Best New Products of March 2008

March 12, 2008

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.

Patented technology infuses plant sterols into the chips. The company claims this makes Corazonas Heart-Healthy Potato Chips the first and only potato chip clinically proven to reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, aka “bad cholesterol,” by up to 15 percent, truly. And with a classic potato chip taste and crunch, it’s almost impossible to believe these chips contain 40 percent less fat than regular chips and no trans fat.

Varieties, which can be found at select retailers and, include: Slightly Salted, Mediterranean Garlic & Herb, Italiano Four Cheese, Pacific Rim BBQ and Spicy Rio Habanero.

Suggested retail price for a 6-oz. package is $2.99.

Newman's Own comes full circle
Newman’s Own Inc.,
Westport, Conn., introduces two premium wines: Newman’s Own 2006 California Chardonnay and Newman’s Own 2006 California Cabernet Sauvignon.

It was only 25 years ago that Paul Newman bottled his first product — a salad dressing in old wine bottles with parchment labels. “We have come full circle,” says the actor and company founder. “We are back to wine bottles, but this time we are filling them with a wine that will complement my salad dressing and pasta sauce. Wine was the only thing missing at dinner time. Now the meal is complete.”

To realize his winemaking vision, Newman worked closely with the St. Helena, Calif.-based Rebel Wine Co., a collaboration of Three Thieves and Trinchero Family Estates, to create these new high-end California wines. Both are made from hand-selected grapes from some of California’s premier coastal vineyards. Like all other Newman’s Own products, profits and royalties after taxes are donated to educational and charitable purposes.

Suggested retail price is $16 per bottle.

A savory beer?
Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages,
Plano, Texas, and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch join forces to launch Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada. Chelada, incidentally, is a shortened form of the Spanish word michelada, which loosely translates to “my cold beer.

A couple of savory beers, Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada were developed with the Latino consumer in mind. Budweiser and Bud Light are the world's best-selling beers, and Clamato, a Cadbury-Schweppes brand, has been popular with Latinos, especially those of Mexican descent, since the clam-tomato juice combo was introduced in 1969.

"This is a recipe that combines cultures and flavors," says Ana Vitrano, Anheuser-Bush product manager.

"Budweiser, Bud Light and Clamato are all highly respected brands that, when combined, produce the authentic-tasting recipe many Latinos love. It's la combinacion perfecta!"

To best enjoy Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada, gently rotate the chilled can once before pouring. Then serve cold or pour over ice, into a traditional goblet-style glass and garnish with a slice of lime or celery stalk. Salting the rim of the glass or adding a dash of hot sauce to the beer allows adults to further customize the chelada. The beers pair well with traditional Latino dishes such as ceviche, chicken enchiladas and tamales.

"The combination of Clamato with Budweiser and Bud Light provides a refreshing beverage -- one that Clamato fans have been mixing themselves for ages," says Andrew Springate, vice president of marketing for Cadbury Schweppes. "This is a convenient way for consumers to enjoy the flavorful and authentic recipe they've come to crave."

Yoplait adds fiber
As people realize fiber's numerous health benefits including helping with weight management, they're seeking easy ways to fit it into their diets. The National Fiber Council reports 42 percent of Americans consume the most fiber during breakfast, followed closely by dinner (32 percent) and lunch (18 percent).
Minneapolis-based General Mills introduces Yoplait Fiber One, a creamy nonfat yogurt with 5g of fiber -- 20 percent of the RDV -- in each 4-oz. cup. It’s available in Strawberry, Vanilla, Peach and Key Lime Pie. Each cup has 80 calories, zero fat and is a good source of calcium and vitamins A and D.

"We are excited to introduce a new way to help consumers increase their daily fiber intake. No other yogurt packs as much of a fiber punch as Fiber One yogurt," says Mike Secor, Fiber One marketing manager. "With the introduction of Fiber One yogurt, consumers can get added nutritional benefits with the great taste and quality they expect from Yoplait."

Suggested retail price is $3.29 for a six-pack.

Whole Grain Pop-Tarts debut
Moms know the drill: Each trip to the grocery store results in a quest for fun foods her kids love, yet foods that she can feel good about serving. How can moms satisfy their kids without compromising her nutritional standards?
Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., rolls out Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries with One Serving of Whole Grain.. Available in Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon, each serving of provides 16g of whole grains, 3g fiber and is fortified with six vitamins and minerals.

"As the original and leading toaster pastry, the Pop-Tarts brand recognizes the need to offer our consumers choices," says Jennifer Garrett, director, nutrition marketing. "Whether that’s no frosting, lower fat or enhancing nutritional value by adding whole grains and fiber, Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries offer a broad range of flavors and ingredients to personalize for different consumer demands."

Suggested retail price is $1.99 per box.

Water for chocoholics
Metromint, marketed and distributed by San Francisco-based Soma Beverage Company LLC, introduces calorie free Metromint Chocolatemint water, which contains cocoa essence and a natural combination of pure water and real mint, the brand's signature ingredient.

“Innovation isn't new to us, so the idea of combining water with chocolate came easily," says founder and beverage designer Rio Miura.

Launching Chocolatemint around Valentine's Day was no coincidence, either, according to Michele Thorne, Metromint's wellness director. "Consumers have an emotional connection to chocolate. Launching in early spring provided us with the perfect platform to offer a healthier alternative to the traditional box of chocolates given on Valentine's Day and at Easter."

