New Food Product Rollout: January 2008

Jan. 4, 2008

Mainstream Maxwell House goes upscale

Under siege from premium coffee purveyors such as Starbucks and Peets, the mainstream coffee market has been losing share. In fact, Maxwell House, a $1 billion brand, lost 16 percentage points of market share in the first nine months of 2007. But Kraft Foods has a plan – make mainstream coffee premium.

Maxwell House, Kraft’s Tarrytown, N.Y.-based unit, is redefining the mainstream coffee category by reformulating its coffee with 100 percent Arabica beans, making it the only major canned coffee brand to use the beans known for their superior quality, rich aroma and taste.

The launch is supported by a multimillion-dollar "Brew Some Good" marketing campaign. “The 'Brew Some Good' campaign recognizes good on many levels -- inside the coffee cup, in our lives and in our communities,” explains Lorraine Hansen, senior vice president and general manager of coffee.

Varieties include: Original, Original Decaf, Colombian Supreme, Lite, French Roast, French Roast Decaf, Hazelnut and Vanilla.
Suggested retail price is $8.59, for the 33-39-oz. plastic canisters with pass-though handle, and the 11-13-oz. vacuum packs are $3.59.

Pasta fortifies with fiber, calcium

Getting picky kids to eat more healthfully just got easier with the introduction of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta in five varieties -- Spaghetti, Thin Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Rotini and Elbows -- courtesy of Harrisburg, Pa.-based New World Pasta.

With three times the fiber of regular white pasta and the same amount of calcium as an 8-oz. glass of milk, Ronzoni Smart Taste looks and tastes like traditional white pasta, so the kids will never know the difference. It is also lower in calories and fat than traditional white pasta and contains no sodium, preservatives or cholesterol.

Calcium and fiber are two key nutrients that can be lacking in children's diets. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only about 30 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls ages 12-19 meet their daily calcium requirements. Among children 3-5, less than 60 percent get enough calcium, and among children 6-11, less than 40 percent of boys and 30 percent of girls get enough calcium.

When it comes to fiber, most Americans consume only about half the recommended amount each day, according to the American Dietetic Assn. According to a Pennsylvania State University study, three out of four preschool-age children are not getting enough fiber. Among its many benefits, fiber promotes proper digestion and contributes to fullness, helping to prevent overeating.
Suggested retail price for a 14.5-oz. package is $1.69.

Snapple juices up with superfruits

Snapple, a brand of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, Plano, Texas, introduces Snapple Super Premium Juice Drinks. The new line of "good for you" drinks, packaged in tall, slim, 17.5-oz. bottles, boasts unique flavor combinations from super fruits. The launch marks the company's first offering in the super premium juice category, which is up 14 percent since last year.

Snapple Super Premium Juice Drinks are made of real fruit juice, all natural flavors and ingredients and added vitamins. They’re launching in four varieties: Goji Punch, created from the delicious flavor of Goji berry originally found in the Himalayas and packed with vitamin A and antioxidant vitamin E; Peach Mangosteen, which supports a healthy immune system with vitamin A and antioxidant vitamins C and E and contains just 10 calories per serving; Noni Berry, derived from the flavors of exotic Polynesian fruit; and Kiwi Pear, which boosts both your metabolism and your mood with caffeine and the antioxidant EGCG, and contains just 10 calories per serving.

"Our new Super Premium Juice Drinks will contribute to a healthy immune system and provide the metabolism-boosting benefits consumers look for, complete with plenty of the great taste that they expect from Snapple," says Bryan Mazur, vice president and general manager of Snapple. “The exciting flavor combinations of the new Snapple Super Premium Juice Drinks include all-natural ingredients with added vitamins, and low-calorie options provide even more choices for Snapple enthusiasts."

Suggested retail price is $1.39.

Steak-umm adds burgers to lineup

Reading, Pa.-based Steak-umm Co. LLC beefs up its well-known premium sandwich steak brand with a new line of Steak-umm Burgers. The frozen, ready-to-cook, 1/3-lb. burgers are made from USDA-inspected beef chuck, packed six to a box, and available in three varieties – Original, Sweet Onion and Real Cheese with pieces of onion or cheddar cheese mixed into each patty.

The company launches the line with an aggressive awareness campaign that includes TV commercials, sponsorship of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car with prominent Steak-umm identification, and a Steak-umm show car with a grill built into the trunk that will be available for store openings and special events.

“Steak-umm has built up enormous brand equity over 40 years as the leading sliced steak brand,” says President Sergei Szortyka. “That brand recognition as well as Steak-umm’s status as the premium product in the market will carry over to the new burger line. We expect the combination of those factors, our promotional efforts and the void in the marketplace left by the closing of Topps Meat Co. will drive strong sellthrough of our burger product both at launch and on an ongoing basis.”

Suggested retail price is $8.99.

Chocolate + fruit + cereal = bliss

She exudes fabulousness, an impeccable sense of style and a charming personality. She is the woman who seems to have it all together, all the time, spending her days running from one place to the next, meeting to meeting, smiling, and all the while, looking as fabulous as ever.

