Archive for March, 2012

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  Consumers are snacking significantly more now than they were just two years ago. Almost half (48 percent) of consumers polled say they’re now snacking at least twice a day, compared to 25 percent in 2010. Restaurants are capitalizing on the growing snacking occasion by offering quick, portable, smaller-portioned, low-priced food and drink in a myriad of ways to continue gaining share of snack purchases. Restaurants now claim 22 percent of consumers’ snacking occasions, up from 17 percent in 2010.

“Recent consumer research indicates that snacking is becoming a larger part of consumers’ daily lives,” says Technomic Executive Vice President Darren Tristano. “Pressure from the nutritional disclosure legislation has prompted the foodservice industry to reduce calorie counts in meals. As a result, Americans are now more inclined to “graze” throughout the day, seeking snacks that provide fuel between traditional meal parts.”

To help operators and others aligned with the foodservice industry more effectively identify opportunities for growth and gain a competitive advantage, Technomic has developed the Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report.

Interesting findings include:

  • Major chains are using late-night hours to promote value-oriented snack items and bar plates to cater to younger customers who visit more often for late-night snacks.
  • More than a third (37 percent) of consumers have broadened their definition of snacks to include more types of foods, beverages, and restaurant fare.
  • The mini sandwich, slider or wrap has evolved from a simple snack item to a downsized gourmet version of signature full-sized offerings.
  • Impulse purchases of snacks are up from two years ago. Sixty-two percent reported that most of the snacks they purchased for away-from-home consumption were impulse purchases.
  •  More than 33 percent of consumers expect to eat more healthful snacks in the coming year, indicating greater importance for operators to offer and promote better-for-you snacks.

Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report examines snack preferences, attitudes and purchasing behavior of more than 1,500 consumers. The Menu Insights section utilizes Technomic’s MenuMonitor online database and analyzes recent snacking developments to reveal menu trends for snacks at the Top 500 and emerging limited- and full-service restaurants. Additionally, data from Technomic’s 2010 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report is discussed throughout to provide comparison benchmarks for many menu and consumer trends.

To purchase or learn more about this report please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Contacts

Press Inquiries: Darren Tristano, 312-506-3850, or dtristano@technomic.com
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, 312-506-3852, or pnoone@technomic.com
Report Details: Kelly Weikel, 312-506-3830, or kweikel@technomic.com

About Technomic

Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.



Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® and Chef Tim Love Team up to Launch the “Chicken Change-Up,” Offering Quick and Easy Recipes to Make America’s Mealtime Mainstay Even More Delicious

Englewood Cliffs, NJ  (Food News)  When it comes to what’s for dinner, Americans ate an average of 84 pounds of chicken per person last year, according to the National Chicken Council, making it the most popular protein in the country.

Yet sometimes too much of a good thing can lead to fatigue – how many ways can you enjoy chicken before it loses its luster? And how can you keep it juicy and crispy, time after time?

Enter the “Chicken Change-Up”– a new campaign from Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® mayonnaise and Chef Tim Love that offers simple, family-friendly recipes, tips and tricks to help families break out of their chicken routine.

Hellmann’s® is the ultimate ingredient to transform chicken into a juicier, crispier and more delicious meal.(1) From pleasing picky eaters to creating tasty meals on a budget, the Chicken Change-Up addresses daily dinnertime challenges parents are facing and provides recipe solutions such as Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce.  “Chicken is one of my favorite go-to meals for dinners at home with my family,” says Love, a celebrity chef and father of three.  “I’m always looking for different twists on chicken dishes to keep meals interesting.  And Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise, made with real(2), simple ingredients like eggs, oil and vinegar, is my secret for keeping the chicken juicy and crispy.”

From now until April 30, 2012, parents across the country can participate in the Hellmann’s® Chicken Change-Up by trying one of the featured Hellmann’s® chicken recipes, sharing their recipe reviews and providing their own advice for managing dinnertime obstacles.  After participating, consumers can enter into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a $5,000 grocery store gift card as well as great daily prizes.(3)

“Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® continue to provide people with simple recipe options like Parmesan Crusted Chicken, a quick and easy, juicy chicken recipe  that involves just four simple steps using just four ingredients,” says Benjamin Crook, senior brand manager, Hellmann’s® and Best Foods®.  “We also want to hear what’s really happening in America’s kitchens, so we’re asking parents to visit Facebook.com/Hellmanns and tell us what dinnertime tricks and tips work in their household.”

Visit Facebook.com/Hellmanns to participate in the Chicken Change-Up, enter for a chance to win daily prizes and learn more about Hellmann’s® products and recipes.

About Unilever North America

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180.  With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.  In the United States and Canada the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, fds, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Ragu, Simple, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemme, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 13,000 people across North America – generating over $9 billion in sales in 2011.  For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com or www.unilever.ca.

(1) Versus plain baked chicken.

(2) Contains a small amount of EDTA to preserve quality

(3) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Hellmann’s Chicken Change-Up is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Begins 12:00 PM ET on 03/01/12 & ends 11:59 AM ET on 04/30/12. For official rules, visit the ‘Chicken Change-Up’ tab on the Hellmann’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hellmanns.

Peanuts #1 Nut Consumed In US

Albany, GA  (Food News)  A major new study, “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality” concludes that red meat is associated with a thirteen percent increased risk of death and substitution of other healthy protein sources for red meat lowers mortality risk, with nuts being the top choice.  Over half the nuts eaten in the US are peanuts and they have more protein than any other nut. The study followed more than 120,000 people over 28 years.  It was published online in the ARCHIVES of INTERNAL MEDICINE.

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study shows that replacing one serving of red meat with one serving of nuts reduces mortality risk by 19%.  Other healthful protein sources follow on the list: 14% for poultry and whole grains, 10% for legumes and low fat dairy, and 7% for fish.

Senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH said, “This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.”   Processed meats that contain nitrates such as salami, hot dogs and bacon were in the highest risk group of foods.

Hu confirmed the good news that, “choosing more healthful sources of protein in place of red meat can confer significant health benefits by reducing chronic disease morbidity and mortality.”   The latest scientific report of the US Dietary Guidelines recommends increasing intake of plant proteins to improve health as well.

Numerous studies have shown that eating peanuts and peanut butter daily can cut the risk of heart disease in half.  One of the keys seems to be eating them five or more times each week.  Diabetes risk can also be reduced.

