Cravings Year-round

Long gone are the days where cranberry sauce was strictly a holiday treat during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Thanks to Ocean Spray Cranberries (Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass.), consumers can enjoy cranberry sauce any time of the year, with just the squeeze of a bottle.

This may be a smart move on Ocean Spray's part, extending the usage occasions (and sales potential) of its cranberry sauce. The company says the Squeezable Cranberry Sauce is designed for use on sandwiches, nuggets and dinners, and it also may be used to dress up cheese or dessert plates. Available in both Original and Orange varieties, the 12-oz. bottle retails in supermarkets for $2.69.

Fungi-flavored Snacks

Hain-Celestial Group's (Uniondale, N.Y.) Terra Stix Wild Mushroom Medley is the newest flavor edition to its upscale Terra brand. This unique wild mushroom flavor variety caters to the evolving consumer palate, featuring “exotic vegetables seasoned with mushrooms, onions and garlic.”

What stands out most is the fact that mushroom flavoring in the U.S. salty snack market is very unusual. The company claims there is a satisfying balance of sweet and savory flavors, perfect to garnish all dishes--from burgers to entrees to salads.

Targeting the Inhuman Consumer

At first glance, this product actually looks as though it is meant for the average human consumer. However, take a closer look...Nanco--Pet Pal's (Chelsea, Mass.) Shrek2 Pork Rinds 4 Dogs, touting that film, are actually for dogs! This particular product introduction portrays the way in which pet products are becoming more and more “humanized” (typically done through flavoring). Here is a product that not only looks like food that humans would consume but carries the same name as well (e.g., pork rinds).

Whole Grain Muscles

Following the rollout of General Mills' (Minneapolis) new line of whole grain cereals, Kellogg's (Battle Creek, Mich.) enters the arena, launching its Tiger Power Whole Grain Cereal. This introduction comes at the perfect time, as the FDA recently unveiled its new food pyramid scheme, which recommends three 1oz. servings of whole grain per day, to reduce the risk of heart disease and help maintain weight. (This FDA-approved claim now can be included on packaging.)

The cereal, which is positioned to children, features Tony the Tiger, Kellogg's spokescharacter. Its packaging, while not including the whole grain claim, touts the presence of fiber (for proper digestion), calcium (for strong bones and teeth) and protein (for muscle development)--three ingredients that are, as the package states, “Gr-r-reat for GROWTH!” Tiger Power Whole Grain Cereal is available in supermarkets and retails for $3.49.

“Talking Labels” Endorse Ketchup

Heinz's North America (Pittsburgh) new Limited Celebrity Edition “Talking Labels” is the company's newest way to attract consumers via celebrity endorsements. In the past, Heinz has featured humorous comments on its packaging, but never from celebrities.

Four well-known celebrities will have their quotes posted on ketchup bottles--explaining why they love Heinz Ketchup. The celebrities include the likes of teen actress Lindsay Lohan, actor William Shatner, soccer star Mia Hamm and football star Terry Bradshaw, seeming to target just about every age demographic. Some of the quotes include Bradshaw's “Served at the immaculate reception” and Shatner's “Fixes burgers at warp speed.” In return for their endorsements, Heinz is donating proceeds to the charities of the participating celebrities' choice.


The next time someone orders cheese on his sandwich, he may be improving his health with every bite. Swiss company Emmi has released miniCol, a cheese alternative that lowers cholesterol with its use of fat-free vegetable oil and plant sterols. These ingredients are clinically proven to naturally achieve beneficial effects on cholesterol. In addition, the company claims the product is “the first of its kind in the world” but, in no time, people all over the globe may lead alternative cheese lifestyles.

Opportunities for food companies working with tomato-based ingredients have opened up in recent years, following research that has linked lycopene to a reduced risk of cancer (especially prostate cancer). Daesung Food in South Korea is an example of one such company. Its line of tomato ketchup boasts high lycopene levels, and its organic range comes enriched with vitamins A, D and calcium. Only a few months back, it launched its first functional ketchup (Delmato tomato ketchup), said to be fortified with chlorella growth factor (CGF) and oligosaccharides.

The latest cosmeceutical product to hit Japanese shelves is an olive oil-infused mayonnaise said to be made using only the best ingredients available, including Nuñez de Prado extra virgin olive oil, ceramide extracted from domestic konjac and 100% egg yolk. The first gourmet mayonnaise from DHC Corporation claims to be beneficial to the skin.

Employed as an ingredient in both food and non-food categories as diverse as beverages, snacks, cosmetics and bath products, green tea's popularity seems to have no end. With the launch of a green tea fish sausage in South Korea, processed fish, meat and egg products became the latest category to fall under the tea's spell. The sausage is made using 53% fish meat, 9% pork, carrot, onion and green tea extract.

Ostrich meat is as far from Italian dietary habits as horse meat is from British diets. However, it looks like Italians are re-evaluating the bird's nutritional properties. Newly launched by Mellin is Omogenizzato Struzzo, an ostrich meat meal for babies four months and older. Ostrich meat is said to be particularly ideal for growing babies and toddlers, as it is extremely low in fat and rich in iron.