Now we know her secret -- Special K Bliss bars,  the newest Special K snack option from. Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich. Special K Bliss bars come in two flavor combinations: Chocolatey Dipped Raspberry and Chocolatey Dipped Orange. With their combination of sweet, fruit-flavored pieces, crispy cereal and a chocolaty bottom layer, they offer women (especially) the unique flavor combinations of chocolate and fruit and the crispness of crunchy cereal.

With only 90 calories, 2g of fat, 1g of saturated fat and zero trans fat per serving, each bar contains no cholesterol, 70mg of sodium and 9g of sugar. So they’re perfect for hoarding in your desk drawer for an afternoon snack.

“I am excited to find a bar that steps it up a notch by offering a bold and out-of-the-ordinary flavor combination,” says Lisa Cohn, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Special K brand. “And, at 90 calories per bar, it’s a perfect between-meal snack.”

Suggested retail price for a six-bar box is $3.49.

Chi-Chi’s salsa-on-the-go

Chi-Chi’s Snackers, a brand of Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp., brings salsa, one of America’s most popular condiments, out of the cupboard and into your lunch bag.

Single-serving, 4-oz. portable packages offer consumers a chance to create a fiesta at any meal with three of Chi-Chi’s most popular varieties: Mild Salsa, Medium Salsa and Nacho Cheese. The fun-sized packs pair great with chips or provide a tasty alternative to ketchup or mayonnaise on a sandwich or wrap.

We’d love to see a line extension of portable salsa packs with tortilla chips.
Suggested retail price for a four-pack is $2.99.

Big flavor in a small package

 Now that the holidays are over, a perfect way to watch calories is with 100 Calorie Cookie Pouches from Norwalk, Conn.-based Pepperidge Farm, a Campbell Soup company. The indulgent treat is big on flavor, yet not so big on calories, and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Varieties include: Chocolate Chunk, golden cookies filled with dark chocolate chips; Chessmen, velvety butter cookies; and Chocolate Chessmen, delightfully rich chocolate butter cookies.

“The 100 Calorie Cookie Pouches are the perfect complement to our current line of 100 Calorie Goldfish Cracker Pouches,” says Michael Simon, vice president/general manager of the snacks division at Pepperidge Farm. “By offering both sweet and savory snacks, there’s something for kids and adults to enjoy, all wrapped up in a perfect 100-calorie serving.”

Suggested retail price for a box of five pouches is $2.99.

Pop-Tarts go to school

With evolving K-12 nutritional guidelines, foodservice directors are facing some real challenges to keep a la carte offerings balanced between better nutrition and strong student appeal. Now Kellogg’s Food Away From Home, Elmhurst, Ill., provides a solution for school foodservice operators to offer one of students’ favorite breakfast choices with new Pop-Tarts One Serving of Whole Grain.

Pop-Tarts One Serving of Whole Grain has a crust made with 16g of whole grain in two of the most popular Pop-Tarts flavors, Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon, topped with a drizzle of sweet frosting. Each pastry provides 1.25 USDA bread equivalent, meets common K-12 a la carte requirements (35 percent or less calories from total fat, 10 percent or less calories from saturated fat and 35 percent or less sugar by weight and zero trans fat per serving). They’re packaged in a colorful and convenient single-serve package that is microwavable. Toaster pastries are one of the most popular breakfast items, and Kellogg claims Pop-Tarts is America’s favorite brand.

For details and complete nutrition information, go to the Kellogg’s Food Away From Home web site at or call 877-511-5777.

Think pink

Los Angeles-based BrandStorm Inc. rolls out in specialty food and natural markets a unique package of its popular Himalania pink crystal salt, a 4-oz. portion of rock salt and a custom mini-grater in a glass jar.

Himalania pink salt is 100 percent natural, unrefined and unpolluted. Sourced from the mountains of the Himalayas at elevations of 10,000 feet, this fossilized marine salt, formed more than 200 million years ago, has a natural pink color thanks to its high iron content. Himalania pink salt is also naturally rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and copper, making it a healthy addition to everyday dishes.

Once a year each spring the Himalayan people transport this salt to the Nepalese valleys for trade, as they have for centuries. Heavily burdened yaks carry the salt, traveling along narrow sloping paths, often carved in cliffs. BrandStorm has worked with these people for several years to bring this legendary salt to the West, where it is appreciated for its flavor, texture and color.

“We developed a full line of Himalania pink salt, but this package design is specifically intended for home chefs and others who care about flavor, purity and quality, as well as presentation,” says BrandStorm CEO Thierry Ollivier. “With one taste, it’s easy to understand why salt has been so precious to mankind.”

The new package design is ideal for dinner parties, and makes an attractive display on a tabletop because of its unique pink color. Grating salt is a fun and novel experience for even seasoned eaters, enhancing the flavor, presentation and interactivity of salads, soups, vegetable dishes, meats or fish.

Suggested retail price is $10.99.

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