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New Food & Beverage Product Rollout: January 2023

Jan. 4, 2023
Our editors selected the following food and beverage products to feature in our January 2023 issue of Food Processing. See which products they chose.
Alt-Dairy Spreads and Snacks

Building on the successful launches of Babybel Plant-Based and Boursin Dairy-Free, Bel Brands USA adds two new dairy alternatives to its portfolio. Nurishh is an animal-free cream cheese spread made with real dairy proteins provided by a partnership with Perfect Day. The proteins are made using precision fermentation, a technology that produces proteins without any cows yet tastes and has the texture of traditional dairy. The spread comes in chive onion, original and strawberry flavors.

The Laughing Cow Plant-Based is a vegan alternative to the brand’s popular wedge cheese snack. Key ingredients are almond milk, coconut oil and pea protein. The product is debuting in garlic herb and original, with a 4.5-oz. pack selling for about $5.49.

“Our innovation pipeline remains strong with the development of new products and flavors, leveraging new and evolving technology with a focus on our ongoing commitment to deliver products that meet the needs of all consumers and that they can feel good about eating,” says Florian Decaux, plant-based acceleration director at Bel Brands.

New Flavors Satisfy Food Moods

Depending on the time of day, the weather and everything in between, consumers’ cravings change. That’s why Kellogg Co.’s Special K  brand is constantly crafting new recipes. To satisfy food moods, Kellogg is adding Special K Oat Crunch Honey, Special K High Protein and Special K Zero to its better-for-you cereal portfolio.

For consumers looking for crisp and crunch, the Oat Crunch Honey delivers. This new offering combines multigrain honey-flavored flakes and crispy vanilla-oat clusters for a multidimensional texture and subtly sweet taste.

High Protein comes in a decadent chocolate-almond flavor and boasts the brand’s highest protein offering ever: 20g per serving. To achieve this, the cereal is made with a plant protein blend derived from soy, lentils, wheat and peas.

Zero comes in a cinnamon flavor. It contains zero grams sugar and boasts 18g of plant-based protein (soy, pea and lentil) with only 2 net carbs. Sweetness comes from allulose syrup, sucralose and monkfruit extract.

Scoopable Soft-Serve

Last month, Ferrero Group announced it would be acquiring Wells Enterprises, a 100-year old dairy processor that made its home — LeMars, Iowa — the Ice Cream Capitol of the world. The sale is not stopping its strong frozen dessert brands, which include Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop and Halo Top from introducing innovative products to the marketplace.

New for 2023 is Blue Bunny Soft, a three-variety line of 48-oz. tubs of scoopable soft-serve ice cream in chocolate, mint chocolate chip and vanilla flavors. A two-thirds cup serving contains 170-200 calories and 9-11g fat. The concept builds on the Blue Bunny Twist Cones introduced in early 2022. To achieve the characteristic creamy mouthfeel of soft-serve ice cream, the company relies on a proprietary blend of emulsifiers, stabilizers and aeration.

Panera Grows its Retail Presence

Panera Bread products added flatbread pizzas to its quick-service menu in October 2020. Made with extra finely ground flour for a delicate yet crisp crust and hearty, clean-label ingredients, the pizzas debuted in three varieties: cheese, chipotle chicken bacon and margherita. A little more than two years later, the chain is bringing the flatbread pizzas to supermarkets in the same three concepts.

The take-and-bake pizzas are sold refrigerated but distributed frozen. Each 13-oz. flatbread is said to be three servings and made with real cheese and no artificial flavors or colors. The retail pizzas join the brand’s extensive line of fresh soups and mac & cheese. The brand also has a presence in frozen meals and sides, shelf-stable dressings, breads and salty snacks.

“With the launch of flatbread pizza, we are looking to redefine the expectation of pizza and carve out a niche for Panera in the pizza category,” says Claes Petersson, chief food and innovation officer.

Protein-Packed Waffles

Breakfast consumption at home is on the rise, and as people look to add more protein to their diets, protein pancakes have taken off as a delicious way to kick start the day. That’s why De Wafelbakkers, a manufacturer of frozen pancakes, teamed up with Premier Protein to launch Premier Protein Frozen Protein Pancakes. They are expected to hit supermarket freezers in early 2023 and will be available in 12-pack and 24-pack sizes. One serving contains 15g of protein from dairy. The pancakes are ready in the microwave in one minute.

Premier Protein is also rolling out Good Night Nutrition Shakes. The shelf-stable beverage is formulated to “help support a healthy sleep routine.” One 8.75-oz. bottle contains 90 calories, 2g fat, 2g sugar, 7g dietary fiber and 10g protein, along with 12 vitamins and minerals. The beverage comes in three serene flavors: Caramel Bliss, Cozy Cocoa and Dreamy Vanilla. The company describes the nutrition shake as being made with a special milk protein peptide with relaxing properties found to promote a sense of calm. Instructions say to enjoy hot or cold 30 minutes before bedtime for a relaxing and soothing end to the day.

Cooking Concentrates Boost Flavor

Campbell Soup Co. has introduced FlavorUp! cooking concentrate, a new concept offered in three varieties designed to elevate everyday cooking with just one tablespoon. FlavorUp! can be stirred in with any protein, grain or vegetable for a customizable level of flavor and is Campbell’s latest innovation designed to give consumers a secret ingredient in their pantry.

The product resonates with younger consumers who have an appreciation for delicious meals that can still be prepared on tight budgets and busy schedules without compromising on flavor. It comes in three flavors: caramelized onion and burgundy wine, garlic and herb, and savory mushroom and herb. The varieties originated from surveying consumers to find the most popular combination of ingredients that are full of flavor but require significant prep and cook time for the flavor to fully develop. The suggested retail price is $4.59.

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