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Hit or Miss? Brownies, spicy cheese and more

Every week, "Today" show food editor Phil Lempert reviews some of the new items hitting supermarket shelves near you.

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.

HITS
Sweet Georgia Brownie Cookies
You'll find these triple chocolate chunk cookies in the natural foods section of your grocery store … don't miss them!  They are all-natural, which means no artificial ingredients and no trans fats.  And, these are not just your regular cookies, they are "cookies with a cause."  The creators of these cookies happen to have a love for American Folk Art and have created a non-profit organization to provide aid for deserving artists.  The company donates 5 percent of their profits to the Folk Artists Foundation.  Retails for $3.49.

Sargento Bistro Blends Mozzarella With Sun-Dried Tomatoes & BasilSargento has come up with a new way to spice up cheese!  This shredded mozzarella cheese is mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and oregano, and it works!  Look for other cheese companies to follow the trend — but once again, Sargento leads the industry. Great for making pizza, adding to salads, pastas, or cheese bread!  Retails for $2.49 for seven ounces.

CONSUMER-NOMINATED HITS
Quaker Crisp'ums Baked CrispsHere's what Nan from Chevy Chase, Md., had to say about this product:  "This snack comes in a box with 6 (28 gram) pouches. There are five different flavors — blueberry, cinnamon sugar, banana nut, apple cinnamon and honey graham. I have only been able to find honey graham and blueberry (not lately though) in my area. Both are a delicious snack to have with your coffee or just on their own. I did call the 1-800 number to get more info on their distribution, but the representative I spoke with couldn't really give a particular store to go to. I believe they are relatively new and are possibly being test-marketed in different states."  Thanks, Nan!  Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.

Here's what Marion B. from Raton, N.M., had to say about this product:  "These are small and perfect for a light dessert with Sunday brunch. They come in tubs of about 36 cream puffs or 24 eclairs in the freezer section. I found these at a Wal-Mart. I served them at a brunch with coffee and tea, and it was wonderful.  They are packed with creamy centers. Three cream puffs contain about 120 calories only and 10 carbs for a half serving size, which is plenty. The eclair half serving has about the same calories and carbs. If you are watching fat calories these are not for you."  Thanks, Marion!  Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way. 

MISS
Lay's Salt & Vinegar StaxThis is Lay's version of what Pringles started — stackable potato chips in a can — and now they have added a new flavor!  Vinegar lovers will love the way they make their mouth pucker.  Although new flavors are great, how about new recipes that eliminate trans fats?  I'm really surprised that Lay’s, who has done a great job in developing healthier snacks over the past couple of years, would introduce a new product with trans fats! Take away those hydrogenated oils, and we'll make it a hit.  Retails for $1.59.  1-800-352-4477

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 . If he selects your nomination for publication, he’ll send you a SupermarketGuru.com Tote Bag! You can also visit his Web site at .