- François-Xavier Branthôme
When choosing a product from a supermarket shelf, there are several levers that push shoppers towards one option rather than another. Intentional consumers have become more attentive to what they put into the cart, to the health value of what they eat and to the way the product is prepared. 2019 saw the creation and launch on the market of packaged foods prepared with healthier cooking methods that preserve the characteristics of the raw materials.
July 2019: Barilla launches Vero Gusto Premium Italian Sauces
“Good for You, Good for the Planet”
Vero Gusto, the latest in premium Italian sauces, is the newest innovation from Barilla for people seeking authentic Italian taste. Vero Gusto comes in four varieties, all hand-crafted in Italy from beginning to end, including specially selected Italian-grown ingredients, each harvested at its prime.
Each sauce features a signature Italian ingredient that brings to life the story of its native region, including:
• Vero Gusto Tomato & Basil, featuring Genovese basil PDO (protected designation of origin) harvested in the rich soil of the Mediterranean shore, which is essential to developing its fresh, aromatic flavor.
• Vero Gusto Heritage Marinara made with Italian datterini tomatoes, which are naturally sweet, small, juicy, flavor-packed tomatoes from the Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions, grown in open fields and always sun-ripened.
• Vero Gusto Calabrian Marinara.
• Vero Gusto Sicilian Herb.
“We are always exploring new ways to bring high-quality Italian ingredients and products to people, and Vero Gusto is a perfect example of that commitment to quality and innovation,” said Jean-Pierre Comte, president of Barilla Americas.
In addition to the select regional Italian ingredients, all sauces are made in Italy from Italian-grown tomatoes (no added water or paste), onions, garlic, sea salt, and 100% extra-virgin olive oil for richness. Vero Gusto contains no added sugar, no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, and is “Non-GMO Project Verified”, gluten free and kosher.
July 2019: “Pomodoro al vapore”: the new Valfrutta line arrives on the market
Steam is currently one of the more frequent methods of conditioning and is gaining momentum. It is becoming so popular that more and more references are available in large-scale retail outlets. It is in fact a less invasive cooking system capable of preserving the nutritional advantages as completely as possible. Many of the substances contained in plant-based foods are generally destroyed by the action of excessive heat. This does not happen with steam cooking.
Valfrutta has launched on the market a line of products that preserve and put forward the various qualities of tomato thanks to the steam-cooking process. The tomato is processed a few hours after the harvest, scalded and peeled by steam.
Four references are arriving on the market, proposing a 2.0 version of the tomato that complies with the VEGANOK standard*: “Polpa Gran Cubetti al vapore”, “Pelati al vapore”, “Polpa fine al vapore” and “Passata Vellutata al vapore”.
In this new line, the natural and genuine flavor of tomatoes is kept intact thanks to a delicate steaming process using Valfrutta's own expertise, which has been consolidated and successful also in other product categories. This is an innovation that:
• ensures gentler handling during the first phases of the process, the scalding and peeling, which are highly influential in guaranteeing the quality of the product;
• reduces processing times and limits tomato stress to a minimum;
• maintains the integrity of the nutrients of the tomato, which otherwise would be lost in the cooking water;
• preserves the organoleptic characteristics giving body and density.
September 2019: Kraft Heinz debuts ketchup with added vegetables
The Kraft Heinz Co. has crafted a new condiment aimed at adding more vegetables to children’s diets. New Heinz Tomato Ketchup with a Blend of Veggies is made with added carrots and butternut squash “without compromising the thick and rich Heinz taste kids love,” the company said. The ketchup contains 25% added vegetables, 25% less sugar than regular Heinz Tomato Ketchup and contains no high-fructose corn syrup.
“If we were going to add extra veggies to a new recipe, it was important to maintain the same distinctive taste, appearance and texture that have been loved by generations of families for 150 years,” said Dalia Adler, Associate Director of Marketing for the Heinz brand. “We went through countless recipes to land on the perfect blend and can’t wait to share the end result: a blend that we think will have your ketchup-loving veggie-hating kids asking for more.”
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with a Blend of Veggies follows a similar launch from Kraft Heinz earlier this year. In July, the company introduced Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with added cauliflower to provide ¼ cup of vegetables per serving.
September 2019: Conagra Brands debuts deluge of innovations
“Modern attributes and authentic flavors” are the focus of new products from Conagra Brands, Inc., the company said. The Chicago-based company has unveiled a slew of new offerings within several segments set to debut through the first half of 2020.
Delivering the flavors of Mexico, new RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes with Serrano Peppers features tomatoes, chilies and serrano peppers for “bold, adventurous flavors that will bring heat to Mexican dishes, salsa recipes and more,” Conagra said. The spicy mix is made with non-G.M.O. ingredients.
Two new tomato varieties are also joining the Hunt’s brand lineup. New Hunt’s San Marzano Style Whole Peeled Tomatoes, featuring plum tomatoes from Italy, come in three varieties: original, garlic with olive oil and basil, and garlic with crushed red pepper. The product can be used to create sauces, spread on bruschetta and more. Hunt’s Petite Diced Garlic and Olive Oil Tomatoes are steam-peeled and seasoned with garlic and olive oil.
“As the company works to accelerate growth and maximize value creation, Conagra continues its demand-driven approach to innovation by launching a slate of on-trend products from iconic and emerging brands,” Conagra Brands said.
September 2019: Andalucía: the “Marismas y Salud” project
The Las Marismas de Lebrija cooperative recently presented a line of very innovative products made from vegetables grown in the area of Bajo Guadalquivir, specifically in sector B12. The largest processor of tomatoes in Andalusia is committed to “added value”, through a new project called “Marismas y Salud” (Marshlands and Health).
Among the most innovative products is a special gazpacho cream for “dipping”, which is accompanied by egg, tuna or pumpkin seeds. Likewise, a spicy tomato cream and ice cream flavored with gazpacho and pepper have been presented.
Both gazpacho and broccoli creams have in common “their high lycopene content, since the common denominator of the vegetables grown in sector B12 is their high concentration of properties and nutrients, due to the richness and salinity provided by the soil, along with the knowledge of growers,” says the technical director of the cooperative, Manuel Caro.
“Marismas y Salud” is a long-term project that will allow the expansion of “primary” crops. The cooperative continues to work on the design and formulation of new products. "We are shuffling a ketchup without sugar and continue working on natural vegetable purees, with the aim of putting out a product without preservatives and without the usual thermal shocks used by other companies in the sector."
Some complementary data
*See the VEGANOK Regulations here:
The official Kraft-Heinz press release:
For further details about “Marismas y Salud”:
Source: nosh.com, osservatorioveganok.com, italiafruit.net, foodbusinessnews.net, foodbusinessnews.net, sevilla.abc.es