Rollout: March 2007's best new products

March's best new products include: chocolate cereal from Quaker Oats; a Mediterranean blend of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter; a smoother 100 percent wheat bread from Sara Lee; dark chocolate Altoids mints; gourmet Pringles crisps; and zero trans fat shortening from Crisco.

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Pringles, gourmet and in a bag

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. takes Pringles upscale and puts them in a bag, not the familiar canister, with Pringles Select. Still formed crisps, not potato slices, these thicker but smaller-sized gourmet crisps feature air bubbles that make them less smooth than regular Pringles. Made of rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes (depending on the variety), they are available in four sophisticated but hearty flavors: Cinnamon Sweet Potato, Parmesan Garlic, Sundried Tomato and Szechuan Barbecue.

Maybe the biggest surprise is that Pringles Select has kicked the can for this adult line. They are packaged in stand up 5.5-oz. and 8-oz. laminated bags that tempt not only your taste buds but your eye as well.

With zero trans fat and only around 150 calories per serving (about 28 crisps), this is a treat you might not want to share with your teens.

Suggested retail price for an 8-oz. bag is $2.99 to $3.99.


Crisco sheds trans fat

There's great, healthy news for home cooks and bakers from Orrville, Ohio-based J. M. Smucker Co. Crisco oils and sprays always have contained zero grams trans fat, but now the company has reformulated the entire line of Crisco shortening products to contain 0g trans fat per serving.

Crisco uses fewer less partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils and more fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil in the reformulated products, which also contain 50 percent less saturated fat than butter while still delivering the same performance and taste requirements consumers expect. Company officials claim Crisco is the first national shortening brand with zero trans fats.

"The reformulation of Crisco shortening reflects years of research to develop a zero grams trans fat per serving product that does not increase the level of saturated fats, while also ensuring it continues to deliver the performance excellence our consumers expect," says spokesperson Maribeth Badertscher. "Our extensive consumer testing demonstrates that reformulated Crisco shortening delivers the same exceptional taste and performance that has helped perfect family recipes for generations."


Rice Krispies extends franchise

It took nearly 80 years, but Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., adds Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries to its Rice Krispies franchise. Real strawberry pieces join in conversation with the only cereal that talks to you via Snap (the eldest, who wears a baker's hat and solves problems his two brothers create), Crackle (the good-hearted, fun, middle child, who wears a red-and-white-striped stocking cap) and Pop (the mischievous, clumsy younger child, who plays jokes, doesn't take things seriously and wears a military hat).

Incidentally, if you are traveling, never fear; you won't miss out on your Snap!, Crackle! and Pop! if you can say: Piff! Paff! Puff! (Sweden); Knisper! Knasper! Knusper! (Germany); Pim! Pum! Pam! (Mexico); Poks! Riks! Raks! (Finland); Cric! Crac! Croc! (French-speaking Canada); Pif! Paf! Pof! (Holland); and Knap! Knaetter! Knak! (South Africa).

"Moms have an affinity for Rice Krispies from when they were little girls -- something they now want to share with their children," says brand manager Tamara Howe. "Our research shows those same girls -- today's moms -- are demanding more real fruit in their children's foods, while today's kids want more taste. So adding real, delicious fruit to a cereal mom has loved since she was a child was a natural fit."
Suggested retail price is $3.69.


Bumble Bee kicks up the flavor

Bumble Bee, San Diego, Calif., kicks up the flavor of tuna with the launch of Sensations Easy Peel Tuna: low-calorie, 5-oz. medleys of lightly marinated tuna packed in convenient easy-to-open foil-top cans. They're available in three seasoned varieties: Spicy Thai Chili, Sundried Tomato & Basil and Lemon & Pepper.

According to CEO Christopher Lischewski, the tuna medleys are flavorful and nutritious, ideal for on-the-go consumers as well as instant hors d'oeuvres, for spiced up recipes or simply for stocking up the office drawer for a low-calorie snack or lunch ingredient. Travelers can find 3-oz. Sensations kits in select domestic airline in-flight meal boxes on United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Suggested retail price is $2.49 per 5-oz. can.

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