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Hit or Miss? Organic juice, BBQ spices, more

Every Wednesday, "Today" Food Editor Phil Lempert reviews some of the new items hitting a supermarket near you. This week: Organic juice, BBQ spices (and more).

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

Nantucket Nectars Organic JuiceOrganic juices are becoming more popular and less expensive… and now Nantucket Nectars has entered this growing market.  Their new line of fresh tasting and all-natural certified organic juices include:  Cloudy Apple, Banana Mango Carrot, Cloudy Apple, Very Raspberry, and Pomegranate Pear.  The ingredients are a welcome short list of: organic fruit juices, organic evaporated cane juice, and natural flavors.  There are no artificial flavors preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup.  In addition, these juices are pasteurized and no refrigeration is necessary until opened.  If you didn't do your research, you'd never know this brand belonged to Snapple, and we can only hope that someone at Snapple takes a look at Nantucket's ingredients and sees the future!www.juiceguys.com

Barbecue season is just around the corner, and for those who love grilling, this is one product you'll want to get to know. To try it out, we marinated steak in olive oil and Café Sole Steak Grill for 30 minutes before cooking.  It was delicious!  Each variety is a combination of spices, sea salt, and sugar (keep that in mind if you are on a low carb diet). Flavors are Calypso Shake, Garlic Pepper, Hickory Grill, Lemon Pepper, Poultry Grill, Roasted Garlic Sea Salt, Seafood Grill, and Steak Grill. Retails for $5.24.www.spicehunter.com

Café Britt Terrazzo MontecieloThis Costa Rican coffee is hand-picked on small and mid-sized plantations located in the south-central Failes de Tarrazu region, said to have near perfect conditions for growing coffee.  Herbicide use is also minimal because of the shade trees that provide fertilization.  The coffee cherries are sun-dried and dark roasted, giving them a full-bodied chocolaty flavor.  The retail price is fairly reasonable for a quality, gourmet coffee.  $7.95/12 oz.  www.cafebritt.com

CONSUMER-NOMINATED HIT

Inland Valley Mashed PotatoesHere’s what Janelle Davis, from Kansas City, had to say about this product:  “I'm not sure if they're new or not, but I just recently tried them for the first time. They have great flavor and are packaged conveniently so you can cook the perfect amount of spuds. I could not believe they were frozen. They've certainly come a long way since the nasty boxed kind!" Thanks, Janelle! Your Supermarket Guru tote bag is on the way.www.conagrafoods.com/brands/inland_valley.jsp

CONSUMER-NOMINATED MISS

Carb Solutions Mint Chocolate Chip Ice CreamHere’s what Dana Campbell, from Salem, Oregon, had to say about this product: “I absolutely LOVE mint chocolate chip ice cream. I was excited about a low-carb ice cream in my favorite flavor.  I found out that this brand created the worst ice cream ever!  It has a fake minty taste, waxy chocolate pieces, and a horrible minty aftertaste."  Thanks, Dana! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.  Other flavors are Butter Pecan Scround, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Scround, Mint Chip Scround, and Vanilla Bean Scround.  Retails for $2.29/1 quart.www.carbsolutions.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 phil.lempert@nbc.com. If he selects your nomination for publication, he’ll send you a SupermarketGuru.com Tote Bag! You can also visit his website at www.supermarketguru.com.