Friday, April 24, 2009

Souping it Up

Obviously as we head into the summer months soups may not be at the top of your mind but here is an interesting little trend. Refrigerated soups are a very small sub segment of the retail soup category however according to Mintel, Chicago this small segment has growth that out paces the other types of soup, including canned soups. Refrigerated soups enjoyed 12% growth 2006 to 2008. Why? These soups fit well with current health trends and consumers preference for "fresher" options. Another advantage with refrigerated soups is that the manufacturing process is easier to modify, so manufactures can modify flavors and varieties to adapt to seasonal preferences. So next time you are are at the grocery store check out the refrigerated soup options and see if there is anything there that appeals to you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Popular Nut to Crack

Did you know that almond consumption in the US has doubled in the past 8 years? According to Mintel Global New Products 2007 Database they are the second most frequently used nut in new nut containing food products. Just think of all the wonderful foods you see on shelf these days that contain almonds, like confections, baked goods, cereals and ice creams.

So what is making this nut so popular these days? Well for starters , of course, almonds are plain old fashion delicious but there is more to them than just taste. They are popular with food manufactures because they are a very low moisture nut with naturally high levels of antioxidants making them a very stable ingredient and easier to work with than some other varieties of nuts. Another factor adding to the almond appeal is the fact that they are one of the healthiest nuts around. Compared ounce to ounce to other nuts, almonds are highest in lots of key nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. But it is not just about what is in almonds, they are also attractive for what is not in them as well - lots of extra calories. Almonds are also among the lowest calorie type of nut.

So as you are looking for a delicious new ingredient for your next creation, consider the almond. Popular, versatile, nutrient packed and delicious almonds can be a great addition to many dishes.