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.
HITSAnnie's Naturals Lemon & Chive DressingThis Vermont company makes salad dressings that are a healthier alternative to most supermarket brands, and specializes in unusual flavors. You won't find any high fructose corn syrup in any of their products. Their latest product, Lemon & Chive dressing, also is gluten-free and vinegar-free. Another hit from Annie's!
Woodstock Water Buffalo Chai Yogurt Here's a quick rundown on the benefits of water buffalo milk: Compared with cow’s milk, it has 58 percent more calcium, 40 percent more protein, and 43 percent less cholesterol. Buffalo milk also contains high levels of the natural antioxidant tocopherol. Not only that but it also contains probiotics, which are “friendly” bacteria that perform important biological functions such as assisting with digestion, keeping other harmful bacteria at bay and stimulating the immune system. So, how does this chai-flavored yogurt made from buffalo's milk taste? Compared to regular yogurt, it has a much thicker consistency, so the first spoonful might surprise you! The taste is tart, tangy, fresh and natural (hmmm … just the way yogurts used to taste!) The retail price is $1.40 for a 6-ounce pot.
Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning BlendShoppers want flavor these days! In fact, ACNielsen data shows that sales of dry seasonings have been on the rise over the past few years, while salt and pepper sales have been on the decline over the last two years. To add southwestern spice to your chicken, pork, fish and more, this seasoning does the job well. And, don’t worry — no strange or artificial ingredients in there, just a blend of red peppers, cayenne pepper and fiery chipotle chili peppers. It’s also salt- and MSG-free. Suggested retail price is $2.79.
CONSUMER-NOMINATED MISS: Bush’s Homestyle Chili Here’s what Lou W. from Bluefield, W.V., had to say about this product: “It is WAY too spicy and doesn't taste any better than canned chili, which is half the price of this item!” Thanks, Lou! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way. Retails for $2.69 for a 15-ounce jar.
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 .