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Kraft Foods, Inc. is introducing over 20 foods and beverages in the first few months of 2010 that will feature popular restaurant-inspired flavors and portion-controlled options.
“We are focused on the consumer from the moment we first dream up a new product to the time it hits store shelves,” said John Li, director, Culinary Center at Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft, the world’s second-largest food company. “We start with a deep dive into consumers’ eating habits and flavor preferences. It’s part art and part science, but ultimately, our goal is to create the best and most flavorful products possible.”
In keeping with such sources as a survey from the Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group revealing the top 10 flavors consumers want restaurant menus to offer, Kraft is offering many new items with “bold” flavor profiles derived from Italian or Mexican cuisine, according to Li. “Hot and spicy is big, so chipotle and garlic are key flavor notes, while berry-infused items remain on-trend,” he added. “The increasing desire for bolder flavors is not limited to a single age group. Everyone is asking for more adventurous taste experiences.”
Among the upcoming products showcasing such trendy flavors are Planters Flavor Grove Nuts in five almond and cashew varieties. Roasted and seasoned with real herbs and spices, the line’s skinless almonds will come in Sea Salt & Olive Oil, Cracked Pepper with Onion & Garlic, and Chili Lime varieties, and the cashew flavors will include Chipotle and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. Hot flavors (in both senses of the word) will play a starring role in a line of Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo reduced-fat mayonnaise in Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, and Horseradish-Dijon (made with Grey Poupon mustard) varieties, all containing half the fat and calories of regular mayonnaise.
Additional restaurant-inspired product launches from the company include Kraft Deli Deluxe cheese slices in Cheese Garlic & Herb, Bacon Cheddar, and Jalapeno American varieties; Oscar Mayer Super Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon; Planters NUT-rition Antioxidant Mix with almonds, bananas, peaches, blueberries, cranberries and cashews, and Omega-3 Mix with walnuts, cranberries and dark chocolate-covered soy nuts; and Back to Nature Dark Chocolate and Oats Granola Cookies featuring whole grain wheat flour and semisweet chocolate with cocoa from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.
“We also are building on our health-and-wellness commitments and evolving to meet today’s consumer expectations in this area,” continued Li. “When it comes to portion control, we know consumers want indulgence without overindulging! Gone are the days of thinking you can't have your cake and eat it too.”
Among Kraft’s soon-to-debut portion-controlled items will be Mousse Temptations by Jell-O in Dark Chocolate, Chocolate and Caramel Creme varieties containing 60 calories per serving; Kraft 100 Calorie Packs Cheese Bites in four varieties; and Kool-Aid Fun Fizz drink drops in Partyin’ Punch, Gigglin’ Grape and Laughin’ Lemonade varieties featuring a mere five calories per serving when added to an 8-ounce glass of water.