Best New Products of March 2008

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First frozen nutritional meals with fruit
From fighting off the urge to munch during the afternoon slump to staring into the refrigerator for a sweet, late-night treat, many women struggle to overcome daily cravings that can destroy their healthy eating plans. A recent national survey of 1,092 women, conducted by Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Impulse Research Corp. found 63 percent experience food cravings at least once a day, 91 percent say they do not consume the recommended four daily servings (or two cups) of fruit, and seven out of 10 women say these temptations keep them from sticking to a healthy eating plan. In fact, 79 percent of women crave sweets more than anything.

So Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. introduces Weight Watchers Smart Ones Fruit Inspirations, the first line of frozen nutritional meals to feature real fruit combined with lean protein and crispy vegetables. With fewer than 350 calories and 8g of fat or less per serving, each entree contains pieces of fruit such as mandarin orange, pineapple, mango or cranberry.

They were developed with the help of celebrity chef Devin Alexander, author of “The Biggest Loser Cookbook” and host of Discovery Health’s “Healthy Decadence.” Varieties include: Orange Sesame Chicken (breaded chicken tenderloins and mandarin oranges in a sesame orange sauce with rice); Pineapple Beef Teriyaki (tender strips of beef, diced pineapple and a vegetable medley in a sweet teriyaki sauce with rice); Honey Mango Barbeque Chicken (white meat chicken with diced mangos in a honey barbeque sauce with spinach and Asiago cheese orzo pasta); and Cranberry Turkey Medallions (roasted turkey medallions in a lightly spiced cranberry sauce paired with roasted potato wedges, sliced carrots and green beans).

“Consumers are looking for convenient ways to add fruit to their daily meals, and Weight Watchers Smart Ones provide a nutritious, delicious solution for making healthy eating choices throughout the day,” says John Bennett, associate director, Weight Watchers Smart Ones. “We are committed to satisfying consumers’ food cravings 24/7 by offering a variety of healthier options that deliver the taste and intense flavors they love.”

Suggested retail price is $3.


Del Monte introduces two healthier fruits
Del Monte Foods,
San Francisco, rolls out two healthy packaged fruit products. Del Monte Healthy Kids claims to be the first fortified canned fruit product for children that provides vitamins and calcium. And Del Monte Lite 100 Calorie Fruit offers the same great taste as traditional canned fruit with fewer calories and is ideal for a convenient, on-the-go snack.

Del Monte Healthy Kids products, available in Peach and Fruit Cocktail varieties, are fortified with vitamin A (15 percent of DRV) and C (100 percent of DRV), as well as calcium (10 percent of DRV), and are preservative-free and packed in extra light syrup.

Packaged in 100-calorie cans, Del Monte Lite 100 Calorie Fruit products have fewer calories than traditional canned fruit, are preservative-free and packed in an artificially and naturally sweetened extra light syrup. Varieties include Sliced Cling Peaches, Pear Halves and Fruit Cocktail.

“Del Monte is committed to nourishing families and enriching lives every day, and we know that busy consumers are continuing to look for delicious and convenient options when it comes to getting more fruit into their diet,” says Apu Mody, senior vice president, Del Monte Consumer Products. “Del Monte Healthy Kids and Del Monte Lite 100 Calorie Fruit make it easier for today’s busy families to get the fruit they need, while helping them reach their important health and wellness goals in 2008.”

Suggested retail price for a 15-oz. can of Healthy Kids is $1.57, and Del Monte Lite costs 99 cents.


Buzz-worthy Snickers debuts
With more than 80 percent of American adults consuming caffeine each year, the market for caffeinated products is a buzz-worthy trend. According to a survey of 1,088 consumers aged 18-24 by Impulse Research, conducted for Snickers, 84 percent said they consume caffeinated beverages on a daily basis, yet only 19 percent are satisfied with the boost they get from soft drinks, coffee or energy drinks. Seventy percent rank taste as the most important quality followed by an energy recharge (64 percent).
Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Snackfood US introduces Snickers Charged, the first candy bar from the brand that provides a boost of energy with taurine, B vitamins and added caffeine (60 mg). In comparison, an 8-oz. soft drink contains 20-40mg of caffeine, an 8-oz. coffee has 65-120mg and an 8-oz. energy drink carries 72-80mg of caffeine.

To meet consumer needs and help millions of Americans take back their energy-zapped afternoons, Snickers proclaims the post-lunch, pre-dinner hour between 2 and 3 p.m. the Snickers Charged Re-Power Hour.

"Snickers Charged offers consumers a bar of substance and a delicious and satisfying way to tackle the afternoon hours when one needs to re-power,” says Michele Kessler, vice president, marketing." Research shows that consumers desire a product that not only provides a boost of energy but is also satisfying in taste."
Suggested retail price for a 1.83-oz. bar is 65 cents.


Potato chips reduce LDL cholesterol
Los Angeles-based Corazonas Foods Inc. transforms the all-American classic potato chip into a heart-healthy culinary delight with the launch of Corazonas Heart-Healthy Potato Chips.

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