New Food Products: March 2005 New Food Rollout

This month's hot properties include high-fiber kids' cereal, whole-grain bread, tweak-your-own-flavor gum, super fast side dishes, the Doughboy on ice, and personalized M&Ms.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Kellogg’s intros high-fiber kids cereal

Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., rolls out Kellogg’s Tiger Power, a GR-R-REAT lightly sweetened whole-grain cereal option for kids (or kids at heart). It’s rich in fiber and contains protein, calcium and iron.

Consisting of three whole-grain Os fused together to look like Tony’s paw, Tiger Power cereal fits nicely into a spoon and makes a perfect sized finger food for babies, toddlers and 2-to-5-year-olds. As such, it could take a bite out of General Mills’ Cheerios sales, the No. 1 seller for the toddler market.

“The new 2005 Dietary Guidelines call for increased consumption of whole-grain and nutrient-rich foods and also identify calcium and fiber, among other vitamins and minerals, as ‘nutrients of concern’ for children,” says Chris Lowry, vice president global nutrition. “We believe that Tiger Power provides moms and kids with a nutritious, great-tasting whole-grain option that can become part of their daily routine.”

Suggested retail price for Tiger Power is $3.19 for a 10-oz. box.

The pendulum has swung again, from bread-as-bad-guy to nutrient-packed superhero, with extra fiber plus folic acid, vitamin D and calcium.

Next big trend in bread

Sara Lee Bakery Group, St. Louis, launches the next big trend in bread with Earth Grains Extra Fiber, a line of three fortified whole-grain breads – 100% Whole Wheat, 100% Whole Wheat Made With Honey, and 100% Multi-Grain.

Fortified with folic acid (a key nutrient for the prevention of birth defects and a potential contributor to cardiovascular health), vitamin D (essential for absorption of calcium for bone health) and calcium, two slices of Earth Grains Extra Fiber bread provide 35 percent of the RDV of fiber (9 g), 30 percent of the RDV of calcium, 20 percent of the RDV of vitamin D, 20 percent of the RDV of folic acid and 3 oz. of
whole grain.

"Consumer demand for whole-grain breads is soaring," says Frances Coletta, director of product nutrition. “These breads were developed based on nutrition research to address consumer needs as outlined by the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and other experts.”

In addition to the three new varieties, six other Earth Grains sandwich breads have been reformulated to include both vitamin D and calcium. They include: 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat; Honey Whole Grains; Honey Wheat Berry, Buttermilk, Potato, and Oat & Nut. Two slices contain 20 percent of the RDV of calcium and vitamin D and folic acid.

Suggested retail price for all nine of the 24-oz. loaves range from $2.59 to $3.39.

Create your own fusion flavors

A unit of Cadbury Schweppes, Cadbury Adams USA LLC, Parsippany, N.J., creates two new flavors of Trident sugarless gum -- strawberry fusion, featuring sweet and sour strawberry flavors, and wintergreen fusion, featuring extreme and mellow wintergreen flavors.

Each 12-piece pellet pack includes six pieces each of sour and sweet strawberry or extreme and mellow wintergreen, allowing consumers to blend their own intense strawberry or wintergreen combinations for a one-of-a-kind taste sensation.

Trident sugarless also is good for teeth. Chewing these products after eating helps clean teeth, because they contain the sugar-free sweetener xylitol, a sweetener that helps fight cavities.

"We created these new flavors for Trident to offer the ever-changing teen audience an exciting new taste experience that is also good for their teeth," says Chris Helle, business director for Trident. "Chewing sweet and sour strawberry and extreme and mellow wintergreen is an interactive experience, allowing consumers to customize their own flavor according to their personal taste, piece by piece."

Suggested retail price is 89 cents.

Country Crock Side Dishes are quick fixes for consumers who like to eat at home.

Easy does it

According to a recent ACNielsen study, nearly 70 percent of all dinners are prepared at home, but most moms spend less than 10 minutes preparing dinner. Unilever Best Foods, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., debuts Country Crock Side Dishes – fully-prepared, chilled sides that are ready to microwave and serve in five minutes – a great and convenient meal solution for busy consumers.

Varieties include Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Elbow Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Rice with Herbs. All come packaged in decorative country-style containers. The Country Crock Side Dishes' recipes are made with 100 percent fresh russet potatoes, long-grain rice or elbow macaroni, fresh milk, real cheddar cheese and, of course, Country Crock spread.

"Americans today are time and energy-deprived and are looking for ways to spend less time preparing meals," says Chad Scales, senior marketing director, Unilever North America. "At the same time, they aren't willing to compromise on the taste and quality of their foods. Country Crock Side Dishes provide a solution with the introduction of real comfort foods that taste fresh and can be prepared in as little as five minutes."

Incidentally, despite the low-carb craze, a whopping 83 percent of respondents to a Country Crock Side Dishes survey have not stopped eating the comfort foods they enjoy; in fact, three in 10 say they are eating more because they can’t live without them.

“For many Americans, comfort foods trigger memories of childhood and bring us back to a time when someone took care of us,” says Brian Wansink, professor of marketing and nutritional science at the University of Illinois. “Comfort foods connote a sense of security and warmth that Americans seem to embrace throughout their lives. These feelings tend to override diet trends and therefore the popularity of comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes and mac & cheese, never diminishes.”

Found in the refrigerated section, Country Crock Side Dishes come packaged in 23-24-oz. tubs. Suggested retail price is $3.69.

Lovin’ spoonful

Speaking of comfort food, Pillsbury Co.’s Dough Boy and Kemps Ice Cream, both headquartered in Minneapolis, join forces to launch Pillsbury Ice Cream in seven indulgent flavors.

Varieties include Lovin’ Caramel Swirl, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Turtle Fudge Brownie, Peanut Butter Fudge Chunk, Brownies ‘N Cream, Cake & Ice Cream and Homemade Vanilla.

“Consumer reaction to taste tests of our new Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream was absolutely incredible,” says Tom Piper, Kemps’ senior brand manager for Pillsbury Ice Cream. “All seven flavors are fantastic … but we’ve really taken Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to the next level with the help of the world’s expert on dough – the Pillsbury Doughboy.”

Suggested retail price for a 56-oz. container is $4.99.

My M&Ms don't make the consumer do all the work; they also have theme packages like this "Friendship Pack."

Say it creatively with My M&Ms

Masterfoods USA, Hackettstown, N.J., wants consumers to say it with My M&Ms, a “suite” of personalized M&Ms one can send to a loved one or use to market their company or product. My M&Ms can be used for a variety of occasions -- from everyday events to major milestones. Two colors can be included in a customized mix, and 13 colors -- silver, gold, white, light blue, light purple, red, dark pink, pink, cream, yellow, orange, aqua green and green -- of the 21 available can be imprinted with a personal message.

"Consumers are looking for innovative ways to express themselves," says Janis Smith-Gomez, vice president of marketing. "Recently, 'Marry Me' and 'I love you' have been some of the most popular phrases selected by My M&Ms customers who have created customized messages for a special person in a delectable and memorable way."

To order, select the color or color combination you prefer (up to two colors per mix), compose your message up to two lines per M&Ms candy (using eight characters or less per line) and indicate quantity and shipping preference. Pricing is as follows: an 8-oz. bag is $9.49 (minimum order is 4 bags); a 2-oz. gift bag with ribbon is $3.75; (minimum order is 16 gift bags) and a 1.6-ounce silver tin is $4.25 (minimum order is 20 tins). Custom color orders take four to seven business days to produce and custom printing orders take 10 business days.

My M&Ms are available exclusively online at http://www.shop.mms.com/custom and via phone at 888/696-6788.

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