With lots of nut and legume choices (peanuts are, technically, a legume), Americans are increasingly choosing peanuts and peanut butter.  According to USDA data, peanuts account for about half of all nuts eaten in the US and, when counted together, peanuts and peanut butter are 67% of the nuts eaten in the US. Consumer data highlights taste, health benefits, convenience, and affordability as the reason.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles. Learn more about peanuts and health at www.peanut-institute.org.

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  Even if your favorite college basketball team falls out of contention, the March tourneys still provide an excellent excuse to gather around a platter of your favorite chicken wings. But the excuses don’t end with March. Wings have remained a year-round favorite, exhibiting substantial innovation and room for growth according to recent research from restaurant consultants Technomic.

“Wings and sports have long been a winning combination—and more than 10 percent of all wing-based limited-time offers are game-day promotions,” says Technomic Executive Vice President Darren Tristano. “However, wings’ overall appeal comes from their ability to suit consumers’ desire for customization, including traditional and global flavor options from sweet to super hot, and for portion flexibility, serving as snacks, starters, entrees and sides. And they are fun finger foods that are easy to share, so they lend a social aspect.”

In its new Category Close-Up: Wings report, Technomic delves into its MenuMonitor online menu-tracking resource and finds that 36 percent of the Top 500 restaurant chains offer wings, and that number has grown year after year.

Of particular note is the extent to which restaurants have innovated in the wing category:

  • Wing flavors and sauces found on menus range from Buffalo and barbecue to the tequila-lime-barbecue at Quaker Steak & Lube and the Raspberry Ice—a sweet and tangy blend of raspberry and horseradish—at Hurricane Grill &Wings.
  • Buffalo/hot sauces are the most commonly menued wing sauces. Among these types, the less-spicy mild and medium sauces have declined as Buffalo and “extra-hot” varieties have grown.
  • Wing concepts offer an average of 18 different sauces. Hurricane Grill lists more than 30, as does Wild Wing Cafe. Variety is also found at chains not focused on wings—Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Cheeseburger in Paradise, for example, each offer 12 options.
  • Sweet-style barbecue sauces are more popular than spicy-style barbecue sauces, though preferences vary heavily by region. Consumer preference for sweet sauces indicates opportunity for flavors such as sweet and sour, honey-chipotle and maple-brown sugar.
  • Fully 28 percent of wing-focused limited-time offers promote new wing flavors, offering operators a compelling method to drive sales while testing new wing varieties.
  • Boneless wings are on the rise. And, interestingly, as restaurants have added them, the incidence of traditional wings has not decreased. Operators have found boneless wings appeal to a new consumer—one who does not enjoy the finger-licking aspect of traditional wings.

Chicken wings are among the most popular menu items, but also one of the most difficult to classify and analyze. Technomic’s Category Close-Up: Wings provides restaurants and industry suppliers with a thorough review of wing menu trends, pricing, sizing, sauces, accompaniments and limited-time offers, in addition to consumer perceptions of the leading wing chains and other related consumer research.

To learn more about this report, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Contacts
Press Inquiries: Darren Tristano, 312-506-3850, or dtristano@technomic.com
Purchasing Details: Bart Henyan, 312-506-3832, or bhenyan@technomic.com

About Technomic

Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.

Denver, CO  (Food News)  A just-released study from Johns Hopkins University has found that dieters that followed a low-carb diet like the Atkins Diet™, shed more weight than those on a low-fat diet –10 lbs. more in six months – and that the low-carb group lost more abdominal fat overall.  A key finding was the lack of an adverse effect on vascular health in the low-carb group.

“The findings from the Johns Hopkins study demonstrate what we already know to be true – Atkins has many scientifically-validated health benefits, including improvements in cardiovascular health markers,” said Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.  “Atkins is the original and leading low carb weight loss plan that provides quick, satisfying weight loss based on an extensive body of research.  It is a safe and effective diet plan for those looking to lose weight and keep it off long-term.”

The study was presented on March 13 at an American Heart Association scientific meeting in San Diego by lead researcher Kerry Stewart, Ed.D., professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Heart and Vascular Institute.

The study examined overweight or obese but otherwise healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 years over a six-month period.  One group was randomly assigned a low-carbohydrate diet and the other a low-fat diet.  The low-carb group consumed a diet made up of no more than 30 percent of calories from carbs and as much as 40 percent of their diet was made up of fats.  Exercise was included for all participants and vascular health was checked before and after six months. Successful weight loss and reductions in total and abdominal fat, and BP were achieved with both groups.  Greater reductions in weight, BMI, waist circumference, and body fat occurred in the low-carb group. The low-fat diet consisted of no more than 30 percent from fat and 55 percent from carbs.

Additionally, when individual variations were examined, a greater loss of abdominal fat was associated with enhanced vascular health.

In his presentation Stewart said, “These findings are contrary to common beliefs that the less fat you eat the better your cardiovascular health.  What this study shows is that a low-carb diet not only helps people shed more weight and abdominal fat, but it did not have any harmful effects on vascular health.  Overall, there was an improvement in vascular health that was related to how much abdominal fat was lost, regardless of the diet. These data suggest that more people should be considering a low-carb diet as a viable option, especially since it results in greater abdominal fat loss.”

Approximately half of all American adults are estimated to be overweight, with a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 or higher; a third are estimated to be obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher.  The effect of having too much weight on cardiovascular health and diabetes risk is even greater if there is a high accumulation of fat in the abdomen, above the waist. The Atkins Diet is designed to “flip the body’s metabolic switch” from burning carbs to burning fat.  Graduated carb introduction helps avoid blood sugar and insulin spikes, which cause hunger and cravings resulting in overeating and weight gain.  Atkins provides a long-term, well-balanced diet plan that teaches individuals to find their personal ideal carb balance. No other weight-loss and maintenance program does this.  The Atkins Diet is backed by more than 80 published, peer-reviewed studies conducted over the past several decades.

About Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. is a leader in the $2.4 billion weight control nutrition category, and offers a powerful lifetime approach to weight loss and management. The Atkins Diet focuses on a healthy diet with reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars and encourages the consumption of protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Backed by research and consumer success stories, this approach allows the body to burn more fat and work more efficiently while helping individuals feel less hungry, more satisfied and more energetic.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., manufactures and sells a variety of nutrition bars and shakes designed around the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet™.  Atkins’ four product lines: Advantage®, Day Break™, Endulge™ and Cuisine™ appeal to a broad audience of both men and women who want to achieve their weight management goals and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Atkins products are available online at atkins.com and in more than 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit atkins.com.

