New Food & Beverage Product Rollout: December 2021

Dec. 8, 2021
Our editors selected the following food and beverage products to feature in our December 2021 issue of Food Processing. See which products they chose.
Two Types of “Hot” Innovation

Applegate Farms heats up the frozen department with new Spicy Breaded Chicken Tenders and Bites, made with a custom breadcrumb blend containing a variety of peppers for a lasting kick. The crispy chicken is made with humanely raised, 100% natural chicken and non-GMO ingredients. Both forms come in 16-oz. bags, with the tenders selling for $6.80 and the bites for $11.49. The brand has also rolled out the Do Good Dog hot dog, which is all about taking regenerative agriculture from niche to norm. A 10-oz. pack containing six dogs has a suggested retail price of $6.99.

“It’s fashionable to argue that the only way to fight climate change is to eliminate meat. In fact, the opposite is true,” says John Ghingo, president. “Animals have a vital role to play in restoring soil health, sequestering carbon and safeguarding the land against drought, wildfires, erosion and other devastating results of climate change. Our mission is to scale regenerative practices beyond small farms and niche markets. It’s the only way to make a big enough impact.”

Locally Grown Cranberry Beverages

Ocean Spray Cranberries, the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, is rolling out Frutas Frescas, a new line of light and refreshing beverages made with real fruit juice in a variety of fruit flavors, all with fewer calories and sugar than leading juice drinks. The launch builds on Ocean Spray’s health and wellness-focused innovation platform, as well as brings to life the cooperative’s mission of connecting farms to families for a better life.

The drinks come in three flavors all rooted in the cranberry. They are: Cranberry Pineapple Passion Fruit, Cranberry Lemon Raspberry and Cranberry Raspberry Pear. An 8-oz. serving contains 50 calories and 12g of sugar, with 7g added and the rest from the fruit juice. In addition, the company added two new flavors to its 100% Juice line: Cranberry Elderberry and Cranberry Watermelon. This marks the first extension of flavors to the 100% Juice line since 2017. Both products come in 64-oz. bottles, with Frutas Frescas having a suggested retail price of $2.98 and $3.28 for the 100% Juice items.

How Sweet It is

In time for the holiday entertaining season, consumers of plant-based frozen desserts can now bring scoop shop taste home. Sweet Tree Creamery is selling quarts of its premium, plant-based ice cream in grocery and retail locations across New England. The quarts come in five flavors and have a suggested retail price of $9.99. Varieties are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean. The company previously sold product only in 3-gal. tubs to foodservice. Coconut cream is the primary ingredient of this dairy-free product.

“I am so happy that consumers can finally go into stores and purchase Sweet Tree to stock their freezers at home,” says Deena Jalal, co-founder. “It has been a long-time dream of mine to make great quality plant-based ice cream accessible to more people. I want to thank my partners at New England Ice Cream for their perseverance over the past few months to get products onto shelves. I cannot wait to watch Sweet Tree become a staple in households for everyday enjoyment and special celebrations alike.”

Plant-based Mac & Cheese

Plant-based pioneer Follow Your Heart is rolling out USDA-certified organic SuperMac, a pasta option paired with deluxe sauces made with vegetables, beans and nuts. SuperMac brings a fresh approach to everyone’s favorite nostalgic pantry staple, expanding the macaroni and cheese category beyond processed cheese alternatives to a reimagined nutritious option made with whole foods. The dairy-, egg-, peanut- and soy-free shelf-stable product is available exclusively at Whole Foods Market locations nationwide until the end of March 2022.

SuperMac comes in two varieties. The Cheezy Carrot sauce is made with carrots, butternut squash and navy beans, while Creamy Caulifredo is made with navy beans, cauliflower and cashew butter. It’s quick, simple—ready in less than 10 minutes--and not only for kids. An 8.1-oz. box of pasta and sauce pouch has a suggested retail price of $5.99. The company is also introducing the first Dairy-Free Blue Cheese Crumbles, joining last year’s rollout of Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles. Other dairy-free cheeses from the brand include finely shredded cheddar and mozzarella.

Smoothies for Lil’ Ones

Home delivery baby and toddler food company Little Spoon has added Little Spoon Smoothies to its lineup. Made with 100% organic, non-GMO ingredients, the smoothies are made with fresh, cold-pressed fruits and vegetables without heavy processes or extreme heat. They contain no preservatives, additives or artificial sugar and are OU Kosher certified. They are packaged in convenient, on-the-go, BPA-free 4-oz. squeeze pouches that are safe to be unrefrigerated for up to 4 hours.

The six varieties are: Cookies + Cream (pear, oat milk, chickpeas, dates, cocoa powder, quinoa and vanilla bean), Green Dream (kale, green peas, apple, banana, kiwi and chia seeds), Purple Carrot Acai Bowl (purple carrot, mango, blueberries, acai, pear, oat flour, cinnamon and chia seeds), SB+J (banana, strawberries, beets and sunflower seed butter), Strawberry Banana Shake (strawberries, banana, butternut squash, coconut milk and vanilla bean) and Sweet Potato Carrot Cake (carrot, pineapple, sweet potato, date, cinnamon, ginger and flaxseed). The smoothies line comes as Little Spoon starts to roll out new packaging and a brand refresh following its $44 million Series B fundraising.

Regen Ag Eggs

When New Barn Organics decided to partner with NestFresh Eggs earlier this year on its first egg products, co-Founder Ted Robb wanted to reinforce the brand’s deep commitment to premium organic products, which includes regenerative agriculture practices. This led the partnership to certifying its new pasture-raised eggs through the Regenerative Organic Alliance. The only existing national standard for regenerative organic agriculture, the ROA’s rigorous certification program is designed to take existing USDA Organic standards to more environmentally friendly heights. To be eligible, products must adhere to the program’s three core tenets: soil health, animal welfare and social fairness.

“NestFresh is one of the largest egg producers in the country, and there was no question they could handle the day-to-day operations of our brand,” says Robb. “But what really excited our team was their genuine desire to support our deeper mission and purpose, which starts with the belief that regenerative organic agriculture is essential to creating a healthier food system for future generations.”

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