Mexican Gets a Makeover
For the institutional and commercial foodservice markets, Ruiz Foods, Dinuba, Calif., has launched healthier versions of El Monterey HD (Hearty & Delicious) Burritos. The four 5-oz varieties offer whole grain tortillas, 15–17 g of protein, higher fiber, lower calories, and reduced sodium. Flavors include Huevos Rancheros Burrito; Egg, Turkey Sausage, and Cheese Burrito; Chicken with Fire Roasted Veggies Burrito, and Steak with Fire Roasted Veggies Burrito. Compared to Ruiz Foods’ regular El Monterey Family Pack Burritos, the El Monterey HD Burritos are on average 7.25% lower in total fat, 11.25% lower in saturated fat, 14% higher in dietary fiber, and 26% lower in sodium. The new products are packed in bulk, require minimal labor, and no special equipment. The burritos can be cooked via multiple standard heating methods and can be served cafeteria-style from holding trays.

Dessert Bar Sweetened with Stevia
Tofutti Brands, Cranford, N.J., has introduced the Hooray Bar, a frozen dessert sweetened with all-natural stevia. Like all of the company’s premium frozen desserts, the Hooray Bar is soy-based, cholesterol- and dairy-free with zero trans fats. Created to appeal to diabetics, lactose-intolerant individuals, and vegan and kosher consumers, this novelty stick features a creamy vanilla center covered in chocolate and a crispy brown rice for crunch. Available as a portion-controlled single stick treat, it’s packaged 12 per box. Each bar contains 120 calories, 72 calories from fat, 8 g of total fat, 2 g of saturated fat, and 2 g of protein. “We’re thrilled to be the first to introduce a frozen dessert sweetened by 100% all-natural, zero calorie stevia,” says David Mintz, CEO of Tofutti Brands. “It tastes as good as cane sugar, without the highs and lows or the lingering aftertaste found in artificial sweeteners,” he added.

Mid-calorie Cola
For consumers who want to cut back on their sugar and calories but still prefer the taste of conventional soft drinks, PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., has launched Pepsi NEXT—a mid-calorie cola that is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose. At 40 calories per 8-oz serving, the carbonated soft drink has 60% less sugar than Pepsi-Cola. The marketing campaign for the new product launch includes sampling events at 800 Walmart Supercenters and more than 40 cities across the United States as well as online via the Internet Taste Test.

Research has shown that there is a segment of consumers who are resistant to both regular, full-sugar cola and diet cola offerings. These consumers prefer the taste of Pepsi-Cola but they don’t believe you can achieve full-flavor taste with a diet cola. The launch of Pepsi NEXT is intended to fulfill this unmet need in the category. This marketplace insight may be on target. Early results show that Pepsi NEXT is exceeding sales expectations with a near one-point market share.