Food Processing Picks Favorite New Food and Beverage Products of 2012

Our annual review of the favorite new foods and beverages introduced this year.

By Food Processing Staff

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We dedicate this month's cover story to Diane Toops, our News & Trends Editor, who died Oct. 31 following a brief illness. Tracking new products was her favorite part of the job, and so this was her favorite cover story each year.

This is one of our favorite projects of each year. We write about product introductions in every issue of Food Processing. Rollout and Food Biz Kids are devoted to them, and new products pepper our features on product development and sometimes even plant operations. But this is the only issue in which we put them on the cover.

Every year we survey our full-time editors, freelancer writers and others who help us out and ask them for the new products that have delighted them during the year, the ones they actually buy, repeatedly, for themselves and their families.

It's not scientific or comprehensive, but it is fun. The only rules are that the items are nationally available and "new," meaning introduced since July of 2011.

We usually trot out that well worn phrase "new products are the lifeblood of the food industry." That's not entirely true, as quite a few processors make a nice living creating private label products, contract manufacturing for others or simply maintaining tried and true old products (like Coca-Cola). But like the birth of a baby – every one of whom could some day be president – a new product could be the next Coke or Oreo. Even if it's just the next Caffeine-free Coke, it could provide nice returns on your investment.

New product watcher Mintel Group (www.mintel.com) sees product launches slowly recovering along with the economy. "In 2009 and early 2010, we saw new product introductions drop, due primarily because of the recession. At that time, companies cut back on their new product introductions in the U.S. market, across all categories and all types of products," says Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel's director of innovation & insight.

"Since that time, however, we have seen increases overall in product introductions in food & beverage. The patterns are quite different from category to category, however. For example, the two largest categories with the greatest increases are Dairy and Snacks.

"Dairy has shown strong increases in new product introductions in the past 12 months due mainly because of the impact of Greek-style yogurt, plus all types of yogurt," Dornblaser continues. "Snacks growth has come from alternate types of snacks -- for example, vegetable-based or unusual grain-based snacks -- plus an overall increase in snack bars and nut snacks. The Meals category also has shown growth, driven in part by meals formulated for two people and further expansion of vegetarian offerings.

"Two of the largest categories that have shown the greatest decreases in the past 12 months include Bakery and Sauces. Bakery's decline may be due in part to the lack of 100-calorie pack type introductions [which boosted numbers in the recent past]. Sauces & Seasonings has slowed following strong increases in late 2009, which likely were driven by consumers choosing to cook more at home."

A few facts and figures are all well and good, but nothing drives home the point like taste. And whatever else factors in for repeat purchases. Following are the top 10 new products that Food Processing and Friends find to be irresistible – over and over again.

By the way, keep this in mind: After Jan. 1, we will set up a yearlong poll on our web site so you can tell us what are your favorite products of all time. We'll give you 10 months to think about it. Next November, we will devote this feature to whatever products you specify. It should be interesting.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich Bread
Reese's Minis
Snickers Peanut Butter Squared
Magnum Ice Cream Bars
Tropicana Tropolis
Skinny Cow Low-Fat Ice Cream Cups
Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowl
V8 V-Fusion
MiO
Betty Crocker Fun Da-Middles
Bertolli Premium Meal Soups For Two
Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Healthy Colors
Jelly Belly Bean Chocolate Dips
Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss
Tyson Any'tizers Quesadippers
Tostitos Artisan Recipes
Lean Cuisine Spring Rolls

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Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich Bread

Your sandwich smiles at you

Goldfish_Sandwich_Bread.jpg

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich Bread Soft White, one of the most delightful new products of the year, was introduced at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual conference in February. Denise Morrison, then executive vice-president and COO and now the first female CEO of Campbell Soup Co., parent of Pepperidge Farm, promised the analysts a "wealth of creative ideas in the pipeline." She added, "Goldfish sandwich bread will bring wholesome fun to the bread aisle."

The iconic smiley Pepperidge Farm Goldfish is on its packaging, but the cool thing is that the bread itself is goldfish-shaped. Almost like a thin wrap (it's connected at the bottom), you fill it up and have the coolest sandwich on the planet. Great for kids, the crust-free soft white bread is sure to please even the pickiest sandwich eaters. It tastes really good and contains 120 calories and 3g of fiber per serving, essential vitamins and minerals and is a good source of calcium. A package retails for $3.49.

