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On the Shelf!

A sampling of the latest new consumer products includes traceable pork, frozen risottos, vegetarian meals, Blue Menu, a drink for toddlers and much more


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Blue Menu
PC Blue Menu, from Loblaw Companies Limited, has launched several new products. For those who want to increase their omega-3 intake, there’s PC Blue Menu Omega-3 Peanut Butter, PC Blue Menu Fat-Free Finesse 0%MF Yogurt enriched with MEG-3, and PC Blue Menu Wild Keta Salmon Cakes. Need more fibre? There’s PC Blue Menu Fibre First Multi-Bran Cereal, and PC Blue Menu PC Thins Multigrain Bagels. Options with lower fat include the PC Blue Menu Korean Chicken Breast, PC Blue Menu Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bars, and PC Blue Menu Italian Lasagna. For lower salt options, there’s PC Blue Menu No Salt Added Wild Pacific Sockeye Salmon, and PC Blue Menu Baby Dill Pickles with Garlic. And for consumers who want to cut back on sugar, there’s PC Blue Menu Pineapple Juice Beverage, and PC Organics Juice and Water Blend Beverages.

Meals on the go
Montreal-based Pimental Foods Inc. has launched several ready-to-eat packaged meals that the company says are healthy and nutritious – and do not require refrigeration. The Elite line of packaged meals includes Elite Ready-to-Eat Jalapeño Hummus, Elite Ready-to-Eat Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Elite Ready-to-Eat Classic Hummus, Elite Ready-to-Eat Chicken Salad, and Elite Ready-to-Eat Chicken Salad with Cranberries, which has received Canada’s Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Health Check endorsement. Each package contains six wheat crackers and utensils. The meals are available at Metro and Sobey’s supermarkets, Giant Tiger and Bargain Shop stores, and Walmart Supercentres across Canada with a suggested retail price of $2.

Side dishes
McCain Foods has launched McCain Harvest Splendour Medleys. The medleys are side dishes that include potatoes and vegetables – making it easier for consumers to have both as part of their meals. The side dishes can be made in 12 minutes on the stovetop or 25 minutes in the oven. They’re made with 100 per cent real potatoes and vegetables and paired with herbs and seasonings. They’re also trans fat free, low in fat and have no artificial colours or flavours. The McCain Harvest Splendour Medleys come in four varieties: Potato and Broccoli Medley; Potato and Carrot Medley; Three Potato Medley; and Yukon Gold Potato and Mushroom Medley. The medleys are available across Canada in the frozen vegetable section at most major grocery chains and have an average retail price of $3.79 to $3.99.

Drink for toddlers
Natrel has introduced Baboo, a beverage product that aims to make the transition from breast milk or formula to regular milk easier for little ones. The product is called Baboo and is for toddlers age 12 to 24 months. The product is made with only six ingredients: reconstituted ultrafiltered milk permeate, whole milk enriched with vitamin D3, cream, whey protein concentrate, acerola and algal oil. Natrel says it’s easy on toddlers since it contains a lower level of milk proteins and a ratio that closely matches breast milk. It’s also enriched with omega-3 DHA (algal oil) and vitamin C, and has a four per cent fat content, less sodium and contains no preservatives, artificial colours or flavouring. The drink is packaged using Tetra Pak’s aseptic technology. It’s available in both one-litre Tetra Brik Square Aseptic cartons for $3.29 and 250-mL single-serve Tetra Prisma Aseptic cartons for $6.99. Baboo is found across Canada in major chains, grocery stores and pharmacies.

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Olive oil from Chile
Olisur of Santiago, Chile will be launching its olive oil in Canada in March. O-LIVE & Co Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made using a modern harvesting technology. The olive oil was created in 2005 and in 2008, says the company, it surpassed olive oils from Spain and Italy in an olive oil tasting event in Italy. The company uses just-in-time harvesting, picking the olives at the peak of ripeness and pressing them within two hours of picking. The result is an extra virgin olive oil with an acidity level never high than .2 per cent. The olive oil has a mild flavour, traceable origins and a reasonable price.

New PET bottles, new flavour
Nestlé Waters Canada has re-introduced its 591 mL plastic beverage container for its Nestlé Pure Life and Montclair natural spring water brands. The 591-mL bottles are now 100 per cent recyclable, PET containers. Weighing just 13.1 grams on average, these bottles contain 18 per cent less plastic than their predecessor bottle, which was discontinued in 2008. In addition, the Montclair bottle contains 50 per cent recycled plastic.

Nestlé Waters Canada
also introduced Sparkling Mandarin Orange, the latest addition to its Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Carbonated Natural Spring Water line. The line now has four choices, all of which have zero calories and zero sugar. Nestlé Pure Life Sparkling Carbonated Natural Spring Waters come in 100 per cent recyclable 500 mL single-serve and one-litre multi-serve PET bottles. The drinks are found across Canada and have a suggested retail price of $2.99 for a 500 mL six-pack and $1.19 for a one-litre bottle.