Suggested retail price for a sampler pack of five is $8 at

Simplicity is key
According to an online survey of 1,972 women by StrategyOne, 92 percent of women report that they are trying to bring better food choices into their homes, yet two-thirds agree that they sometimes find it difficult to introduce more wholesome foods into their diet and their family's diet. Nearly 90 percent often look for great-tasting, wholesome foods, and 78 percent report that they look for foods with a simple ingredients list. Additionally, the majority of women (88 percent) agree that they wish there were more on-the-go wholesome food options out there.
On the heels of these findings, East Hanover, N.J.-based Back to Nature introduces a line of snack bars made from pure, simple ingredients to provide delicious snack offerings with easily identifiable tastes and textures.

Made with organic fruits and grains, almonds, pecans and walnuts, the bars contain no synthetic pesticides, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial preservatives or flavors and have zero trans fat per serving.

Varieties include: Banana Walnut Bakery Squares, Oatmeal Raisin Bakery Squares, Apple Fruit & Grain Bars, Cranberry Almond Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Cherry Pecan Chewy Trail Mix Bars.

Suggested retail price is $3.49.

It’s back
Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages has relaunched its controversially named energy drink Cocaine. Redux Beverages had voluntarily pulled the Cocaine product from shelves and renamed it in June of 2007 due to FDA concerns about the product’s marketing tagline. The ingredients and flavor of relaunched Cocaine remain the same as the original.

The drink comes in a red, 8.4-oz. can and will be available in several markets across the U.S. as well as in Europe. Cocaine is available in three flavors: Original, Cut and Free. The Original version is a red, cinnamon-based energy drink that packs three and a half times the amount of caffeine of its leading competitor (280mg). Other ingredients include: 750mg of taurine, 100mg of inositol, B vitamins, 50mg of L-Carnitine, 250mg of D-Ribose and 25mg of guarana. The Cut version of Cocaine has the cinnamon-flavor removed, while the Free version is sugar-free.

“Retailers and consumers alike were begging us to get the drink back on the shelves,” says Redux founder Jamey Kirby. “Since the FDA warning letter last April we have been working closely with them to adjust the marketing of the drink and now the rebellious and fun Cocaine brand is out of rehab and back on shelves.”

Suggested retail price for a sampler package of two is $4.99 at

Nutritious snack for foodservice
Elmhurst, Ill.-based Kellogg’s Food Away From Home offers foodservice operators a nutritious and portable breakfast and snack choice with the new Kashi Granola Snack Pouch.
Flavors include Mountain Medley, featuring naturally sweet sundried cranberries and raisins, almonds, pecans, whole sunflower seeds and a pinch of coconut; and Orchard Spice is made with apples, sweet spices, pecans, raisins and whole flax seeds.

While health is playing a growing role for 90 percent of consumers in choosing their meals and snacks, they are looking for flavor and portion control, too. Kashi created its granola for people who want to eat a great-tasting granola with equally great nutrition. With 220 calories per serving, 300mg of ALA omega-3s and Kashi’s signature blend of seven whole grains and sesame, both varieties are sure to appeal to a range of nutritionally aware consumers.

For details, go to

Exceptional sides, simplified for foodservice
Boise, Idaho-based Simplot introduces UpSides savory side dishes, delivering on-trend flavors that satisfy consumers’ desires for more adventurous culinary experiences. UpSides products offer operators an opportunity to menu more sophisticated and indulgent sides often deemed too challenging to prepare from scratch and provide consistent taste, texture and appearance.

Higher consumer expectations, combined with rising labor and food costs, have created the need for operators to consider new menu items, while still offering creativity. All inspired by chefs, the savory side dishes line include UpSides Multigrain Blends, deliver a combination of exotic grains, colorful vegetables and distinctive herbs. UpSides Polenta Cakes, combine coarse-grain cornmeal with authentic cheeses and complementary seasonings for an aromatic, flavorful side, in two easy-to-use first-to-market formats: quarter sheets, for customizable shapes, and pre-cut rounds. Gourmet Pasta Blends add bold flavor and flame-roasted appeal to any menu. They provide operators versatility, operational ease and heat-and-serve convenience, while optimizing margins.

“Simplot’s new UpSides savory side dishes meet consumer demand for indulgent, unique sides, helping to boost repeat business while optimizing total plate profitability,” says Danny Bawcom, director of New Product Development and Marketing. “UpSides products virtually eliminate the time commitment, preparation of multiple ingredients and steps required to produce these side dishes from scratch, allowing operators to menu new, on-trend dishes they otherwise would not have been able to offer.”


Soft serve ice cream goes all-natural
West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Archibald Frozen Desserts, introduces ready-to-serve All Natural Premium Soft ice cream, In addition, Archibald is partnering with Clarinda, Iowa-based dairy Naturally Iowa Inc. to ensure the market's first and only dairy-produced, all-natural soft ice cream will contain the purest flavors possible. A dairy market innovator, Naturally Iowa was the first dairy to package its organic milk in compostable corn-plastic containers. It uses no rBGH or steroids at its dairy farms.

Flavors include: Vanilla Supreme; Homemade Vanilla Lite; Chocolate Supreme; Double Chocolate Chunk; Lemon Cream; Peanut Butter Cup; Cafe Mocha; Cinnamon; Strawberries & Cream; Chocolate Chip; Chocolate Chip Mint and Cookies & Cream.

Distributed "ready-to-serve" nationwide, the premium soft ice cream is dispensed through Archibald's patent pending table-top EROS machine, which creates an efficient, profitable and integrated solution for clients/point of sale. Archibald, long known for its best-in-class dispensing platform and integrated solution, continues to differentiate itself from its competitors with the all-natural product line and is now poised for an organic product strategy down the line.

“The demand for all-natural products is enormous and growing across all food and dessert categories,” says said Basil Bennett, CEO at Archibald. “We are delighted to partner with Naturally Iowa to bring the first all-natural premium soft ice cream product line to the market."


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