Spring into the Season with Delicious New Recipes, Leftover Ideas and “Ham-a-Day” Giveaway

Des Moines, IA  (Food News)  It’s not Easter brunch unless there’s ham on the table. The classic roast ham anchors Easter celebrations, providing a show-stopping centerpiece and ample leftovers to enjoy for days after the occasion.  This spring, the National Pork Board brings a dose of sophistication to the must-have ham with surprisingly simple recipes and tips that will inspire elegant and festive gatherings all season long.

“Thanks to its versatility and ease of preparation, ham is a perfect canvas for experimenting with flavorful twists for a truly memorable brunch or any occasion,” said Pamela Johnson, Director of Consumer Communications for the National Pork Board. “To impress your guests, think past basic recipes. Try a new rub or glaze to enjoy your Easter ham in delicious new ways. Or, enjoy ham in a rustic tart or as a savory addition to veggie-based sides.”

Inspired flavor combinations and creative accompaniments perk up the classic Easter ham in new recipes like Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes. Whole roasted green and red grapes add a sweet, juicy twist to this aromatic roast, which takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Round out the feast with Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon for plates that pop with bright color and fresh seasonal flavor. Or, for a simply elegant brunch, try a Ham, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Tart, with balanced notes of sweet onion, savory ham, flaky crust and a rich egg base.

Build a Better Ham Sandwich
According to National Pork Board trend data, ham is America’s most popular lunchmeat, amounting to 16 percent of all sandwiches eaten at home. For Easter leftovers, think beyond the classic ham and cheese with these delicious takes:

  • Ham and Brie Baguettes: For a French-inspired lunch, cut open a baguette and fill it with sliced ham, creamy Brie, mixed greens, and a mixture of honey and Dijon mustard.
  • Ham Reuben: Make your ham sandwich corner-deli style! Combine sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye bread.  Try grilling it for a flavorful twist on this classic.
  • Ham, Cheddar, and Chutney Quesadillas: For a new take on ham and cheese, fill a quesadilla with sliced ham, shredded Cheddar, and store-bought chutney and heat through until cheddar is melted.

Ham-A-Day Giveaway

For a chance to win an Easter ham for this year’s celebration, visit PorkBeInspired.com or Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired between March 23 and April 6 and share how you will be enjoying ham this Easter.

For more information on the Ham-A-Day Giveaway, Easter recipes, FREE brochures, and how-to carving videos, visit PorkBeInspired.com. Be sure to “like” us at Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired and follow us @allaboutpork and on Pinterest.com/PorkBeInspired.

About The National Pork Board

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.

Gnu Foods Launches 3 New Indulgent Flavors

Have Your Cake...and Fiber, Too!

Have Your Cake...and Fiber, Too!

New York  (Food News)  Gnu Foods announces the launch of three new scrumptious additions to their line of entirely-natural Flavor & Fiber Bars: Blondie, Blueberry Cobbler, and Carrot Cake.

Gnu Bars have the MOST Fiber in a baked bar. With 12 grams of fiber (nearly half the Daily Value), 130-140 calories, and 3-4 grams of protein per bar depending on the flavor, the newest additions not only deliver the key benefits of functional, high-fiber nutrition bars, but taste great too.

  • The Blondie is a delightful combination of creamy white chocolate and smooth vanilla, with semi-sweet chocolate accents.
  • The wonderfully moist and chewy Blueberry Cobbler is brimming with blueberry goodness. It’s like a Blueberry Pop Tart, only healthy!
  • Packed with shreds of real carrots, the Carrot Cake has an aroma and taste that will remind you of freshly baked carrot cake with a spicy twist.

“Since 2004, we’ve been the leader in creating great tasting fiber bars. Gnu Bars truly are ‘Flavor & Fiber…Together at Last,'” says Andrew Brooks, founder of Gnu Foods. “With the introduction of these three new flavors, we’re responding to consumer requests for more dessert-like choices.  We created these ‘guilty pleasures’ without compromising our commitment to clean ingredients and great nutritionals.”

Blondie, Blueberry Cobbler, and Carrot Cake Gnu Bars are now available for purchase online at www.GnuFoods.com and are $1.99 per bar and $7.89 for a 5-pack. For more information, please visit www.GnuFoods.com.

About Gnu Foods, LLC

Gnu Foods makes entirely natural, great-tasting high-fiber bars that address specific nutritional and health needs. The company was founded in 2004 with the introduction of the Gnu Bar, which contains their proprietary Gnu High Fiber Blend™. Gnu Bars support weight management and promotes heart health and natural regularity.

Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber Bars are now available in 10 flavors – Banana Walnut, Blondie, Blueberry Cobbler, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Brownie, Cinnamon Raisin, Espresso Chip, Lemon Ginger, Orange Cranberry, and Peanut Butter.

Gnu Bars are sold at natural and specialty retailers nationwide as well as select grocers.  To find a retailer near you go to www.GnuFoods.com/locator/. Gnu Bars are also available for purchase online at www.GnuFoods.com.

Pop Tart is a registered trademark of Kellogg Company

Media Contact: Ben Nash Gnu Foods, LLC, (212) 380-1514, press@gnufoods.com

CR’s trained testers rate eight plain bagels and four with “everything”  

Yonkers, NY  (Food News)  There’s nothing quite like a New York bagel, but there are some store bought varieties that come close.    Consumer Reports recommends four store bought bagels:  plain varieties from Dunkin’ Donuts, Lender’s Original (frozen), Kirkland Signature (Costco) and Dunkin’ Donuts’ “everything.”  The report is available online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

“A bagel should have a slightly crispy crust, notable ‘pull’ when bitten into, like a good Italian bread, chewy innards, and a freshly baked flavor,” said Nicole Sarrubbo, associate editor, Consumer Reports.  “And once you find a delicious bagel, what you do next is important.  We found that toasting can change the texture of the bagel, sometimes improving it, sometimes not, while also altering the taste in some instances.  And of course, adding cream cheese or any other topping gives your bagel a whole new dimension.”

According to the report, topping a bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese adds 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.  Less caloric options include smoked salmon, which adds just 35 calories and 1 gram of fat.  Sarrubbo suggests other toppings such as jam or hummus to keep calories and fat down.

The nutritional value of a bagel depends on the size and type.  The report points out that “everything” bagels, which contain onion, garlic, sesame seed, poppy seed, and other toppings, tend to have more fat probably as a result of the additional seeds.  The full-size bagels have 260 to 350 calories, usually 1 to 4.5 grams of fat, 330 to 660 milligrams of sodium, and 2 to 5 grams of fiber.

