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Hit or Miss? Pumpkin snacks, pasta 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.

The Fertile Hand Spicy Garlic Pepitas Halloween may be over, but we’re still thinking pumpkin. Spicy Garlic Pepitas are dry-roasted organic pumpkin seeds seasoned with garlic, chipotle, ancho and red chili powders. I love this product! Pumpkins seeds are low in calories and high in protein. They are also rich in zinc and fiber, and they taste fabulous. Great for snacking, but don't forget to try cooking with them (on-package recipes make it easy). Not for those who love bland foods, as they have quite a spicy kick! Retails for about $4.99.

Boomi Bar Almond Protein Plus Grabbing a healthy snack at the convenience store can be tough. If you’re lucky, though, your local convenience story carries this product.  Made from almonds, which we know are good for us, and honey, this nutrition bar is a safe bet for a healthy snack that will give you a boost of energy from protein (12g).  Retails for $1.86.

Ronzoni "Healthy Harvest" 100% Whole Wheat Pasta Here’s what Cheryl B. from Astoria, N.Y., had to say about this product: “My family has been switching over to a more healthy diet and 100 percent whole-wheat products are not so easy to find.  From my 14-year-old son on up, we love their selection!  And they even have a heartier taste than plain ole' pasta.” Thanks, Cheryl! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way. Retails for $1.99.

Munchies Mini Mix Food manufacturers are continually trying to keep up with the trends, one of the latest being to combine a variety of different brands in one package. This product is a mixture of mini-sized Doritos, Cheetos, Rold Gold and Funyons packaged in a plastic canister. It certainly meets the needs of the on-the-go consumer when it comes to convenience. As for nutritional needs, though, no effort has been made to make the product healthier. All the hydrogenated oils that are in an individual bag of Cheetos, Doritos, Funyons, and Rold Gold are still there. Retails for $1.29.

Hood Carb Countdown (Orange-Pineapple)Here’s what Ruth H. from Bloomfield, Conn., had to say about this product: “This is supposed to be a low-carb orange juice-blend substitute.  It tastes much more like a reduced-sugar Sunny Delight than orange-pineapple juice.  It's thick, doesn't have the real acidic ‘bite’ that juice has and tastes more like carageenan than orange. I bought it on sale with a coupon out of curiosity; it was worth that price, more or less, but no more. On the other hand, it might be OK for people trying to wean their kids off SunnyD.” Retails for $1.99.

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 .