November 2005 New Food Products

Ketchup kids can draw with; baked pork rinds; whole-grain Goldfish; crispier home-made fries; another Special K; Monterey Gourmet in the frozen category

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Heinz Silly Squirts Ketchup

Kids can draw with their ketchup

Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. (www.heinz.com) rolls out Silly Squirts Ketchup. The kid-friendly bottle - designed specifically for kid-sized hands - has a cool cap with three flip-top drawing nozzles, each dispensing the ketchup in a different design. Kids, or kids at heart, can choose to draw, double dribble or splat their favorite thick and rich condiment, while having fun expressing themselves creatively.

According to a recent national consumer survey by Impulse Research of more than 1,500 moms with kids at home, ketchup is a mainstay at family meals: One in five moms serve ketchup every day of the week; more than half (57 percent) serve ketchup three or more nights a week; and 65 percent of moms said there are some foods their kids just won't eat without ketchup, including french fries (96 percent), hamburgers (91 percent) and hot dogs (88 percent). Other favorite ketchup companions include meat loaf (62 percent), chicken fingers (60 percent) and fish sticks (49 percent).

"Heinz Silly Squirts helps moms achieve what they wish for most at mealtime: kids who want to eat what mom has prepared," says Wendy Beitsinger, senior brand manager for Heinz Ketchup. "Better yet, Silly Squirts' easy-to-squeeze bottle is perfectly sized for small hands to grip, giving kids a feeling of independence and sense that they can do – and create – anything."

Suggested retail price is $1.99.



Extra crispy fries at home

As H.J. Heinz Co. (www.heinz.com), Pittsburgh, recently cut the ribbon on its new $13 million Marshall research center, Chairman/CEO William R. Johnson promised to spend some $100 million on strategic innovation in North America over the next five years. One of the company’s newest products - Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Fries - already delivers on the innovation promise offering the crispness of restaurant fries in a microwavable format.

Ore-Ida's Extra Crispy Easy Fries

Ore-Ida already has a 53.2 percent market share of the $850.6 million frozen potato segment, with sales up 8.6 percent to $452 million for the year ending Aug. 7, according to IRI. Easy Fries, available in two varieties, Golden Fries or Golden Crinkles, should only help.

Consumers can now experience the crispness of restaurant fries in just four minutes with the microwavable product. It uses proprietary packaging and the company's X-Crisp processing technology to enable microwave heating of the potatoes without sogginess.

Packaged in a 4.25-oz carton (two servings), the square Crisp & Serve Tray incorporates silver crisping foil on the top and bottom of the package. One lifts the flap on the bottom of the carton along a perforation, arranges the fries next to each other in a single layer in the box and pushes the top down on the fries to enable the crisping. Just microwave for four minutes and you have french fries that are golden and crispy on the outside, light and tender on the inside. Top with Heinz ketchup, of course.

Suggested retail price is 99 cents per carton.



Monterey Gourmet moves into frozen category

Monterey Gourmet Foods' OneStep meals.

Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc. (www.montereygourmetfoods.com), Salinas, Calif., expands into the frozen food category with OneStep Gourmet meals.

Developed over the past eight months, this new product line provides a restaurant-quality meal that is prepared in a skillet and is ready to eat in minutes.

"We are very excited about entering the frozen food category,” says President/CEO Jim Williams. “Monterey Gourmet Foods has been known for years as a leader in gourmet refrigerated foods, so expansion into the frozen food category is a natural for us. Our specially designed OneStep Gourmet bag contains everything today's discerning consumer needs for a high quality, quick, and well balanced meal. Each meal contains a protein, vegetables, pasta and our innovative sauce cube that turns into a delicious sauce to complement the dish. These complete one-skillet meals go from freezer to table in minutes."

OneStep Gourmet meals are available at Costco in three varieties: Grilled Chicken and Garlic Cheese Tortelloni in a Zesty Marinara Sauce; Chicken, Broccoli and Tortelloni in a Pesto Alfredo Sauce; and Shrimp and Garlic Cheese Tortelloni in a Lemon Alfredo Sauce.

Evans Food Group's Baked! Pork Rinds

Suggested retail price is $8.99-9.99.



Baked pork rinds cut the fat

Chicago-based Evans Food Group (www.evansfood.com), the world's largest pork rinds snack manufacturer, introduces Baked! Pork Rinds, a snack that contains half the fat of fried pork rinds.

"Baked! Pork Rinds breathe new life into a snack food category that really hasn't changed much over the past 50 years," says Alan Sussna, president and CEO. "This new category of better-for-you products opens up new markets for Evans Food Group and its private label distributors."

With 11g of protein and zero carbohydrates per serving, Baked! Pork Rinds make a great snack for those following healthier lifestyles. They also contain only 2g of total fat and zero trans fat.

Baked! Pork Rinds are offered under the Mac's brand at a suggested retail price of 89-99 cents for a 1.7-oz. bag and $1.19-1.39 for a 2.5-oz. bag.



Moms can smile like a Goldfish

Pepperidge Farm Inc. (www.pepperidgefarm.com/home.asp), Norwalk, Conn., launches Goldfish Cheddar Crackers Made with Whole Grain.

Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish with Whole Grain

This tasty addition to one of America's most popular snacks comes at a time when the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid.gov recommend adding 3-oz.-equivalents of whole grains each day. One serving (55 crackers) of Goldfish Cheddar Crackers Made with Whole Grain provides 17 percent of the daily recommendation of whole grains.

"We have worked hard to expand and improve our Goldfish cracker line, including introducing Calcium-Enriched Cheddar Goldfish crackers and being the first major cracker brand to have zero grams of trans fat," says Michael Simon, vice president and general manager of snacks. "Our new whole grain was a natural extension for us and one we know moms will feel good about giving their kids. And the best part is, they still have the same great taste and signature smile that the entire Goldfish cracker line does."

Incidentally, Mintel International Group tallied 289 additional whole-grain product introductions thus far in 2005, with no signs of slowing in the second half of the year.

Suggested retail price is $1.99 for a 6.6-oz. bag.



More flavor options for Special K Challenge

Special K Fruit and Yogurt

Kellogg Co. (www.kelloggs.com), Battle Creek, Mich., debuts Special K Fruit and Yogurt, the fifth extension in the popular line. Low in fat (1g per serving) and calories (120) and trans-fat free, the cereal is made with crispy whole grain wheat and rice flakes and features two different types of oat clusters: one of oats and fruit and one of yogurt-coated oats.

Special K Fruit and Yogurt can be enjoyed as part of Kellogg’s two-week Special K Challenge, which promises that by eating two bowls of cereal a day - one at breakfast and one as a replacement for either lunch or dinner - participants can lose up to six pounds. It also is a good source of 10 vitamins and minerals, including more than one third of the suggested daily allowances of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iron and folic acid.

Suggested retail price for a 12.8-oz. box is $3.79.

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