September 2007's Best New Food Products

Sept. 4, 2007
The latest new food products for Septemer include Tyson's Chicken Any'Tizers, a yogurt drink just for kids and a cola with a buzz. Read on for more, including web exclusives.

Chicken Any'Tizers for anytime

As part of an ongoing effort to provide consumers with fast and flexible food options, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., introduces Tyson Any'Tizers, a line of restaurant-style frozen snacks. Any'Tizers make great appetizers; your teens will love them as an afternoon or late-night snack; serve them at a party or even as a light meal. Just heat for 12-18 mins. in a conventional oven, or 2 mins. in the microwave and eat.

Varieties include: Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Wyngs, Honey BBQ Boneless Chicken Wyngs, Cheddar & Jalapeño Chicken Bites, Cheddar & Bacon Chicken Bites, Homestyle Chicken Fries and Ranch Flavored Chicken Fries. The Any'tizers line also includes some of Tyson's existing snack products, such as Barbeque Style Chicken Wings and Popcorn Chicken.

"Americans snack almost as often as they eat regular meals because of the fast pace and demands of their lives," says Shawn Walker, senior vice president-Value Added Meal Solutions for Tyson Foods. "We believe our new Any'tizers line will help meet consumer demands for great-tasting, protein-based snacks that offer versatility, variety and are easy to prepare."

Suggested retail price is $3.69.

Yogurt drink just for kids

Minneapolis-based General Mills introduces Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drink, a sippable, portable beverage which contains 16mg of naturally sourced omega-3 DHA, an important nutrient that supports brain growth during early childhood development. It contains 25 percent less sugar than the average of leading kids' yogurts and no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Flavors include: Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Mixed Berry and Banana. Just add a straw -- or lift the lid -- and let the flavorful fun begin.

"We think both kids and their parents will be pleased with the new yogurt drinks," says Phillip Zinda, Yoplait marketing. "With calcium, vitamins A and D and now omega-3 DHA, Yoplait Kids has broadened the dietary benefits for young yogurt lovers."

Suggested retail price for six 3.1-oz. bottles is $2.99.

Promise takes a shot at cholesterol

Nearly 76 million Americans are living with high or elevated LDL, otherwise known as "bad" cholesterol, and many others are concerned about their cholesterol levels. Unilever North America, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., rolls out Promise activ SuperShots, the first fruit and yogurt mini-drink with added natural plant sterols, ingredients that are clinically proven to help actively remove cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Plant sterol-containing foods should be used twice a day with meals. But it would take about 100 lbs. of fruits, vegetables and nuts to get the 2g of plant sterols found in these SuperShots.

Available in three flavors -- Strawberry, Peach and Raspberry -- the mini-drink also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and it is a good source of vitamin E.

"Plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol for most people, when used daily as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol," says Douglas Balentine, director of nutrition and health. "This new product innovation is an example of Unilever's commitment to helping people maintain a healthy heart and to stay healthy for longer."

Suggested retail price for a pack of four is $3.99.

Cola with extra buzz

Pepsi-Cola North America Purchase, N.Y., will give you a buzz with Diet Pepsi Max, an invigorating zero-calorie cola with ginseng and more caffeine (46mg per 8 oz.) than a typical energy drink.

Sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, Diet Pepsi Max is available in 20-oz. bottles, 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-oz. cans.

"It's evident that Americans are tired and could use an extra kick to help get them through the day," says Russell Weiner, VP-colas. "Diet Pepsi Max was designed to offer a great-tasting solution with a unique formula that invigorates the mind and body, preventing those ill-timed yawns from taking over."

According to a new Harris Interactive survey of 1,102 adults, commissioned by Diet Pepsi Max, 84 percent of Americans experience a daily "afternoon slump." They're also having a tough time being discreet about it. More than half of respondents admit to yawning up to five times a day and another 86 percent believe that those yawns are contagious. The yawn is the focus of an ad campaign for Diet Pepsi Max, which features the tag line "Wake up, people!"

One-third of Americans blame the workplace as the reason for their exhaustion. But the workplace is also becoming the solution, because half of all survey respondents have caught someone asleep on the job and 28 percent have confessed to falling asleep at work. The most popular ways respondents overcome their slumps at work include walking around the office (58 percent) and consuming caffeinated beverages (52 percent). Zzzzzz.

Kraft delivers on superpremium pizza

Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., delivers DiGiorno Ultimate, superpremium delivery-style pizza in four varieties: Four Cheese (mozzarella, brick, fontina and Parmesan Reggiano); Four Meat (capicolla ham, Genoa salami, pepperoni and sausage); Supreme, (sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, red onion and green and red peppers) and Pepperoni.

Skinny is R&D came up with the superpremium idea in 2005, but dropped it because Kraft brass was feverishly watching its bottom line. After Irene Rosenfeld became CEO, she asked R&D to develop a new product line in a record three months, one-quarter of the time it normally takes, reports the Chicago Tribune. It did, using superpremium ingredients and a new rising thin crust, and the result is this line which is sure to appeal to discriminating pizza aficionados. I consider myself one and, as a Chicagoan, have a choice of arguably the best delivery pizza in the country. R&D deserves kudos for this one.

