Best New Products of March 2008

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Suggested retail price is $1.99 per box.


Water for chocoholics
Metromint, marketed and distributed by San Francisco-based Soma Beverage Company LLC, introduces calorie free Metromint Chocolatemint water, which contains cocoa essence and a natural combination of pure water and real mint, the brand's signature ingredient.

“Innovation isn't new to us, so the idea of combining water with chocolate came easily," says founder and beverage designer Rio Miura.

Launching Chocolatemint around Valentine's Day was no coincidence, either, according to Michele Thorne, Metromint's wellness director. "Consumers have an emotional connection to chocolate. Launching in early spring provided us with the perfect platform to offer a healthier alternative to the traditional box of chocolates given on Valentine's Day and at Easter."

Suggested retail price for a sampler pack of five is $8 at


Simplicity is key
According to an online survey of 1,972 women by StrategyOne, 92 percent of women report that they are trying to bring better food choices into their homes, yet two-thirds agree that they sometimes find it difficult to introduce more wholesome foods into their diet and their family's diet. Nearly 90 percent often look for great-tasting, wholesome foods, and 78 percent report that they look for foods with a simple ingredients list. Additionally, the majority of women (88 percent) agree that they wish there were more on-the-go wholesome food options out there.
On the heels of these findings, East Hanover, N.J.-based Back to Nature introduces a line of snack bars made from pure, simple ingredients to provide delicious snack offerings with easily identifiable tastes and textures.

Made with organic fruits and grains, almonds, pecans and walnuts, the bars contain no synthetic pesticides, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial preservatives or flavors and have zero trans fat per serving.

Varieties include: Banana Walnut Bakery Squares, Oatmeal Raisin Bakery Squares, Apple Fruit & Grain Bars, Cranberry Almond Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Cherry Pecan Chewy Trail Mix Bars.

Suggested retail price is $3.49.


It’s back
Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages has relaunched its controversially named energy drink Cocaine. Redux Beverages had voluntarily pulled the Cocaine product from shelves and renamed it in June of 2007 due to FDA concerns about the product’s marketing tagline. The ingredients and flavor of relaunched Cocaine remain the same as the original.

The drink comes in a red, 8.4-oz. can and will be available in several markets across the U.S. as well as in Europe. Cocaine is available in three flavors: Original, Cut and Free. The Original version is a red, cinnamon-based energy drink that packs three and a half times the amount of caffeine of its leading competitor (280mg). Other ingredients include: 750mg of taurine, 100mg of inositol, B vitamins, 50mg of L-Carnitine, 250mg of D-Ribose and 25mg of guarana. The Cut version of Cocaine has the cinnamon-flavor removed, while the Free version is sugar-free.

“Retailers and consumers alike were begging us to get the drink back on the shelves,” says Redux founder Jamey Kirby. “Since the FDA warning letter last April we have been working closely with them to adjust the marketing of the drink and now the rebellious and fun Cocaine brand is out of rehab and back on shelves.”

Suggested retail price for a sampler package of two is $4.99 at


Nutritious snack for foodservice
Elmhurst, Ill.-based Kellogg’s Food Away From Home offers foodservice operators a nutritious and portable breakfast and snack choice with the new Kashi Granola Snack Pouch.
Flavors include Mountain Medley, featuring naturally sweet sundried cranberries and raisins, almonds, pecans, whole sunflower seeds and a pinch of coconut; and Orchard Spice is made with apples, sweet spices, pecans, raisins and whole flax seeds.

While health is playing a growing role for 90 percent of consumers in choosing their meals and snacks, they are looking for flavor and portion control, too. Kashi created its granola for people who want to eat a great-tasting granola with equally great nutrition. With 220 calories per serving, 300mg of ALA omega-3s and Kashi’s signature blend of seven whole grains and sesame, both varieties are sure to appeal to a range of nutritionally aware consumers.

For details, go to

Exceptional sides, simplified for foodservice
Boise, Idaho-based Simplot introduces UpSides savory side dishes, delivering on-trend flavors that satisfy consumers’ desires for more adventurous culinary experiences. UpSides products offer operators an opportunity to menu more sophisticated and indulgent sides often deemed too challenging to prepare from scratch and provide consistent taste, texture and appearance.

Higher consumer expectations, combined with rising labor and food costs, have created the need for operators to consider new menu items, while still offering creativity. All inspired by chefs, the savory side dishes line include UpSides Multigrain Blends, deliver a combination of exotic grains, colorful vegetables and distinctive herbs. UpSides Polenta Cakes, combine coarse-grain cornmeal with authentic cheeses and complementary seasonings for an aromatic, flavorful side, in two easy-to-use first-to-market formats: quarter sheets, for customizable shapes, and pre-cut rounds. Gourmet Pasta Blends add bold flavor and flame-roasted appeal to any menu. They provide operators versatility, operational ease and heat-and-serve convenience, while optimizing margins.

“Simplot’s new UpSides savory side dishes meet consumer demand for indulgent, unique sides, helping to boost repeat business while optimizing total plate profitability,” says Danny Bawcom, director of New Product Development and Marketing. “UpSides products virtually eliminate the time commitment, preparation of multiple ingredients and steps required to produce these side dishes from scratch, allowing operators to menu new, on-trend dishes they otherwise would not have been able to offer.”



Soft serve ice cream goes all-natural
West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Archibald Frozen Desserts, introduces ready-to-serve All Natural Premium Soft ice cream, In addition, Archibald is partnering with Clarinda, Iowa-based dairy Naturally Iowa Inc. to ensure the market's first and only dairy-produced, all-natural soft ice cream will contain the purest flavors possible. A dairy market innovator, Naturally Iowa was the first dairy to package its organic milk in compostable corn-plastic containers. It uses no rBGH or steroids at its dairy farms.

Flavors include: Vanilla Supreme; Homemade Vanilla Lite; Chocolate Supreme; Double Chocolate Chunk; Lemon Cream; Peanut Butter Cup; Cafe Mocha; Cinnamon; Strawberries & Cream; Chocolate Chip; Chocolate Chip Mint and Cookies & Cream.

Distributed "ready-to-serve" nationwide, the premium soft ice cream is dispensed through Archibald's patent pending table-top EROS machine, which creates an efficient, profitable and integrated solution for clients/point of sale. Archibald, long known for its best-in-class dispensing platform and integrated solution, continues to differentiate itself from its competitors with the all-natural product line and is now poised for an organic product strategy down the line.

“The demand for all-natural products is enormous and growing across all food and dessert categories,” says said Basil Bennett, CEO at Archibald. “We are delighted to partner with Naturally Iowa to bring the first all-natural premium soft ice cream product line to the market."



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