THE NEWS: According to AdAge.com, Kraft seems convinced that the economy-driven resurgence in home cooking will only increase in 2010. However, the food conglomerate is introducing 20 new products next year that are supposed to make consumers miss their restaurant meals a little less.
“Hot and spicy is big, so chipotle and garlic are key flavor notes, while berry-infused items remain on-trend. Everyone is asking for more-adventurous taste experiences,” according to John Li, director of Kraft’s Culinary Center.
That means Planters nuts with sea salt, chili lime and cracked pepper flavors, Back to Nature granola cookies with dark chocolate; and Oscar Mayer’s new super-thick-cut smoked bacon. Also in the pipeline: Kool-Aid Fun Fizz drink drops, Lunchables sandwiches with whole-grain bread and 100 percent white meat chicken (to compete with Subway) and mildly amped-up sliced cheese flavors: jalapeno American, bacon cheddar and three-cheese garlic-and-herb.
WHAT IT MEANS: America’s taste buds may be getting more sophisticated but the change is very, very slow to enter the mainstream. Good luck getting foodies to drink the Kool-Aid, fizzy or otherwise.