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Ocean Spray introduces chilled cranberry and blueberry juices

BY Jason Owen

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. — After literally creating the juice aisle more than 80 years ago, Ocean Spray is taking a detour to the perimeter of the store. Now chilled juice lovers can enjoy the big, bold taste that only Ocean Spray delivers, with new premium cranberry and blueberry juice beverages.

"We’ve been exploring a chilled juice option for years," said Ken Romanzi, senior vice president and COO of Ocean Spray North America. "Through a strategic alliance with Tropicana, we were able to combine our cranberry and blueberry expertise with their chilled juice category expertise to create an exciting new juice platform."

Ocean Spray’s new premium chilled beverages boast a more refreshing, fresh fruit taste, providing consumers another way to enjoy the whole body health benefits of the cranberry and fresh-picked taste of sun-ripened blueberries all year long.

Each delicious 8-oz glass of Ocean Spray’s Premium Juice Beverages offers a full-day’s supply of Vitamin C with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Enjoy a refreshing glass morning, noon or night.

Premium Cranberry and Blueberry Juice Beverages are now available in a 59-oz. carafe beginning January 2013 at a suggested retail price of $3.99.

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Spicing up snack time

BY Barbara White-Sax

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Sabra Dipping Co. has added a new Grab N Go pack featuring Sabra’s Homestyle Medium Salsa and Tostitos Bite Size Rounds tortilla chips to its lineup of popular Grab N Go fresh snacks.

The new product marks the first time Sabra has offered its refrigerated salsa in a single serving size. Sabra salsas are made from hand-selected tomatoes that are combined with chunky vegetables, herbs and spices. Suggested retail on the new product is $2.99.

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‘Heat-and-eat’ meals cook up new recipes, sales

BY Barbara White-Sax

In the current economy, microwavable single-serve meals may be the answer to consumers’ decreased restaurant use. “These meals occupy the spot between homemade and restaurant meals,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and VP at NPD Group. “They represent food
service redefined.”

Balzer said since restaurant visits peaked in 2000, consumers may be looking to shelf–stable microwaveable meals and frozen meals to replace those restaurant dining occasions. “Frozen handheld meals, such as hamburgers and sandwiches, have become an important part of consumers’ nighttime meals,” he said.

Microwaveable packaged dinners have been the fastest-growing segment in the shelf-stable entrée category over the last few years, according to consumer research group Mintel International, but heated promotional pricing has caused dollar sales to dip. Giant supermarkets, for example, recently promoted Hormel Compleats at two for $4.

Mintel predicts that the category’s future depends on the introduction of more premium “heat-and-eat” meals that appeal to a wider taste- and health-driven audience. Manufacturers, said a report from Mintel, are introducing “better-for-you entrées made of all-natural ingredients, added vegetables and balanced nutrition. Other marketers are creating restaurant-inspired dishes made with premium ingredients to address the need for better taste.”

“Innovation really helps to keep this category fresh,” said Kellie Benning, product manager for Hormel Microwave Meals. “People have grown accustomed to comfort foods, but also want to become
more adventurous.”

Hormel’s new Compleats Cheesy Pasta line, which will hit shelves this month, features six new products that Benning said reflect the “company’s innovation and new capabilities moving into 2013.”

Barilla also has entered the market this past summer with a line of five microwavable meals. The single servings of pasta and sauce are ready to eat in 60 seconds, and retail for $3.29 for a 9-oz. serving.

Benning said drug stores should expect more upside for the category. Retailers, she said, can maximize category sales by creating a destination where meal solutions can be grouped together. “Retailers are dedicating more space to this category. Endcap or secondary displays are key in order for the drug store to capitalize on the category,” she said.

Mintel found that consumers are interested in high-fiber and high-protein products and whole grains, and consider reduced sodium to be a primary concern. “The industry has a ways to go in terms of upgrading its nutritional profile,” said a recent report from the market research firm.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Grocery & Pantry Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

 

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