CONVENIENCE IS KEYWORD AS FMI PARADES NEW FOODS: PRE-COOKED BACON, FILLED BAGELS ARE AMONG OFFERINGS

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[chicago] The common thread of new food products at the Food Marketing Institute's annual supermarket show can be summed up in two words: quick and convenient.

Pillsbury Co. showed its One Step Cookie, a ready-to-bake dough that makes a pan-size cookie, as well as its recently introduced Create-A-Meal Oven Roast line of frozen vegetables. Those Green Giant-branded products are meant to be mixed with meat.

The company also showed its new SnackWell's frosting line, marketed under license from Nabisco Foods.

PRE-COOKED BACON IN TEST

Out of the Kraft Foods test kitchen is coming Oscar Mayer pre-cooked bacon, which heats in a microwave in 1 minute. The product is test-marketing in Boston and New York.

Also slated for rollout from Kraft are a Chicken Fajita line for its Taco Bell-branded grocery business and Kraft Parmesan Plus, a flavored parmesan cheese. The company also is relabeling its Kraft Fat-Free Mayonnaise Dressing as "better tasting than Hellmann's Low-Fat," a direct strike at rival CPC International.

Sara Lee Fresh's Bragels, bagels with fillings suitable for breakfast, lunch or snacks, also are aimed at on-the-go consumers. Introduced earlier this year, the line covers the markets where Sara Lee Corp.'s baked goods are marketed, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. The product is unadvertised.

Fresh-produce marketer Tanimura & Antle has teamed with ConAgra to create a line of pre-cut, pre-packaged salads under the Healthy Choice Salad Bar Select brand name. The line is testing in Phoenix and Tucson, also without major ad support.

ORGANIC ENTRIES

Organics also played a big role at the show, albeit among small marketers. Among them: Amy's Delicious Vegetarian Organic Frozen Meals, from Amy's Kitchen, Petaluma, Calif., and Cascadian Farm, Sedro-Wooley, Wash., which is marketing Organic Vegetable Blends including Chinese Stir-Fry, Thai Stir-Fry and Sante Fe Blend.

Activity in beverages centered around new flavors and packaging.

Triarc Cos.' Mistic brands introduced an Herbal Tea with Gingko Biloba; Ginseng Iced Tea; Mistic Orange Sunrise Tropical Cooler; and Mistic Cranberry Punch. The company also showed two new drinks in sport bottles-Mistic Energy Booster Electric Cherry and Mistic Breeze in a pink lemonade flavor.

Another new energy drink is being introduced under the Hype Energy label from a company by the same name. The four-item line, including Morning Rush and Night Boost, is promoted as containing vitamins, herb extracts, minerals, natural stimulants and restoratives.

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