Packaged Food Sweets

TIL There’s A Healthy Alternative to Skittles

Not too long ago, Project 7 unveiled a line of gummies that were each inspired by a classic alcoholic cocktails. What set the snack brand apart was their dedication to keeping products all-natural. Well, those of you with a sweet tooth for candies such as Skittles now have a healthier option to choose from.

Project 7‘s new Gourmet Chewies are an all-natural answer to Skittles, for those looking to cut back on sugar and preservatives.

Like Skittles, they boast a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior. However, the candy chews are organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free of artificial colors, free of preservatives, and free of artificial flavors. Each 2-oz package contains about 34 grams of sugar, compared to Skittles’ 46 grams of sugar per 2.17 oz bag.

Flavors include Front Porch Lemonade, Fairytale Fruit, Coconut Lime, Birthday Cake, and Rainbow Ice.

As someone who subconsciously pampers his sweet tooth, especially on candies, these Gourmet Chewies are definitely something I’d want in front of me.

You can find Project 7 Gourmet Chewies at their online store, in 2-oz and 4-oz packages. Each bag contains about 60 candies.


The Term ‘Natural’ On Food Products Is Bulls*it [WATCH]

We seem to be very trusting of what we see on our food labels, after all, our food here in the US is regulated by numerous departments such as FDA, USDA and the FSIS.

There are still clever ways that marketers dupe us with fancy words, and one of those key words that gets abused on food products is “natural,” according to VOX.

What in the blue hell does natural mean? Well, for meat and poultry, it means that you can’t start adding things to the meat after it’s been killed.

In the packaged food world, though, there isn’t even a real definition for what’s considered to be natural, and the USDA sure as hell doesn’t regulate the use of that word. So companies use the word, freely, knowing that you probably think it means something, like, “organic,’ or “healthy.”

It doesn’t mean anything, other than we’re 100 percent natural suckers for falling for it.


Nestlé Trolled This Coffee Shop With Naked Baristas


Nestlé found a pretty risqué way to promote its new all-natural coffee creamer…and it’s kind of working. At an Irvings Farm Coffee Roasters in New York, Nestlé built a pop-up to spread word of the new creamer. Using well-placed actors and models from an agency, customers were greeted with butt-naked baristas and fellow customers.

While they didn’t actually serve them coffee, the nude models promoted the new creamer while rocking body paint.

Check out the video below featuring footage from the one-day event.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Plans To Go ‘All Natural’ With Their Menu And Here’s What That Means For Your Food


Going “All Natural” for a restaurant chain as big as Taco Bell is a complex initiative.

Earlier this morning, news broke that Taco Bell has plans to do just that — take most of their menu and make it all natural (Chipotle, Panera Bread anyone?).

The move seems to be a growing industry trend, adopted by some major restaurants better than others. For example, Carl’s Jr. did a shitty job of limping in to the All Natural arena, offering just one burger that they alienated, insinuating it was only non-toxic thing on their menu. Panera Bread ran a much more noble route, self-deprecating themselves in some weird video where their customers couldn’t pronounce their own food ingredients. Chipotle has long been touting All Natural and GMO Free — they made it official 4 weeks ago.


Taco Bell Plans To Remove All Artificial Colors And Flavors By 2015

By the end of 2015, Taco Bell plans to have most all artificial colors, flavors and certain additives removed from the menu. Trans fats, palm oil and high-fructose corn syrup will be gone.

As an example, recipes that once used artificial black pepper flavoring will use natural black pepper, and caramel coloring will be replaced with a natural alternative.

TBell’s CEO Brian Niccol cited the usage of the Taco Bell mobile app as a huge driving force in the ramping up of more natural ingredients. Apparently, the second most visited part of their app was the nutrition calculator. The commitment to more natural ingredients will impact 95% of the menu, likely unable to recreate their soft drinks or colorful frozen Freeze drinks without their scientifically created flavors and colors.


Your Doritos Locos Taco Will Stay Exactly The Same

Like the drinks, the DLT and other co-branded menu items will stay exactly the same.

The Doritos Locos Taco shells include monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors and colorings like Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Since the DLT shell comes from minds at Frito Lay, we’re guessing making this product all natural requires supply chain changes not just in Taco Bell, but up the Frito Lay chip company chain of command as well.


Taco Bell Doesn’t Plan To Get More Expensive

STILL CHEAP: “The goal we set is not to change our position of being a value leader,” Brian Niccol, Taco Bell CEO said. “We think what’s important is giving everybody access to the food they crave. We are always dealing with inflationary pressure, and our job is to figure out how to handle it.”

Fast Food

First Ever Grass-Fed, All-Natural Burger Arrives at a Major Fast Food Chain Next Week


Carl’s Jr. is set to release an All-Natural Burger said to feature an all-natural patty made with free-range beef. Apparently, the burger doesn’t contain any added hormones, antibiotics or steroids, which is pretty big news for a fast food chain.

Because a beef patty alone doesn’t make a burger, the All-Natural Burger is topped off with red onions, vine-ripened tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo and a slice of natural cheddar cheese. It’s served between a freshly-baked bun.

The fast food chain stated that the burger was created as a way to meet a growing demand for “cleaner,” more natural food. They mention this applies particularly to the Millennial crowd. The burger is claimed to be the first all-natural beef option presented by a major fast food company.

Carl’s All-Natural Burger will be available beginning Wednesday, Dec. 17. It will be sold as a single burger for $4.69 and a double burger for $6.99, as well as a combo option. The burger will be available at all participating Carl’s Jr. locations. Also, guests can get $1 off this new burger by presenting a coupon upon ordering.

Be careful, Carl’s. With these new fresh buns and all-natural burger patties, you’re treading dangerously into QSR territory.


Whoops! PepsiCo Drops ‘All Natural’ Claim on Naked Juice


After paying $9 million to settle a lawsuit, PepsiCo Inc. will be dropping Naked’s signature “all natural” label. The lawsuit was filed after a complaint was made that the juices’ ingredients weren’t exactly “natural.”

Although the company stated in an email that is uses “an added boost of vitamins” in select drinks, the lawsuit noted that the vitamins were synthetic ingredients, including a fiber manufactured by Archer Daniels Midland. According to USA Today, PepsiCo did not respond when questioned about the use of synthetic fibers in their juices.

The lawsuit further stated that the company knew its target market would pay more for “natural” drinks and cultivated a “healthy and socially conscious image” in order to bolster drink sales (each bottle normally costing $4 each).

At the moment, the Food and Drug Administration does not have an official definition of what constitutes a “natural” product. However, the FDA does not object to the term’s use for food void of any “added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.” Despite this, PepsiCo. will remove “natural” from its Naked juices until more terminology guidance is made.

H/T USA Today + PicThx Naked Juice