Editor’s note: This section profiles new processed foodservice foods and beverages. This month’s entries were among 18 items named 2012 Food & Beverage Product Innovations Award winners by the National Restaurant Association. Independent judges—representing commercial and non-commercial channels—evaluated new offerings for restaurant operator benefits and flexibility.


Parmesan Risotto

Risotto requires extensive time, labor and care to produce from scratch. Now, any type of foodservice operator can serve this upscale dish. Nestlé Professional’s new frozen Stouffer’s Parmesan Risotto comes packaged in 48oz pouches. Operators simply thaw overnight, sauté, customize and serve. Officials say the product contains 100% authentic Arborio rice for a firm-yet-tender texture; rich Parmesan and Asiago cheeses; and real ingredients, such as onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, chicken broth, cream and butter. A frozen-pouch format ensures easy storage and 100% yield, says Nestlé. Each pouch can serve six guests; each case includes four pouches.


Crispy Beans 

Matt & Steve’s Extreme Bean took the restaurant and bar scene by storm back in 2000 as a beverage garnish for a Bloody Mary. A crunchy snack, this spicy, pickled extra-long flat bean has been popular ever since. Now, Canada’s Cavendish Farms takes The Extreme Bean and adds a twist—with the company’s own light, crispy tempura batter. The average bean is six inches in length and delivers a double crunch, with plate and presentation appeal. Operators can use versatile Extreme Beans as a side dish, appetizer or topping garnish. They even can spice up any entrée (in sandwiches, wraps, etc.).


BBQ Chicken Snacks 

ConAgra Foodservice says new Max-Snax BBQ Chick-en snacks represent a win-win-win proposition—with nutrition, taste and flexibility—for school foodservice operators. MaxSnax products meet the USDA’s Child Nutrition Labeling Program standards. Three MaxSnax triangles meet the requirements for two breads and two meat/meat alternates. They feature 51% whole grain, 570mg of sodium, 7% saturated fat and 0g trans fat per serving. BBQ Chicken MaxSnax triangles also scored high in taste appeal, says ConAgra, which found 80% of students surveyed wanted this product served as an option at school. Individual triangle portions (individually quick-frozen) also offer greater serving flexibility based on the age group of the audience and different applications, such as fitting into satellite trays or featuring as an appetizer. MaxSnax also can be offered with a dipping sauce.


Vegetable Glacis 

Foodservice operators can use these all-natural vegetable concentrates to enhance soups, sauces, dressings, dips and much more. White Toque Inc. imports and markets these concentrates, which ship frozen and come in 2.2lb squeeze bottles. Varieties include Red Beet, Onion, Carrot, Red Pepper, Yellow Pepper and Tomato Confit. White Toque says a French processor has converted up to 25-40lbs of fresh vegetables in each bottle to deliver “true flavors with intense colors.” Officials note these glacis offerings contain no flavor enhancers or additives. pf