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.
Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Containing 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and seven varieties of whole grains, these granola bars rise above most other versions of this snacking food (which tend to contain hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup and other processed ingredients). Kashi's chewy and somewhat crunchy bars contain nothing artificial and have zero trans fats. You'll pay about $0.70 more for Kashi granola bars than most supermarket brands, but we think the taste and nutritional value makes it worth the extra price. Available in Trail Mix, Peanut Peanut Butter and Honey Almond Flax flavors. Suggested retail price is $3.59 for a six-pack.
Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato & Garlic PestoThe idea of this product is great — a mixture of dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, basil, parsley (and other herbs), black pepper and spices that you can simply add to olive oil, water and a little parmesan cheese for a delicious pesto. Although the price may seem a little high, you're going to get about 170 servings out of the jar. Retails for $5.99 for a 1.8-ounce jar.
Barilla Plus PenneIn a SupermarketGuru.com poll we found that 90 percent of our consumer panel expect to buy increasing amounts of foods that are labeled high in Omega-3s. (A recent FDA ruling permitted manufacturers to tout the health benefits of Omega-3s.) Already, we have seen products such as salad dressings, cereals and snack bars introduced this year that boast this nutritional benefit. Now, there's pasta! Made with multi-grain, this pasta is also a good source of fiber and protein. Like other Barilla products, it's great-tasting and has a good texture. Retails for about $1.49 for a 16-ounce box.
Fah Guo Mountain Tea Stature Series (Jasmine Pearls)Here’s what George A. had to say about this product: “When I go to the supermarket, there are so many brands of teas. (And it seems that it is growing larger every month.) I am a big tea drinker and have tried so many brands in the past, but nothing seems to measure up to the price you pay — until now. Even though this Jasmine Pearls tea cost more than most other green teas on the shelves, I think it is worth its value. It seems to be made from the fine silver tips of tender young buds. I could definitely taste the difference. I bought the tea in Beverly Hills. It seems to be very popular there.” Retails for $21.99. Thanks, George! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.
Krispy Kreme DonutsHere's what Pat V. from Las Vegas had to say about this product: "I would like to see Albertson’s go back to making their own donuts. Krispy Kreme donuts are too expensive for the size you get. They taste like dough with tons of a sugary coating. Go back to what you did right and eliminate Krispy Kreme donuts." A dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts will set you back about $6.99 at Albertson’s. Thanks, Pat! Your Supermarketguru tote bag is on the way.
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 .