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Hit or Miss? Sugar-free cookies, chips 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.

Miracle Max's Pub Cheese and Spread This is not your ordinary cheese spread — your taste buds are in for a delightful surprise!  Made from six cheeses, horseradish and spices, this spread is great with chips, crackers and veggies.  Beware, this unusual taste is addictive, and with 9 grams of fat per serving and 100 calories, you could quickly overdo it.  Retails for $5.99 for 16 ounces.

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted EdamameAbout a year ago, we reviewed this company’s Edamame Bowls, which we praised for convenience, taste and nutrition. 

Their latest product has all of those same great features.  Dry roasted edamame makes a healthy, yummy and convenient snack.  Packed with 14 grams of soy protein and 8 essential amino acids, you'll also find that these little snacks contain no trans fats or cholesterol.  Suggested retail price is $1.29 to $1.49.

Pillsbury Ready to Bake Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here’s what April G. from Irving, Texas had to say about this product:  “My husband and I adopted a healthier eating style last summer.  I wanted homemade chocolate chip cookies but didn't know how to make them sugar free and retain flavor. These baked up great, and my husband, who believes he can taste the artificial sweetener in anything, loved them too.  They have 30 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.”  Thanks, April!  Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.  Retails for $3.99.

Sasha's Classic Amaretto RoyaleIf you like amaretto cake, you'll be happy with this product.  The buttery cake with almond liqueur has a strong flavor.  The only thing we're not crazy about is the hydrogenated oils.  How about reworking the recipe to exclude these ingredients?  That would make this cake a whole lot more tempting!  These cakes are sold in multi-packages, so prices vary. Breaks down to about $5 for each mini-cake.

Lay’s Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato ChipsHere’s what Sandra L. from Bakersfield, Calif. had to say about this product:  “This is a new product. They have a ripple chip in this flavor that I like a lot, and I looked forward to trying this flavor in the thinner chip form.  I was very disappointed as the chip is so salty that it covers up any other flavor the chip might have.”  Thanks, Sandra! Your SupermarketGuru tote bag is on the way.  Retails for $2.99.

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 .