Good Things in Small Packages

Tons of fads have come and gone, but eating better and healthier just is not one of them. The industry realizes that losing weight and staying fit is not going to happen with miracle products, but with nutritious food options that can be incorporated easily into everyday living.

With this in mind, Frito-Lay has produced Doritos 100 Calorie Mini Bites in a Cool Ranch flavor. These flavored tortilla chips claim to be the right snack for sensible munching, as they take the guesswork out of portion control. The chips are trans fat-free and come packaged with five individual-sized bags, each worth 100 calories.

Spray It with Ease

For those skilled in at-home cooking, the creation of non-stick cooking spray was a huge advancement for food preparation. It is regarded a perfect substitute for butter and oils, and the convenient, no-stick formula rids the need to “grease” cooking tools with products high in fat.

Now, some 40-plus years later, the non-stick cooking spray industry has innovated for yet more convenient applications—for instance, the latest release from J.M. Smucker: Crisco No-Stick Spray with Simple Touch technology. This spray features a click-and-go nozzle that can be twisted and untwisted to lock and unlock, thus eliminating the need for an over-cap. It is alcohol-free, has 0g of trans fat per serving and a butter flavor.

Spicing Up Foods…and Gardens

Talk about dual functionality! Dave's Gourmet Hot Sauce and Garden Spray is truly unique in its own right. For starters, it serves as a delicious condiment for food. Packaged in a convenient pump dispenser, consumers need only spray it on any of their favorite dishes for added flavor. Since it settles at a “warm” temperature on the spicy gauge, it can be enjoyed by all.

However, if that is not cool enough, the hot sauce spray doubles as a garden protector! Simply spray it directly on anything in the garden, including flowers, lettuce and shrubs, and it is sure to keep deer, rabbits and other unwanted guests from nibbling the goods. Not only is it a useful gardening tool, but also a tool for tuning up the flavor in foods.

Breaking the Color Barrier

Outside of a few flavor twists, microwave popcorn has seen little to no innovation…until now. Black Jewell Popcorn offers Old Fashioned Premium Kettle Corn Popcorn, but it is not the regular, run-of-the-mill stuff. This popcorn is black in color but, when popped, it turns snow white. The kosher product claims to have fewer hulls than other popcorn and to be easier to digest.

The popcorn is flavored primarily with soybean oil and salt, but it still maintains the combination of sweet and salty flavors of traditional kettle corn. Cholesterol-free Black Jewell is sold in a three-count pack of microwaveable bags.

Fiesta, Fiesta!

The recent influx of the Hispanic population into the U.S. has affected everything from fashion trends to the job force. Unsurprisingly, the retail food industry also has experienced some changes as a result of the population growth. Companies have tweaked product collections with additional flavor variations and styles to appeal to Hispanics, as well as those consumers that just like extra spice.

Sunshine Biscuits, for example, now offers its Cheeze-It Baked Snack Crackers in a Fiesta Collection. With flavors of Chili Queso, Cheesy Taco, and Cheddar Nacho, these crackers have a crispy tortilla kick created from a touch of stone-ground corn masa. The packaging is clad with Latin-inspired graphics and even urges consumers to “busca tu propia caja” (get your own box).

Global Trends

How often does a hot mug of soup quickly go cold as work distractions prevent timely consumption? In Spain, Gallina Blanca now has the solution with the Bb range of drinking soups, available with a USB heater, which can be plugged into any computer's USB port. This way, consumers need only to heat the soup for one minute in the microwave and can keep it warm at their desks.

Some consumers want to improve their nutritional intake but do not like taking supplement pills and tablets, preferring to get their nutrition from food. For these consumers, a new product in Japan offers an ingenious solution, halfway between a supplement and regular food. Takeda Food Products launched Shingen Supplement Rice, a range of processed and enriched rice, to be stirred into regular rice for extra nutritional benefits. Free of any artificial colorings or preservatives, it is available in two varieties: vitamins & iron, and calcium.

Instant coffee has a number of advantages over fresh-brewed coffee: it is fast, cheap and clean. However, it might not be the best option for consumers who prefer a very milky coffee, with lots of froth. To meet the preferences of such consumers in Spain, Nestlé has launched Nescafé Active, a new range of instant coffee, specially formulated to be prepared with milk. The addition of milk instead of water also makes Nescafé Active coffee more nutritionally balanced, as it provides over 20% of the daily recommended intake of 10 vitamins and 40% of the daily recommended intake of calcium. Nescafé Active is available in regular and decaffeinated varieties.

Kagome in Japan has launched a lactic acid bacteria drink called Labre made with plant-based Lactobacillus brevis. The brevis lactic acid bacterium is said to have a high arrival/survival rate in the intestines and was found in pickles available in Kyoto (Japan), where the lifespans of men were comparatively longer than those of people living in other areas of Japan. The lactic acid bacteria reportedly remains in the intestines 10 times longer compared with Lactobacillus casei (from dairy). The “no sugar added” drink itself contains 1% non-fat milk solids, soy and apples, and has 57Kcal per 130ml serving.