Best New Products of April 2008

The top new food products of April 2008

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Low-sodium popping

Orville Redenbacher’s, which claims to be America’s No. 1 popcorn, introduces SmartPop! 30% Less Sodium. All of the brand’s SmartPop! flavors are 94 percent fat free, made of whole grains and have zero cholesterol and trans fat. And with flavors such as Butter, Kettle Korn, Movie Theater Butter, and Organic Butter, popcorn lovers have an alternative to the bland tastes often associated with other reduced-sodium snacks.

According to a recent survey conducted by the ConAgra brand, three out of four consumers who currently don’t buy lower-sodium items said they would purchase a reduced sodium product if it had the same taste as snacks that were higher in sodium. Orville Redenbacher’s guarantees its new SmartPop! 30% Less Sodium tastes just as good as original SmartPop!, or consumers can receive a full refund on their purchase if not satisfied.

“With the new advancements in flavor technology, even we were amazed by how great the new SmartPop! tastes,” says Stan Jacot, vice president of marketing for ConAgra Foods’ popcorn business. “By significantly reducing the level of sodium, the improved SmartPop 30% Less Sodium still offers consumers a great healthful snack that is now even better for them.”

Suggested retail price is $2.69.

Uncle Ben’s gone wild

Mars Food US, a Rancho Dominques, Calif.-based division of Mars Inc., rolls out two varieties of Uncle Ben’s rice made with a combination of long grain and native wild rice combined with all-natural herbs and seasonings. Made with whole grains, they are low in saturated and trans fats, low in cholesterol, a source of fiber (3g per serving) and a good source of many vitamins and minerals.

Turning an everyday meal into something special, Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice Herb Roasted Chicken is made with 100 percent natural flavors and includes chicken and a variety of spices. Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice Sun-Dried Tomato Florentine is made with spinach, tomato and whole wheat berries, providing an exotic variety that appeals to today’s discriminating palates.

Suggested retail price is $1.89-1.99.

Whole grain pizza with vegetarian toppings

Kashi Co., a La Jolla, Calif., division of Kellogg Co., expands its current all-natural frozen pizza family with three new All-Natural Thin Crust Frozen Pizzas. Made with whole grains, the thin crust is complemented by flavorful, vegetarian toppings, making these pizzas a nutritious and easy-to-prepare meal idea.

Kashi All-Natural Thin Crust Frozen Pizzas varieties include:

  • Roasted Vegetable (artichokes, broccoli florets, fire roasted red peppers and onions drizzled with a touch of balsamic vinaigrette complement a tomato-pesto sauce and blend of mozzarella and provolone cheeses)
  • Mushroom Trio & Spinach (topped with shiitake, baby portobello and champignon mushrooms as well as spinach, it features a savory tomato parmesan sauce)
  • Tomato Garlic Cheese (mozzarella and provolone cheeses paired with ripened red tomatoes atop a tomato and herb-infused sauce).

“Our new thin crust pizzas feature a light, crispy crust that’s made with our unique blend of seven whole grains and sesame plus flax seeds,” says brand manager and nutritionist Sarah Lowrey Ceccarelli. “Topped with flavorful sauces and savory vegetable combinations, our pizzas offer a delicious eating experience in every bite, in addition to providing the nutrition of whole grains, fiber, protein and ALA omega-3s.” Ground whole flax seeds provide 260mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, complementing the 4g of fiber, 14g of protein and 11g of whole grains in each serving.
Suggested retail price is $5.99.

SoBe enters water category with ‘thriller’ flavors
During the past Super Bowl, Supermodel Naomi Campbell and a cast of SoBe lizards danced through Michael Jackson’s song "Thriller” on its 25th anniversary. It was PepsiCo Inc.’s way of introducing America to SoBe Life Water in five flavors.

Featuring distinctive, bold packaging, each low-calorie flavor -- Blackberry Grape, Pomegranate Cherry, Orange Tangerine, Strawberry Kiwi, and Passionfruit Citrus  -- are infused with antioxidant vitamins C and E, essential B vitamins and healthy herbal ingredients.

PepsiCo's SoBe Life Water plays in the red-hot enhanced water category, and it is one of the brands often credited with launching the new-age beverage category in the 1990s.

Hormel chili in a tray

Chili is a comfort meal that satisfies, but traditional chili isn’t always an option for today’s dynamic consumer lifestyles. Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods  debuts Hormel Chili Meals. Ideal for a satisfying lunch on-the-go or snack anytime, these shelf-stable meals come in microwave-ready trays and heat up in only 90 seconds.

Hearty varieties include:

  • Chili ‘n Mac, macaroni, beans and beef in tomato sauce
  • Chili ‘n Penne chili and beans with penne pasta
  • Chili ‘n Spuds, chili and beans with diced potatoes.

According to a recent study by GfK Consumer, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, chili is consumed by 92 percent of U.S. households.

“As schedules become more hectic, time constraints really affect the way we eat,” says Marty Wolesky, product manager. “By offering Hormel Chili Meals in a portable, microwave-ready tray, busy consumers can enjoy chili with a hearty serving of pasta or potatoes anytime.”

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