Since the launch of soft white, the bread is available in two other varieties as well: Soft 100% Whole Wheat and Soft Honey Whole Wheat, both with 18g of whole grain.

I don't have any kids at home, but I buy Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich bread all the time for my own pleasure and amusement. Every time I open the package, I can't

help but smile and enjoy my next sandwich creation. I also savor the creativity at Pepperidge Farm.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

REESE'S MINIS

Interfacing with user tastebuds

Reese's MinisBilled as the "Next Big Little Thing," Reese's Minis from Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., are making history as the smallest Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ever -- and the first snacking candy to be introduced at Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

A mini-innovation in candy snacks, Reese's Minis are approximately the size of a dime and feature the same delicious taste of traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in a smaller, unwrapped version that permits consumers to easily enjoy the treat anytime, anywhere.

"Techies at CES seek out cool innovations like mini-tuners, mini-cams, nano-mice, mini-keyboards and gotta-have gadgets so small you could fit a fistful in your pocket," says Anna Lingeris, spokesperson for the Reese's brand. "So who says that the next big mini innovation can't come from a candy company? Reese's Minis reflect the best in creative product innovation and ‘on-the-go' interfacing with user taste buds. And they solve an important issue for techies, too – their size and unwrapped state makes them ergonomically perfect for one-handed Internet surfing or tapping out a text message."

Even though I'm not a techie, I'm addicted to these bite-size pleasures, and it takes all my willpower not to eat the whole bag in one sitting, which defeats the idea that the bag is resealable. That's great for those of you who can control yourselves, but by the time I'm ready to reseal the bag, it's empty. Due to drought conditions in the south, much of the peanut crop this year was devastated. Peanut and peanut butter prices are expected to rise as much as 40 percent, so for goodness sake, stock up on Reece's Minis now – while they're still retailing for $3.39 for an 8-oz. bag stand-up bag.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

SNICKERS PEANUT BUTTER SQUARED

A sweet addition to the Snickers line

Snickers-PeanutButterSquaresWhen I brought a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared home from the Snack and Candy Expo this year, you would have thought my son just found out he won the lottery. "These are great!" he exclaimed. After he'd munched on a few of the square-shaped bars, he went on to proclaim these were "better than any Snickers I've ever had." Coming from a 10-year old, I'd say that's an overwhelming seal of approval.

The peanuty snack comes from Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America. The 1.78-oz singles pack, which retails for 89 cents for a 1.78-oz singles pack (containing two delicious square-shaped bars), retains all the ingredients people love about Snickers -- peanuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate -- and pairs them with peanut butter.

Mars has marketed the product's tagline to read: "If you like peanut butter and chocolate, you'll love peanut butter and Snickers." My son couldn't agree more. His only suggestion to Mars is to offer the bars in different shapes – both as a square and a bar. "That way I can enjoy the candy bar even longer."

- Erin Erickson, Senior Digital Editor

Magnum Ice Cream Bars

Finally, this decadent treat lands on our shores

Magnum-ice-creamI've traveled in Europe a little, so I have been wondering why the Unilever superpremium Magnum ice cream bars that I so enjoyed over there have not been available in the U.S. My prayers were answered this spring, when Unilever USA, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., finally debuted the 21-year-old line on these shores.

The bars aren't huge by our standards (100ml, 3.38 oz.) but they do pack a few calories (240-350) – and are worth every one. They come in six varieties:

  • Classic (vanilla bean ice cream dipped in a thick layer of Belgian milk chocolate)
  • Almond (vanilla bean ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate with crunchy almonds)
  • Double Caramel (vanilla bean ice cream enrobed in a chocolaty coating, caramel sauce and Belgian milk chocolate)
  • Double Chocolate (chocolate ice cream enrobed in a chocolaty coating, chocolaty sauce and Belgian milk chocolate)
  • White (vanilla bean ice cream in a layer of Belgian white chocolate)
  • Dark (vanilla bean ice cream dipped in 60 percent cacao Belgian dark chocolate).

I haven't tried or even seen those last two, but I'm devouring a Double Caramel as I write this.

I watch what I eat most of the time and exercise, so I figure I can treat myself once a week to these indulgences. In addition to 320 calories, my Double Caramel has 20g of fat (31 percent of daily value) and 14g of saturated fat (a whopping 70 percent of DV). At least I'm comforted by the 1g of dietary fiber.