For consumers with a gluten intolerance, there are Udi’s Gluten Free bagels, but they have a few drawbacks. For starters, they have 9 grams of fat, far more than most others tested, as a result of the ingredients that replace wheat flour. The Udi’s bagel rated “Good” by Consumer Reports, whose tasters noted a dry, tough crust and a cakey, crumbly texture.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

MAY 2012

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

 

  • Special K introduces granola bar with 4g of fiber and 4g of protein. Two flavors – Dark Chocolate and Chocolatey Peanut Butter.
  • With 3g of fat and 110 calories, new Special K Granola Bars are great for anyone with a weight management goal.
Special K Introduces Granola Bars Providing an On-the-go Snack That is Smart and Delicious

Special K Introduces Granola Bars Providing an On-the-go Snack That is Smart and Delicious

Battle Creek, MI  (Food News)  As warmer weather approaches, shedding layers of clothing can mean cutting back on favorite snacks and making healthier choices for weight management. But this spring, there’s a new choice in grocery aisles that doesn’t involve sacrificing taste to look and feel good — Kellogg’s® Special K® Granola Bars.

“Getting ready for spring and summer shouldn’t be a chore,” said Mary Bush, brand director for Kellogg Wholesome Snacks. “With these new granola bars, we’re making it easier for our consumers to choose a delicious, on-the-go option that will support their weight management goals.”

Available in two delicious flavors — Dark Chocolate and Chocolatey Peanut Butter – the bars offer those managing their weight the chance to indulge with not only the lower calories and fat people have come to expect from Special K, but also positive nutrition benefits. With 3g of fat and 110 calories, the Special K Granola Bar contains 4g of fiber and 4g of protein.

Helpful Tips for Ongoing Weight Management

Making smarter snack choices is just one way to look and feel your best. Here are more ways you can keep your weight management goals in check:

  • Divide your plate. At mealtime, manage your portions by dividing your plate. Fill half of your plate with veggies or salad, but steer clear of fatty dressings. One-quarter should be lean protein — fish, chicken or beef — grilled, baked or poached. And the last quarter should be starch — but watch the butter or oil. It’s easy to remember at home or in a restaurant.
  • Plan ahead. Curb the afternoon munchies by planning ahead. Tempted to hit that vending machine? Have some string cheese, a Special K Granola Bar or a handful of nuts ready to help keep you satisfied. Keep them in your car, desk drawer and purse for a quick snack.
  • Start journaling. Keep a food journal noting what you eat, how much, when and where. Journaling can help hold you accountable for what you eat and makes you think twice before overindulging. Plus, you can track and feel good about your progress.

Special K Granola Bars can be found now in the wholesome snack aisles of grocery stores nationwide.  For more information about new Special K Granola Bars, visit http://www.specialk.com.

About Kellogg Company

Driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter, Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of snacks and frozen foods. Every day, our well-loved brands – produced in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries – nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2011 sales of more than $13 billion, these brands include Cheez-It®, Coco Pops®, Corn Flakes®, Eggo®,  Frosted Flakes®, Kashi®, Keebler®, Kellogg’s®, Mini-Wheats®, Pop-Tarts®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, and many more. To learn more about Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives and rich heritage, please visit www.kelloggcompany.com.

Over 40 New Grocery Products Launched at Natural Products Expo West

Hain Celestial Announces New Product Offerings

Hain Celestial Announces New Product Offerings

Melville, NY  (Food News)  The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), a leading natural and organic products company providing consumers with A Healthy Way of Life™, announced the introduction of over 40 new grocery products at the Natural Products Expo West earlier this month.

“Again, this year we saw a record number of attendees at the Natural Products Expo West evidencing the growth momentum in the natural and organic products industry. We showcased our new grocery products at Expo West, the largest industry trade show with buyers from natural, grocery, mass and online retailers from the United States and abroad,” said Irwin D. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial.

Highlights of Hain Celestial’s product offerings included:

Arrowhead Mills® Brand

Following on the successful introduction of sprouted grains at Expo West a year ago, Arrowhead Mills® brand, a leader in organic grains for more than 50 years, introduced two new cereals—Organic Gluten Free Sprouted Corn Flakes made with sprouted corn, brown rice and sorghum and Gluten Free Quinoa Rice & Shine® Hot Cereal with a unique combination of quinoa flakes blended with nutritious organic brown rice grits.  A new addition to our natural and organic pantry staple offerings is Arrowhead Mills Sweet Potato Pancake & Waffle Mix, a nutritious whole gain mix made with organic sweet potato flour, and a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin and phosphorus.

Celestial Seasonings® Brand

A leader in specialty tea since 1969, Celestial Seasonings® brand is proud to introduce Sleepytime® Vintage Packaging with a special limited edition 40th anniversary vintage box for 2012 featuring captivating heritage artwork and a retro layout for the iconic brand.  The best-selling specialty tea has expanded its product offerings for children of all ages with the introduction of new Sleepytime Kids™ Goodnight Grape™ herbal tea.  Starting with the Sleepytime® blend of botanicals and naturally sweetened with stevia, Sleepytime Kids™ Goodnight Grape™ herbal tea is an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C per serving.  Also new to celebrate 40 years of Sleepytime® herbal tea, Celestial Seasonings® brand is launching a flavor extension, Sleepytime® Peach herbal tea. The blend combines the time-honored Sleepytime® blend with the delicious flavor of ripe, juicy peaches.  Also new to Celestial Seasonings® brand offerings is Jammin’ Lemon Ginger™ herbal tea featuring an invigorating lemon aroma and a sweet and spicy lemon ginger flavor enhanced with ingredients traditionally known to aid in digestion including roasted chicory, ginger extract and lemon verbena.  Lastly, Celestial Seasonings introduced Sweet Harvest Pumpkin™ Black Tea, the newest holiday tea blend featuring the flavor of pumpkin and a variety of spices including cinnamon and ginger, a treasured aroma and spicy flavor of homemade pumpkin pie that will extend the holiday tea season.

