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Grocery Packaged Food What's New

Cheetos Mac And Cheese Boxes Are Now Available At Walmart

The boxed mac and cheese shelves of grocery stores just got a new competitor, as Cheetos has officially entered the fray.

Photo courtesy of Cheetos

The new boxes of Cheetos Mac N Cheese use the proprietary Cheetos seasoning and come in three flavors: Bold and Cheesy, Cheesy Jalapeno, and Flamin’ Hot.

Photo courtesy of Cheetos

They’re the latest in a line of several Cheetos products that have shown up in both fast food and grocery stores in recent years, ranging from Cheetos Popcorn to boxes of frozen Mac N Cheetos, and even Cheetos-topped fried chicken sandwiches at KFC.

Photo courtesy of Cheetos

You can pick up these boxes at Walmart stores nationwide, and they’re also available for order online through Walmart.

Photo courtesy of Cheetos

Cheetos plans to roll them out to even more retailers in 2021. They’re available in a box or single cup format at a suggested retail price of 98 cents, putting it on par with longtime standards in boxed mac and cheese like Kraft when it comes to cost.

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Grocery Packaged Food What's New

Takis and Totino’s Just Dropped a Cheesy Snack Bites Collab

The worlds of spicy Takis chips and cheesy Totino’s pizza rolls are combining for a new fiery and gooey snack.

The two iconic snack brands have teamed up to make Totino’s Takis Fuego Mini Snack Bites. It’s not exactly a pizza roll (no pizza sauce, just mozzarella cheese inside), but the outside packs a citrusy punch of heat with Takis Fuego seasoning.

For those who have devoured plates of both while snacking, it’ll be an interesting mix of flavors, textures, and nostalgia to see these come out of the microwave or toaster oven (which is recommended for those who want the crunch of Takis to go with that heat).

They could also make an intriguing, spicy alternative to regular pizza rolls for those craving a bit of heat.

You can find these fiery hot and cheesy bites at retailers nationwide. A pack of 60 goes for $5.

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Grocery Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Plant-Based Swedish Meatballs Arrive In IKEA Stores This Summer

In 2019, IKEA announced that they had begun developing a plant-based version of their iconic Swedish meatball. This was part of efforts to reduce the company’s climate footprint, meat being a big portion of that in the food department.

IKEA is now ready to unveil their plant balls to the world, and will do so starting this summer.

IKEA’s version of plant-based meat is based in yellow pea protein, and also uses ingredients like potato, apple, onion, oats, mushroom, tomato, and roasted vegetable powder. All of this gives a texture and flavor that gets pretty close to what one of the retailer’s original Swedish meatballs tastes like.

In terms of sustainability, IKEA claims that the plant-based meatballs have just 4% of the climate footprint of the meat versions. “If we were to convert about 20% of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around 8% reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA,” added Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for IKEA’s global food business.

The fact that IKEA was able to develop their own plant-based meatball version is remarkable, and I’m definitely curious to see how it tastes like in a standard Swedish meatball plate.

IKEA will start selling the meatballs in Europe in August of 2020, and they will arrive in the United States on September 28th, 2020. They’ll be sold in bulk frozen bags you can purchase in the grocery section, or as an alternative to the classic meatballs on their Swedish meatball plate — cream sauce, lingonberry jam, potatoes, and veggies all included.

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Grocery Health Science

Walmart Requiring Face Masks To Enter Starting July 20th

Walmart has added on to the growing list of retailers implementing face mask requirements for customers to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

Photo: ungvar // Shutterstock

Starting on July 20th, all Walmart customers will need to be wearing a face mask to gain entry into stores to shop. Walmart will be deploying trained “Health Ambassadors” to remind guests of the new requirements.

At Walmart’s Costco-like subsidiary, Sam’s Club, complimentary masks will be available for members, who can also purchase face masks inside of the store.

Walmart has cited the CDC in their decision to add this policy, saying that “face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.”

The new policy was announced the same day that Starbucks’ own face mask requirements are scheduled to take effect. It also comes shortly after CDC Director Robert Redfield stated that if everyone wore face masks and practiced social distancing, COVID-19 could be controlled within 1-2 months.

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Culture Grocery Packaged Food

Aunt Jemima’s Retires As Food Brands Acknowledge Racist Stereotypes

After over 130 years, Aunt Jemima’s brand and logo, based on a racial stereotype, will officially be retired.

Photo: Mike Mozart // Flickr

Quaker Foods, who owns the brand of syrups and other breakfast products, made the announcement in a press release. In the statement, Quaker Foods North America VP and Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Kroepfl acknowledged the racial origins of the brand, saying that “while work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”

The Aunt Jemima logo is based on an economic and racial stereotype has long been used against Black communities in the United States. A caricature of African American women, it has been used across time to claim that Black women were “happy to be slaves” or “only fit to be domestic workers,” as put by an essay on the stereotype by Ferris State University.

