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.
Amy's Fire Roasted Vegetable Salsa No surprise here — Amy's does it again with this fresh-tasting salsa made with mostly organic ingredients. And remember, salsa is one of those condiments that you can usually indulge yourself with on baked potatoes, in scrambled eggs and on top of salads, because you are looking at zero fat and only about 10 calories per serving (serving size: 2 tablespoons). Retails for $3.49.www.amys.com
Snyder's of Hanover Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces Can you say addictive? That just about sums up these flavored pretzel pieces (that is, if you like the hot and spicy flavor of buffalo wings). But more than anything, this product beats stands out because it contains zero trans fats hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats are common in products similar to this one.) We applaud companies for making this nutritional correction and hope to see more doing the same in the future — after all, as of 2006 the FDA will require companies to list trans fats on the nutritional panel, and more and more consumers are becoming aware that trans fats are something they don’t want in their food. Retails for $2.39.www.snydersofhanover.com
CONSUMER-NOMINATED HITAmerican Flatbread PizzasHere’s what Stefanie H. from Newport Beach, Calif., had to say about this product: “While I am a self-professed health nut, I still love pizza. I’ve finally found a delicious and convenient pizza without the preservatives and processed ingredients. (Actually, one can even pronounce all of the items on the label!) These American Flatbread Pizzas, which I sound in my health food store (Mother's Market in Irvine, California) are easy, convenient and cost-effective. Most of all, they are a fabulous alternative to delivery and take less time to prepare.” Retails for $6.95. Thanks Stefanie! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.www.americanflatbread.com
Milky Way Slammers With this beverage, it's not a matter of whether or not your children will like the taste; after all, most kids (and not a few adults) would light up at the idea of a candy bar made into a beverage. But, despite the fact that this is a "reduced fat" chocolate milk drink and contains Vitamin A and D, there's no way around the fact that it still contains high-fructose corn syrup. Also read the label carefully and you’ll see that one 14-ounce bottle contains 2 servings — and that adds up to 340 calories, 10g of fat, and 40g of sugar! Suggested retail price is $1.49-$1.69.www.bravobrands.com
Kashi GoLean CerealHere’s what Candace J. from Dunnellon, Fla., had to say about this product: “I bought this because it looked good in the commercial, and I was wanting to eat healthier and lose weight. It claimed to be able to help with that and taste good at the same time. I made myself a bowl and could not force myself past the 3rd spoonful. It was awful, like cardboard.” Retails for $3.39. Thanks Candace! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.www.kashi.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