Functional Fruit Smoothie

Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, Westlake Village, Calif., introduced Dole Boosted Blends Berry Spark, billed as an “intentional blend of nutrient-packed fruits and vitamins to support brain and cognitive health.”

The frozen product includes a blend of blueberries, bananas, blackberries, dark cherries, acai, and flax. Consumers add two cups of the milk and blend until smooth. Each pack contains four, pre-portioned 8oz individual servings for $10.99. The product has no sugar added, is kosher certified, and non-GMO.

"Prompted by the pandemic, consumers today are looking to boost their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing more than ever," commented Orzse Hodi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Americas, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. "We've developed Dole Boosted Blends Berry Spark as a nutritious and convenient smoothie that allows individuals to harness the health benefits of a thoughtfully curated combination of plant-based ingredients to help with memory and focus."

Chef-Crafted Kits

Convenience, plant-based nutrition, and restaurant-inspired international flavors are driving food innovations, and chopped salads kits are well positioned to drive growth for the value-added salad, according to Fresh Express Inc.

That’s why the Salinas, Calif., company said it expanded its chopped salad kit line with three new varieties: Twisted Caesar Lemon Caesar, Twisted Caesar Pesto Caesar and Mexican Style. Specifically, the Twisted Caesar Lemon Caesar kit includes dried cherries along with crisp iceberg and green leaf lettuce, crunchy Parmesan cheese crisps, and a lemon white wine Caesar dressing.

The new Fresh Express Chopped Kits and Crunchy Blend have a suggested retail price of $3.99 and are available in the refrigerated produce department at retailers nationwide.

Blender-Free Smoothies

The OUTSHINE frozen fruit bar line expanded with OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes, a better-for-you line with added functional ingredients. Varieties include:

*The Go-Getter: A tropical smoothie made with mango, banana, pineapple, papaya, date paste, beet juice, a touch of chia and B vitamins.

*The Glow To: A green smoothie made with banana, pineapple, mango, date paste, spinach, kale, kiwi, cucumber, a touch of chia seed and VITAL PROTEINS® Collagen Peptides.

*The Gut Supporter: A tasty smoothie made with strawberries, banana, coconut cream, carrot juice, date paste, beet juice, a touch of chia seed and fiber.

OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes are a premixed fruit blend, so consumers do not need to buy any additional ingredients or look up a recipe to enjoy. Each serving of OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes contains 15g of total sugar or less, zero grams of added sugars, no artificial flavors or colors, and no GMO ingredients. To enjoy, consumers simply put four ounces of OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes in a cup with a liquid of choice, let sit for 15 minutes, then shake.

OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes are in the freezer aisle of select retailers across the country at a suggested retail price of $6.99-$7.49

Artisan Bread with Raisins

La  Brea Bakery, Los Angeles, said it partnered with Kroger to develop and introduce a Cinnamon Raisin artisan bread, which debuted in stores this past September.

"As a classic bakery favorite, cinnamon raisin bread is versatile and continues to grow in popularity, but you don't see it in the in-store bakery fresh artisan bread offerings," said Christy Benken, Kroger Category Manager, Bakery – Bread and Rolls. "This delicious new loaf fills an unmet consumer need."

In addition to Kroger stores, La Brea Bakery's Cinnamon Raisin Loaf will be available at other Kroger-owned stores, including Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, Ralphs, Roundy's, Smith's Food and Drug and more.

Real Raspberry 

Nestlé USA, Arlington, Va., extended refrigerated Rallies Nut Butter Bombs line with a new variety: Raspberry Peanut Butter flavor.

In conjunction, Nestlé said the line now has national distribution. The chilled snacks feature real, creamy nut butters and rich chocolate. Flavors include Brownie Almond Butter, Salted Cashew Butter and the newest addition, Raspberry Peanut Butter. Officials say the new offering has a dark chocolate coating balanced with a creamy peanut butter center that’s dotted with real raspberry pieces. One package of Nestlé Rallies contains three individual bite-sized nut butter bombs. The suggested retail price may vary, but starts at $2.49 per unit.

“As snacking and chocolate consumption have increased over the last two years, we know that consumers are seeking a balance between permissibility and indulgence,” said Jamie Harbeck, senior manager of innovation and strategy at Nestlé. “Nearly nine out of 10 consumers eat one indulgent snack per day, making Nestlé Rallies Nut Butter Bombs the perfect afternoon pick-me-up to satisfy sweet cravings on-the-go with less added sugar than alternatives.”

Fruit Forward, Low Sugar

Last summer saw Muesli Function Inc., Westford, Mass., introduce three functional muesli cereals “fueled with added support from plant protein, prebiotics, omegas, dietary fiber, and superfruits.”

“At GUUD, it’s our mission to bring more flavor and more function to the cereal aisle. We are changing cereal for the GUUD. Our functional line of cereal delivers great tasting, whole food nutrition without the sugar,” said GUUD CEO Jean Lizotte.

GUUD’s Fuel line includes three flavors that are vegan, plant-based, non-GMO-certified and kosher. The Athlete Fuel variety includes organic oats, organic raisins, organic almonds, organic flax seed, organic cashews, and organic pumpkin seeds. A Brain Fuel variety features gluten-free oats, walnuts, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, and cacao nibs. Lastly, the Gut Fuel product includes organic oats, organic dates, organic sunflower seeds, organic flax seeds, organic banana, organic apples, organic chia seeds, and organic almonds.

GUUD’s functional muesli (SRP $6.99/bag) is available in natural and traditional grocery stores, and online retailers nationwide.