Kraft pumping up new product pipeline in 2013

by Eric Schroeder
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NORTHFIELD, ILL. — Oscar Mayer Selects Chicken Breast Franks, Miracle Whip Dipping Sauces and Crystal Light Liquid are among the new products scheduled to be launched by Kraft Foods Group, Inc. in 2013. In total, more than 40 foods and beverages are slated for introduction in 2013, marking Kraft’s first comprehensive new products launch since becoming an independent company in October.

“Bland and boring do not cut it anymore,” said Barry Calpino, vice-president of breakthrough innovation at Kraft. “We’re seeing an all-out quest for fun, passion and adventure in food and beverages as people embrace a multitude of global and regional flavors. Culinary experimentation is ‘in,’ so everyone wants the flexibility to customize their food. Our latest innovations are fun, great-tasting products that meet those needs and are in sync with today’s lifestyles.”

Flavor will be a focus as Kraft looks to infuse its innovation pipeline.

New Miracle Whip Dipping Sauces will be introduced in three flavors: Smokin’ Bacon Ranch, Kickin’ Onion Blossom and Sassy Sweet Tomato. Meanwhile, bagels will benefit from a “schmear” of Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese, while fruits, graham crackers and pretzels will welcome two new additions to the Philadelphia Indulgence Spread line: cinnamon and dulce de leche caramel.

Kraft said it intends to broaden the market appeal of string cheese beyond children with the launch of more adult flavors, including cracked black pepper, Italian style pizzeria and sweet BBQ varieties on both the Kraft and Polly-O String Cheese brands.

Other flavor innovation includes a cherry chocolate flavor of Planters NUT-rition peanut butter, as well as three new varieties of A.1. Dry Rubs and A.1. Marinade Mixes: chipotle BBQ, tomato and chili pepper, and cracked peppercorn. A zesty lime vinaigrette variety will be added to the Kraft Anything Dressings line, Kraft said.

In addition to capitalizing on flavor, Kraft said some of its 2013 product innovation centers on convenience, led by Oscar Mayer Carving Board Pulled Meats. The new line combines spice blends with pulled pork that has been slow smoked with natural hardwood to lock in the meat flavors. Within its Velveeta brand, Kraft is introducing Cheesy Casseroles in chili cornbread, chicken pot pie and Shepherd’s pie varieties. Meanwhile, the Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kits franchise will expand its “liquid gold” platform with three new flavor combinations: jambalaya, chicken Parmesan and Ultimate cheeseburger mac with 2% milk cheese. Kraft Fresh Take cheese and breadcrumb mix, which was introduced in 2012, will be expanded to include three more varieties: smokey Mesquite BBQ, spicy chipotle cheddar and classic four cheese.

Providing a simpler ingredient label was the driving force beyond the development of Oscar Mayer Selects Chicken Breast Franks, Kraft said. The chicken breast franks are made with white chicken breast meat that has been hardwood smoked and contains no artificial preservatives.

Customization also will be key in 2013, Kraft said. Looking to expand beyond the MiO portable liquid water enhancer launched in 2011, Kraft said in 2013 it will introduce Crystal Light Liquid in six flavors: mango passionfruit, strawberry lemonade, blueberry raspberry, iced tea, peach bellini and pomtini. A personal touch also may be added to baked goods with the addition of Cool Whip Frosting. Available in the freezer aisle, Cool Whip Frosting may be spread easily on cakes, cupcakes and more, Kraft said.

Other new product introduction set for 2013 include Jet-Puffed Mallow Bites marshmallows in fruit flavors and ice cream cone shapes, and Planters NUT-rition Sustaining Energy Mix.

“As culinary trends continue to evolve, one constant is a desire for even more choices,” said Robin Ross, associate director of culinary at Kraft. “Consumers have varying and multiple needs for their food and beverage choices. Some consumers find a healthy balance with less complex ingredient lines is important, while others want bold or ethnically-inspired taste experiences. Young people are especially adventurous and food savvy. They don’t want to miss the latest food news, whether it’s trendy flavors, pop-up restaurants or the newest food truck in town.”
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