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Grocery Packaged Food Sweets

New Klondike Milkshakes Can Be Drunk Straight From The Freezer

Photos courtesy of Klondike and Shutterstock

Klondike is known for their chocolate covered ice cream bars, but they may have just changed the frozen foods game with some brand new, on-the-go milkshake pouches.

These Klondike Shakes work similar to the squeezable fruit purees, applesauces, or smoothies you might have seen pop up in the refrigerated section of a grocery store. These pouches have a twistable cap that you crack off and then squeeze to drink.

The key difference here is that Klondike’s is ready to slurp on straight from the freezer, meaning that you don’t have to grab ice cream or blend anything together if you’re craving a milkshake. Sure, you could just freeze the smoothie pouches in the refrigerated section, but they would turn to essentially ice and not have that smooth consistency.

Klondike’s squeezable milkshakes will be hitting stores nationwide in February 2021. You can get them in chocolate or vanilla flavors, and a pack of six will go for about $5.99.

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Grocery Health Packaged Food

Hidden Valley Ranch Now Has A Dairy Free Option

Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley Ranch

Ranch dressing is known for having buttermilk and not being friendly to those with dairy or lactose issues.

That doesn’t have to be a hindrance to those wanting to sample ranch anymore, however, as Hidden Valley Ranch just announced a dairy-free version of their iconic condiment.

As the most ubiquitous bottle of ranch out there, this makes the dressing way more accessible to those who couldn’t consume it before, and makes it an option for those on lactose-free, vegan, or flexitarian diets.

Hidden Valley Ranch normally contains egg yolk and buttermilk in it, according to information on the brand’s website. This new plant-based version swaps those out for soy protein isolate. The company also claims to have no animal-derived ingredients in the new Plant Powered Ranch.

Bottles of the plant-based Hidden Valley Ranch will be available in stores nationwide starting in April 2021. A 12 ounce bottle comes at a suggested price of $3.49.

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Film/Television Grocery Packaged Food

Pokémon Cereal Makes Comeback After 20-Year Hiatus

Photo courtesy of General Mills

While Pokémon is extremely popular around the world, you won’t find too many food products featuring the pocket monsters inside the United States. A lot of products, including cereal, Heinz Ketchup, and Eggo waffles were introduced back in 2000, but have all been discontinued since. Outside of a couple of food releases in 2009, Pokémon hasn’t seen much of a resurgence in your local grocer’s aisle.

For Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, however, General Mills has teamed up with the titular fictional universe to create a special new Pokémon cereal.

The new “Berry Bolt” breakfast box features red and blue berry-flavored corn puffs, alongside yellow marshmallows that feature the franchise’s figurehead, Pikachu.

Pokémon is celebrating its 25th year of getting folks to obsess over catching fictional monsters in 2021, so this may be just the first food product we see featuring Pikachu and other characters as the year progresses.

For now, however, you can find the brand new Pokémon cereal at grocery retailers nationwide.

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Grocery Health Packaged Food

Kraft Mac & Cheese Goes Gluten-Free To Close Out 2020

Photo courtesy of Kraft

The gluten-free and Celiac disease communities just got a second hit of good news to cap off 2020. In addition to gluten-free OREOs launching at the start of next year, gluten-free Kraft Mac & Cheese is now available in stores nationwide.

Kraft made the pasta using brown rice and corn, and tailored the blend to meet the FDA’s standards for gluten-free. This means that the ingredients used to make the mac and cheese do not come from gluten-containing grains (ie. wheat), or are processed to remove gluten to the point where there is less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the final cheesy pasta.

The mac also retains the original’s consistency and cheesy flavor, meaning that gluten-free consumers should be getting a comparable experience to those who’ve been eating Kraft’s mac for years.

With two of the world’s most ubiquitous brands moving to add gluten-free versions of their signature products, accessibility to these types of foods just became a whole lot easier.

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Grocery Plant-Based

Beyond Meat To Debut ‘Extra Juicy’ and ‘Lean’ Varieties in 2021

Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat

In a move to further position themselves as a grocery store alternative to ground beef, Beyond Meat is taking a page out of the beef industry’s playbook. They’re going to start selling blends of their plant-based product that vary based on fat content.

The new forms don’t have official names yet, but one is being touted as the “brand’s juiciest patty” while the other is described as the company’s “most nutritious patty yet.” To differentiate, you could almost think of them as “Extra Juicy” and “Lean.”

In terms of ground beef varieties, you could consider Beyond Meat’s regular version to be standard ground beef, “Extra Juicy” to be like 80/20 or Extra Fatty, and the “Lean” one to be like a 96/4 blend of beef.

The “juiciest patty” form still has 35% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef, while the “most nutritious” form has 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef.

For context, Beyond Meat’s current iteration has 5 g of saturated fat per quarter pound, and 80/20 ground beef has about 8 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound. The “juiciest patty” form should have slightly more fat than Beyond’s standard product. Meanwhile, the “most nutritious form,” at 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 beef, would have slightly less than 4 grams of saturated fat per quarter pound based on Beyond’s claims.

Some folks will be sampling the new varieties in a sold-out tasting event in Los Angeles later in 2020. As for everyone else, they can expect to find the new options in stores in early 2021.

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Grocery Health Packaged Food Sweets

Gluten-Free OREOs Are Officially Launching In 2021

Photo courtesy of OREO

For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance issues, finding snacks that cater to those diets on the shelves is difficult, and may even come at a slightly steeper price. Studies have shown that gluten-free snacks can often cost significantly more than their counterparts.

Such snacks are about to get a lot more accessible though, as OREO, one of the largest cookie brands globally, is releasing their own line of gluten-free treats.

