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Kraft Foods responds to on-the-go consumers with product innovations

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft Foods highlighted more than 30 new products at the 2010 Food Marketing Institute Show in Las Vegas, the food giant said this week.

Kraft Foods is building on its innovative efforts earlier this year to deliver more restaurant-inspired flavors in its products, the company said. At the same time, time-starved consumers are still looking for accessible snacks and Kraft Foods is First to the Table with new, great-tasting options. Even old favorites, like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese’s Easy Mac line has been renamed to Kraft microwavable macaroni & cheese dinner cups.

“We continue to see the greatest growth in our snacking, confectionery and quick meal products at Kraft Foods,” said Bob Becker, SVP new product development for Kraft Foods North America. “More consumers are ‘on the go’ and therefore in search of quick and delicious treats, and Kraft Foods is leading the way with reinvigorated foods and beverages that boast both taste and convenience.”

In addition to the quick meal category, Kraft has expanded its snack lines to include such products as:

  • Chips Ahoy! cookies with tasty candies mixed in, including Reese’s peanut butter cups and Heath English toffee bars.
  • Halls Refresh 2-in-1 specially formulated with mouthwatering dual flavor technology that delivers a lemon base flavor with raspberry speckles, and all with Halls Refresh “moisture action” ingredient.
  • Honey Maid Grahams: Just in time for s’more season, the new Limited Edition graham cracker is square-shaped and ideal for making the favorite campfire treat.
  • Mousse Temptations by Jell-O Mousse snacks, now available in Chocolate Mint Sensation, a sugar-free flavor that is only 60 calories
  • Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs: chocolate fudge shortbread and mint fudge chocolate shortbread are two new varieties in convenient on-the-go, portion control packages.
  • Nabisco Classics: New to the line of nostaglic flavors Cookie Carnival and Snickerdoodle varieties
  • Oreo:­ Limited edition Oreo DQ Blizzard Creme and Strawberry Milkshake flavored cremes tucked inside dark chocolate Oreo wafers, in addition to a limited edition NASCAR Oreo with custom graphics and fun racing design

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Kids consume more yogurt as a snack, NPD finds

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Although kids continue to eat fresh fruit for snack, The NPD Group is reporting that another snacking option is on the rise.

According to the market research company’s SnackTrack, kids ages 2 to 17 years consumed more refrigertated yogurt in 2009 than in 2008. Additionally, NPD’s food and beverage market research also found that potato chips, fresh fruit, string cheese and prepackaged cheese cubes or shapes and hard candy also experienced growth in 2009 versus 2008 as snack foods eaten between, with, or instead of meals.

SnackTrack is a source for snack food consumption information in Canada and the United States, focusing on individuals and their snack food usage. SnackTrack monitors all eating situations, both in-home and away, for specific, pre-determined food categories.

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FMI elects new officers, board members

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. The Food Marketing Institute has elected two new vice chairmen and five new board members, in line with its annual showcase in Las Vegas.

The industry group said David Ball, president and CEO of Ball’s Price Chopper/Hen House Markets in Kansas, will be vice chairman of independent retailers and will continue to serve as chairman of FMI’s independent operator advisory board. Additionally, Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steven Burd will be FMI’s vice chairman of finance.

New members of FMI’s board of directors include:

  • Jim Donald, president and CEO of Haggen
  • Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores, a grocery wholesaler and retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Joey Hays, owner and president of five supermarkets under the Food Rite banner, based in Dyer, Tenn.
  • Tom Heinen, president and COO of Heinen’s Fine Foods
  • Steve Junqueiro, president of Save Mart Supermarkets.

“These new leaders bring to FMI great vision, talent, creativity and utmost dedication to the industry. They exemplify the many ways we serve our customers, communities and, ultimately, America. They make FMI’s leadership more diverse, running companies large, mid-sized and small, including retailers and wholesalers, and many of their businesses are family-owned,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin.

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