Rolling Out Healthy Choices

May 21, 2009

Let's face facts. Consumers have had a miserable time staying on top of nutrition trends. First, fats were the root of all diet evil, then carbs, then sugar, then artificial sweeteners, then dairy products, then some proteins, then bread, and on and on. Give consumers a lot of credit for not completely surrendering the fight to eat healthy.

Let's face facts. Consumers have had a miserable time staying on top of nutrition trends. First, fats were the root of all diet evil, then carbs, then sugar, then artificial sweeteners, then dairy products, then some proteins, then bread, and on and on. Give consumers a lot of credit for not completely surrendering the fight to eat healthy.

Consumers today want more balance. They know a good nutrition label when they see one, and will actively seek out the foods that are right for them and their families. According to Datamonitor (New York City), the following products were recently introduced to healthy-lifestyle consumers.

Liquid Beauty
Nestlè's Glowelle Beauty Drink Supplements debuted in the fall of 2008, offered in ready-to-drink, single-serve, 8-fl-oz (236-ml) bottles, as well as 7-day and 30-day Powder Stick Pack kits.

The product's proprietary blends of high-antioxidant vitamins, phytonutrients, and botanical and fruit extracts are designed to help fight the signs of aging by nourishing the skin from within. The products are packed with antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C, and E, combined with goji berries and green and white tea extracts.

Featured in flavors such as natural Raspberry Jasmine and Natural Pomegranate Lychee, the products are made with natural juice purees. Each ready-to-drink bottle contains 100 calories of product, while each on-the-go stick pack contains 50 calories. The suggested retail prices are $7 per bottle, $40 for the seven-day kit, and $112 for the 30-day kit.

Rich Taste, Omega-3s
Smart Balance Inc. (Paramus, NJ) rolled out Smart Balance Milk with the taste and creamy mouthfeel of 2% milk but with zero saturated fat. Smart Balance Milk is enriched with omega-3s and vitamin E and is promoted as an "excellent source of EPA/DHA omega-3s, essential fatty acids that support cardiovascular health, healthy brain function, and overall health maintenance. Plus, it has 25% more calcium and protein in every glass, as well as valuable vitamin E."

Healthy Pudding?
Yes, it is possible to indulge every now and then. Kozy Shack's Simplywell naturally flavored pudding contains antioxidant vitamin E. Flavors include Green Tea Chai, Lemon Ginger, Pear Mangosteen, Dark Chocolate, and French Vanilla.

The pudding is presented in single-serve 4-oz 100-calorie cups and sold in four-pack sleeves priced at $3.59 each. Listed benefits include "good source of prebiotic fiber, good source of calcium and vitamin D, no hydrogenated oils, made with low-fat milk (vitamin A and D), gluten free, naturally flavored, low fat, no preservatives."

The ingredient list includes a few items not found in grandma's kitchen, including caramel color and carrageenan. For the most part, however, the products contain less sugar than the average pudding brand and have more nutrients, including green tea extract, inulin, and vitamin E acetate.

Kozy Shack also launched Ready Grains Healthy All-Natural Multigrain Cereal made with real milk and packaged in ready-to-serve bowls. Two bowls are sold in one twinpack sleeve that features Kozy Shack's Real Dairy seal and a kosher dairy stamp. Flavors include Apple & Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar, Strawberry, and Original.

Ingredients include apples, brown rice, carrageenan, cinnamon, dextrose, eggs, inulin, low-fat milk, modified food starch, natural flavor, nutmeg, pearled barley, rolled oats, salt, sodium citrate, steel-cut oats, sugar, and water. Each bowl contains 210 total calories worth of cereal, 7 g of fiber, 7 g of protein, and only 1 g of saturated fat. Carbs are high, at 39 g, with 26 g coming from sugar.

Fiber Pop-Tarts
The holy grail for Kellogg, master of the sweet-breakfast aisle, is a brand of healthy products that look and taste like its original brands. Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries with 20% Fiber may not be the healthiest, but they definitely have more appeal than the old standards.

The toaster pastries contain 5 g of fiber from whole grains and 5 g of total fat per serving. Offered in Frosted Chocolate Fudge, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, and Frosted Strawberry flavors, the pastries are presented in 14.1-oz (400-g) servings in eight-count boxes. The products are still high in sugar: one Pop-Tart contains 190 calories and 34 g of carbs, 14 g of which are from sugar. The drawback is that kids may be tempted to eat more than just one serving.