Rollout: May 2007's Best New Products

This month's new product rollout features bistro flatbreads from Stouffer's; a groundbreaking, sugar-free stick gum from Wrigley; Diet Coke Plus, a sparkling, calorie-free beverage with vitamins and minerals from Coca-Cola; Hershey's Antioxidant Milk Chocolate; a new instant oatmeal that feels like cold cereal from Quaker Oats; Hormel's Natural Choice line of deli meats; and Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight.

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Making hot oatmeal crunchy

Many consumers like a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning, but stop short of a full-blown love affair because they also like the crunchy texture of cold cereal. Now, Chicago-based Quaker Oats has a solution for those who feel torn between their two loves.

Quaker Oatmeal Crunch is the first instant oatmeal that comes with a packet of crunchy clusters (made of whole grain rolled oats and rolled wheat) consumers can stir in to achieve a new texture and taste experience. Providing a full serving of whole grain Quaker Oats -- the first whole grain recognized by the FDA to help reduce cholesterol -- Oatmeal Crunch is low in fat, provides 4 g of protein, calcium, vitamin A, iron and B vitamins, and 3-4 g of fiber depending on the flavor.

It's available in four flavors: Apples & Cinnamon, Maple & Brown Sugar, Mixed Berry and Magicolor, which includes color-changing pieces that magically appear when hot water is added, a kid-friendly option for moms who are looking to add fun to a wholesome breakfast.

"Consumers have told us there is something exciting when crunch is added to foods," says Regan Ebert, vice president of marketing. "New Quaker Oatmeal Crunch is a reinvention of oatmeal that makes it the ideal choice for people who crave a crunchy start to their day, but don't want to miss out on the wholesome nutrition of hot oatmeal. Whether they're off to school or work, people of all ages will love this exciting new twist."

The suggested retail price is $3.69 per box.

Hormel expands natural meats

Hormel Foods, Austin, Minn., adds a variety of options to its Hormel Natural Choice line of 100 percent natural meats with no preservatives. New are Roast Beef Deli Sandwich Meat; Oven Roasted and Grilled Chicken Strips; Original and Lower Sodium Uncured Bacon and Canadian Bacon.

They contain no artificial colors or flavors, no added nitrites, nitrates or MSG and are gluten-free, low in fat and trans fat-free. The products also feature recyclable outer packaging.

Rather than using preservatives, Hormel Natural Choice products use a new, USDA-approved, pressure-based pasteurization process called Truetaste technology. After the meat has been sliced, sealed and packaged, the product is placed in a pressure chamber, where it is surrounded by water. The process exerts up to 87,000 lbs. of water pressure per square inch, which kills bacteria and seals in freshness and the true flavor of the meats, according to the company.

"We are proud to be the leader in providing consumers and their families with great-tasting meats that have no preservatives," says product manager Ryan Vossler. "People are seeking more natural food options, a need that will continue to grow … and a need Hormel Foods intends to fulfill across categories."

Chocolate fix without the guilt

Women's best weight-management intentions can be derailed easily late in the evening while watching TV, so Kellogg Co. Battle Creek, Mich introduces Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal, a small indulgence without the guilt.

Featuring lightly toasted rice cereal flakes with decadent chocolatey pieces, Special K Chocolatey Delight (an option in the Special K Challenge weight management program) satisfies a chocolate craving and provides a lower-calorie option snack. A serving and half cup of fat-free milk contains 160 calories, which compares favorably to 344 calories in an average snack (according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), eaten after 6 p.m.

"We know from talking with women that they want simple tips and tools, not rules, to help them meet their weight-management goals," says Alan Gravely, vice president of health and wellness marketing. "Special K is committed to providing weight-loss solutions that work the way women want them to, by offering real foods, like new Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal, that help them meet their weight-loss goals without feeling deprived."

Suggested retail price is $3.89.

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