Bagel barometer
Bagels are popular in Canada and Dempster’s has the facts to prove it. According to the Dempster’s Bagel Barometer, six out of 10 Canadians eat bagels regularly with nearly a quarter eating them daily or several times a week. In keeping with Canada’s fascination with bagels, Dempster’s created new flavours with Canadian taste buds in mind. The seven different flavours are: Plain, Sesame, 100% Whole Wheat, 12 Grain, Everything, Cinnamon Raisin and Blueberry. The company is also taking its new recipes on the road in February and March with its Dempster’s Pop Up Bakery, a larger than life toaster.

Low sodium, same taste
Mott’s Garden Cocktail has introduced a reformulated product that addresses two significant consumer concerns: their sodium and sugar intake. The all-new Mott’s Garden Cocktail Original has 35 per cent less sodium than before and has no sugar added. The reformulated version is 100 per cent vegetable juice and provides two servings of vegetables in every 250-mL serving. The new version also has no preservatives and only 45 calories per serving. Beginning in March, the low-sodium offering will also be available in a package of six 162 mL cans.

Frozen risotto

For consumers who often don’t have time to make risotto or find the thought of making it a daunting one, there’s another option and it’s in the frozen aisle. Montreal-based Aliments Infoods Inc. has launched frozen risotto under its In Cuisin label. The company says the risottos are quick frozen to preserve their flavour and nutrition. They’re also packaged in re-sealable pouches so consumers can consume them as they need. They’re ready to eat in two minutes with nothing to add, and they’re made with Arborio rice. The risottos come in four flavours: Mushroom, Asparagus and Pea, Pomodoro (tomato), and Cheese and Spinach. The line is available at leading supermarket chains across Canada and has a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a 600-g package.

Whole grain launches
Kashi Company launched several new products across Canada in January. The new products are:
Kashi Pita Crisps, which come in Original 7 Grain Sea Salt and Zesty Salsa, are made with natural ingredients and Kashi’s Seven Whole Grains & Sesame blend, and are trans fat free. Their suggested retail price is $3.49 for a 223-g box.
Kashi Snack Crackers, which are also made with the company’s Seven Whole Grains & Sesame blend. They’re available in Fire Roasted Vegetable and Toasted Asiago. The crackers are trans fat free and low in saturated fat. Their suggested retail price is $3.49 for a 255-g box.
Kashi Toasted Cinnamon Crisp Cereal, which offers a good source of protein and a high source of fibre, is trans fat free and low in saturated fat. Each ¾ cup serving provides nine grams of fibre, 10 grams of protein and 19 grams of whole grain. The suggested retail price is $5.49 for a 425-g box.

Veggie meals in Canada
Cedarlane Natural Foods Inc. of Carson, Calif. is introducing a line of natural frozen food products to three Ontario Whole Foods Market stores. The company will debut seven microwavable vegetarian options and four egg white omelettes. The items include: Burrito Grande with Chile Verde Sauce, Three-Layer Enchilada Pie, Low-Fat Garden Vegetable Enchiladas, Low-Fat Garden Vegetable Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, Low-Fat Beans, Rice & Cheese Style Burrito, and Low-Fat Couscous & Vegetable Veggie Wraps. The egg-white omelettes include: Spinach Mushroom Egg White Omelette, Green Chile Egg White Omelette, Broccoli Cheddar Egg White Omelette, and Garden Vegetable & Mozzarella Egg White Omelette. The company says each entrée is flash frozen and comes in at 300 calories or less.

Retro salad
Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. of Richmond, B.C. has launched its new ready-to-serve Waldorf salad kit for retail and foodservice. Sun Rich says it has given the salad a modern spin by combining ready-to-mix and serve fresh diced apples, grapes, golden raisins and walnuts with a low-fat vanilla yogurt dressing. The products are available in a convenient bag-in-box foodservice format. For retail, Sun Rich packs the product in convenient 24-oz kits.

Traceable pork
Sturgeon Valley Pork of St. Albert, Alta. has introduced DNA-traceable premium Alberta pork to all 15 Freson Bros. grocery stores in Alberta.  Sturgeon Valley Farms’ Premium Alberta Pork is an exclusive joint brand with Freson Bros. and is among the frist Canadian meat processors to use a DNA-traceability system called DNA TraceBack from IdentiGEN Canada. The system allows Sturgeon Valley to trace its pork from the grocer’s meat case back to the processing plant and farm of origin. The company began using the tracking system in 2009. Under the system, DNA samples are taken from Sturgeon Valley hogs at the processing plant and then again at the retail store. Samples are sent to IdentiGEN’s U.S. laboratory in Kansas where their unique DNA identifiers are used to verify product origins.

Dessert gum
Craving for a pie? Shortcake? Creamsicle? If they’re not available, consumers have the next best thing: dessert-flavoured gum from Wrigley. Juicy Fruit Desserts gum comes in three unique flavours: Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Crème Pop, and Apple Pie. The gums are sugar-free, available across Canada, and the company promises they’ll satisfy those mid-afternoon cravings. The Juicy Fruit Desserts gum has a suggested retail price of $1.69 for single, 15-piece pack, and $3.99 per multipack with three 15-piece packs.


Deanna Rosolen

Deanna Rosolen

Managing Editor, Food in Canada
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