Revving Up the Soup Aisle
Campbell Soup Co.,
Camden, N.J., is revving up the soup aisle with several new product launches. Campbell's V8 soups are a marriage of two core qualities—great-tasting Campbell's soups and the V8 brand, which is known for delivering vegetable nutrition. The line of pureed soups will be available in five flavors—Golden Butternut Squash, Garden Broccoli, Southwestern Corn, Sweet Red Pepper, and Tomato Herb. Each bowl provides a full serving of vegetables and is low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Campbell has reformulated its entire line of Campbell's Kids soups to meet the government criteria for "healthy" foods. All 12 kids soup varieties, including new Campbell's Disney Princess soup and classics like Campbell's Chicken & Stars soup, are controlled for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and offer a positive nutrient, such as a good source of vitamin A.

Say Cheese, Say Healthy
Sorrento Lactalis,
Buffalo, N.Y., claims to have launched the first omega-3 cheese on the market in the United States. Sorrento +Plus String Cheese with Omega-3s is made with milk containing a high level of DHA and EPA omega-3s. The +Plus Omega-3 string cheese also contains 7 g of protein, and offers a portable and convenient nutritional choice that fits well with today's health-conscious, grab-and-go consumer. "The new +Plus Omega-3 snack cheese responds to consumer demand for foods that offer nutrition, health, convenience, and taste all rolled into one," said Susan Thomas, Marketing Manager, Snack Cheese, Sorrento Lactalis. "We're responding to one of the top food attributes requested by consumers. With this new addition to the +Plus line, consumers can enjoy the same delicious, fresh cheese taste that Sorrento is known for and feel good about eating healthy at the same time." The string cheese comes individually wrapped in 1-oz servings, with six servings per package. The suggested retail price is $3.99 and $4.29 for Sorrento and Precious brand names, respectively. Sorrento is sold on the East Coast; Precious is sold on the West Coast.

Better-for-you Snacks
Mellace Family Brands, Carlsbad, Calif., recently launched Snacktrition, a new line of natural nut and dried-fruit snacks that are oven-roasted through a proprietary process that adds valuable nutrients that adults and kids need as part of a balanced diet. "We believe in the power of positive snacking and in enriching people's lives through simple, healthy snacks," said Mike Mellace, CEO. "Snacktrition is enhanced with key nutrients such as calcium and fiber, which makes good-for-you foods like almonds and cashews now better than ever. Made from real fruit and nuts with nothing artificial, every bite is bursting with mouthwatering flavor and a crunchy texture that every snacker craves."

The 5-item line includes Sea Salt Cashews with Fiber, Sea Salt Almonds with Calcium, Salt & Pepper Cashews with Fiber, Smoked Almonds with Calcium, and Fruit & Nut Mix with Fiber and Calcium. Depending on the item, the line provides 3 g of dietary fiber or more than 100 mg of calcium per serving.

Open Innovation Pipeline
Many food companies are embracing the concept of "Open Innovation" to drive new product development, create new business platforms, and to achieve sustainable revenue gains. One year after announcing its G-WIN open innovation strategy, General Mills, Minneapolis, Minn., has generated hundreds of concepts for patented technologies or potential products that could be complementary to its existing brands and businesses.

Progresso Light soup, for example, is one of the innovations resulting from the G-WIN program. The soup—available in 5 flavors—qualifies for a 0 POINTS value per serving with Weight Watchers and contains 60 calories, 4 g of fiber, and a full serving of vegetables per serving. "The Progresso Light brand is well on its way to achieving over $100 million in retail sales in its first year," said Jerry Lynch, Vice President of Marketing for Progresso Foods. "This innovation was accomplished through a highly collaborative process with our outside partners. That collaboration was a big part of the product's success."

Gum Fights Bad Breath
While many chewing gums can freshen your breath, a new gum from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Chicago, Ill., contains a natural ingredient to help kill the germs that cause bad breath. Eclipse gum and mints are formulated with magnolia bark extract (MBE), which has origins in traditional Chinese medicine. According to Wrigley's Manager of Science & Technology Michael Greenberg, the most common way to treat bad breath has been to mask it with flavor found in chewing gum and mints, or to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath with antimicrobial agents found in many mouthwashes or toothpastes.

"The antimicrobial agents found in many mouthwashes and toothpastes could never be used in gum and mints because of poor taste, possible tooth staining, and over-the-counter drug classification," said Greenberg, who is a Professional Member of IFT. "Wrigley's research pertaining to MBE, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry last November, demonstrated that MBE helps kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, and also Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria involved in tooth decay."

Snack Sticks A la Carte
Some retail food products derive their inspiration from the foodservice side of the business. A new snack from Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio, appears to mimic bread sticks found in restaurants. Pringles Stix are baked-wheat, crispy-cracker sticks. They come in four varieties—Crunchy Wheat, Vanilla, Honey Butter, and Pizza. The portion-controlled snacks contain 90 calories per pack and have 0 g trans fat. Each flavor comes in a 6.8-oz. carton containing 10 .68-oz individually wrapped packs. Pringles Stix carry a suggested retail price of $3.49. "Procter & Gamble is excited to deliver a great-tasting baked-wheat Pringles product to consumers nationwide," said Bryan Hamilton, Pringles North America Brand Manager. "Pringles Stix has been released in select regions and the feedback has been tremendous. People really do enjoy a convenient, portion-controlled snack that comes in a variety of great-tasting flavors."