Ready-To-Cook Convenience
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, El Segundo, Calif., has launched a new range of more than 50 pre-seasoned, ready-to-cook items in stores to coincide with the summer grilling season in the United States. The Ready to Cook line includes beef, pork, chicken, fish, and vegetable options, all pre-marinated or pre-seasoned and ready to go into the skillet, microwave, or on the grill. Part of the Tesco supermarket chain in the UK, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market operates 190 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Items under the Ready to Cook umbrella include Jalapeno Poppers (9 oz - $3.49), Stuffed Red Peppers (11 oz - $3.99), BBQ Bacon & Cheese Patties (1.2 lb - $5.49), Sweet Chili & Apricot Pork Chops (1.25 lb - $5.99), Tequila & Orange Chicken (1.25 lb - $5.99), Chili, Pepper & Garlic Barbacoa Beef (1.25 lb - $6.99), Atlantic Salmon Skewers with spicy orange sauce (12 oz - $5.99), Mango Chipotle Albacore Tuna (12 oz - $6.99), and Chili Herb Sweet Potatoes (12oz - $3.49).

Starbucks Energizes New Drinks
Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, Wash., has taken the plunge into the burgeoning energy drinks category with the launch of Refreshers—a line of retail beverages that combine fruit juices and green coffee extract. The green coffee extract is unroasted, resulting in a beverage with a mild and fresh flavor while still retaining naturally occurring caffeine. At 60 calories per 12 oz can, the ready-to-drink and lightly carbonated Starbucks Refreshers beverages
are available in Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade, and Orange Melon varieties.

“The energy category is the fastest growing category within measured CPG channels at $8 billion, up 16% over the last year,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Starbucks and President of Tazo Tea. “The launch of Starbucks Refreshers beverages continues to support our growth strategy to innovate with new products, enter new categories, and expand into new channels of distribution.”

Better-For-You Butter
The key to any better-for-you or healthier food product is to supply the taste expectation of the original while delivering improved nutrition. Smart Balance, Paramus, N.J., has built a food business on this principle with a line of heart-healthy products. One of its latest offerings is Smart Balance Spreadable Butters, which are said to taste like regular butter but with 40% less saturated fat. The products are a blend of butter and canola oil, plus EPA/DHA & ALA omega-3s (derived from fish oil), salt, water, and plant sterols, which help block the cholesterol in the butter. Varieties include Butter & Canola Oil Blend, Light Butter & Canola Oil Blend, and Butter & Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend. Each flavor comes in a 7.5-oz container. A one-tablespoon serving of the product provides 100 calories, 4 g of saturated fat, and 100 mg of plant sterols.

In This Article

  1. Food Product Development