Even on sale, these were $3 for a three-pack (regular price is $3.99). But for that once-a-week indulgence, I can afford both the price and the negative nutritionals. I'm going to the health club tomorrow anyway.

-Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

TROPICANA TROPOLIS

Squeezing more fruit into kids' diets

TropicanaCherry TropolisPrice, availability and convenience are the three main barriers for moms when it comes to squeezing fruits and vegetables into their everyday lives. That leaves all Americans, especially children, short on the five to 13 fruit and vegetable servings recommended for everyday consumption.

Working with moms, kids, dietitians and pediatricians, Chicago-based Tropicana Products Inc., a division of PepsiCo Inc., is on a mission to help kids get more fruit into their diet with Tropicana Tropolis. Kid testers identified the flavors they like most, resulting in the sweet and sour Tropolis varieties: CherryWorld, GrapeWorld and AppleWorld. And an online universe allows them to discover the fun in fruit through interactive games.

This cool, new, portable snack comes in a 3.17-fl. Oz. (90g) pouch, retailing for $2.49-$3.49 per four pack. The healthy and delicious blend is great in a lunchbox or as a grab-and-go snack. It boasts a smooth blend of real squeezable fruit, is a good source of fiber, and offers 100 percent of the RDV of vitamin C, with no added sugars, artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

"For kids, we want Tropicana Tropolis to be all about making fruit fun and being drawn into ‘a world of good,' " says Memo Maquivar, Tropicana vice president of marketing.

Hmmm, how about a teen-adult version (mango, passion fruit, pineapple, banana) for on-the-go consumers, or a fruit and veggie combination? Moms will love you, Tropicana.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

SKINNY COW LOW-FAT ICE CREAM CUPS

All the skinny without the cow

Skinny Cow Ice CreamI love ice cream. I have fond memories of indulging in mint chocolate chip ice cream with my dad as we watched sporting events on television during the weekends. My love affair with the dreamy creamy treat has never waned. Thankfully, there are products like Skinny Cow's Low-Fat Ice Cream Cups that let me keep up with my ice cream habit while kissing calories good-bye.

Oakland. Calif.-based Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc., a division of Nestle USA, has introduced many products in its Skinny Cow line. My personal favorite, Skinny Cow's Low-Fat Ice Cream Cups, deliver low-fat ice cream in a single-serve cup. They retail for  $1.49 for a 5.8-oz. cup.

Each cup contains only 150-170 calories and is available in varieties such as Caramel Cone, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Cookies 'N Cream (my favorite), Dulce de Leche and Strawberry Cheesecake.
And for those times when I'm feeling a little extra indulgent, I'll pick up one of Skinny Cow's delicious Low Fat Ice Cream Sandwiches or bars.

- Erin Erickson, Senior Digital Editor

ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S POP UP BOWL

Do you believe in magic?

OrvilleRedenbacher-PopUpBowlOmaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods Inc. outdid itself with the magic Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowl, the first bag-to-bowl design for Orville Redenbacher's popcorn. Allowing for easier family snacking, sharing and cleanup, the microwave bag pops open to become a sturdy, stand-up, wide-mouth bowl (or microbowl, as I like to call it) for instant serving.

Other microwave popcorn brands have introduced bowl bags before, but none has successfully provided the experience and functionality consumers expect while still delivering on value expectations. Many years in development, The Pop Up Bowl cooks on its side and features a transparent top, allowing kids and other snack lovers to watch their popcorn pop and see when it's ready.

Varieties include Butter, Movie Theater Butter, SmartPop!, Kettle Korn and Ultimate Butter. It's a good source of fiber and whole grains. A three-pack retails for $2.99.

No matter what the variety, I like to add lots of butter to my popcorn, so at first I was skeptical of the bowl's sturdiness. With my fingers crossed, I poured extra butter on and hoped I wouldn't have to clean my couch. Lo and behold, the bag held up beautifully while I watched two engrossing episodes of PBS's Masterpiece Mystery.

Even though it's still a mystery to me how ConAgra did it, I salute their R&D team.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

V8 V-FUSION

A drink with fruits, vegetables and great taste

v8-grape fusionI confess, I'm one of the nine out of 10 adults that doesn't usually meet the daily recommendations for vegetables and fruit. It's not that I don't love a good fruit or veggie, I just don't have enough time in the day to slice and dice my favorite good-for-me foods. Because of this, I'm ecstatic that Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. created its V8 V-Fusion vegetable and fruit juice line, which retails for $3.99 per 46-oz. bottle.

