ATLANTA -- A plethora of super hot and better-for-you salty snacks will be fighting their way onto Center Store shelves this year, judging from the new products that debuted at the recent SNAXPO snack food convention here.
Cereal industry heavyweight, the Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich., is muscling its way into the salty snack business with Ensemble, a new line of baked-potato crisps made with natural soluble fiber to actively promote a healthy heart. Packaged in a 10-ounce bag and available in sour cream & onion, barbecue and cheddar flavors, Ensemble is initially being sold in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois.
Utz Quality Foods, Hanover, Pa., has become the first regional snack food company to market a line of salty snacks made with Olean from Procter & Gamble. The Utz Yes! fat-free potato chips are available in regular, BBQ and ripple varieties.
Auburn, Wash.-based Tim's Cascade Style is introducing a delicious limited edition Steak & Onion potato chip, made with seasonings created by Milwaukee Seasonings. Tim's is also introducing Jalapeno Cheez'd Corn Kurls flavored by McCormick. The snacks are distributed in six Western states.
Schearer's Foods, Brewster, Ohio, is introducing several new items in its Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania operating area, including Grandma Shearer's Crunchy Curls that have one-third less fat, Cheezy Nacho Tortillas, restaurant-style tortilla chips and regular and BBQ-flavored corn chips.
Keystone Food Products, Easton, Pa., has introduced Puffy Corn, a salty snack that looks like Kix cereal, in original and cheese flavors. It is being distributed in the Northeast.
Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay is giving new meaning to "chips and dip" with its Fritos Chili & Scoops, a 9.5-ounce pull-back foil lid plastic package that contains scoop-shaped corn chips and a can of chili. It is ready-to-eat or microwavable and is currently being sold in 14 Southern and Southwestern states.
A new dip, Asparagus Guacamole, developed for the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board by Asparagus Enterprises, DeWitt, Mich., was also introduced at the show. The product is manufactured by Curtis-Burns Foods.
"Unlike guacamole made with avacadoes, ours is unique because it is fat-free," Perry De Kryger, a spokesman with Asparagus Enterprises told SN.
"Meijer stores in Michigan are selling it in their ethnic food department, and we have also been picked up by Spartan Stores," he said. De Kryger also noted that Asparagus Guacamole received exposure on local Atlanta news as one of the most unusual products at the show.