Both the logo and the name have been used since 1889, based on a song from a minstrel’s skit that included the caricature. Editorials from papers like the New York Times have called for getting rid of the logo and name for years, and amidst the current global Black Lives Matter protests, the conversation has been enough to finally convince Quaker Oats to rework the brand.

In the last quarter of 2020, bottles of the syrup will have the logo removed and the name reworked to something currently unknown. Meanwhile, Quaker’s decision to retire the Aunt Jemima Brand has led other products who brand on racial stereotypes, like Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth’s, to overhaul their logos and packaging as well.

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Grocery Packaged Food

Trader Joe’s Adds New Savory Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls

Photo: Constantine Spyrou

Looks like Trader Joe’s is adding more savory options to their frozen mochi selection, as their newest item is definitely prepped to turn some heads. Trader Joe’s has just released a new Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Ball snack to their frozen food section.

The Kung Pao Mochi Balls are approximately the size of a golf ball and, when baked, has a crisp brown exterior. That exterior is followed by a soft chewy mochi texture that leads into the final level of a sweet and spicy chicken and veggie core.

Trader Joe’s says that they were inspired to make this new item after trying a savory mochi appetizer at an udon bar on a trip to Tokyo.

You can find these new frozen appetizers at Trader Joe’s locations nationwide in the freezer section of the store. I wonder how these will taste with TJ’s Chili Onion Crunch?

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Grocery Packaged Food SPONSORED

Make Pho In Under 3 Minutes With These Game-Changing Instant Noodle Bowls

Instant noodles aren’t normally seen as a delicacy, but be prepared to have that notion flipped. Malleable yet texturally distinctive, they can be found in most pantries, regardless of cultural background. But sometimes the average batch of instant noodles doesn’t quite satisfy the craving for that big bowl of pho, ramen, or whatever noodle soup floats your boat. It’s this spot that Snapdragon Foods aims to hit. 

Snapdragon’s noodles, highlighted in our newest News Bites video, look to provide an authentic experience with some of the world’s favorite noodle soup dishes, but in an accessible, take home package.

That means that their Vietnamese beef pho bowls come with real rice noodles and authentic spices. My personal favorite, the Singapore-style Laksa Curry Bowls, includes not only rice noodles and a spice mixture, but also coconut powder and chili oil that give the dish far more depth than what’s expected from a bowl of instant noodles.

Their other soup flavors include Veggie, Mushroom, and Garlic. Some are in bowl, some are in packets, and all are delicious and can be found on their website. Oh, and don’t forget the newly launched ramens, either.

All of their products are inspired by the streets and kitchens of Asia. They take special pride in their noodle quality, already giving the brand a step up on many instant noodle makers. Their noodles are made in Vietnam, and whether made for pho or ramen, have a delicateness to them, yet also hold a chewy bounce and remain highly slurpable. 

Snapdragon’s noodle soups can be found at retailers across the country, although the deepest and most consistent stock of all noodle flavors is housed on the brand’s website. While you’re there, use the code BEAST15 for 15% off your purchase! 

Make sure to peep Snapdragon’s Instagram for noodle inspo once you get a pack in hand, then top them with your favorite toppings, and tag us and Snapdragon to show us your creations.

Created in partnership with Snapdragon Foods.

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Brand Grocery Packaged Food Recipes

Meet The Chili Cheeseburger Recipe That’s Hidden Valley Ranch Approved

A couple weeks ago, we reported that Hidden Valley Ranch had dropped a new line of three Secret Sauces, which bring restaurant-inspired flavor to your favorite at-home foods like burgers, tacos, and fries.

Today, and in the coming days, we’ll be taking a look at some recipes that look to bring some Pub-style meals to your home, pair perfectly with the new sauces, and don’t require a wait in the takeout line.

The first recipe up to the plate is an HVR Chili Cheeseburger.

Start with getting a nice sear on your patties by cooking them in a pan on medium-high heat with a bit of oil. Season them with salt and pepper while they cook.

While these patties are sizzling away, heat up a no bean chili of your choice.

Then, it’s time for arguably the most important part of any burger: building it. Build a burger right, and you’ll have a sturdy tower of deliciousness, perfectly stable and equally as memorable. Build it wrong and you’ll be left with a goopy mess that’ll have your patty shooting out of the back of its buns every time you bite into it.

To remedy that problem, lather up your bottom bun with a fair amount of HVR’s Original Secret Sauce, then place a patty over it, to create a solid burger base. Next, take the now heated chili and spread that over the patty.

Afterwards, adorn with your favorite burger toppings, like diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and a drizzle of the HVR Original Secret Sauce to create layers of flavor.

From there, the task at hand is simple: go in.

Devour your hard work, then check back in to Foodbeast for the next installment of HVR Pub to Plate recipes.