August 2005 New Food Rollout

Performance beans from Jelly Belly; Stouffer's creates a bistro; Dove flies to new categories; Coke's new Zero; keeping Chips Ahoy fresh; Herr's buttermilk ranch popcorn.

By Diane Toops, News and Trends Editor

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Performance jelly beans

Jelly Belly Candy Co., Fairfield, Calif., introduces Sport Beans, jelly beans formulated to energize the body during exercise - and to help fend off a jelly belly. Positioned to compete in the $3.2 billion energy category (sports drinks, energy bars and sports jells), each 1-oz. serving contains 25 g of carbs, 20 percent of the RDA for vitamins C and E, and 120 mg of electrolytes to boost energy and prevent dehydration, and the beans make portion control a breeze.

Slightly larger than traditional-size jelly beans, flavors so far are Lemon Lime and Orange.

"Today's active adults and teens are exercising harder than ever and are looking for optimal performance at play and in competition," says Pete Healy, vice president of marketing. "We've heard from marathon athletes for years about how they use Jelly Belly beans for the carbohydrates they need to sustain energy and finish a race, so we developed a fun candy with additional nutrients the body needs during exercise."

Suggested retail price for 1-oz. single servings is 99 cents.

New option from Powerade

Powerade Option, a new low-calorie sports drink from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., is a great alternative for consumers seeking hydration with fewer calories. Plus it expands the Powerade franchise by attracting new consumers into the sports drink category.

Sweetened with a blend of sweeteners including sucralose, Powerade Option provides electrolytes and B-complex vitamins at comparable levels to regular Powerade, but contains fewer carbs and 80 percent fewer calories per serving than Gatorade. In fact an 8-oz. serving contains only 2 carbs and 10 calories.

Available in Strawberry, Black Cherry and Lemon flavors, Powerade Option is packaged in new, easy-to-grip 20-oz. bottles in singles and six-packs and 32-oz. bottles.

Suggested retail prices are competitive with other sports drinks.

Curb your eating out

Americans love to eat out. In fact, 75 percent of us dine away from the home at least once a week, according to a recent Gallup poll. We want flavorful food, which is evident by the fact that curbside pick-up is the fastest growing segment of casual dining.

Now you don't have to get in your car to pick up dinner; just open the freezer for a restaurant meal at home. Nestlé Prepared Foods Co., Solon, Ohio, debuts Stouffers Corner Bistro Meals, a six-SKU line --  Seafood Scampi, Monterey Chicken, Grilled Rosemary Chicken, Garlic Chicken Pasta, Chicken Carbonara and Sesame Chicken -- of tasty and sophisticated restaurant-inspired meals.

"We asked our consumers what mouth-watering meals would make them want to rush home for dinner and then challenged our chefs to create that perfect recipe," says Christine Dahm, director of marketing for Stouffer's. "Our chefs responded with flavorful, satisfying dinners - like those you'd find at local restaurants."

Suggested retail price is $3.99.

Hunt's in the thick of it

For the 97 percent of American households who like to slather on the ketchup, Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods Inc. jumps into the thick of things with a thicker Hunt's ketchup.

"Americans told us they value thickness in ketchup and use it as one of their barometers of taste. We delivered our thickest formula ever, just in time for the summer grilling season," says Valerie Sheppard, vice president of Hunt's marketing. "We want people to try Hunt's again for the first time. We're confident that, given the chance to taste our new ketchup, people will love its new thickness and great taste. And we're backing our commitment up with a guarantee."

In TV spots, the ketchup does not drip when put in a strainer. Ketchup-lovers are encouraged to "Pour it on Thick," complemented with a print mail-in taste guarantee certificate.

"In recent years, we've brought new ketchup fans into the Hunt's family, and our ketchup has been known for its taste," Sheppard said, noting that volume sales grew nearly 3 percent and market share increased over the past year to solidify Hunt's position as one of the leading national ketchup brands. "Now, with its new thickness, we're confident Hunt's will become the favorite ketchup for millions more Americans."

Hunt's also has an upside down squeezable bottle with a vacuum-action Always Clean Cap that makes it easy to squeeze out as much Hunt's Ketchup as needed. The patented Easy Grip bottle is ergonomically shaped to fit easily in big and little hands. No waiting, no shaking.

Suggested retail price is $1.33 for 24 oz., $1.89 for 36 oz. and $2.39 for 46 oz.

Extending Dove to new categories

Savor the moment. Masterfoods USA, Hackettstown, N.J., a division of Mars Inc., introduces three indulgent product lines to its Dove premium chocolate decadent franchise: Dove Pint Ice Cream, Dove Cookies and Dove Smooth Milk Chocolate with Caramel Miniatures.

"These new products, as well as our "My Moment, My Dove" marketing campaign, will make Dove synonymous with everyday indulgence, allowing consumers to have the best chocolate experience regardless of snacking, preferences," says Martyn Wilks, vice president and general manager of snack foods.

Topped with a rich layer of Dove Chocolate ganache, the ice cream is available in nine superpremium flavors: Chocolate & Brownie Affair, Unconditional Chocolate, Give in to Mint, Irresistibly Raspberry, Beyond Vanilla, Caramel Pecan Perfection, Vanilla with a Chocolate Soul, Toffee Caramel Moment and Cappuccino Chocolate Thrill.

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