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Kind Healthy Snacks debuts gluten-free granola bars

NEW YORK – Kind Healthy Snacks is launching a line of gluten-free granola bars made with amaranth, quinoa, millet buckwheat and gluten-free oats.

With 19 to 22 grams of whole grains per serving, Kind Healthy Grains Bars feature five varieties: dark chocolate chunk, peanut butter dark chocolate, oats and honey with toasted coconut, maple pumpkin seeds with sea salt and vanilla blueberry.

The chewy, crunchy texture was developed in response to complaints on social media about stickiness and crumbs from leading granola bar brands.

“The integrity of our snacks is important to us; you should be able to bite into a bar and enjoy it without having a mess on your hands or in your lap,” said Marc de Grandpre, senior vice-president of marketing.

The line is available beginning in August for a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.29 per 5-count box.

Special K launches bars, hot cereal made with quinoa

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. – As part of ongoing efforts to reshape the slumping cereal category, the Kellogg Co. is introducing Special K Nourish, a line of hot cereal and bars.

With such ingredients as quinoa, fruit, nuts and seeds, the individually packaged products offer both portability and nutrition benefits.

Packaged in single-serve microwavable cups, the hot cereals contain a whole grain blend of quinoa, oats, wheat and barley, plus nuts and fruit in a removable cap that may be stirred in. In maple brown sugar crunch, cranberry almond and cinnamon raisin pecan varieties, the products contain 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per serving. The products are available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.29 for two servings.

The bars feature a whole grain blend with quinoa, fruit, nuts and seeds and are available in dark chocolate nut, cranberry and lemon twist flavors. The products contain 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and 170 to 180 calories per serving. The products are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $1.29 for a single bar and $6.49 for a 5-count box.

Barilla pasta goes gluten-free

BANNOCKBURN, ILL. – Barilla Group plans to combine non-bioengineered corn and rice to create a new line of gluten-free pasta that will debut in select markets later this year before a national roll-out set for 2014.

The pasta, Barilla Gluten Free Pasta, will be made in a dedicated gluten-free facility in Italy and will be available in four varieties: spaghetti, penne, rotini and elbows. Each 12-oz box will have a suggested retail price of $2.39.

“Barilla has a rich heritage of delivering quality, trusted products, and we are committed to making sure everyone can enjoy delicious pasta,” said Claudio Colzani, chief executive officer. “We felt it was important to invest in developing a pasta line for the ever-increasing number of people who are adopting gluten-free lifestyles, ensuring that it delivers the taste and texture pasta lovers expect from Barilla.”

Greek Gods adds salted caramel yogurt

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – Two crazes combine to create the latest launch from the Hain Celestial Group’s Greek Gods brand: salted caramel and Greek yogurt.

Honey salted caramel joins the family of flavors in the Greek Gods Greek-style yogurt line, which also includes honey lemon, honey blueberry, honey strawberry, honey orange and vanilla honey. The new flavor will be available in a 24-oz container.

Pretzel trend hits Dunkin’ Donuts

CANTON, MASS. – Dunkin’ Donuts is adding its own twist on the pretzel bread trend with a pretzel roll roast beef sandwich, featuring a warm pretzel roll with roast beef, white cheddar cheese and a creamy Dijon sauce. The pretzel roll may be served as part of any Dunkin’ Donuts bakery sandwich, including ham and cheese, turkey, cheddar and bacon, chicken salad and tuna salad.

Dunkin’ also is adding a line of caramel coffees and lattes, available hot or iced and including caramel turtle, caramel almond, caramel mocha, caramel coconut and caramel swirl flavors.

The products are available at participating locations nationwide for a limited time.

Farm Rich unveils trio of appetizers

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. – Toasted ravioli, fried pickles and chili cheese bites join Farm Rich’s line of frozen snacks, available nationwide at Wal-Mart and select grocery retailers.

Regional U.S. flavors inspired the three new products. St. Louis specialty toasted ravioli contains a lightly breaded blend of mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago and Romano cheeses. Crispy dill pickles, a Southern appetizer, are round, crunchy slices of kosher dill pickles covered in a lightly seasoned breading. Chili cheese bites offer a taste of Texas with smooth cheddar cheese and mild chili sauce in a corn-chip coating.

The three products are available for a suggested retail price of $5 to $5.50 per package.

Pillsbury rolls out gluten-free dough

MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills, Inc. is launching its first-line of refrigerated gluten-free dough through its Pillsbury brand. The new offerings include a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough, a gluten-free thin crust pizza dough and gluten-free pie and pastry dough.

