CHICAGO – The latest new products from ConAgra Foods, Inc. feature natural and organic claims. Set to debut from the company’s Snack Pack brand is Snack Pack Naturals, a line of pudding snacks made with simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors. Varieties include vanilla, chocolate and chocolate swirl.
“Thirty percent of our consumers told us they wanted a natural pudding option, so we’re delighted to offer them Snack Pack Naturals, a delicious option for those who seek natural snacks,” said Jonathan Kruesi, senior brand manager, Snack Pack. “Snack Pack Naturals has a lot in common with our base Snack Pack product. As with the original Snack Pack, which we will continue to offer, ingredients include real milk, no preservatives and no high-fructose corn syrup. Our Snack Pack Naturals team started with the first ingredient of milk and worked hard to find real cocoa and vanilla ingredients that deliver a great-tasting pudding.”
Consumers may notice a slight difference in taste and texture between Snack Pack Naturals and the original Snack Pack, he said, adding, “We think both deliver a delicious snack, and we’re happy to provide options so that consumers can choose the Snack Pack that fits their preference. Our early read is that consumers agree.”
In the frozen aisle, ConAgra has expanded its Healthy Choice Simply Café Steamers line of entrees to include four recipes made with USDA-certified organic ingredients.
“We are constantly listening to our customers and strive to provide new options that satisfy their needs,” said Alan Brooks, associate brand manager, Healthy Choice. “Our new organic varieties provide more options to the 45 percent of consumers nationwide who are actively trying to include organic foods in their diet.”
With 270 calories or fewer, the new varieties include Unwrapped Burrito Bowl, made with organic black and pinto beans, roasted corn, bell peppers and scallions with organic whole grain brown rice in a tomatillo sauce; Sweet & Spicy Asian-Style Noodle Bowl, with udon noodles, organic edamame and carrots, celery, red bell pepper and scallions in a spicy soy sauce; Three Cheese Tortellini, with organic cheese, organic spinach and mushroom in a marinara sauce; and Creamy Spinach & Tomato Linguini, featuring pasta with organic spinach and tomatoes.
“We understand that people’s food preferences are continually changing, so we maintain a constant dialogue with the people who eat our food to ensure we’re providing even more options that satisfy these needs,” Brooks said. “One thing we heard from core Healthy Choice consumers is a desire to eat more organic foods.”
All Healthy Choice Simply Café Steamers meals contain no artificial ingredients, and the four new dishes are made using all non-bioengineered ingredients.
Clean label has been a focus of recent innovation at ConAgra, whose launches in the past year have included three Hunt’s organic tomato offerings, Peter Pan Simply Ground peanut butter made with only simple ingredients, and new Banquet frozen meal varieties with a shift to higher quality ingredients such as “100 percent natural chicken breast” and “real cheese.”
At the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May, ConAgra unveiled David Simply Seeds, a line of reduced-sodium roasted sunflower seeds with no artificial flavors or preservatives. The range was developed in response to consumer demand for products with simple, recognizable ingredients, said Jill Dexter, brand director.
“It wasn’t something David consumers were specifically asking for, but as we looked at our innovation pipeline and what was happening in broader salty snacks, we thought it was worth looking at for David,” Dexter said.