New Food Products: January 2005 New Food Rollout

Besides healthful entrees and beer, this month's hot new products include gummi guerillas, pouched seafood, juice-milk blends and spicy jerky.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Beer with a wow factor

St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is the first major brewer to infuse beer with caffeine, guarana and ginseng with its rollout of B-to-the-E (BE), Budweiser's newest entry in a long line of innovative beers for contemporary adults looking for the latest beverage to keep up with their highly social and fast-paced lifestyles.

Well balanced with select hops and aromas of blackberry, raspberry and cherry, BE contains 6.6 percent alcohol by volume and has a lightly sweet and tart taste.

"We created a great new drink that's outside the boundaries of the taste adults would expect from a traditional beer," says Brewmaster Nathaniel Davis. "With B-to-the-E, we've come up with a beer that has a taste with a 'wow' factor at the finish."

Brewed at Anheuser-Busch's Houston brewery, BE is packaged in a sleek, slim-line 10-ounce can with stylish graphics.

"Contemporary adults thirst for variety and what's new, and our B-to-the-E delivers a beverage that is true to their lifestyles and range of drinking occasions," says Pat McGauley, senior director of new products and high end brands.

Suggested retail price of BE is slightly higher than Budweiser.


Fiber-rich entrees from Lean Cuisine

Inspired by chefs from wellness spas across the country, Lean Cuisine’s Whole Grain Spa Cuisine from Nestlé USA, Solon, Ohio, provides the perfect balance of nutrition and great taste.

Spa Cuisine is available in five new varieties (Chicken Pecan, Lemongrass Chicken, Pork with Cherry Sauce, Rosemary Chicken and Salmon with Basil) and four rejuvenated varieties (Grilled Chicken in a Peanut Sauce, Lemon Chicken and Mediterranean Chicken). Containing 3-5 g of fiber-rich whole grains (brown or wild rice or whole wheat pasta), lean protein choices and unusual vegetable combinations, Spa Cuisine frozen entrees have less than 300 calories.

Tantalizing seasoning blends and upscale ingredients include lemongrass, coconut, peanut sauce, garlic, orzo pasta, wild rice, dried cherries, snap peas and yellow -- yes, yellow -- carrots.

“With contemporary flair and flavors, Spa Cuisine meals are an exciting, new addition to the Lean Cuisine family of entrees and are perfect for women who want a sophisticated nutritious meal,” says Brett White, director of marketing. “We are proud to be among the first to offer women a fresh-frozen dinner with smart carb choices such as fiber-rich 100 percent whole grains and premium ingredients such as wild salmon.”

Suggested retail price is $2.79.


Move over, GI Joe

Family-owned Albanese Confectionery Group Inc., Merrillville, Ind., introduces Gummi Army Guys and Gummi Jet Fighters. They are colorful fighting soldiers modeled after perennially popular army figures – Bazooka Bob, Rifleman Rich, Fightin’ Forester and GI Johnny -- and military aircraft (F/A-22 Raptor, F/A-18 Hornet, F-15 Eagle and SR-71 Blackbird).

A tribute to our fighting soldiers, flavors include tangy Artillery Apple and sweet Cherry Bomb.

“We donated 100,000 bags of gummies to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq,” says Vice President Larry Albanese. “They were such a success that returning troops began asking for them for their kids,” he says. “It took off from there.”

Suggested retail price is 99 cents to $1.49 for 4.5-oz. bags. See www.albaneseconfectionery.com.


Mermaid rolls out shellfish in a pouch

A great idea from the Mermaid, Chicken of the Sea, San Diego, rolls out a complete line of single-serve pouched shellfish, expanding upon its line of tuna and salmon pouches.

Varieties include: Shrimp, Crab, Clams, and Imitation Crab in 3.53-oz. servings and Smoked Oysters, which come in a 3-oz. serving.

"Chicken of the Sea has a history of innovation and responding to consumers' desires," says Don George, senior vice president of marketing. "The new shellfish pouches offer Chicken of the Sea quality seafood in a convenient, ready-to-eat package that meets the needs of our customers' busy and healthy lifestyles."

Chicken of the Sea's pouched shellfish also allows everyday cooks to make gourmet recipes quickly and easily, says Culinary Expert Lena Cutler. “By adding pouched shellfish to salads, pastas and other dishes, people can add pizzazz to some of their favorite recipes," says Cutler. "The fresh-tasting pouches" can also be stored easily in a pantry or cupboard." "The new pouched shellfish are low-fat and low-calorie," says registered dietitian Sharon McNerney, "providing a healthful alternative to other protein choices."

The new line of pouched shellfish comes on the heels of Chicken of the Sea's introduction of its new chunkier chunk light tuna in the can earlier this year. The company also moved into the frozen food aisle with the introduction of Chicken of the Sea Frozen Shrimp and recently introduced pasteurized crab to the foodservice industry.

Suggested retail price is $1.49 to $2.99.


Juicing up the milk category

Dallas-based Dean Foods thinks kids will love the taste of Land O’ Lakes 80 ’N Sunny brand low-fat milk and fruit juice blend. And it’s good for them. With only 80 calories per serving, the milk product contains as much calcium as an 8-oz. glass of milk and as much vitamin C as an 8-oz. glass of orange juice.


Packaged in half-gallon cartons, Land O’ Lakes 80 ’N Sunny is available in the Midwest in four flavors: Strawberry Banana, Blue Raspberry, Orange Crème, and Fruit Punch.

“Our research told us kids love the refreshing taste,” says Dave Haley, director of marketing for Dean Foods. “And besides tasting great, our new product helps address two critical issues with today’s kids: obesity and a shortage of calcium.”

Suggested retail price is $2.99 per half gallon.


Flavorful jerky hits the spot

When new products come into the office, we put them through the file cabinet test. How long will they last before hungry journalists spot them, taste and spread the word?

World Kitchens, Silverton, Ore., passed the test with flying colors with its Beef Jerky, available in Old Fashioned, Teriyaki, Peppered and Hot & Spicy flavor varieties. Samples were gone lickety split.

Made from strips of lean beef under USDA inspection, World Kitchens jerky is packaged in generous and convenient 1-lb. resealable bags.

Thanks to the Atkins, South Beach and other diets that stress protein, beef consumption has grown and prices are rising. World Kitchens is changing the U.S. jerky market by offering jerky for about half the price per pound of competitors. A 1-oz. serving size of World Kitchens Beef Jerky contains only 80 calories (10 calories from fat), and portion control is more convenient for consumers because of the resealable bag.

Suggested retail price is $9 to $11 a pound.

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