“We’re excited to welcome the gluten-free community back to the fresh dough aisle,” said Rebecca Thompson, marketing manager for Pillsbury fresh dough innovation. “Pillsbury gluten-free dough provides so many possibilities and makes enjoying meals together easier. As a company, we are committed to the gluten-free community and to providing great-tasting, easy-to-prepare products from brands they trust.”

The products are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.49 to $4.99.

General Mills unveils ‘ultimate’ meal solutions

MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills, Inc. is introducing the Ultimate Helper line of skillet meals and Betty Crocker Ultimate potatoes.

The Ultimate Helper line includes two hamburger options: creamy stroganoff and three-cheese marinara; and two chicken varieties: cheddar broccoli and creamy parmesan.

Under the Betty Crocker banner comes Ultimate Potatoes, featuring 100% real potatoes and a creamy cheddar sauce in three flavors: cheddar mashed potatoes, loaded mashed potatoes and au gratin potatoes.

The new products are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.29 to $2.79.

Taco Bell expands Doritos Locos lineup

IRVINE, CALIF. – Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc., is expanding its highly successful Doritos Locos Taco platform with a third flavor. The Fiery Doritos Locos Taco features a crunchy red Doritos shell with a spicy chili flavor and a hint of lime.

“Launching the first two Doritos Locos Tacos were obvious: Nacho Cheese is the top-selling Doritos flavor and our fans asked us for Cool Ranch,” said Brian Nichol, president. “For the third D.L.T., we heard our customers as they told us they wanted something spicy and with flavor. So, in another Taco Bell first, we partnered with Frito-Lay to create a D.L.T. that delivers heat, but with a twist, and is available exclusively at Taco Bell. Mirroring the flavors of a regional spicy Doritos chip, we made a few changes based on customer feedback – including the use of a red shell and a more descriptive name – to create Fiery D.L.T.”

The new flavor will be available beginning Aug. 22 for $1.39 to $1.69.

Happy Family launches squeezable Greek yogurt

NEW YORK – A line of squeezable, shelf-stable Greek yogurt pouches debuts from Happy Family, a division of Groupe Danone. Made with organic ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors, Happy Squeeze Greek Yogurt are gluten-free and available in raspberry, peach and strawberry flavors. Each pouch contains 2 grams of protein.

The products are available nationwide beginning in August for a suggested retail price of $1.79.  

Sonic boosts breakfast options

OKLAHOMA CITY – Latching on to a hatching trend in quick-service restaurants, Sonic Drive-In is offering egg whites as a substitute in its breakfast sandwiches and burritos. The swap subtracts up to 60 calories, according to the company.

“We continue to evolve our menu to mirror the preferences of our guests, and many of our guests want light, healthy breakfast choices,” said Claes Petersson, vice-president of product innovation at Sonic. “In true Sonic style, instead of offering just one or two egg white options, we deliberately chose to let guests enjoy egg whites in any of our breakfast items, giving even more opportunities for customization and variety. Our guests can lose the yolks without losing a bit of flavor.”

The chain also is unveiling a coffee platform with its Red Button Roast blend, made with 100% Arabica beans, and five flavors for custom drinks, including chocolate, caramel, French vanilla, hazelnut and English toffee.

The egg whites and coffee drinks are available nationwide.

Zego unwraps allergy-friendly energy bars

SAN FRANCISCO – A line of gluten-free, allergy-friendly energy bars is debuting from Zego, a maker of healthy snacks.

Made with organic sunflower seeds, the nut-free, soy-free and dairy-free Zego bars are available in two varieties: chocolate and sunflower. The bars contain 10 grams of protein and 210 to 220 calories. Ingredients include quinoa, brown rice syrup and pea protein.

The bars are available on-line at

Frozen craft pizzas debut

MILWAUKEE – Screamin’ Sicilian frozen craft pizzas are hitting select grocery stores in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Featuring a stone-fired artisan crust and a sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes, the pizzas come in five varieties: cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni, Italian combination and supreme. Toppings include Wisconsin whole-milk mozzarella, thick-cut pepperoni and fire-roasted onions.

“Screamin’ Sicilian was created to fill a specific niche for craft pizza that is unlike anything pizza-lovers had previously seen in the grocery store,” said Giacomo Fallucca, founder of Screamin’ Sicilian. “This is a frozen pizza that goes beyond frozen pizzas to a level that consumers needed to go to a pizzeria for – until now. Screamin’ Sicilian is created with care like one of the first craft beers when they hit the beer category, and we expect it to have the same effect.”

The pizzas retail for $8.99.