Making a Mint
MoonPies are an iconic treat in many parts of the country, and it is one of those items where the brand name is synonymous with the product. MoonPies are marshmallow sandwiches, but to most people, they are MoonPies. While it is a Mardi Gras staple in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, the marshmallow sandwich has fans all over the country, and, as consumers seek more cost-effective treats, the MoonPie is an affordable, at-home treat.

The maker of MoonPies, Chattanooga Bakery Inc., recently launched an expansion of its marshmallow sandwich universe with MoonPie Crunch Mint. In the size of Mini MoonPies (about half the size of a hockey puck), MoonPie Crunch Mint has a mint filling and a crunchier, chocolate-flavored cookie and chocolate coating on the outside. Mint, the second in the MoonPie Crunch line following the September 2008 launch of peanut butter, has been compared to the equally iconic (if not more so) Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. 

Don’t Wine
Resveratrol, the ingredient found in grapes, has grown wildly in popularity over the past few years. Acclaimed for its health benefits and possible potential to ward off the ravages of time, the ingredient has a built-in demographic of aging consumers ready and willing to embrace it. A substantial amount of research has validated a range of health benefits, mostly in animal studies, though human clinical studies are expected to appear in peer-reviewed medical journals soon.

However, few products outside of wine have incorporated resveratrol, mostly in supplements and beverages. Now comes the first nutrition bar with the ingredient. Winetime, developed by ResVez, promises to contain as much resveratrol as 50 glasses of wine. The 190-calorie bar promises a rich, dark chocolate flavor “harmonized with dates and almonds,” is purportedly high in fiber and contains seven extra Superfruits--cranberry, noni, pomegranate, goji berry, acai, mangosteen and blueberry. To the Dogs
Health and nutrition are obviously key trends in the food and beverage industry. Some may argue that these are the oldest of the industry’s trends, and, while they never go out of style, it is safe to say that they do have periods of resurgence. In recent years, that resurgence has grown to encompass nutrition awareness for pets and animals.

Petrol, for instance, is the latest effort in this regard, described as targeting “discerning dog lovers looking for a healthy treat for their pooches.” This dog treat beverage in an aluminum can has been formulated by a veterinary nutrition expert and contains 100% natural flavorings, plus six added vitamins and minerals for “optimum canine health and wellness.” Furthermore, capitalizing on the fresh and natural trend in human fare, Petrol has no preservatives or artificial colors, and it boasts just over eight calories per serving.

A Chance in Health
Apreliminary report of the Chefs in Schools Initiative by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that children not only like healthy school meals, but actually eat more of the healthy foods than if they were eating a traditional school meal.

The study sought to analyze the value of the Chefs in Schools Initiative, which had a simple concept: over 74% of the nearly 56,000 Boston public school children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, which include breakfast and lunch. The initiative sought to make cutting-edge nutrition available to these children, as an ordinary part of their school day.

Over three times as many students ate vegetables at the Chefs schools, when compared with the control schools. Among students who consumed vegetables, Chefs schools students ate about 30% more veggies.

A more in-depth version of this article appeared in the November 23, 2009, Prepared Foods’ E-dition. To see the article, visit the E-dition Archives at pf