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Hit or Miss? Mustard, nuggets 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.

HITSGoldwater’s Smoky Red SalsaGoldwater’s Foods was founded in 1989 by Joanne Goldwater, Peggy Goldwater Clay and Carolyn Ross, the daughters and granddaughter of the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. We’ve tried and liked many of their products, which include fruit salsas, dips, jellies and grilling sauces, so it’s not a surprise that we are once again impressed with the quality and taste of their products. This salsa makes another fine addition to their line. No artificial ingredients or added sugars. The only caveat is the price: $8.00 for 11.5 ounces.

My Family Farm Surf Snacks Pizza Baked CrackersThe Faragher Family started this company to create income for children's charities, a mission that still continues. That’s great! Also good is that they created quality products, particularly since they are marketed to children. These types of snacks tend to contain hydrogenated oils, but they've left all of the bad stuff out and used many organic ingredients (although not 100 percent organic). No artificial ingredients or trans fats make this a product that parents can feel pretty good about. Oh … and they taste good, too!

Plochman's Chicago Fire Mustard This company is about 150 years old; if you've never tried one of their products, now’s the time. Unlike your regular yellow mustard, this version is spiked with Tabasco brand pepper sauce to add an extra zing to the flavor. And they used just the right amount to give it a special kick without burning your mouth. Retails for $1.99 for 10.5 ounces.

CONSUMER-NOMINATED HITHealing Source Hemp Hearts (Shelled Hemp Seeds)Here’s what Eileen G. from Oneida, N.Y., had to say about this product: “My local health food store has started to carry Hemp Hearts from Healing Source. They have wonderful nutritional value. Hemp Hearts also give you more energy, and help your appetite and digestion. I have started putting 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls on my cereal in the morning and I am not yawning through the workday; I also feel less hungry. They have a nice nutty flavor to them.” Thanks Eileen! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way. Retails for $13.95 for 1 pound.

New & Improved Tyson Chicken Nuggets
Here’s what Natalie C. from Orange, N.J., had to say about this product: “The New & Improved Tyson Chicken Nuggets are everything but new and improved. The new taste is so full of salt it's sure to cause immediate high blood pressure. Tyson, please go back to the old nuggets.” Thanks Natalie! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.  Retails for $3.89 for a 12-ounce box.

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 Tote Bag! You can also visit his Web site at .