Flatbread Sales Rise
Pitas, tortillas, wraps, and even pizzas have a new name: flatbread. Some food manufacturers and foodservice operators have jumped on this naming trend to add panache and spur sales. For example, Nestlé, Solon, Ohio, has recently launched Stouffer’s Corner Bistro Flatbreads—a line of crispy, seasoned breads topped with contemporary and unique flavor combinations. Varieties include Chicken, Bacon & Spinach on a Basil and Garlic Seasoned Flatbread, Steak Fajita on a Smoked Chipotle Seasoned Flatbread, Shrimp and Roasted Garlic on an Herb Seasoned Flatbread, and Margherita on a Basil Parmesan Seasoned Flatbread. The 9-oz products carry a suggested retail price of $3.99.

"The increasing popularity of the Corner Bistro entrees and panini compelled us to offer even more casual-eating options for consumers," said Christine Dahm, Director of Marketing, Stouffer’s. "Like the rest of our line, the new Flatbreads are inspired by dishes that are offered in today’s most popular restaurants."

Other flatbreads on the market include Quizno’s Flatbread Chopped Salads, Dunkin’ Donuts flatbread sandwiches, Arby’s Flatbread Melts, and American Flatbread frozen pizzas.

Freshness and Convenience
More than 50 years ago, consumers had to grate their own Parmesan cheese. Then Kraft Foods came along with a grated Parmesan cheese in the now-familiar green canister. With consumers clamoring for freshness and authenticity, the Glenview, Ill.–based company has introduced Grate-It-Fresh—natural, block-style Parmesan cheese inside cheese grater. A peelable pouch with a die-cut hole for peg-display merchandising a houses the grater.

Consumers twist the grater to dispense the cheese. The clockwise twisting motion keeps the cheese in place and ensures that it is ready for the next usage occasion. "Grate-It-Fresh is a simple way to bring the restaurant experience home," said Mia Hasegawa, Brand Manager, Kraft Foods. "It’s a delicious way to top any meal, without the hassle of pulling out your grater." The chilled product comes in a convenient 7-oz size and has a suggested retail price of $4.99.

Probiotic Cottage Cheese
Dean Foods Co.,
Dallas, Tex., is rolling out a probiotic cottage cheese in the Upper Midwest of the United States under three flagship brands, Dean Foods, Country Fresh, and Land O’Lakes. These new entries may spark renewed consumer interest in cottage cheese, which experienced a decline in per-capita consumption from 4.1 lb in 1973 to 2.8 lb in 2005.

The new probiotic cottage cheese contains the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus casei. These bacteria may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote improved digestion, and boost immunity, which may increase resistance to infection.

"Our research revealed that probiotics are one of the major new trends emerging in the food industry," said Dave Haley, Regional Director of Marketing, Dean Dairy Group. "Our product development team developed a product that is on-target for today’s consumer that has an ever-increasing preference for ‘healthy’ food products, especially those that taste great."