All the Rage

Apparently, competing with PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., and Coca-Cola, Atlanta, is not enough for the folks at Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Plano, Texas. Now, the soft drink maker is turning its attention to the dairy arena.

Raging Cow is a new milk-based product served cold in single servings. However, rumor has it that the plastic packaging and processing procedures will allow the drink to be shelf-stable, similar to plans for the Hershey's line of milks and shakes from Morningstar Foods, Dallas.

Noting that consumers are looking for new, exciting dairy drink products, the Raging Cow herd will initially have together five flavors—pina colada chaos, jamocha frenzy, berry mixed up, chocolate caramel craze, and chocolate insanity. Currently available in select markets, the line soon will expand nationally.

Vegetable Revamp

Campbell Soup Company, Camden, N.J., has upgraded a number of its soups. The classic vegetable soup, widely known as Alphabet Soup, now has 40% more letters. A total of 10 vegetable varieties are being enhanced, the first of a wave of upgrades for Campbell's soup line.

Vegetable beef, minestrone and old-fashioned vegetable are among those that will feature “dramatically improved flavors, colors and textures.” The improvements flow from a significant investment Campbell's has made in cold-blending technology. This reportedly allows the company to include more ingredients in each can, including 20% more beef in the vegetable beef variety and more vegetables in all of the affected varieties.

Campbell's plans to overhaul nearly all of its condensed soups over the next three years. Next year will see improvements to the Fun Favorites and Chicken Rice lines.

Pure Power

Hain Celestial Group, Melville, N.Y., has announced its Hain Pure Foods brand will launch a line of all-natural snack foods. Hain PureSnax is described as an alternative to traditional snack foods, though the line's flavors resemble quite-familiar varieties:
  • Zoinks -- puffed corn snack
  • Soy Munchies -- miniature soy crisps in white cheddar, ranch or caramel flavors.
  • Kettle Corn -- sweet kettle-popped popcorn.
  • Crudités -- puffed celery and carrot twist.
Commenting on the development of the PureSnax line, Adam Levit, vice president of snacks marketing for The Hain Celestial Group, said, “Hain has always had national exposure on snacks. We needed a brand to round out our snack lineup. That's why we created the family-fun Hain PureSnax brand.”

Expanding in General

General Mills, Minneapolis, has introduced new varieties across a range of its product lines. New fruit snacks, microwave popcorn and grain snacks are available under the Betty Crocker, Pop Secret and Nature Valley brand.

New on the fruit snack shelf is a collaboration between Sesame Street and Betty Crocker. Sesame Street Elmo Fruit Snacks is the first fruit snack appearance for the children's program. The three “themes” all feature Elmo and introduce the children to counting, reading and exploring.

Pop Secret is adding two new flavors—honey butter and toffee butter. Described as slightly sweet, these are for snacking or for alternatives to more indulgent treats.

Meanwhile, Nature Valley is adding a blueberry yogurt coating to its Chewy Granola bars. This flavor joins the currently available strawberry and vanilla yogurt flavors.