Expanding the Reach

The growing number of Hispanics in the U.S., as well as the expanding palates of a wide variety of Americans, has led a number of companies to reformulate their products with an assortment of flavors. Few, however, have gone so far as to introduce bilingual labels. Fewer, still, have attempted both.

Old Orchard Brands (Sparta, Mich.) has introduced a pair of fruit juice blends (mango and papaya) in 64oz. bottles to select retailers. Developed, the company says, “to meet the tastes and demographics of the ever-increasing Hispanic market in the U.S.,” the blends feature a bilingual label--English on one side, Spanish on the other, leading to another benefit.

The blends are found in Old Orchard's recently introduced rectangular bottle with two front panels, one each for the Spanish and English labels. Thereby, grocers will be able to stock the bottles according to market demographics.

Old Orchard also has re-tooled its website, www.oldorchardjuice.com, to feature both languages.

Drink Up

Two of the biggest foodservice success stories of recent years have begun to diversify from the products that made them famous.

The first is not that much of a stretch. Considering Starbucks (Seattle) has become somewhat synonymous with indulgence, the company's launch of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla blended beverages seems a fairly natural extension, notwithstanding the omission of coffee from the mix.

The second company, however, is a bit more adventurous. While Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) is well-known for its signature doughnuts and coffees, the company has plans to launch its own range of frozen, blended beverages, and these flavors are far from the garden varieties. Granted, the double chocolate option may be tried-and-true, as may be the latte version, and the raspberry variety promises the taste of vanilla ice cream topped with raspberries. However, incorporating the taste of Krispy Kreme's signature doughnut into a frozen drink is pushing a boundary.

Leading the Pack

Markets across the U.S. have seen their shelf-stable chili options appear in new packaging. Hormel Chili and Stagg Chili (both products of Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.) have seen their packaging converted from cans to Tetra Recart cartons.

A product of Tetra Pak (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Tetra Recart is a combined processing and carton-based packaging system for in-container sterilization of food. It is a square carton package made out of a new paperboard laminate material designed for food products traditionally packed in cans, glass jars or pouches.

Hormel believes the advantages of the package outweigh the possible difficulties that may be found by presenting such a unique concept to consumers. According to Larry Vorpahl, Hormel Foods' vice president and general manager of grocery products, "The Tetra Recart carton offers consumers a variety of advantages, including portability, easy opening and pouring, and convenient, space-saving stackability in kitchen cupboards.”

Truth in Advertising

Frito-Lay (Plano, Texas) has settled a legal battle with Jays Foods Inc. (Chicago) over ads claiming Chicagoans preferred Lay's potato chips over Jays. Terms are confidential, but speculation holds that Frito-Lay has agreed not to run any comparative ads with Jays for two years and to pay Jays' legal fees in the court battle.

At issue was a 305-person taste test. It was concluded that Frito-Lay did not weed out non-Chicago residents from the test, which actually was held at three suburban shopping malls. Frito-Lay contends its taste tests are “scientifically accurate.”

In announcing the decision, the federal judge in the case augmented the legal hyperbole with a little food-related slant: “I find Lay's misleading advertisement in identifying Jay's potato chips as unflavored not only unsavory but totally tasteless.”

The case could have consequences for Frito-Lay elsewhere in the country. The company is running similar ads in Baltimore, New York, Minneapolis and Boston, for example, claiming superiority over other regional brands.