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HappySqueeze is a new product that will launch in July. "It's an exciting new format applied to smoothies. HappySqueeze is the first supergrain, superfruit smoothie and it's targeted for everyone in the family," Rolph says enthusiastically. "It's made of delicious fruits and vegetables like apples, pomegranate, peaches, yumberries, mangos, mangosteen, and is very rich in antioxidants. It also includes the supergrain Salba, which has 411mg of omegas per serving of HappySqueeze."
The final product is 100 calories, 1g of fat, and 6g of protein, "making it a really balanced snack," she continues. "It comes in an environmentally friendly pouch format, and you just squeeze it. Ideal for on-the-go consumers, it tastes great chilled, but it's also fine if it's been sitting in your desk drawer or backpack," she says.
Has the company had any failures and what was learned from them? HappyBites, the hand-held toddler meals, posed a challenge for the company. "One of things we learned from focus groups is that toddlers love to dip. So we had the idea to create dipping sauces [for HappyBites] that provided a serving of vegetables plus lots of fun. Our frozen Secret Sauce Kit consisted of four different vegetable-based sauces, each a different color. But it was too much too soon to get moms to embrace something so radically different." So the sauces were discontinued but the HappyBites continue to be a success and are sold in stores nationwide.
Visram is particularly proud of their innovative HappyTot line in pouches. "Innovation in terms of the packaging is exceptional; it's got 10 percent of the carbon footprint of jarred baby food," she says. "And we've incorporated Salba in the line, which lends an immense amount of nutrition (822mg of omega-3s per HappyTot)." Altogether, the product has half a serving of fruits and vegetables per pouch, plus antioxidants and fiber. "It's a fresh concept for us, and the line has been extremely successful in the mass channel as well as in natural," she says.
"Dr. Sears has many great ideas gleaned from his pediatric practice, which has dealt with issues related to nutrition for so many years," says Visram. "They have a ton of ideas when it comes to creating the optimal mix of slow-burn energy for breakfast, strains of probiotics, the best DHA ingredients and best concepts and ideas around formulation."
All new product ideas have to pass a simple test: "Would I feed it to Zane? Will Jessica feed it to Leland? Are they the best products we can feed our children?" says Visram. But taste is critical, too. "Babies are finicky, so we make sure our products taste good. You can make the healthiest food in the world, but baby has to like the taste," she says.
"We are honored to be part of Food Processing's R&D Teams of the Year," says Visram. "I think of Jessica and me as a dream team, so it is fun for us to get that recognition from the industry. We believe true success comes from a position of purity and passion for what we do."