Power of Five Show Goes Out With a Bang

With many of the biggest food processors missing from this year’s FMI show, the Power of Five team will split up next year. But new products were plentiful.

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Coming in July from Nestle USA are Cappuccino Sticks and Edy's Slow Churned Ice cream bars. Hershey, Pa.-based Hershey will debut Hershey's Ice Breakers Energy Mints (Restore and Energy) in September and Reese's Whipps, a candy bar with 40 percent less fat in October.

Make an extra nutritious omelet with Liquid Omega-3 Egg (100mg of omega-3 in each serving) from Rogers, Ark.-based CCF Brands. CCF also debuted one of the most unique products at the show -- Piggies 'n Pancakes on a Stick -- a microwaveable breakfast sausage on a stick wrapped in a maple flavored pancake. Another innovative idea is the non-traditional southern, all natural Sir Francis Bacon Peanut Brittle, made with artisan smoked bacon and U.S.-grown Spanish peanuts, on display at the Atlanta-based National Peanut Board booth.

Demand for organic herbs and spices in the home led to the development of 21 Gourmet organic options from McCormick and Co., Hunt Valley, Md. Other new products include: Chai Spice Blend and Far East Sesame Ginger Blend; Sliced Garlic; Grill Mates Cinnamon Chipotle Rub and Seafood Rub; Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade; McCormick Slow Cookers, Potato Steamers, Potato Seasonings; Old Bay Rub and Seafood Steamers; McCormick Seafood Steamers and Seafood Rub; and new reduced sodium products - Zatarain's Rice Mixes and Bake and Crisp and Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Seasonings. McCormick cleverly put four spices in separate compartments of the same shaker in Traditional (Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Italian Seasoning and Garlic Salt) and Italian (Oregano, Sweet Basic, Garlic Powder and Red Pepper).

Ethnic delights

Ruiz Foods, Dinuba, Calif., added El Monterey Southwest Taquitos (zero grams trans fat). Its taquitos won the American Culinary Institute's Chef'sBest Award for great taste. As demand for convenient authentic Latin foods continue to grow for both mainstream and Hispanic consumers, Miami-based Nueva Cochina Foods Inc. introduces Nueva Cochina, a line of all-natural, preservative free soups, seasonings and rice dishes designed for gourmet palates.

General Mills' ethnic offerings focused on convenience with Old El Paso Chicken Soft Taco Dinner Kit, Old El Paso Fresh Mexican Style Salsas and its first Asian line, Wanchai Ferry Chinese Dinner Kits, which contain Jasmine rice, sauce and seasonings (just add the chicken). Simply Asia, Union City, Calif., acquired by McCormick in July of 2006, debuts Stir-Fry Meal - shelf stable meals with everything but the meat and chopsticks, available in Toney Teriyaki, Mandarin Orange and Spicy Kung Pao.

Los Angeles-based Melissa's rolls out Melissa's Salsa Kit (three Roma tomatoes, one shallot, two garlic cloves, one lime and one jalapeno pepper) in a clamshell package and Melissa's Guacamole kit (two avocados, one Roma tomato, one shallot, two garlic gloves, one lime and one jalapeno pepper). Just combine the fresh ingredients for homemade salsa and guacamole (instructions included).

Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, N.H., in partnership with Greek foods manufacturer Euphrates debuts organic Oikos, authentic Greek yogurt in Plain and Vanilla flavors. Australia-based Crikey's has moved stateside with its traditional Australian pocket pies enjoyed at games, delis and bakeries. A category leader in down-home, Southern-style heat and serve products, Glory Foods, Columbus, Ohio, introduces Savory Sauerkraut, Sauerkraut with Apples, Dirty Rice and Creole Rice to its canned foods line.

Espo's Cucina Dolce Inc. Denver, wowed the attendees with Espo's Gelato, original Italian-style gelato in dairy and non dairy versions with pure fruit and all-natural ingredients, and it's lower in fat than most gelatos found in the U.S. Contessa Premium Foods, Los Angeles Harbor, Calif., added four varieties - Mongolian Beef, Vodka Penne, Jambalaya, and Beef Bolognese -- to its Convenience Meal line. Incidentally, in November the company will open the first "green" food manufacturing plant in the world in Commerce, Calif.

Liquid diets

Campbell Soup Co. expands its lower sodium platform with 14 new soups seasoned with natural sea salt. Other healthy options include V8 V-Fusion Light juice drinks with less sugar, V8 100% Vegetable Juice with 19 percent less sodium and Prego Heart Smart sauces made with 25 percent less sodium (coming in September). All will feature the American Heart Association heart-check mark. The Original Soupman, New York, creators of the Zagat-rated soups of Al Yeganeh, who inspired the soup man on the TV show "Seinfeld," introduces Minestrone, Tomato Basil, New England Clam Chowder, Broccoli Cheese, Italian Wedding and Organic Butternut Squash in handy heat and serve refrigerated soup pouches.

Inspired by an authentic Mexican recipe, Milwaukee-based debuted Miller Beer rolled out Miller Chill, a chelada-style light beer brewed with a hint of lime and salt cleanses the palate when paired with spicy fare. For those with celiac disease or who follow a wheat-free or gluten-free diet, Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis, introduced Redbridge, a lager brewed from sorghum.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. debuted Diet Coke Plus, which contains 10 to 15 percent of the daily requirement of niacin, zinc, magnesium and vitamins B6 and B12 but has no calories. It does not replace Diet Coke, rather offers another option for Coke drinkers. Diet Nestea White Tea Berry Honey is a mouthful, but this zero-calorie product capitalizes on the popularity of white tea.

Minute Maid Enhanced Juices, a line of 100 percent OJ with added functional ingredients, is available in Multi-Vitamin and Active with glucosamine hydrochloride for achy joints. Cucumber Mojo White Tea from Fully Loaded Tea, Vancouver, contains crunchy cucumber and carrot pieces, and Tomato Rebel Black Tea has tomato pieces and basil leaves. Its Fully Loaded Tea, black and green caffeine-free teas, are made with superfoods such as goji berries, seabuckthorn berries and lingonberries. And then there is Mega Beet, new beet juice offering from Luvli Juices, Boston. Nexcite, an herbal energy beverage, containing damiana, ginseng, guarana, mate and schizandra, arrived from Sweden-based Nexcite for women only.

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