Earth’s Best® Brand

Our newest arrivals include Earth’s Best Organic® Fruit & Grain Puree Pouches.  With 2 grams of fiber and made with organic fruit and whole grains to support baby’s well-being, Earth’s Best Organic® Fruit and Grain Puree is available in Pear Apricot Barley, Apple Peach Oatmeal, Banana Raspberry Brown Rice and Plum Apple Kamut varieties and contains Vitamins A, C, E and zinc.  Earth’s Best Organic™ Greek Yogurt Smoothie in banana, cherry and apple flavors follows on the successful launch of smoothies in a pouch a year ago with a unique combination of Greek-style yogurt with fruit and fortified with Vitamins C, D and calcium.  Earth’s Best Organic® Wholesome Grains jarred baby food in Banana Apricot Barley Yogurt, Blueberry Banana Brown Rice Yogurt and Apple Peach Oatmeal Yogurt are delicious blends of organic fruit, hearty whole grains and yogurt and are fortified with Vitamin C, calcium and 18 milligrams of DHA per serving.  Also, our new Earth’s Best® Crunchin’ Crackers® wholesome snack and Earth’s Best Organic™ Happy Snax contain an excellent source of iron, zinc and six B vitamins for toddlers.  Joining the Sesame Street line of products, Earth’s Best® Crunchin’ Crackers Veggie, shaped like characters Elmo and Big Bird, are wholesome crackers made with organic grains and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots and are an excellent source of Vitamin A.   Earth’s Best Organic® Happy Snax whole grain cereal snacks are a delicious whole grain cereal snack packed in a convenient on-the-go canister providing 12 grams of whole grains in every serving, available in apple cinnamon and graham flavors.

Imagine® Brand

As an industry leader in soups, the Imagine® brand introduces seven new award-winning flavors of Imagine® Natural Creations Organic Chunky Style Soup—Italian Style Wedding, Loaded Baked Potato, Tomato Bisque, Savory Black Bean, Chicken Corn Tortilla, Hearty Beef Barley and Chicken Noodle.  These soups merited the American Masters of Taste Gold Award for Superior Taste and are available in shelf-stable, non-BPA cartons.

Gluten Free Cafe™ Line of Product by Health Valley™ Brand     

Hain Celestial continues to offer several hundred gluten free food choices including the Gluten Free Cafe line by Health Valley® brand, which introduced three new soup additions—Beef Noodle, Vegetable Quinoa and Creamy Chicken Orzo—to its existing line of four soups.  These great tasting soups are also certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America, which administers the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and meet strict gluten free guidelines and standards.      

MaraNatha® Brand

A leader in high quality natural and organic nut butters, MaraNatha® brand has expanded its product offerings with MaraNatha® All Natural Coconut Butter, made from whole coconut pulp blended into a buttery texture.  With the aroma and taste of coconut, the product is versatile enough to add to sauces, salad dressings, smoothies or baked goods.

Spectrum Essentials® Brand

Spectrum Essentials® brand is pleased to announce a new addition to its successful chia seed product with new Ground Chia SeedSpectrum Essentials™ Ground Chia Seed provides 2.4 grams of Omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving and contains more antioxidant activity than blueberries per gram(1).  The finely ground chia seed can now be easily blended into all types of dishes and used in baking.

The Hain Celestial Group

The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), headquartered in Melville, NY, is a leading natural and organic products company in North America and Europe. Hain Celestial participates in many natural categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings®, Earth’s Best®, Terra®, Garden of Eatin’®, Sensible Portions®, Health Valley®, Arrowhead Mills®, MaraNatha®, SunSpire®, DeBoles®, Gluten Free Cafe™, Hain Pure Foods®, Hollywood®, Spectrum Naturals®, Spectrum Essentials®, Walnut Acres Organic®, Imagine®, Almond Dream®, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®, WestSoy®, The Greek Gods®, Ethnic Gourmet®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, Europe’s Best®, New Covent Garden Soup Co.®, Johnson’s Juice Co.®, Farmhouse Fare®, Linda McCartney®, Daily Bread™, Lima®, Danival®, GG UniqueFiber®, Grains Noirs®, Natumi®, JASON®, Zia® Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics®, Alba Botanica®, Queen Helene®, Earth’s Best TenderCare® and Martha Stewart Clean™.  Hain Celestial has been providing “A Healthy Way of Life™” since 1993.  For more information, visit www.hain-celestial.com.

® 2012 The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.  All Rights reserved.

(1) Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) testing for antioxidant activity showed chia seed at 119 per gram versus 65 per gram for blueberries.  *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Local Lamb Brings Piece of History to the Table

Celebrating Spring With American Lamb Across the Lands

Celebrating Spring With American Lamb Across the Lands

Denver, CO  (Food News)  Although fresh, American lamb is available — and delicious — all year round, lamb consumption in the U.S. rises significantly in the Springtime.  In fact, nearly 20 percent of U.S. lamb consumption occurs during the Spring and sales more than double as families around the country gather for Easter and Passover holidays.

Traditionally this seasonal association was tied to the sheep’s natural gestation period. Sheep bred in the fall and winter, so lambs were born in the Spring. Although modern farming techniques mean that these days lambs are born all year round, celebrating the arrival of spring by eating lamb is still a tradition that spans many cultures and religions.

Because of its Springtime history, the lamb has been a symbol of the renewal of life that is so abundant in spring, from the birth of animals to the blossoming of dormant plants. For many cultures, eating, or even just meeting, a lamb is considered good luck for the coming year. The lamb has religious significance as a symbol of rebirth and renewal in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The eating of lamb for Passover dates back to the very first Passover, where a sacrificial lamb was roasted whole over a fire and eaten, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm. For many Jewish families, lamb is still an important part of the Passover meal and lamb shank is a traditional favorite.

The significance of lamb is also part of Christian traditions, as a symbol of sacrifice as well as rebirth. During the Middle Ages roast lamb became the traditional main course of the Pope’s Easter dinner and lamb is still an important part of the Easter meal.  Leg of lamb and rack of lamb are the most popular cuts for Easter celebrations.

Find easy-at-home American Lamb recipes for Easter, Passover and Spring celebrations throughout the season, including these meals:

Lemon-and-Herb Grilled Butterflied American Leg of Lamb With Minted Mediterranean Orzo

Braised American Lamb Shanks with Herb-Smashed Baby Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus

For more information and recipes, visit www.AmericanLamb.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow @FANofLAMB on Twitter.

About the American Lamb Board

The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors. The Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board’s programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colorado.

For more information about the American Lamb Board, please contact Chloe Mata Crane (cmcrane@baltzco.com) or Marliese Engel Traver (mtraver@baltzco.com) at Baltz & Company—212-982-8300

TCBY Frozen Yogurt at a Wal-Mart Near You

New TCBY License Makes Its Premium Frozen Yogurt Available at Home

New TCBY License Makes Its Premium Frozen Yogurt Available at Home

Salt Lake City, UT  (Food News)  TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt and frozen yogurt pioneer, has announced a licensing partnership with Spring Creek Holdings for a new line of pre-packaged frozen yogurt, “TCBYGrocery”, to be sold at approximately 10,000 stores nationwide including national brands like Wal-Mart and Super Target, and regional brands such as A&P, Stop N Shop, Food Lion and Giant.

Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, owner of both TCBY and Mrs. Fields Cookies, and one of America’s most recognizable food-related brands, has a solid history of licensing agreements within the grocery market.

“This is a pivotal time for the TCBY brand,” says Tim Casey, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Consumers express the need for a variety of healthy indulgences when visiting their local grocery stores, and as the frozen yogurt category leader, increasing our footprint in grocery brings TCBY into the home. Having an established licensing partner in the food service industry such as Spring Creek Holdings, reaffirms our category leadership and benefits the brand and our franchise base.”

According to IBIS World, movements in health and nutrition have ushered new products into the frozen desert marketplace as consumers have become increasingly aware of the links between sugar and fat consumption and heart disease. This has caused a shift toward healthier dessert alternatives like frozen yogurt.  The frozen yogurt industry has been growing at an annual rate of 4.3 percent and is projected to remain stable as health-conscious consumers and new markets drive growth. Research recently conducted by Spring Creek Holdings uncovered that frozen yogurt shoppers are currently disappointed with the selection at many local retailers, and would like more variety in healthier frozen yogurt options.

“In more than 20 years in this category, developing the TCBY frozen yogurt product line for retail locations is the most exciting program I have ever been involved in,” says Jerry Isaacson, President/CEO of Spring Creek Holdings, North American licensee of the TCBY brand. “TCBY holds a place as an iconic brand in our consumer consciousness and I’m thrilled we are partnering to bring delicious frozen yogurt to consumers who love the brand and introduce it to our next generation.”

Barrington, Ill.-based Spring Creek Holdings will produce the following flavors under the TCBY label: Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Mint Chocolate Chunk, Toffee Crunch, Cookie Dough, Cookies & Cream, Very Berry Strawberry and Mango Peach. The eight flavors will be released this month in pints and quarts of hard pack frozen yogurt, as well as a variety of novelties including frozen yogurt sandwiches and bars at select nationwide retailers including Wal-Mart, Super Target, Kroger, Publix, Giant and many more with additional exclusive innovations to follow later this year.

For more information, visit www.tcby.com.

About TCBY

Based in Salt Lake City, TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt has been a frozen yogurt innovator from the day its first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981.  Ever since, the great-tasting, low-fat frozen yogurt concept has received an enthusiastic response from an increasingly health-conscious public. With more than 600 locations both in the United States and internationally, TCBY – Best Tasting, Best For You™ – has long been a healthier alternative for consumers looking for a treat or snack.  To learn more check out www.TCBY.com.

About Spring Creek Holdings

Based in Barrington, IL, Spring Creek Holdings is a category leader in the frozen dessert segment. Since 1989, Spring Creek Holdings has played a key role in the expansion of frozen dessert sales channels across North America.  Known for their ability to make great tasting products, Spring Creek Holdings is a trusted holder of frozen dessert licenses for many well known brands.  To learn more about the TCBY grocery line please see www.TCBYGrocery.com.

  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats offer families an opportunity to start a new Easter tradition together.
  • Moms can get creative by using candies, frosting or decorating gel with their kids.
  • Similar to the traditional Rice Krispies treat recipes, the Easter version is egg-shaped with hidden candies inside.
Celebrate a New Easter Tradition With Kellogg's Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats

Celebrate a New Easter Tradition With Kellogg's Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats

Battle Creek, MI  (Food News)  This year, join moms across the country as they share the joy of Easter with their children by stirring up a memorable twist on traditional Easter eggs with Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats™.

Sweet, crunchy and colorful, Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats offer moms and children an opportunity to start a new tradition together – one that will be a family favorite for years to come. From pouring and stirring the ingredients to filling the house with that great Rice Krispies Treats® aroma and stealing a taste of the finished product – they’re simple to make and everyone can be a part of the fun.

“As a mom, I’m always looking for new activities to do with my kids, and few recipes are as easy and enjoyable to make together as Rice Krispies Treats,” said AnneMarie Suarez-Davis, senior director of marketing at Kellogg. “The Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats are as fun to make as they are to eat, and I love how excited my two boys are on Easter when we eat these crispy, gooey, egg-shaped goodies.”

Easy to make and enjoy!

The Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats recipe is a playful variation on the Original Treats – the main difference is the egg shape and hidden candies inside. There is also plenty of opportunity to be creative and unique with your children by using candies, frosting or decorating gel.

To ensure the tastiest and most festive snacks, here are some tips from moms across the country:

  • Cool down: Let the Rice Krispies Treats cool for 10 minutes before molding them.
  • Eggstra good idea: Pop the Rice Krispies Treats in the fridge for a few minutes to cool after shaping, which will allow them to set faster.
  • Un-stick: Be sure to coat the inside of the plastic eggs with cooking spray, and spray a little on hands and spoons to keep the mixture from sticking.
  • To dye for: Add food coloring in the marshmallow and butter mixture before you pour in the Rice Krispies cereal for a more festive look.
  • Finishing touch: Dip the finished eggs in chocolate for an extra-sweet layer of flavor. Use white chocolate for a truer-to-life look.

Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats are just one of several fun, holiday-inspired ideas from Rice Krispies. The Rice Krispies website has more great recipes, photos and decorating ideas for every season. Stay in touch with Rice Krispies on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RiceKrispies.

About Kellogg Company

Driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter, Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of snacks and frozen foods. Every day, our well-loved brands – produced in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries – nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. With 2011 sales of more than $13 billion, these brands include Cheez-It®, Coco Pops®, Corn Flakes®, Eggo®, Frosted Flakes®, Kashi®, Keebler®, Kellogg’s®, Mini-Wheats®, Pop-Tarts®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, and many more. To learn more about Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives and rich heritage, please visit www.kelloggcompany.com.

Local Produce Edging Out Organic in Importance Among Consumers, Reports Mintel

Local Produce Edging Out Organic in Importance Among Consumers, Reports Mintel

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  It seems like just yesterday natural/organic was the hot ticket, but local is quickly becoming a consumer favorite, as locally-sourced products are becoming more popular at grocery stores and restaurants alike. According to recent Mintel research, the same is true in the fruit and vegetable industry with more than half (52%) of consumers reporting that it’s more important to buy local produce than organic options.

Data from Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) supports this statement, as fruit products with a natural/organic claim have declined 58% between 2008 and 2011, while vegetable product launches with that claim have decreased by 77% during the same time period.

