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Lean Cuisine introduces entrees inspired by ethnic flavors

BY Gina Acosta

SOLON, Ohio — Lean Cuisine is introducing four new limited-time entrées inspired by international culinary trends and regional flavors.

The four entrées, Southwest-Style Potato Bake, Chicken Tikka Masala, Cheese & Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale and Thai-Style Ginger Beef, are crafted and designed by Lean Cuisine's culinary chefs who travel the country, from New York City to San Francisco, visiting top restaurants, hot spots and tastemakers for meal inspirations.

In addition to new flavors, the four entrées offer high-protein and gluten-free options and dishes made with organic ingredients. The new items boast the ingredients consumers are looking for in their retail store aisles.

"Lean Cuisine dishes pair nutritious foods and real ingredients with our chefs' culinary expertise so you can feel good about what you're eating. Like all our offerings, the recipes behind these new entrées were created with care; every ingredient has purpose, whether it's a distinct flavor or a key nutrient, like a good source of protein," said Julie Lehman, marketing director for Lean Cuisine. "The Lean Cuisine culinary team keeps a constant pulse on food culture, taking cues from the latest flavor profiles, and we noticed an increase in people's desire for bolder, spicier flavors. The new limited-time entrées gave our team of chefs a chance to explore new ideas and flavors while bringing creative, delicious foods to your home."

Lean Cuisine's four new options draw inspiration from international and regional flavors:

  • Southwest-Style Potato Bake: Made with organic and non-GMO ingredients, red potatoes are blanketed in a spicy cheddar cheese sauce with poblano peppers.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala: Perfect for those seeking a high-protein option, tender white meat chicken, sweet peas, carrots and rice are combined in a creamy tomato, Indian-style sauce.
  • Cheese & Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale: The newest tamale in the Lean Cuisine collection is made with organic and non-GMO ingredients, and accented with a sweet and spicy chile sauce and cilantro lime rice.
  • Thai-Style Ginger Beef: Tender prime rib beef, broccoli, yellow carrots and rice combine with a sweet and spicy Thai-style sauce – and it's gluten-free.

"Our recipes are carefully crafted to be nutritious, and often times ingredients are paired to make the most of each other. For example, our Thai-Style Ginger Beef brings together broccoli and yellow carrots with the right serving of beef, creating a balance of flavor and ingredients that offer a nutritional boost," said Rhonda Richardson, manager of nutrition, health and wellness for Lean Cuisine. "Our new dishes are simply frozen to maintain their freshness, and do not include artificial preservatives."

All four products have an MSRP of $2.99 and are currently available at retailers nationwide.

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KIND becomes first snack brand to publish added sugar content

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — KIND Healthy Snacks has published the added sugar content of the 60+ snacks across its portfolio, furthering its commitment to satisfy consumers' evolving dietary desires.

The announcement comes two years in advance of the deadline recently set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for food companies to break out the added sugar content in their products. 

"Our approach at KIND is to provide consumers with straightforward information about what they're putting into their bodies, so for us, publishing the added sugar content in our snacks is a natural next step in our ongoing commitment to transparency," said Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of KIND.

KIND shared the information on its newly launched web page, KIND Promises, which for the first time, publicly outlines the overarching health and nutrition principles that guide the company's innovation.

"Always using a nutrient-dense food like nuts, whole grains or fruit as our first ingredient and striving to make products that are low glycemic are among the standards that guide our product innovation," said Stephanie Perruzza, health and wellness specialist at KIND. "As we look to the future, we'll continue to stand by these principles when creating new snacks made with wholesome, recognizable ingredients."

Over the years, the company has taken significant steps to use as little sugar as possible in its snacks without compromising taste or adding artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. These include:

  • Last year, KIND announced an effort to reduce the sugar in seven of its Fruit & Nut bars to contain between 14 and 56 percent less added sugar compared to prior recipes. The rollout of the new bars, which began earlier this year, will be completed next year.
  • Once the reformulated bars become available, all KIND snacks will have approximately ½ to 2 ½ teaspoons of added sugar per serving. Put into context, the USDA recommends individuals limit their daily intake of added sugars to no more than 12 teaspoons per day.1
  • Made with only fruit & chia or fruit & veggies, KIND's newly launched Pressed by KIND bars contain no added sugar and provide two full servings of fruit, equivalent to 1 cup per the USDA's Dietary Guidelines, which suggests an intake of 1 to 2 cups of fruit per day.
  • With 5g of sugar or less, all of the bars in KIND's best-selling Nuts & Spices line contain 50 to 60 percent less total sugar compared to the average nutrition bar.

 

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Muuna aims to make cottage cheese the new Greek yogurt

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — A new, innovative food company is on a mission to change the way consumers think about cottage cheese.

Muuna announced it is launching a line of cottage cheese products featuring unique, single-serve cups available in six varieties, including Strawberry, Blueberry, Pineapple, Peach, Mango and Lowfat Plain. The company is also launching two multi-serve items—Lowfat Plain and Classic Plain. 

Muuna's premium fruit-on-the-bottom flavors each have 130 calories, 9-11g sugar and 15g protein per 5.3oz container. Muuna's Lowfat Plain has 120 calories, 4g sugar and 19g protein per 5.3oz container. All Muuna products contain no high fructose corn syrup or stevia and are free of artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. Muuna is also gluten-free and certified Kosher. 

"Cottage cheese has been around forever, and mainly thought of as a diet food. The same was true for yogurt, but yogurt innovated while cottage cheese remained stuck in the past," said Gerard Meyer, CEO of Muuna. "At Muuna, we decided to reimagine cottage cheese, inside and out, down to our unique, beautiful cup.  Today's consumers want good food that tastes delicious, but cottage cheese has developed a reputation as boring and bland. So we spent years creating a proprietary recipe that delivers a melt-in-your-mouth, creamy cottage cheese combined with premium, real pieces of fruit, which will surprise and delight your taste buds. What's more, protein-seekers will be delighted to know that Muuna is high in protein. We invite consumers to compare Muuna to their favorite cottage cheese or their favorite Greek yogurt, because if you like those, you'll love Muuna." 

Muuna cottage cheese is available in 5.3 oz. ($1.69 MSRP) single-serve cups and 16 oz. ($3.49 MSRP) multi-serve containers. Muuna is hitting the shelves of select Northeast retailers, including ShopRite and Shaw's, this month.
 

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