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Hot Tamales turns up heat

BY Allison Cerra

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Hot Tamales is spicing up its cinnamon candies with a new product.

Hot Tamales 3 Alarm variety delivers three levels of intense cinnamon heat, the company said. Touting seven calories per serving and zero grams of fat, the new candies are kosher and glutne free.

In line with the launch, the brand also will launch the National Hotties Contest on March 19, which calls on college students that are campus trendsetters by being social, fun and daring. Details about the contest can be found on the Hot Tamales website.

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Hot Pockets, Lean Pockets business move to Nestle HQ

BY Allison Cerra

SOLON, Ohio — Nestle USA said its prepared foods division is relocated the Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets frozen sandwich and snacks business team from Englewood, Colo., to the company’s headquarters in Solon, Ohio.

In Solon, the Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets business, which was acquired from Chef America in 2002, will such food brands as Stouffer’s, Lead Cuisine frozen meals; Buitoni refrigerated pastas and sauces; Nestle Toll House baking ingredients and refrigerated cookie dough; Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin and the Nestle Carnation milks.

"We believe the opportunities for shared learning and continued progress — both for our employees and our business — are greater with all our teams working together," said Frank Higgins, president and CEO of Nestle’s prepared foods division.

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El Monterey mini tacos line makes its way to stores

BY Allison Cerra

DINUBA, Calif. — Ruiz Foods has added a new snack bag line to its El Monterey brand.

The El Monterey portfolio, which features such Mexican food favorites as quesadillas, taquitos and more, now includes mini tacos, which are available in chicken and cheddar cheese, and beef and cheddar cheese varieties.

“In this economy, consumers continue to work hard to stretch their dollar by eating out less and bringing their lunch to work more often,” Ruiz Foods president and CEO Bryce Ruiz said. “And while they look for less expensive food options, they do not wish to trade off on quality, taste or variety. As a result, consumers have turned to frozen snacks as inexpensive at-home meal options.”

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