Poring over Salt
Redmond Minerals,
Redmond, Utah, markets several varieties of RealSalt sea salt in an unusual package—a standup pouch with a screw-top pour spout. This facilitates the refilling of salt shakers and mills. Pouch varieties include a 26-oz all-natural sea salt, 16-oz kosher-grind sea salt, and 16-oz coarse-grind sea salt.

Made up mostly of sodium chloride, the sea salt contains calcium, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, manganese, copper, zinc, and other trace minerals in minute amounts. These minerals give the salt its unique "pinkish" appearance and flecks of colors. The salt is mined from an ancient sea bed about 150 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah. The salt deposit was formed from a body of sea water dating back to the Jurassic period.

In a professional taste test of top gourmet natural salts, RealSalt was honored the Best of Show and Gold Medal winner by chefs of the American Culinary Institute. According to market researcher Spins, the product is the No. 1 selling all-natural sea salt in the health food market.

Adding Fuel to the Fizz
In an effort to jump on the energy drink bandwagon while remaining true to its roots, Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga., has launched a new hybrid drink that is part energy and part soda. Trade-named Vault, the drink is designed to appeal to young adults looking for a better combination of refreshment and energy boost. It features a citrus taste with less carbonation than most soft drinks. Caffeine gives the drink its energy boost. It also contains high-fructose corn syrup, potassium citrate, concentrated orange juice, and carob bean gum.

The product comes in proprietary 20-oz and 1-liter bottles, featuring a raised "diamond-plate" pattern to provide an easier grip. Other packaging includes 12-oz cans and 2-liter bottles. A diet version of the product is called Vault Zero. It contains aspartame and acesulfame K.

While Vault will go head-to-head with some energy drinks, its main competitor is Mountain Dew from rival PepsiCo. According to Beverage Digest, Mountain Dew was the fourth most popular soft drink in 2004.

Pasta in the Produce Section
Dole Foods, Westlake Village, Calif., is adding to its packaged salads with a four-item line of Fresh Makes Veggie Pasta Salad Kits. The clamshell-packaged kits contain vegetables, dry pasta, dressing, and toppings. Developed by chefs for busy home cooks, each kit can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. Consumers cook and drain the pasta, toss it with the fresh, pre-cut veggies, and mix it with the dressing and toppings. Served warm or chilled, the salad can feed up to four.

The four varieties include Broccoli Ranch with corkscrew pasta, Garden Vegetable with bow tie pasta, Italian Herb with penne pasta, and Cheddar Bacon Ranch with shell pasta.

The suggested retail price is $3.99.