New Food & Beverage Product Rollout: June 2021

June 24, 2021
Our editors selected the following food and beverage products to feature in our June 2021 issue of Food Processing. See which products they chose.
Adult-centric Mac & Cheese

After participating in the Food Network’s America’s Best Cook cooking challenge in 2013, Myles Powell decided to develop a food business to bring his favorites to others. He started with barbecue sauces, but after making mac & cheese for a few pop-up shops, he decided to focus on the pasta dish. He joined United Kitchen to produce larger batches of 8 Myles Mac n’ Cheese that he could package and then freeze at this ghost kitchen. Initial distribution was limited to select Northeast retailers but recently expanded to 240 regional Target stores.

The heat-and-eat meal comes in three varieties, all of which use a whole grain elbow pasta and are topped with a golden-brown breadcrumb crust. For the Buffalo flavor, the pasta is tossed in a bold Buffalo and cheddar-jack cheese sauce; whereas for the BBQ flavor, the pasta is tossed in a creamy white cheese sauce with notes of smokey barbeque. To create the Homestyle flavor, the pasta is tossed in a hearty three-cheese sauce made with artisan white cheddar, mozzarella and American cheese. The suggested retail price is $4.49.

Global Condiments in a Jar

When Mark Engel, founder of Fifth Taste Foods, was a young adult, he packed up his American life and moved to Taiwan in search of good food and some Chinese language skills. One of the biggest souvenirs from his time spent wandering back alley restaurants and food markets was a fried rice recipe that has become his culinary signature.

Over years of perfecting that recipe, he realized how easy it would be to master any culinary creation if only everything needed to bring the dish to life was already available in just one jar. So he created oo’mämē Chile Crisps, a line of globally inspired condiments that deliver pops of flavor, along with crispy, crunchy and chewy tidbits.

Starting with a blend of chiles, toasted nuts and seeds, he then adds bold aromatics, like garlic, ginger, shallots and custom spice blends representing the cuisines of China, India, Mexico and Morocco. The U.S.-made product is produced in small batches, using all-natural ingredients that preserve and honor the culinary flavor and traditions of the region. The Chinese variety, for example, uses Szechuan peppercorns and there’s a Berber spice blend in the Moroccan oo’mämē.

Lower-carb Bagel Better Brand

Better Brand Inc., a food tech startup focused on the refined carbohydrate space, is launching its first product—The Better Bagel—turning one of the most carbohydrate-heavy foods into the net carbohydrate equivalent of half of an orange or a fifth of a banana.

The company pairs its grain-changing technology with real, clean-label ingredients, such as modified wheat starch, wheat protein isolate, chicory root fiber and potato starch. A 100g bagel contains 190 calories, 5g fat, 24g protein and 32g of total carbohydrate, of which 27g are fiber.

“There are so many incredible advances being made in the food tech space every day, the majority of which currently surround the production of alternate, plant-based proteins,” says Aimee Yang, founder and CEO. “We’ve found that the majority of anxieties surrounding diet are weight-related, and largely driven by refined carb consumption. We’re excited to be leading innovation in this category, with the goal of creating a world where consumers have the ability to eat freely without restriction or worry, while improving human health on a macro level.”

Chicken-like Pieces

Replicating the fibrous texture and succulent mouthfeel of whole-muscle chicken using plant-based ingredients is a challenge in itself. But doing it with only a few, simple, clean-label ingredients is another. Daring Foods says it has accomplished this through unique processing that transforms five non-GMO ingredients--water, soy protein concentrate and sunflower oil, along with natural flavoring and spices--into Cajun, Lemon & Herb and Original Dairy Pieces.

Sold frozen, an 8-oz bag contains about three servings, with one serving providing 90 to 115 calories, 2g to 4g fat and 13g to 14g protein, depending on variety. Thawed pieces are quickly cooked up in a pan or deep fryer. There’s also a breaded version containing 210 calories, 12g fat and 11g protein per serving.

“We are excited to bring Daring pieces to dinner tables across America,” says Ross Mackay, co-founder and CEO. “Daring is leading the charge as the second-generation, plant-based meat alternative that is made from simple ingredients, is easy to cook, and matches the texture and taste of chicken. From cooking to the very first bite, customers will see that we are not an alternative, but an upgrade.”

Energy From the Dollar Store 

Dollar General Corp. is making energy drinks affordable to all, everyone from extreme sports enthusiasts to students pulling an all-nighter for school finals to a parent who needs that extra boost of energy to get through the day. The budget retailer created Ntense Energy Drinks, which feature 160mg of caffeine and contain ginseng, guarana and taurine, as well as vitamins B6 and B12.

The dollar-priced 16-oz cans come in Berry Voltage, Electric Citrus and Power Punch. They are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup and contain 230 calories per can. There’s also Low-Calorie Berry Punch, which is sweetened with acesulfame potassium and contains only 25 calories.

The new beverage brand joins Dollar General’s other private-label food brands, including Clover Valley and Good & Smart, which can be found in products in the fridge, freezer and ambient aisle, as well as Sweet Smiles confections. Also new this summer, and only at Dollar General, is limited-edition Lay’s Fried Pickles with Ranch Chips. A 7.75-oz bag sells for $3 or 2 for $5.

Inclusion-Loaded Novelties 

Well Enterprises introduces Blue Bunny Load’d Bars, which are described as having “two times the mix-ins” and loaded with “ooey-gooey” swirls and pieces in every bite. The bars come in five varieties.

Bunny Tracks is vanilla frozen dairy dessert filled with caramel swirls and chocolate-flavored peanut butter bunnies topped with caramel sauce dipped in milk chocolate-flavored coating and peanuts. Cookie Dough is cookie dough frozen dairy dessert filled with chocolate fudge swirls and cookie dough pieces topped with fudge sauce dipped in milk chocolate-flavored coating and cookie crunch.

Salted Caramel is salted caramel frozen dairy dessert filled with salted caramel swirls and salted caramel bunnies topped with caramel sauce dipped in milk chocolate-flavored coating and cookie crunch. Strawberry Shortcake is strawberry-flavored frozen dairy dessert filled with strawberry swirls and shortcake pieces topped with strawberry sauce dipped in whipped cream-flavored coating and shortbread crunch. Super Fudge Brownie is chocolate frozen dairy dessert filled with chocolate fudge swirls and brownies topped with fudge sauce dipped in milk chocolate-flavored coating and chocolate cookie crunch.

The bars come in four packs with a suggested retail price of $5.99.

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