“Natural and organic produce items aren’t completely passe, but local varieties are steadily gaining ground,” says John N. Frank, category manager, CPG food and drink reports at Mintel. “Interestingly enough, senior citizens are even more likely to believe that buying local produce is more important than organic.”

While it’s true that consumers have their preferences when it comes to the type of fruits and veggies they consume, they still aren’t eating the recommended daily amounts. Fourteen percent of Americans don’t eat any servings of fruit on a typical day and 7% report the same of their vegetable eating habits. Meanwhile, 69% agree that they should eat more fruits and veggies than they currently consume.

“Consumers may respond well to a marketing message touting the idea that eating vegetables is a healthier way to get important vitamins than taking a pill,” suggests John Frank. “Some 81% of respondents agree with that statement. Another effective marketing message could be ways to make meal salads with vegetables, as 59% of respondents say they eat salads as a meal at least once a week.”

Furthermore, giving vegetable preparation ideas could also go a long way in increasing produce consumption. It may be lack of ideas that leads 37% to say the fresh vegetables they buy often go bad before they have a chance to eat them, and 27% who say they would eat more vegetables if they knew how to prepare them.

About Mintel

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For 40 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts client success. With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, and now India, Malaysia and Singapore, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com.

Follow Mintel on Twitter, LinkedIn, or catch up with the latest news, views and information from the team behind Mintel on The Mintel Blog.

SunChips® 6 Grain Medley Snacks Boast 21 Grams of Whole Grains Per Serving, Rich Full Flavors and All-Natural Ingredients

SunChips Combines Mouthwatering Flavors With Six Flavorful Grains to Debut the Ultimate in Deliciousness

SunChips Combines Mouthwatering Flavors With Six Flavorful Grains to Debut the Ultimate in Deliciousness

Plano, TX  (Food News)  SunChips, the popular line of multigrain snacks from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, has launched a delicious new taste experience with the introduction of SunChips 6 Grain Medley snacks. Available in two flavors: Parmesan & Herb and Creamy Roasted Garlic, new SunChips 6 Grain Medley multigrain snacks are inspired by real food flavors and made with a combination of six flavorful grains, including corn, wheat, oats, brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa. They can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings and dips or as a delicious snack all on their own.

“For many, snacking offers a welcome break from a busy day, and consumers are looking for snack options that fit into a balanced lifestyle,” said Tony Matta, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “Consumers today are looking for snacks that provide whole grains and fiber, and are made with all natural ingredients, while tasting great. New SunChips 6 Grain Medley multigrain snacks offer a delicious taste experience inspired by real foods, containing 100 percent whole grains and are made with all-natural ingredients – no artificial flavors, preservatives or MSG.”

Each serving of SunChips 6 Grain Medley Parmesan & Herb and SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic flavored snacks contains 21 grams of whole grains, nearly half of the 48 daily grams recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).[1] Whole grains are richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins than refined grains.

Both flavors of SunChips 6 Grain Medley multigrain snacks are cooked in healthier oils like, sunflower oil and corn oil, which are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (the “good” fats), lower in saturated fat (the “bad” fats) and contain 0 grams of “bad” trans fats.

SunChips 6 Grain Medley Parmesan & Herb and SunChips 6 Grain Medley Creamy Roasted Garlic flavored multigrain snacks arrive on store shelves nationwide this month. They are available in 9 oz. bags for a suggested retail price of $3.99 each.

SunChips multigrain snacks is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY.  To learn more about SunChips, visit www.sunchips.com or www.facebook.com/sunchips.

Frito-Lay North America is the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fritolay.

PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.com/.

[1] US Department of Health & Human Services, 2010. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

Now Shoppers Can Start Laughing in the Morning

The Laughing Cow Introduces New Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread

The Laughing Cow Introduces New Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  The Laughing Cow®, one of the nation’s leading brands of portion-controlled snack cheeses, announces the launch of Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread.  The new product line joins The Laughing Cow®s portfolio of individually wrapped cheeses that include The Laughing Cow® Cheese Wedges and Mini Babybel® Cheeses, both favored snacks among health- and weight-conscious consumers with a passion for great-tasting cheese.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Laughing Cow® Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread and are excited to provide consumers with a delectably rich, portion-controlled alternative to traditional cream cheese for a better breakfast experience,” said Dan Waters, Marketing Director at Bel Brands USA, parent company to The Laughing Cow®’s brands. “Our team is dedicated to bringing consumers delicious cheeses they can feel good about eating, and with the introduction of this new product we now have offerings that meet their needs at any time of the day.”

Currently rolling out in stores nationwide, The Laughing Cow® Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread is available in five deliciously creamy varieties: Classic Cream 1/3 Less Fat, Strawberries & Cream 1/3 Less Fat, Garden Vegetable 1/3 Less Fat, Cinnamon Cream 1/3 Less Fat, and Classic Cream.  All flavors are packaged in a format consumers know well – individually portioned wedges. The four varieties with one-third less fat than regular cream cheese contain 45 calories per gold foil-wrapped wedge, while the Classic Cream flavor contains 55 calories per wedge.  With the array of flavors available, the pairing combinations with Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread are endless – from a morning bagel or toast to a whole wheat waffle with fresh fruit.

Bel Brands USA has more than doubled in size over the past four years, fueled substantially by three of the company’s key brands: The Laughing Cow®, Mini Babybel® and Boursin®.  As momentum and product demand have steadily increased, The Laughing Cow®has continued to meet consumers’ needs through ongoing product innovation. Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread is the latest example of the brand’s commitment to providing great-tasting, portion-controlled cheeses to its ever-expanding fan base.

For more information, visit www.thelaughingcow.com.

About The Laughing Cow®

The Laughing Cow® brands, which include The Laughing Cow® Cheese Wedges, Mini Babybel® Cheeses and Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread, are the most popular brands owned by Bel Brands USA Inc, a subsidiary of Fromageries Bel, a family-owned cheese maker headquartered in Paris, France. The Laughing Cow®Cheese Wedges, Mini Babybel® Cheeses and Smooth Sensations™ Cream Cheese Spread are individually wrapped and portion-controlled snacks. Their great taste and unique pull tabs create a one-of-a-kind snacking experience every time a piece is unwrapped.

Fromageries Bel produces more than thirty local and international cheese brands that are sold in more than 120 countries around the globe. In addition to The Laughing Cow®, other USA favorites include popular cheese spreads marketed under Boursin®, Kaukauna® and WisPride® labels.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ  (Food News)  In its first cross-brand product partnership, Hellmann’s® has announced the launch of a new limited edition flavor: Hellmann’s® Spicy Buffalo with Frank’s® RedHot®. The flavor combines the creaminess of Hellmann’s® mixed with Frank’s® authentic Buffalo flavor.

