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.
Flavor Blasted Color Changing GoldfishWe were very happy when Pepperidge Farm revamped their recipe for these popular little snack crackers and removed all trans fats. Now that they've made them healthier to eat, they've focused on making them a little more fun to eat! Pop one of these in your mouth, and watch it change colors. Only problem is that you might see your children stray from proper table manners while eating these. Retails for $1.99.www.pfgoldfish.com
Skinny Natural Corn Chips with New Shape and More FlavorThese chips are great because they contain less than half of the calories (60 per serving) of other brands and only one gram of fat per serving. You don't have to worry about hydrogenated oils, and with the new flavor, they taste just as good as any other cheese puff type snack. An added bonus is that because they are so low in fat, they will stay fresh longer if the bag is properly sealed. Retails for $2.49. www.nspiredfoods.com
Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque
Here's what Janis P. from Fort Wayne, Ind., had to say about this product: "Tastes better than homemade! Made from natural and organic ingredients. Tender chunks of tomatoes in a smooth, creamy tomato base. Just heat and serve. A warm winter treat!" Thanks, Janis! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way! Retails for $2.49. www.amyskitchen.com
Here's what Darrel R. from Rosamond, Calif., had to say about this product: “This cereal is always tasty, fun, and keeps its crunch even in milk to the very last spoonful!" Thanks, Darrel! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way. Retails for $3.99. www.kelloggs.com
Kellogg’s Whole Grain Tiger Power CerealThis new cereal's selling point is the extra fiber, calcium and protein. And, indeed, when you compare this cereal to Kellogg's Frosted Flakes — Tony the Tiger's signature breakfast food — you will see that this has much more of these nutrients. However, they didn’t do anything about the high-fructose corn syrup and it’s still higher in sugar than we would like to see (8 grams). Take out the high-fructose stuff and we'll make it a hit. (And, by the way, using Tony as spokes-tiger just doesn’t work for us. Who came up with that name, anyway?) Retails for $3.19.www.kelloggs.com
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 .