Mini Goes to the Dogs
The mini hamburger craze that has swept menus across the United States is going to the dogs … hot dogs and frankfurters that is. This is due in part to Johnsonville Sausage, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., which has introduced Mini Stadium Style Brats and Mini Italian Sausages. Each frankfurter is 3.5” long, 1.6 oz, and is made from cuts of pork, with no TV P (textured vegetable protein), fillers, or cereals. The products are packed frozen for storage convenience at 2/5-lb per case. Foodservice operators can serve the products in buns, pretzel rolls, and sandwiches, or as a meat component in appetizers, pasta, salad, or a breakfast dish.

Healthier Lunchtimes & Snack Times
Oscar Mayer, Madison, Wis., part of Kraft Foods, is rolling out a new line of Lunchables Lunch Combinations in time for kids who are heading back to school. The new line includes healthier fare such as lean meats (e.g., 100% turkey breast), bottled spring water, and Kraft 2% cheddar cheese. “Moms told us what they wanted and we listened,” said Darin Dugan, Senior Director of Marketing, Lunchables. “So we’ve added items like spring water, applesauce, and bread made with whole grain.”

The new Lunchables Lunch Combinations line consists of six varieties—Turkey +Cheddar Sub Sandwich, Ham+ American Sub Sandwich, Turkey + Cheddar Cracker Combos, Ham+ American Cracker combos, Deep Dish Cheese Pizza, and Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza. The Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich and Deep Dish Cheese Pizza meet the Kraft Foods Sensible Solution criteria for nutritional value.

In addition to the food changes, the new line features a clear, snap-close package that uses recyclable sleeves, bottom trays, and water bottles. “We’ve made it easier than ever for mom to see exactly what’s inside,” said Dugan. The new products carry a suggested retail price of $3.49.

Super Spices
VitaminSpice, Norristown, Pa., has launched a line of all-natural blends of herbs and spices with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The new line offers a convenient and flavorful way to boost the nutritional value of meals and is suitable for restaurants and other foodservice outlets looking for healthy, but cost-effective menu options. Blended from premium herbs and spices and packed with added nutrients, VitaminSpice is all-natural, 100% vegetarian, and free of additives, preservatives, coloring, sugar, artificial sweeteners, calories, and gluten. It can be sprinkled onto any food or beverage, and can be used at the end of the cooking process up to 200° F. Varieties include ground cinnamon, granulated garlic, and ground black pepper. At a recent regional event for 20+ school districts, more than 70% of the participating school representatives expressed interest in VitaminSpice.