Energy Bars Heat Up
Have you ever eaten an energy bar that was a bit dry or too chewy? Would you prefer a fresher-tasting bar? Well, the answer might be Homemade Energy Bar Mix from Matisse & Jack’s LLC, San Francisco, Calif. The mix comes in a 16-oz bag that yields 12 freshly baked bars. Each serving provides a healthy dose of protein (up to 12 g) and contains a significant amount of omega-3s (650–1,000 mg). Consumers can prepare the bars in a variety of ways according to individual preferences (e.g., dairy-free, lower-sugar, and even an “energy cookie” variation). In addition to its oven-fresh taste, the product is more eco-friendly and costs less than half the price of prepackaged bars.

Sports Drink Sheds Calories
Sports drinks provide energy, and much of that energy is in the form of sugar, which provides about 4 kcal/g. To provide hydration without a lot of calories, The Coca Cola Co., Atlanta, Ga., has launched POWERade OPTION, a low-calorie and low-carbohydrate sports drink. It provides electrolytes and B-complex vitamins at levels comparable to regular POWERade, but with fewer carbohydrates and 80% fewer calories than the leading sports drink. The drink, which is sweetened with a blend of sucralose, acesulfame-K, and high-fructose corn syrup, contains 10 kcal and 2 g of carbohydrates per 8-fl-oz serving.

Jumping on the Organic Bandwagon
While organic foods only represent about 2% of all grocery purchases in the United States, the product category is growing by about 20% per year. To satisfy consumers’ desires for more organic food choices where they regularly shop for groceries, two of ConAgra Foods’ flagship brands—Hunt’s® and Orville Redenbacher’s®—will introduce organic products later this year.

Hunt’s Organic tomatoes and Orville Redenbacher’s Organic Microwave Popcorn are aimed at American families looking to improve their eating habits and well-being. Hunt’s plans to bring six new organic canned tomato products to retailer shelves this September. Organic snack sales jumped 30% in 2003, making it the second-fastest-growing organic category, according to data from the Organic Trade Association.

Finger Food
Eating on the run has become commonplace in America and other parts of the world. To meet the demands of active consumers, Burger King, Miami, Fla., has launched BK Chicken Fries. The all-white-meat chicken breast product resembles a French fry in shape and is battered and breaded with a zesty seasoning.

The thin strips come in a paperboard carton with a built-in well in the lid for dipping sauce. Varieties of sauce include creamy buffalo, barbeque, honey mustard, sweet and sour, and ranch. The carton is designed to fit into car cup-holders.

“Consumers are looking for great-tasting, high-quality, yet fun, chicken products,” said Denny Marie Post, Chief Concept Officer. “They’re also looking for value and portability. This new product delivers on all accounts.”