I'm a mobile person, so the fact that I can get one full serving of vegetables (1/2 cup) and one full serving of fruit (1/2 cup) in my 8-oz. glass makes me feel like I've won the health lottery.

The entire line offers essential antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, with no added sugar. My favorite flavor, Concord Grape Raspberry Light, blends grape juice with the juices of apples, raspberries, sweet potatoes, carrots and other fruit and vegetable juices for a great-tasting grape taste.

- Erin Erickson, Senior Digital Editor

MiO

Just flip it, tip it and sip it

mioWe love to personalize everything, so why not personalize our beverages as well? Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., entered its first new category in more than 15 years with MiO (mine in Italian), a cold beverage enhancer packaged in a cool pod-shape that is designed to be completely portable (even on the go).

Targeted to 18-39-year-olds, MiO is available in six flavors you can customize. Sugar-free, caffeine-free and with zero calories per 8-oz. serving, flavors include Berry Pomegranate, Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Mango Peach, Sweet Tea and Peach Tea.

Just flip it, tip it and sip it, they say. Flip open the cap to unlock the flavor, tip and squeeze MiO into water or another liquid, then drink up. It mixes instantly so you don't need to stir or shake it. You can use as much or as little as you like for a personalized beverage, and each bottle provides 24 servings.

"Today, consumers expect to be able to personalize their experiences – from their music playlists and TV line-ups, to their smartphone applications," says Liza Laibe, senior brand manager. "Now MiO gives people the power to personalize their beverages. They can add a little or add a lot to make their drink their way – anywhere, anytime. MiO is a game-changing liquid water enhancer."

MiO brings out your inner flavorist; great fun for consumers of any age.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

BETTY CROCKER FUN DA-MIDDLES

The upside is on the inside

Fun-da-middlesAffordable, small luxuries -- especially sweets -- tend to do well in tough times. Cupcakes are expected to be the fastest growing part of the baked goods industry for the next two years, according to Mintel. And Minneapolis-based General Mills has devised a neat twist on cupcakes – the frosting is inside rather than outside -- sure to appeal to on-the-go moms and kids.

Betty Crocker Fun da-Middles, the first boxed cupcake mix of its kind with a specially designed creamy filling that bakes in the middle of the cupcake (rather than frosting the top), makes cupcakes an ideal mess-free treat.

Just add eggs, water and oil to the mix and fill each cupcake liner approximately one-third of the way with batter. Squeeze a small amount of filling in the center of each cupcake, top with more batter and bake. Each box, which retails for $3.29, contains cupcake mix and filling for 12 regular cupcakes or 24 mini-cupcakes. You can feed the whole team.

Varieties include: Vanilla Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling, Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, and Vanilla Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, kid favorites.

"The convenience of a home-baked ‘out of the oven and done' cupcake is what moms will love about Fun da-Middles," said Liza Dopp, marketing manager. "With the filling in the middle, they are portable and less messy, allowing kids to take the fun with them wherever they go."

Dear Betty, please don't forget chocoholic moms and dads, who would love to bite into chocolate cake with chocolate filling or red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.

- Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

BERTOLLI PREMIUM MEAL SOUPS FOR TWO

An Italian chef in your kitchen

Bertolli Meal SoupsIt's lovely to have a resident Italian chef in my kitchen thanks to Unilever North America, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. I love to cook, but making soup means leftovers for a week. So Bertolli Premium Meal Soups for Two, a line of frozen but fresh-tasting, hearty meal soups, is just perfect. Add one cup of water and it yields 21-oz. of mouthwatering soup featuring tender chicken and beef, al dente pasta, fragrant herbs and crisp vegetables.

The 24-oz. packages are available in four varieties: Chicken Minestrone (roasted white meat chicken, beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes and pasta in a vegetable broth), Roasted Chicken & Rotini Pasta (roasted white meat chicken, pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and celery in a chicken broth), Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken (cheese-filled tortellini, white meat chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a tomato bisque with a hint of basil) and Tuscan-Style Beef with Vegetables (beef, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots and celery with bowtie pasta in a savory broth). All carry a suggested retail price of $5.99 to $7.99.

"Bertolli Premium Meal Soups for Two offer the heartiness and fresh taste of a soup that you would expect from an authentic Italian restaurant," says Rachel Porges, brand manager. "With Bertolli Premium Meal Soups for Two, everyone can enjoy a warm, flavorful meal in just minutes – without painstaking preparation or sacrificing flavor."

