June 2005 New Food Rollout

Bertolli Dinner for Two, Campbell’s Select soups, Betty Crocker Warm Delights, Edy’s Dibs, McCormick Grill Mates Spice Rubs, a lite Island Breeze.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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A romantic dinner for two

After two years of development, Unilever’s Bertolli launches Dinner for Two, a line of eight frozen, chef-inspired, restaurant-quality authentic Italian dinners with easy, one-step skillet preparation. The entire meal goes directly from the freezer to the skillet to the table in 10 minutes. You don’t need to add anything but a bottle of wine. I can personally attest they taste divine.

Bertolli chef Anthony Strong spent three months in Italy to perfect the varieties, which include: Grilled Chicken Alfredo; Italian Sausage and Rigatoni; Shrimp Scampi & Linguine; Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Ravioli; Chicken Parmigiana and Penne; Chicken and Garden Vegetable Primavera; Roasted Chicken and Linguine; and Shrimp, Penne and Asparagus. Ingredients are individually quick frozen, and the sauce is frozen in cubes or chunks. Since the herbs are not precooked, the aromas are released when you cook them.

Bertolli Dinner for Two also is the only frozen dinner to gain unprecedented recognition by the prestigious Federation of Italian Chefs of America (FIC). Founded to promote traditional Italian cooking in the U.S., FIC chefs cite the Bertolli dinners' restaurant-quality, authentic Italian recipes, professional culinary techniques and fine ingredients like aged Pecorino Romano cheese, imported Italian pastas and Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the reasons for the designation.

“Bertolli is making it easier than ever for people to spend less time in the kitchen and enjoy a special, Italian dinner in,” says Brian Manning, senior director of Bertolli.

Suggested retail price is $7.99.


Soup’s on, and it’s superpremium

Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., brings restaurant-style soup to American homes with the launch of Campbell’s Select Gold Label, its first line of ready-to-serve superpremium soups. They bring prepared soups to a new level for sophisticated consumers.

Packaged in a 500 ml aseptic carton with eye-catching graphics, Select Gold leverages proprietary technology that Campbell’s has been using globally for several years. It’s been accepted by the USDA, allowing the creation of soups with a thicker, velvety blended texture and consistency. These soups are vegetarian and don’t contain artificial flavors or preservatives. Four of the five varieties have 3-4 g of fiber per serving and all contain only 90-120 calories.

Upscale varieties include: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato; Golden Butternut Squash; Blended Red Pepper and Black Bean; Creamy Portobello Mushroom and Italian Tomato with Basil and Garlic. All but Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato will be available in reclosable, one-liter cartons, giving the consumer the option of keeping leftover soup in the refrigerator for up to a week after opening.

“These are satisfying soups with sophisticated flavors, which makes them perfect for a light meal or as an elegant dinner starter,” says Ian Smith, vice president of marketing for Campbell’s Select. “With these five new offerings, consumers can have a true restaurant quality experience in their own home, anytime.”

Suggested retail price is $2.99.


Three minutes from Heaven

Minneapolis-based General Mills launches Betty Crocker Warm Delights, an indulgent dessert that is ready in less than three minutes.

Available in five mouthwatering varieties — Molten Chocolate Cake, Molten Caramel Cake, Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie, Hot Fudge Brownie and Cinnamon Swirl Cake — Warm Delights come packaged in single-serve bowls so everyone can enjoy their favorite dessert. Just add water, stir, microwave and indulge.

Suggested retail price is $1.99.


Meat flavors sizzle

It’s grilling season, and McCormick is firing up the grill with Grill Mates Spice Rubs (Wet) in two varieties — Spicy Hickory and Mesquite — and Grill Mates Spice Rubs (Dry) in three flavors — Steak, Chicken and Pork. All infuse grilled meats and vegetables with big, bold flavor.

The Wet Spice Rubs are thick, spoonable spice pastes that lock in juices to ensure that meats stay tender, juicy and full of flavor. Dry Rubs allow grillers to create a flavorful, char-grilled crust that seals in juices, with no marinating time required (although you’d never know it).

“Spice rubs are the hottest thing that’s happened to grilling in recent years,” says Laurie Harrsen, director of public relations. “We created these new Grill Mates Spice Rubs to deliver the ultimate in convenience and flavor for grilled foods.”

Suggested retail price is $2.79.


I’ve got dibs on them

Oakland, Calif.-based Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, a Nestlé brand, launches Dibs bite-sized coated ice cream snacks. They are packaged in an easy-to-share 9-oz. container containing more than 60 pieces.

They are available in five varieties: vanilla ice cream with Nestlé Crunch coating; vanilla ice cream with Nestlé Drumstick cone coating, mint ice cream with chocolaty coating, vanilla ice cream with chocolaty coating and chocolate ice cream with chocolaty coating. Dibs prove that ice cream bon bons are a portable, poppable snack that can be enjoyed any time of day. Plus, they provide a simple way to control portion size and are just plain fun.


Suggested retail price is $3.99.


First lite spirit launched

Bacardi U.S.A. Inc., Miami, launches Island Breeze, the first lite spirit, with half the calories of traditional spirits and wine, to satisfy adult consumers' desire to enjoy delicious cocktails without breaking the calorie bank.

"Island Breeze will revolutionize the spirits industry, doing what the first lite beer did to the beer industry and what the first diet cola did to the soft drink industry," says Alfredo Piedra, chairman of global new product development. "As the 'original lite spirit,' Island Breeze fulfills consumers' desire to 'live life to the fullest' while saving calories and enjoying life responsibly. They want to have their cake and eat it, too."

“Sex & the City’s” Kim Cattrall, a perfect example of a strong, independent woman, is the official spokesperson. Made with premium Bacardi rum, infused with natural fruit flavors and the sweetener sucralose, Island Breeze is available in three flavors: Key Lime, Coconut and Wild Berry.

Each flavor has 18 percent alcohol by volume and 48-68 calories per standard 1.5 oz. serving. "Plus, these clear, flavored spirits contain only 1.5 g of carbs per serving and are extremely smooth and delicious," says Jim Goodwin, senior vice president and general manager of Bacardi-Martini new product development. An Island Breeze martini cocktail contains 48 calories per 1.5 oz. serving, a Cosmopolitan 63 calories and a Skinny Pina Colada can be created for only 68 calories.

Suggested retail price is $13.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

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