New Food Rollout for February 2006

Jan. 31, 2006
Hershey's Kissables; Birds Eye’s Herb Garden Collection; Quaker Life with yogurt; DiGiorno’s wheat pizza; Cheez-It Fiesta; Seattle’s Best Coffee at home.

A candy-coated extension from Hershey's Kisses

Hershey's Kissables are an extension of the classic chocolate favorite Hershey's Kisses. Miniature candy-coated versions of one of the world's most recognizable brands, Kissables are colorful, munchable, fun candies. They are available in single-serve packaging in hues of blue, red, yellow, green, and orange.

"Hershey's Kissables candies deliver the power of Kisses to new retail channels, such as convenience stores, and the packaging means consumers can enjoy them on-the-go, on any occasion," says Jay Cooper, vice president-chocolate at Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa. "Hershey's Kissables candies bring this iconic brand to new occasions, and besides, they're just plain fun."

Available in single-serve and take-home packages, Hershey's Kissables candies also will be launched in Canada, Mexico, South America, and Asia.

Suggested retail price for a 1.5-oz. bag is 65 cents, a 14-oz. bag is $3.19 and my favorite, a 48-oz. bag is $6.99.

Will herbs make you eat more veggies?

Rochester, N.Y.-based Birds Eye Foods makes it easier and more enjoyable to eat more vegetables with the introduction of its Herb Garden Collection. A premium frozen vegetable line developed by Birds Eye corporate executive chef Mark Susz, the line delivers bold, exceptional flavors that will change the way people prepare, eat and enjoy vegetables.

The Herb Garden Collection highlights fresh-snipped herbs in extra-virgin olive oil citrus, or real butter tossed with premium vegetables for just-picked flavor. The vegetables retain their natural flavor and crisp texture through a specially designed tray and patented vent, which allows steam to circulate evenly throughout the cooking process. The vegetables, with delicious sauces, steam to perfection every time, offering the ease and convenience of preparing flavorful meals in minutes.

The new blends are available in six varieties: Baby Gold & White Corn with Thyme; Baby Broccoli Florets with Thyme; Baby Broccoli & Cauliflower Florets with Chives; Green Beans with Thyme; Petite Peas & Mushrooms with Chives and Baby Red Potatoes with Rosemary.

For extra fresh taste, the herbs and light sauce are packaged separately from the vegetables. Preparation can be simply customized, as one can add as little or as much of the individual herb packet as desired. Each product can be cooked easily in a microwaveable dish. One 8.5-oz. package serves two to three people.

Suggested retail price is $1.89.

New Life at Quaker (another cereal with yogurt)

Mikey, the popular spokeskid for Life cereal in the 1970s, has grown up and is probably looking for a more sophisticated taste in his cereal. Chicago-based Quaker Oats will make him happy with the rollout of Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch, combining the wholesome goodness of classic Life cereal with the grown-up taste of yogurt.

An extension to its Life cereal franchise, Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch is made with whole grain Quaker Oats and features crunchy oat clusters covered with vanilla flavored yogurt. It's low in fat, delivers nine essential vitamins and minerals and provides a good source of calcium and fiber (4g of fiber per serving).

"Adults love the taste of yogurt. With the introduction of Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch, we're marrying the latest taste trend with a classic wholesome cereal," says Todd Magazine, president of Quaker Foods. "We're excited to continue expanding the appeal of Life to adults as well as children. Life is a great option for the entire family.

"As one of the most recognized brands in the cereal aisle, Life Cereal has been whole grain ever since we launched it more than 40 years ago - long before the recent whole grain boom driven by [the 2005] Dietary Guidelines," Magazine continues. "For Baby Boomers who have enjoyed Life for years, the cereal's heart-health benefit is more important to them now than ever before."

Suggested retail price is $4.59.

DiGiorno rolls out wheat crust pizza

Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., introduces DiGiorno Harvest Wheat Crust pizza, the category's first nationally available multi-serve frozen pizza made with whole wheat. The two varieties, Rising Crust and Thin Crispy Crust, bear the green Sensible Solution flag, telling consumers at a glance the pizzas are a "better-for-you option." DiGiorno Harvest Wheat Crust pizzas have 25 percent less fat than regular frozen pizza, 8g of whole grain per serving, zero grams of trans fat and are a good source of fiber.

Rising Crust is available in three flavor options: Pepperoni (lean pepperoni and reduced-fat mozzarella cheese); Four Cheese (reduced-fat mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago and Romano cheeses); and Roasted Vegetable (red and green bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and reduced-fat mozzarella cheese). Thin Crispy Crust is available in two flavors: Pepperoni and Supreme (red, yellow and green bell peppers, lean pepperoni, sausage, onions and reduced-fat mozzarella cheese).

"We're continually developing new flavors and products to satisfy pizza lovers," says Katie Williams, brand director, Kraft Pizza Co. "Increasingly, consumers want options that deliver the perfect combination of great taste, nutrition and convenience, which is no easy balancing act. So we worked hard to hit all those buttons with DiGiorno Harvest Wheat Crust Pizza."

Suggested retail price is $5.99.

Crackers for a cheesy fiesta

Kellogg, Battle Creek, Mich., introduces Cheez-It Fiesta, triangular cheese crackers made with a touch of stoneground corn that give the crackers their crispy crunch plus real cheese for a savory snack. Cheez-It Fiesta crackers come in two varieties: Cheddar Nacho and Cheesy Taco.

"Cheez-It Fiesta's unique taste and fun new shape make it perfect for many occasions," says Jenny Taylor-Enochson, senior director of marketing communications. "Consumers can create their own ‘fiesta' any time they want - anywhere they are."

Suggested retail price for the 14-oz. box is $3.49.

Coffeehouse coffee at home

Seattle's Best Coffee LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Starbucks Corp., launches a 17 SKU line of Seattle's Best Coffee in supermarkets nationally.

"For more than 35 years, Seattle's Best Coffee has called Seattle home, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce and share our distinctive smooth-roasted coffees with coffee lovers across the country," says Tom Ehlers, vice president of marketing and category management.

Made with Arabica beans specially chosen for each blend and roast and using a slow-roasting process to bring out the smooth characteristics of each coffeehouse blend, traditional varieties include Seattle's Best Blend, Breakfast Blend, Henry's Blend, French Roast, Colombian, 6th Avenue Bistro Blend and Post Alley Blend. Organic varieties are Fair Trade Certified Organic French Roast, Breakfast Blend, Twilight Decaf, House Blend and Sumatra Whole Bean. Flavored varieties include Very Vanilla Javanilla, Hazelnut Cream, Crème Brulee, Cinnabon and Chocolate Toffee.

Suggested retail price is $8.49 for 12 oz. of ground or whole bean coffee.

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