks for this month's Rollout. We profile a new candy bar, fruit snacks, crackers, fries and chips.

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M&Ms rise to the occasion

If M&M’s means “Chocolate is Better in Color,” then Hackettstown, N.J.-based Masterfoods USA’s M-Azing, the first candy bar to infuse color in a milk chocolate bar, is truly an eye-popping experience, and it’s available nationally.

Chock full of M&M’s minis in bright green, blue, red, yellow and orange that rise to the surface of the bar and pop with bursts of color, each molded bar is also embossed with M&M’s characters, created with a new technology, adding extra fun to the occasion.

“We wanted to bring fun into the tablet chocolate bar category by creating a chocolate bar that would deliver a delicious, entertaining and uniquely one-of-a-kind snacking experience,” says Mark Mattia, vice president of marketing. “M-Azing features M&M’s minis chocolate candies in a rich, solid milk chocolate bar, delivering fun colors, a surprising texture and breakable segments to share with friends.”

I’m not planning to share with friends; they can buy their own bar in one of two varieties – Peanut Butter and Crunchy (with the added snap of crisped rice).

Suggested retail price is 55 cents for a 1.5-oz. bar and $2.89 for an 11.1-oz. bag.

Fruit snack with calcium

General Mills of Minneapolis rolls out Betty Crocker Fruit Smoothie Blitz Fruit Snacks, the first fruit snack to provide a good source of calcium. Made with real fruit juice, the snack also provides 100 percent daily value of vitamin C per serving.

Fruit Smoothie Blitz is available in three flavors: Strawberry, Tropical and Orange. And to satisfy the appetites of older, active kids, packages will feature larger pouches of the two-color fruit-shaped pieces.

“We know that kids love fruit snacks and moms are always looking for ways to bring more calcium into their kids’ diets, so it was important to us to introduce the first fruit snack with added calcium,” says Hyun Mee Oh, marketing manager of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks.

Suggested retail price is $2.69.

Cheez-Its get barbecued for football

Just in time for the football season, Kellogg’s, Battle Creek, Mich., introduces baked Cheez-It BBQ Cheddar, the newest member of its Cheez-It snack cracker brand.

These zesty crackers have a balanced smoky and tangy barbeque flavor. With nearly three of four U.S. households owning a barbeque grill, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Assn., and a majority of Americans barbequing at least once a week, Cheez-It BBQ Cheddar crackers are sure to be a hit.

"Barbequing is a national American pastime, and Cheez-It BBQ Cheddar crackers let families enjoy the flavors of grilling all year round," says Michael Allen, senior vice president of Kellogg snacks.

Suggested retail price is $3.49 for a 14-oz. box.

Crispier french fries at home

According to a recent national Impulse Research survey, 72 percent of Americans are looking for the "crispy" taste in a superior french fry and 65 percent wish french fries at home tasted like restaurant fries.

Pittsburgh’s H.J. Heinz Co. cracks the crispiness code for microwavable french fries with Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Fries, which deliver crispy fries from the microwave in four minutes using a patented Crisp-n-Serve packaging and proprietary X-Crisp production process that took 18 months to develop.

Ore-Ida’s Extra Crispy Easy Fries are baked rather than fried, so they should appeal to consumers who prefer a healthier, cleaner and quicker alternative.

“The introduction of four-minute, microwaveable Extra Crispy Easy Fries is the latest effort from Ore-Ida to meet consumer needs," says Michael Smith, senior manager of marketing-potatoes. "Consumers have been asking for crispy, crunchy french fries without the time crunch associated with baking or broiling. And thanks to Ore-Ida, Easy Fries, consumers can have their Extra Crispy fries extra quick."

Suggested retail price is 99 cents for a single-serve 4.75-oz. package.

Chip of a different hue

Chicago-based Ubiquity Brands, parent company of Jays Foods Inc., launches Krunchers Sweet Baby Jays, new chips made from sweet potatoes.

Sweet Baby Jays -- available in Unsalted and Mesquite flavors -- are cooked in corn oil and contain zero trans fats. Made from sweet potatoes, the chips are high in beta carotene (provitamin A) and also contain vitamin C and potassium.

"In addition to containing zero trans fats and zero milligrams of sodium, Unsalted Sweet Baby Jays have only 5 g of carbs, 90 calories and offer 90 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A per serving," says nutrition consultant Ann Gallagher, R.D. “Not many potato chip brands can say that.”

Suggested retail price is 25 cents for .75-oz., 99 cents for 2.25-oz. and $3.29 for 8.5-oz. bags.

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