We may be the editors, digital director, and even a salesperson of Food Processing, but we’re consumers, too. Like everybody else, we have families. We go to the grocery store every week, and we know a great new product when we taste it. If it’s truly great, we stick with it throughout the year. And beyond.
So we put our heads together and came up with a list of Our Favorite New Products. We used to create this list and story annually, but it's been a few years since we last visited this fun subject. By new, we mean it’s less than 18 months old.
'I Savor Every Snacking Journey'
Vea Seed Crackers; Mondelez
Mondelez International says it created its new Véa savory seed crackers to drive growth in the savory cracker segment. The company is spot-on with these crispy, crunchy crackers made with ingredients like sweet potato, butternut squash and quinoa, and baked with visible herbs and spices. The name Vea symbolizes the brand’s purpose of "savoring the journey," according to the company, and accommodates busy on-the-go, well-being-focused millennials open to discovery, adventure and authenticity. But anyone in any generation who likes crispy, crunchy snacks will probably like these.
They're also sturdy enough to hold up to chunky dips. The handy standup, reclosable pouches work well for portable snacking. The recipes are have no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors, nor trans fats or GMOs. And thanks to the company's work with globally located chefs, Véa features bold regional flavors, from Thai Coconut and Tuscan Herbs to Peruvian Sweet Potato and Greek Hummus. The line became available nationally in the U.S. and Canada in July.
- Lauren Hartman, Product Development Editor
'Cheese That Goes Crunch'
Nothing But Cheese; Gay Lea Foods
Not since the coagulated milk product known as American cheese has fromage seen innovation like Nothing But Cheese, a shelf-stable snack with a label as clean as it gets: 100% cheese.
Produced by Mississauga, Ontario-based Gay Lea Foods and sold under the cooperative’s Ivanhoe label, Nothing But Cheese is a crunchy snack that checks all the clean label boxes. Microwave drying under pressure removes half the moisture in the cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses used to produce Nothing But Cheese, lowering water activity to the point that no refrigeration is needed. An 18g package — slightly less than two-thirds of an ounce -- delivers 7g of protein, equivalent to two cups of milk. Cheese, peppers and cellulose are the only ingredients in the Monterey Jack variety, with 3g of carbs and 4.5g saturated fat accounting for many of the 100 calories. For bigger appetites, a 57g (2-oz.) package is available.
- Kevin Higgins, Managing Editor
'Now, This Is Leveraging Global Assets'
Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar; Mondelez International
Some people know about my junk food drawer at work. Don't go looking for these in there; they're in a different, locked drawer.
I think the best thing to come out of the creation of international snacks powerhouse Mondelez is the Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar. It's a classic case of leveraging synergies: Mondelez's Cadbury brand Milka (big in Europe) provides the candy bar coating and the company's Nabisco brand provides the chocolatey crunchy pieces.
Lest I overstate the case for the chocolate, the real star here is the vanilla crème center, which contains the Oreo bits and sits between the Milka chocolate outer layers. As my junk food drawer will attest, I perform daily research on the candy bar category, so I'm something of an expert. The Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar blew me away the first time I tried it, and it's become my new favorite.
- Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief
'I Gotta Stop Buying These'
Deep Fried Twinkies; Hostess Brands
On a flight to Chicago I was reading a recent issue of Food Processing -- honestly. In the Rollout section, I saw a new creation, Deep Fried Twinkies. I love Twinkies and was disappointed when Hostess shut down and stopped Twinkie production at the end of 2012. Not only did Twinkies return to the market, but they were available in a new warm form last year (why had I not warmed up the original?).
I mentioned this in my daily conversation with my neighbor while she was at the store. She spotted them and picked me up a box. I had the Twinkies warm and ready to eat for the kids when they got home from school. They loved them. As my husband ate it up in two bites, he requested me not to buy them again because he wanted to eat the entire box of 12. The extra layer of goodness is not crispy but like a warm, soft layer of funnel cake. Yum.
- Betsy Norberg, Western Sales Representative
'Frozen Dessert Mends a Broken Heart'
Ben & Jerry’s No Dairy PB & Cookies
I went through a rather traumatic break-up in the past year. As I looked into my soul -- and pantry -- to fill the hole that had just been made, I found myself happy once again … with a spoon in hand.
I’ve been making changes to my diet and one of them has been to 'break up with' – and cut out or minimize -- dairy from my life. I’m also a sweet girl with a sweet tooth, so I was desperate for something that would be dairy free, yet sweet.
Then Ben & Jerry’s No Dairy PB & Cookies came into my life. The first bite I took nearly floored me. I couldn’t believe this was dairy-free. The non-dairy dessert has the ideal blend of vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter to make you feel like you’ve just ingested the most perfect dessert on earth. The ratio of chocolate to smooth, peanut butter chunks is decadent to the last spoonful.