It takes a lot for a food product to succeed. In fact, out of more than 30,000 new food items that were introduced in 2003, less than 5 percent were hits. (And less than 10 percent of all new products are still on supermarket shelves three years after they launch.) To help you avoid spending money on the likely failures, here are this week’s Hits and Misses:
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Too Tarts SmartChoice Xtra Sour Goo Candy
Innovative Candy Concepts unveiled this new brand just last week at the NCA All Candy Expo in Chicago. The company has re-formulated their entire product line to be healthier candy for kids, one of them being this tube of extra sour-tasting goo candy that we think your kids will love. Kudos to ICC for cutting 50-60 percent of the calories and eliminating refined sugar by substituting juice concentrates. Other makers of products for kids should pay close attention. Kids love candy, and mom and dad can feel a little better about letting their children indulge themselves with products like these. Flavors are apple, blueberry, grape and strawberry. Retails for $0.99-$1.29.
Kool-Aid Jammers 10
Kool-Aid Jammers 10
Kangaroo Salad Pockets
Here’s what Margaret from Omaha had to say about this product: “I have been eating pocket breads for years, and Kangaroo Salad Pockets are by far the best ever. All the pitas are opened and ready to be filled, with no cutting or ripping. It is so easy, plus they now have wheat, which fits with my diet...yippee!” Thanks, Margaret! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way! Retails for $1.99.
Krusteaz CarbSimple Muffin Mix
Many of us are familiar with that mid-morning sugar crash. You know, when you gobble down something like a doughnut or pastry while in a hurry on your way to work and then come down from your sugar-induced high. Although you may get the immediate energy you need, by 10 a.m. you're ready to go back to bed. These muffins promise to change all that – and lower your carb intake. They are simple to prepare, and the result is a pretty decent tasting morning snack without a whole lot of sugar. On the other hand, like many new products marketed to the low-carb dieter, we find the package a bit misleading. It may say 9g of “net carbs” on the front of the package, but take a look at the nutritional panel, and you’ll see 20g of total carbs. Looks like yet another brand trying to take advantage of the low carb opportunity. Another problem, they may have attempted to make a healthier muffin, but they didn’t leave out the partially hydrogenated oils. Flavors are blueberry, cranberry orange, banana nut, and chocolaty chip, Retails for $3.19.
Phil Lempert is food editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments — as well as nominations for “hits” and “misses” in this column — which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If he selects your nomination for publication, he’ll send you a SupermarketGuru.com Tote Bag! You can also visit his website at www.supermarketguru.com.