NRA Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show 2007

The NRA Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show delivers a menu of innovative new products and trends.

By Diane Toops and David Feder

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Coca-Cola Foodservice introduced Minute Maid Smoothies, frozen mixes in six flavors, which were very popular. PepsiCo, which inexplicably skipped the Food Marketing Institute Show two weeks earlier, had on display Tava Sparkling Beverage, Pepsi Wild Cherry, Ethos Water, Dole Sparklers, Quaker Muffin Bars, SoBe Life Water, Pepsi Jazz and Tostitos Chip and Dip. Barilla's Barilla Plus - omega-3 multigrain pasta in six shapes - is the first pasta to get approval by USDA as a meat alternative for schools (it contains 17g of protein, 360mg of ALA omega-3s and 7 grams of dietary fiber per serving) and it tastes great.

Vienna Beef served up Vienna Beef Pups, mini-hot dogs on mini-buns from Alpha Baking. Hopefully, these sliders will launch in the retail market. Vienna also served up some to-die-for hot Bistro Chili. Tribe Mediterranean Foods introduced organic hummus in four flavors: Roasted Garlic, Sweet Roasted Red Peppers and Cracked Chili Peppers. Cabana Cachaça LP and ABB Partners LLC introduced Brazil's Cabana Cachaça, the first double-distilled ultra premium cachaça in the U.S.

Also new to the U.S. is Van Tallinn, a strong liqueur from Estonia, from Matrics Importing. Cabot Creamery introduced Cabot Greek Style Yogurt (made with 10 percent butterfat). Chef David Burke rolled out the Flavor Spray Diet, including 36 flavors that are sprayed on any food, delivering flavor without the guilt or calories. Sweet sprays are good for diabetics and butter and bacon sprays for people cutting down on fat.

Diamond Foods Inc. introduced its spicy Emerald Barbeque Oven Roasted Peanuts, Emerald Chipotle Oven Roasted Peanuts and Emerald Wasabi Oven Roasted Peanuts. Greek Island Spice Inc. introduced Sonoma Harvest Chutney, bursting with figs, apricots, peaches, dates, raisins, cherries and pears steeped in chardonnay wine. J and J Snack Foods rolled out Sweet Doughlicious Soft Pretzel Nuggets. Australia's Lake Crystal Pure and Natural Salt is salt mined from a 5 million-year-old lake. Unilever Ice Cream introduced special edition Breyers Fried Ice Cream Tub, fried cinnamon caramel light ice cream swirled with honey caramel and cinnamon tostada pieces. And xroads Philippine Sea Salts launched Sugpo Asin, a naturally pink sea salt that derives its color from sugpo shrimp.

Loders Croklaan introduced its SansTrans Fry HD-50 Heavy Duty No Trans, Non Hydrogenated Liquid Frying Shortening, quite a mouthful. Mimic Crème, a non-dairy cream substitute made from cashews and almonds, was unveiled by Green Rabbit LLC. The Golden Peanut Co. provides no trans fat, cholesterol free refined peanut oil which has a high smoke point of 450°F, so it's ideal for frying. Studies show that people with allergies to peanuts do not have reactions to refined peanut oil because processing removes the protein which causes the allergy.

To help diners make healthier choices at more than 47,000 restaurant locations, HealthyDiningFinder.com is finding new users every day and Menus that Talk, from the company of the same name, is a new hand-held device that international diners can use to hear a restaurant's menu in their chosen language. The world is getting smaller all the time. Happily, NRA will be in Chicago again next year from May 17-20.

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