Available in standard and Double STUF variety, both sets of cookies will come certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), one of the most trusted and widely accepted standards worldwide. While they have no regulatory or enforcement authority, the set of audits companies have to go through to receive this certification are stricter than the rules set for “gluten-free” definitions by the FDA, the EU, and other governing bodies.

This ensures that for those who have gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, these cookies should provide minimal risk. It also gives OREO a whole new market of customers to purchase their cookies.

Gluten-free OREOs will arrive in markets starting in January 2021.

Categories
Grocery Health

Alka-Seltzer Gum Now Exists For Minty Heartburn Relief

Look, when you’re in a tough spot like catching heartburn after taking down your customary order of In-N-Out with all the secret menu fixins while on a date, the situation is unique to say the least. Relief could come in many forms, though not all at once — until Alka-Seltzer came through in the clutch.

Available now, Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength Heartburn Relief Gum is providing discrete relief for all. The dual layer gum combines a fast acting antacid with ‘cooling flavor crystals’ to simultaneously provide cooling heartburn relief and minty fresh breath. Tell me this isn’t a game changer.

You can choose between two flavors: cool mint and peppermint. So the only choice to be made is between two flavors, instead of having to buy two separate things in an antacid and a pack of gum. Happy chewing, Foodbeasts.

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Grocery Plant-Based Science Sweets

Can Ice Cream Made With Cow DNA Be 100% Vegan?

The plant-based and vegan industry has found some novel ways to create meat substitutes. Mostly, it’s been finding plant sources of some of the proteins and other molecules key to making meat, which is what companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have done. 

An emerging company, however, is taking a more direct approach to creating these proteins. They’re making products like ice cream that use real milk protein and cow DNA, yet still claims them to be 100 percent vegan.

Photo courtesy of Perfect Day

I know that phrase is going to generate controversy. Yes, it’s the exact same protein you get from milk. Yes, it does utilize the genes from a cow to make the protein. However, it doesn’t use any animals, any DNA extracted from an animal, or animal products whatsoever. 

This vegan milk protein comes from Perfect Day, who specializes in what they would describe as “fermented vegan dairy” that’s 100% animal-free. 

“The cool thing is we’re doing it with fermentation, so not a single cow is involved in our process,” says Nicki Briggs, Perfect Day’s VP of Corporate Communications.

Instead, Perfect Day uses a fermentation process that’s been widely used by various companies over the years. Briggs compared it to how proteins like insulin or rennet are made today in a conversation with Foodbeast.

Photo courtesy of Perfect Day

Rennet, the curdling protein for cheese, is traditionally harvested from a calf’s stomach. Today, 90 percent of it is vegetarian, made by getting yeast to ferment sugars into the exact same protein. According to Briggs, Perfect Day uses that exact same process to make their vegan milk protein. The result is a powder that can be used to make ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and more. 

For milk, it contains two predominant types of protein: casein and whey. The protein that Perfect Day is making, beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), is one of the primary components of whey protein. “We found that beta-lactoglobulin is the most nutritious and the most functional of all of the proteins in milk,” Briggs explained, indicating that BLG was the key one needed to create a functional alternative to getting milk from cows.

To get the fungi, called trichoderma, to make the milk protein, Perfect Day downloaded part of the genetic makeup of a cow into the fungi. Segments of DNA coding in any creature are used by cells to make different key components, including proteins. Adding that code into a fungi cell known for producing large quantities of protein was the key to making Perfect Day’s product. 

One could call this “genetic engineering,” but it doesn’t use a technique like CRISPR, which splices in genes from another creature’s cells. Instead, Perfect Day turned to a virtual source of DNA: Google. 

“We were able to, as silly as it sounds, Google it and find the sequence online,” Briggs explained.  “We were able to use this sequence to influence our microflora.”

The microflora can then grow the protein en masse in giant fermentation tanks. That is then turned into the powder that can be added to an ice cream mix or other vegan dairy products to give it a structure akin to real dairy.

Right now, there’s only two brands in markets that use this novel animal-free whey: Smitten, who teamed up with Perfect Day to make limited batches of “N’ice cream,” and Brave Robot, who heavily advertises the protein they use in their pints of frozen dessert. 

Brave Robot was locally available for me, so I secured some pints to sample and analyze. They use a blend of plant oils to replace the fat you would normally get in milk, as well as sunflower lecithin (a substitute for soy) to emulsify everything together. 

The result is an extremely creamy ice cream that, at serving temperature, is pretty spot on to the original. I would say it does freeze a little bit harder than regular ice cream, but is way closer than any other vegan substitute I’ve tried.

Because this ice cream alternative does use real milk protein, it’s not recommended for those with allergies to milk. Allergies are triggered by proteins, and while a different protein (called alpha-s1 casein) is a more common allergen trigger in milk, beta-lactoglobulin can still cause issues for those sensitive to milk. 

This, as well as the fact that it is a real protein, are some of the larger concerns some may have in calling what Perfect Day creates “vegan.” Yes, it doesn’t use any animals, but the structure of what’s inside it and real milk are identical. 

Briggs understands that, saying “We want the word vegan to be a helpful navigation tool to find products not named from animals, but don’t want to be misleading.” While she believes that Perfect Day’s product fits under the technical term for vegan, there’s a different phrase she would use as well.

“We see animal-free as the master name for this,” she said. As for terms like lab-grown, describing Perfect Day’s protein as that would be “inaccurate,” as it’s “less sci-fi than it seems.”

While Perfect Day is using a technology that’s not new, they are applying it in a new way by recreating an “animal-free” milk protein that can be used to craft ice creams nearly identical to the original.

Perfect Day does plan to create the entire lineup of milk proteins and other dairy products, but those will come down the line as the company continues to grow.