- Diane Toops

GREEN GIANT VALLEY FRESH STEAMERS HEALTHY COLORS

Good timing is everything

Eating a variety of colorful vegetables provides maximum nutrition, according to health experts, but keeping that variety on hand can be challenging and expensive especially in the winter months. Not to worry. Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Healthy Colors from Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc. provide good-for-you vegetable blends that turn out al dente in the microwave thanks to the Green Giant Cook Sensor. Printed directly on the bag, the Green Giant Cook Sensor is the secret to sensational steaming because it reads "done" when the vegetables reach steamed perfection.

Endorsed by Weight Watchers, each variety, which retails for $2.39, contains three or more colors per blend and provides an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A & C. Available in 11-oz. stand-up bags with easy-to-open tear notches, varieties include: Nature's Blend (Baby carrots, green beans, sliced yellow carrots and sweet red pepper strips lightly tossed in an herb-infused extra virgin olive oil sauce); Farmer's Blend (Cauliflower florets, sugar snap peas, julienne carrots and dried cranberries lightly tossed in a butter sauce); Valley Blend (Broccoli florets, carrots, and golden cauliflower lightly tossed in a garlic butter sauce); and Market Blend (Sliced carrots, zucchini, Roma tomatoes and yellow bell pepper strips lightly tossed in an herb-infused extra virgin olive oil sauce).

"With the four new Green Giant vegetable medleys, vegetable variety is as convenient as it is delicious, and the new Green Giant Cook Sensor means your vegetables will be perfectly steamed for optimal taste every time," says Steve Finnie, Green Giant marketing manager.

-- Diane Toops

JELLY BELLY BEAN CHOCOLATE DIPS

Jelly Belly dips into chocolate

Jelly Belly DipsJelly Bellys have taken a dip into decadence with Jelly Belly Bean Chocolate Dips from Jelly Belly Candy Co., Fairfield, Calif., and I must say it's great to be decadent every once in a while.

Drenched in rich, dark chocolate Jelly Belly Bean Chocolate Dips, which retail for $2.49 for a 1.8-oz bag, are gluten-free, gelatin-free and certified OU Dairy Kosher, and the Raspberry, Strawberry, Very Cherry, Coconut and Orange Jelly Bellys slathered in rich dark chocolate create a heavenly pairing.

"By leveraging the success of Jelly Belly, we bring a large consumer base to a new product category," says Rob Swaigen, vice president of marketing for Jelly Belly Candy Co. "More importantly, Jelly Belly Bean Chocolate Dips taste fantastic, and we were very encouraged by the research results when we tested Chocolate Dips with consumers. We are very excited about its potential,"

A 4.15-oz gift box featuring all five flavors is $5.99, and it's a perfect holiday gift for those you love, including Santa.

-- Diane Toops

COFFEE-MATE NATURAL BLISS

Less is more appealing

Natural Bliss CreamerAs consumers become increasingly aware of what is on their plate and cup, they are focused on simplicity, fresh, natural ingredients. In fact, almost 47 percent of consumers avoid artificial flavors, and 43 percent artificial colors. You can be sure this trend will continue to gain momentum. 

Made with 100% all-natural ingredients without any artificial preservatives, each 16-oz white bottle with soft images of each of the natural flavors contains authentic ingredients, is Kosher and gluten-free, and retails for $2.69.

"Coffee-mate has been the coffee creamer brand of choice for generations, and millions of people around the world can choose from more than 20 flavors to personalize their cup of coffee," says Vilma Livas, marketing manager, Nestlé Coffee-mate.  "Now with Natural Bliss we're giving people who whiten their coffee with dairy an opportunity to experience the delicious flavor that Coffee-mate is known for in a brand new, all-natural way."

When multi-tasking becomes unmanageable and you need to sit back and relax, make yourself a cup of coffee with this natural creamer, which has a pure taste, touch of natural sweetness, silky texture and delicious aroma. In fact, bring a bottle to your office. You might even get a salary increase.

-- Diane Toops

TYSON ANY'TIZERS QUESADIPPERS

Snacks with Dipping Sauce

Tyson_quesadillaAs the newest addition to the popular Any'tizers line (launched in 2007) of easy-to-prepare, frozen snacks, Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc.'s Tyson Any'tizers QuesaDippers, offer protein-packed frozen snacks with the addition of salsa dipping sauces.

