Tip Top Tic Tac

Tic Tac candies have long numbered among Americans' breath mint favorites, but now, the makers of Tic Tac are expanding the mint's role to a new occasion—entertaining.

Tic Tac Silvers candy mints are individually wrapped in silver foil and are available in two flavors—orange and peppermint. The orange flavor promises a smooth orange taste that is both sweet and tangy, while the peppermint version offers a sweet coating with a burst of peppermint in the center.

With approximately 140 pieces per 3.5-ounce container, Tic Tac Silvers are intended to make candy dishes special during dinner parties, afternoon lunches or just to jazz up the coffee table.

Furthermore, the container (familiar to all who have ever purchased Tic Tac candies) is re-closable, reusable and, when emptied, provides a storage area for buttons, coins or dry food goods.

Tic Tac Silvers will also be featured in special seasonal packages for the Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter holidays.

Borden Up

With the August sale of the It's Pasta Anytime line to Kraft Foods Inc., Borden Foods is effectively out of the food business. The company expects to cease operations by the end of the year, and this was its last remaining product line after a summer of sell-offs.

In June, American Italian Pasta Company paid approximately $67.5 million for the Anthony'sw, Globe/A-1w, Luxuryw, Mrs. Grassw, Pennsylvania Dutchw, R&Fw and Roncow brands in addition to certain tangible assets, primarily inventory.

Later that month, H.J. Heinz purchased pasta sauce, dry bouillon and soup businesses from Borden. Brands in that sale included Classico pasta sauces, Aunt Millie's pasta sauce, Mrs. Grass Recipe soups and Wyler's bouillons and soups.

In July, New World Pasta Co. paid $43.1 million for the Creamette, Prince and five other regional pasta brands, two Canadian brands (Catelli and Lancia) and two Italian brands (Albadoro and Monder). The deal also included Borden's pasta production plants in St. Louis and Chicago, two Canadian facilities and two in Italy.

Pop Goes the Kettle

Introduced during the 18th century, kettle corn has proven to be an enjoyable, if difficult, snack to prepare. That enjoyment is set to expand with an offering that will put the snacktime treat in the consumer's own microwave.

Golden Valley Microwave Foods has launched a slightly sweet, slightly salty Act II Kettle Corn. Originally, kettle corn was made outdoors by popping corn in cast-iron kettles that included rendered lard and sweeteners, such as molasses, honey or sugar. Its surge in popularity in the past decade—being served at fairs, concerts, carnivals and flea markets—prompted Golden Valley to add the new variety of microwave popcorn.

According to Jim Montealegre, vice president of product development at Golden Valley, the new microwave kettle corn took eight years of R&D. Key to the company's success was the development of a process (and sourcing of) a natural sweetener that would withstand high-temperature microwave heating without burning.

Hauling Buns

One of the food industry's most enduring icons (and without doubt one of its most successful marketing efforts) is celebrating its 65th anniversary. However, this industry stalwart will not be found in the grocery aisles.

No, this legend will be touring the roads, much like it has since its debut in 1963. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has seen significant changes since that time but still manages to fulfill its objectives—bringing smiles to families and, of course, spreading the word about Oscar Mayer hot dogs.

“Over the years, the world-famous Wienermobile has undergone many changes,” says Jane Hilk, senior business director with Oscar Mayer, “from the original 13-foot-long hot dog to today's technologically advanced 27-foot vehicles. That tradition of traveling throughout the country continues today, bringing smiles to people of all ages.”

Currently, Oscar Mayer employs a fleet of Wienermobiles and Oscar Mayer Hotdoggers, the staff onboard the traveling hot dogs.