Smart Moves

The concept of healthy eating is nothing new, and more manufacturers have been striving to make such foods easier and more convenient. However, this movement has not been relegated to the retail market; it has hit the foodservice arena as well.

T.G.I. Friday’s had its “right portion” menu last year, and now, Dunkin’ Donuts is getting into the mix with DDSmart, its first menu of “better-for-you” options. The DDSmart moniker will grace the chain’s food and beverages that meet at least one of the following criteria: 25% fewer calories; 25% less sugar, fat, saturated fat or sodium than comparable fare; and/or contain ingredients that are “nutritionally beneficial.”

Highlighting the new menu is the Egg White Flatbread Sandwich, which the company claims is the first egg white sandwich from a QSR. Both varieties (turkey sausage and veggie) are under 300 calories, with 9g of fat or less and served on multigrain flatbread.

Origin Intent

Whether due to environmental issues or other concerns, consumers are increasingly interested in the origins of the foods they are eating. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has pledged support for industry-wide country-of-origin labeling, and one of the country’s major pork producers has taken the concept of traceability to a new arena.

Nature’s Premium Brand has announced it will become the first North American pork company to track DNA for “reliable and accurate traceability back to the farm where the animals were raised.”

The “indisputable product verification” is USDA-process verified, the company assures, and its products will carry a seal at the meat case to assure consumers that “each cut came from the unique Nature’s Premium production and processing system.”

A spokesperson for Nature’s Premium assures the issue is all about consumer trust, as well as the ability to verify definitively the source of a questioned product.

Pets Control

The slowing economy is impacting the lives of most, if not all, consumers; however, one area seems immune to its effects: pets. A new survey from The Goodlife Recipe finds one in four consumers would not cut anything from their pets’ lives and are “committed to maintaining their pooch’s or kitty’s quality of life.”

In fact, two-thirds of the cat and dog owners questioned do not even check the price when choosing pet food. At the same time, they are closely examining the recipes and ingredients--as closely as their own, the survey finds.

Nearly 60% of pet owners believe natural ingredients and flavors are most important, while two out of three say natural and fresh ingredients are best for pets and people. Among pet owners, one in three say their personal health habits have an influence over what they feed their pets, and some 50% refuse to reduce spending on vets, while 80% would not skimp on pet food.

In Box

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* Sargento Foods appointed David Vroom as senior vice president and general manager, while also promoting Rod Hogan to senior director of New Business Development, naming Mike Gordy president of the Food Ingredients Division and selecting Sandi Howard as Portionables plant manager.
* Balchem Corporation’s Food, Pharma and Nutrition segment launched a new website to provide information on its food-grade choline product line,
* Hormel Foods Specialty Products Division launched, a new website for promoting its nutraceutical products.