Slideshow: New products from Nestle, Mondelez, Frito-Lay

by Rebekah Schouten
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KANSAS CITY — Traditional snacks are sporting non-traditional flavors in new product launches, many inspired by cultural cuisine and global flavors.

The trend stems from consumers who have an appetite for adventurous flavors but still crave the comforts of familiar formats, said Lisa Stern, vice-president of sales and marketing for Chicago-based LifeSpice Ingredients.

“It’s the melding of globally inspired, somewhat foreign tastes with those flavors from closer to home,” Ms. Stern said. “They are worldly flavors with a hometown spin.”

PepsiCo is catering to these consumers wanting to sample cultural cuisine without leaving the couch. The company’s Frito-Lay division is launching its new Passport to Flavor program, including four limited-time Lay’s potato chip flavors: Brazilian Picanha, inspired by the flavor of a cut of Brazilian steak and chimichurri sauce; Chinese Szechuan Chicken, featuring the heat of the regional Sichuan pepper; Greek Tzatziki, offering the Mediterranean classic flavors of dill, garlic and other spices added to yogurt; and Indian Tikka Masala, packed with spices such as turmeric and cumin.

 “This summer, all eyes will be on the global stage, reminding us of our desire to travel and explore the world,” said Jeannie Cho, vice-president of Frito-Lay marketing. “While most of us can’t just hop on a plane, all of us can travel through our taste buds.”

Trader Joe’s new popcorn is a passport to the flavors of India. Trader Joe’s Bollywood Popcorn is air-popped and tossed with a Tikka Masala seasoning, featuring a blend of turmeric, mustard seeds, cardamom and garam masala. The snack is vegan, kosher and nut-free.

Taking taste buds on a trip south of the border, TH Foods, Inc.’s new Crunchmaster Fiesta Lime Crackers, are made with California rice and black beans. The oven-baked crackers are seasoned with a fiesta lime seasoning and are certified gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified, and contain no artificial colors or flavors.

Click for a slideshow of more new products.
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