Combining flour tortillas, flavorful chicken or meat with seasoning and cheese, QuesaDippers, which retail for $8.99 to $9.99, are available in Fajita Chicken -- flour tortillas filled with chicken and Monterey Jack cheese topped with Cilantro Lime Salsa; Carne Asada Steak -- mini quesadilla pockets are filled with real steak, savory Adobo sauce and real cheese, with Cilantro Lime Salsa, and Taco Seasoned Chicken with Zesty Garden Salsa. They are packed in re-sealable packaging allowing for easy storage in the freezer to maintain freshness.

"Our new Any'tizers QuesaDippers snack varieties with salsa dipping sauces are packed with tasty flavor in every bite to help moms quickly prepare a warm and delicious snack," says Sabrina Bewley, group product manager for Tyson Foods Inc. "Ready to eat in minutes, These snacks are a great solution to have on-hand to satisfy the kids after school or to please holiday party guests."

Perfect for multiple snacking occasions, they are quick and convenient as an snack after school and feeding your favorite sports fans of any age during (if they are watching) or after (if they are participating) in sporting competitions. And, since you don't have to make a sauce, can join in the fun.

-- Diane Toops

TOSTITOS ARTISAN RECIPES

Baking real ingredients into every chip

TostitosArtisanPlano, Texas-based Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion unit of PepsiCo, continues to wow consumers with their cool flavors. Spicing up the tortilla chips category, Tostitos Artisan Recipes tortilla chips in two distinctive flavors — Roasted Garlic & Black Bean and Fire-Roasted Chipotle are natural game winners, and a 9.75-oz bag (enough to feed the whole team at home) is $3.99. 

A unique blend of nine flavorful grains, Tostitos Artisan Recipes are made with 100 percent natural ingredients from high-quality whole-white corn and authentic ingredients like black beans, garlic and chipotle peppers, which are baked in before cooking for a truly one-of-a-kind flavor, each serving provides 8g of whole grains (the recommended daily allowance of whole grains is 48g.

"Since first entering the market more than 30 years ago, Tostitos tortilla chips have been known for bringing people together to share fun, memorable experiences, making our great-tasting chips the must-have staple for just about any type of event or gathering," says Justin Lambeth, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. "With the introduction of Artisan Recipes, we've put a new spin on the classic tortilla chip, baking real ingredients into every chip for a taste so unexpected and delicious, consumers can enjoy them straight from the bag."

Sometimes you have to crunch, and I don't mean exercise. Give your mouth the natural treat it deserves.

-- Diane Toops 

LEAN CUISINE SPRING ROLLS

Snacks without the guilt

LeanCuisine-SpringRollsLean Cuisine does a marvelous job of providing great tasting frozen entrees for calorie watchers. But sometimes you just crave a treat that doesn't undermine your best efforts at keeping calories down. Lean Cuisine Spring Rolls extends Solon, Ohio-based Nestlé Prepared Foods Co. into both the snack and small bites categories. Hot, crispy and savory, each recipe is carefully crafted to satisfy your hunger anytime of the day. Containing 1g to 2g of fiber, they are packed with 100 percent white meat chicken, melted cheeses, crisp vegetables and flavorful sauces.

Recent surveys show that 74 percent of women snack in between lunch and dinner, but oftentimes, bad choices lead to feelings of remorse. With these delicious new recipes, it's easy to be smart about snacking. Each box, which retails for $3.59 contains two servings, and with three crispy spring rolls per serving, so you can go ahead, nibble, crunch, enjoy, or share with your office mates.

Varieties include: Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls: White meat chicken, garlic, spinach, caramelized onions and Parmesan cheese; Thai-Style Chicken Spring Rolls: White meat chicken, shredded cabbage, julienne yellow carrots and spicy red coconut curry; and Fajita-Style Chicken Spring Rolls: White meat chipotle chicken, corn, black beans, bell peppers and onions

"We all have cravings at snack time, but there are so many boring choices out there," says Christine Dahm, VP of marketing for Lean Cuisine. "Snacking should be enjoyable and something we look forward to. And that's why we're introducing new Lean Cuisine Spring Rolls. They're crispy, crunchy and they taste great – people will never believe snacking can be this delicious without the guilt."

And in a time-pinch, two servings make for a tasty lunch or dinner.

-- Diane Toops
Erin Erickson is the digital editor of FoodProcessing.com. Email her at eerickson@putman.net or check out her .
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