“The Hellmann’s® Limited Edition line was developed to offer families the flavor variety and convenience they’re seeking to spice up their everyday dishes, while still maintaining the same great taste of Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise,” says Ben Crook, Hellmann’s® senior brand manager.  “Hellmann’s® Spicy Buffalo with Frank’s® RedHot® is the latest flavor to hit shelves as part of our limited edition product rotation. In 2011, we introduced Hellmann’s® Mediterranean Roasted Garlic & Herb and mayo lovers will be able to purchase a new flavor creation from us every six months.”

Hellmann’s® Spicy Buffalo with Frank’s® RedHot® Flavored Reduced Fat(1) Mayonnaise is outrageously creamy – but with a kick! It’s great for wings, sandwiches, and fries, and it also makes a delicious Disappearing Buffalo Chicken Dip.

“We’re so excited to be teaming up with Hellmann’s®,” says Frank’s® RedHot® senior brand manager, Keenan Beasley.  “By combining America’s No. 1 hot sauce with America’s No. 1 mayonnaise brand, consumers can add an authentic and flavorful kick to many classic dishes.”

Hellmann’s® Spicy Buffalo with Frank’s® RedHot® is now available in 9 oz. squeeze bottles at Walmart, Target, and select grocery retailers.  For more information and delicious, crowd-pleasing recipes made with Spicy Buffalo Mayonnaise, visit www.hellmanns.com.

About Unilever North America

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180.  With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others.  In the United States and Canada the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, fds, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Ragu, Simple, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemme, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 13,000 people across North America – generating over $9 billion in sales in 2011.  For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com or www.unilever.ca.

(1) 1/2 the fat of regular mayonnaise

Cincinnati, OH  (Food News)  In response to customer concerns, The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef.

“Kroger listens to our customers carefully to provide the high quality products they want at the great prices they deserve. Our customers have expressed their concerns that the use of lean finely textured beef— while fully approved by the USDA for safety and quality—is something they do not want in their ground beef.  We highly value customer feedback, and the recent flood of news stories has diminished their confidence in the product. As a result, Kroger will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef,” the company said.

Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 339,000 associates who serve customers in 2,435 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 791 convenience stores, 348 fine jewelry stores, 1,090 supermarket fuel centers and 39 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 125 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. For more information, please visit www.kroger.com.

Sebastopol, CA  (Food News)  Chef Jen Johnson has announced the launch of her new company, Hip Chick Farms, creating hand-crafted, delicious frozen chicken fingers, chicken meatballs, chicken wings and chicken stock, made with all-natural, sustainable ingredients and practices.  Hip Chick Farms was created from Chef Jen’s love of food and family, and offers family friendly solutions for lunch and dinner time.

Chef Johnson has served as the Executive Private Chef for Ann & Gordon Getty in San Francisco for the last 11 years, cooking for President Obama, celebrities and Bay Area personalities.  Prior to working for the family, she worked at the legendary Chez Panisse for ten years alongside amazing chefs and visionary, Alice Waters.

Hip Chick Farms has launched a crowd-funding campaign through Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/953269395/hip-chick-farms-for-the-love-of-food-and-family to promote the company, the products and to garner backers.

Kickstarter allows start-up companies like Hip Chick Farms to raise much-needed capital through friends, family and supporters.  The campaign promotes the local economy by supporting small businesses via non-traditional funding sources.

Fresh, all-natural, sustainable – these are just a few of the qualifiers that are required when choosing the ingredients used in their products.  Hip Chick Farms has been working closely with Sonoma County farmers to create lasting partnerships that support the local economy and ensures their ingredients are the best the county has to offer.

Hip Chick Farms uses pasture-raised, humanely treated chickens.  All of the chickens used are grown naturally with plenty of room to roam in a thoughtful environment on family farms. The chickens are fed a high quality vegetable diet with no animal by-products or additives.

The all-natural product line uses whole chickens and creates no waste.  There are no hormones, antibiotics, or filler in the products.  Freezing them ensures quality and purity. For more information on Hip Chick Farms food, go to www.hipchickfarms.com.

Enter Pesos 4 Quesos Contest for Chance to Win Up to $3,500 

Farm Rich Spices Things Up With New Queso Cheese Bites

Farm Rich Spices Things Up With New Queso Cheese Bites

St. Simons Island, GA  (Food News)  Cold weather is almost behind us, so Farm Rich is bringing some heat to its popular line-up of frozen snacks and appetizers with the new Queso Cheese Bites — delicious, bite-sized snacks filled with creamy white queso cheese.

Fans can also play Pesos 4 Quesos for a chance to win a $3,500 “Fiesta Grande” from Farm Rich. Visit the Farm Rich Facebook page and click on Pesos 4 Quesos to play and register to win weekly $200 gift cards plus the chance to take home the $3,500 grand prize — worth over 44,000 pesos! By reaching certain game levels, players can also earn coupons to try the Queso Cheese Bites. The Pesos 4 Quesos contest closes on May 4, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, when the grand-prize winner will be announced. Fans can also visit http://youtu.be/IqR7hJU9VG8 to watch a special Pesos 4 Quesos video message from Farm Rich.

“We started with creamy queso cheese and created a zesty, bite-sized snack with a slight ‘kick’ so our customers can enjoy tasty queso on-the-go when they can’t get to their favorite Mexican restaurant,” said Jennifer Meetz, director of marketing for Farm Rich. “The Pesos 4 Quesos game is a great way to showcase our newest snack product and get our fans excited to play the game and a chance to win $3,500 toward throwing a Fiesta Grande of their own.”

Available nationally at Walmart stores and other Farm Rich grocery retailers for an average retail price of $6.99, each bag of Farm Rich Queso Cheese Bites contains 53-56 pieces. The bite-sized snacks come out of the oven or fryer in just minutes, crisp and toasty on the outside, meltingly tender on the inside, and ready to serve for an after-school snack, party appetizer, or any time hunger calls. The wholesome snacks also are a good source of calcium, and each portion contains just 180 calories and 0 grams trans fat per serving. As the newest product from Farm Rich, Queso Cheese Bites join a line-up of popular frozen snacks and appetizers that includes Cheese Sticks, Mini Pizza Slices, Mozzarella Bites, Stuffed Pretzel Bites and more. To learn more, visit www.farmrich.com.