Suggested retail price is $6.99 ($1 dollar higher than a regular DiGiorno pizza).

I can't help falling in love with these

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., launches the long-awaited limited edition Reese's Peanut Butter & Banana Creme Cups, available in standard, miniatures and "The King" sizes, and starring Elvis Presley.

When word got out, Elvis fans heated up the blog community in anticipation of the candy celebrating The King's love of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. The cups, officially licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., feature a thin layer of banana creme combined with Reese's creamy peanut butter centers. The Collector Edition features four different iconic images of Elvis and gives consumers the chance to "Live like The King" with an instant-win promotion.

From Graceland to pink Cadillacs, Elvis lived a life of luxury, and Reese's lovers can too. Now through Dec. 31, more than 10,000 prizes will be given away instantly in Reese's "Live like The King" promotion. Prizes include: a trip for four to Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.; a scarf owned by Elvis; a cancelled check signed by him; and Elvis-themed sunglasses and license plates. In addition, one lucky grand-prize winner will ride like The King in an overhauled, customized Reese's Elvis Tribute Car built by car-crafting legend Boyd Coddington. The 1957 Cadillac is inspired by Elvis' pink Cadillac, and features a television, satellite radio, MP3 compatibility, GPS and a mini-refrigerator stocked with Reese's Elvis Cups.

Suggested retail price varies from $1.25 for a 2.6-oz. cup to $25 for the Collector Edition (16 cups).

Plaintain chips pack a punch

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Grab Em Snacks introduces Grab Em Snacks Plantain Chips, a gourmet chip alternative available in six varieties: Sea Salt, Black Pepper Spice, Red Chili, Chili Garlic, Jalapeno and Cajun.

Made from green plantains that have not yet sweetened instead of the traditional tubers, Grab Em Snacks chips offer the same crunch and basic shape as potato chips with a distinctive look and taste imparted by the plantain seeds in the middle of each chip, the plantain itself, and the color of the spice used to flavor each variety. Pan-fried in small batches and slivered so thin that they absorb relatively little corn oil, they deliver just 8g of fat with only 1g of saturated fat per serving. Plantains also pack an extra punch of vitamins A and C and potassium. The chips contain no additives or preservatives and are gluten-free.

Suggested retail price is $6.75 to $8.50 for a 1-lb. package. They also come in quarter- and half-lb. bags.

Oh Boy! portion control

Seattle-based Oberto Sausage Co., distributed nationally by Frito-Lay, launches its first 100 calorie meat snack in two varieties -- Oh Boy! Oberto100 Calorie Original Beef Jerky Bites and Oh Boy! Oberto 100 Calorie Teriyaki Turkey Jerky Bites.

In addition to portion control products, consumers continue to demand convenient snacks that fit into a healthier lifestyle. Jerky Bites contain 13 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs, while Teriyaki Turkey contains 12 per grams of protein and 10 grams of carbs per 100 calories. In addition, the products contain 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 gram of saturated fat or less and have 1.5 gram of total fat or less per package. They also carry PepsiCo's Smart Spot symbol.

"Consumers recognize weight management is an important factor in overall health and wellness," says Mick Tyler, vice president marketing. "Options like 100 Calorie Oh Boy! Oberto meat snacks provide weight conscious consumers with an easy way to help manage portions of their favorite snacks."

Suggested retail price is $1.99 per package.

Heating up C-store options

Dinuba, Cal.-based Ruiz Foods introduces a new 3 oz El Monterey Tornado flavor -- Firecracker Chicken -- a hot wing style medley of tender chicken and Monterey Jack cheese in a crispy seasoned tortilla.

"El Monterey Tornados are designed to capture the attention of consumers who are on the go," says Bryce Ruiz, president and COO. "This consumer is hungry -- but they're also on the run and on the go. Our El Monterey Tornados offer just what they're looking for -- flavorful food that is convenient to eat and hot-to-go."

Suggested retail price is 99 cents to $2.29.

Jones vitamin-enhanced waters debut

Seattle-based Jones Soda Co. debuts 24c vitamin-enhanced waters and powdered drink mixes that hydrate, replenish, and quench your thirst. High in vitamin C and balanced to provide a full day's worth of essential vitamins and electrolytes, 24c is available in 20-oz bottles and 10 g drink mix packets in six flavors: Lemon Lime, Mandarin Orange, Tropical Citrus, Peach Mango, Berry Pomegranate, and Cranberry Apple.

24c is available ready-to-drink or as an effervescent drink mix. In addition, for every bottle of 24c sold, the company donates 25 cents to Vitamin Angels, a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent vitamin deficiency-caused blindness by distributing vitamin A to at-risk children throughout the world.

Suggested retail price is $1.99