I'm Phil Lempert with the New Product Hits & Misses.
Up first, Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters.
There's way too much going on here; dark chocolate chips, gluten free pretzels and caramel. While it all sounds great together the dark chocolate taste overpowers all the other flavors. I can't taste the caramel and the pretzels are mushy and have no flavor. One bag, which is 3 pieces has just under 200 calories, 9 grams of fat and just over 16 grams of sugars.
Retails for $3.75 for 1.5 oz. Total score is 79.
Buen Sabor Spicy Turkey & Lentil Pastelon.
A pastelon is a Puerto Rican lasagna with plantains. While the finished product looks nothing like the picture on the package the taste is excellent. A recipe of plantains, brown lentils, ground turkey, cheese, potatoes, vegetables and spices is actually very satisfying and perfectly seasoned. The food itself comes in a paperboard tray that you can microwave or cook in a conventional oven. Get past the aroma while cooking and the visual in the tray; and this is one terrific meal. 300 calories, 9 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, but it also contains 18 grams of naturally occurring sugars and 1140 mg of sodium for the whole serving. Retails for $4.99 for 9 oz. Total Score is 84.
Brothers All Natural Fruit Clusters
Raspberry Fuji Apple is a hit.
These are sweet fruit based snacks that are freeze dried, very flavorful and very crunchy. The ingredients are Fuji apples, raspberry, fruit pectin and apple juice concentrate. The ingredients are imported from Chile, China or Mexico as well as from here in the US. There's no sugar added, but in this 1 1/4 ounce bag there are 24 grams of naturally occurring sugars. It's a wonderful alternative for kids. The raspberry flavor does overpower the apple flavor a bit.
Retails for $3.75 for 1.25 oz. Total Score is 86.
Marquis 03 Mango Ginger is a hit.
What will it take for package designers to understand that you can't read white letters on a yellow background? Having said that this zero calorie, sweetened with erythritol and stevia lightly carbonated beverage is delicious. Just the right balance between the lemon, mango, ginger, green tea and yerba mate. Definitely a terrific replacement for traditional soda and also gives you 100% of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, 250% vitamin B12 and 100% niacin. So what is this really? An energy drink that tastes good. Retails for $2.99 for 12 oz. Total score is 89.
Deception Salsa Insanity Hot Tomato Salsa Heat Index 8 is the hit of the week.
This salsa is not only hot, but delicious. A wonderful recipe made from real tomatoes, not ketchup - this is delicious. A zesty blend of onion, habanero, green bell, red hot cherry, serrano, jalapeño and thai peppers. 2 tablespoons are just 20 calories and 3 grams of sugars. My one complaint is that I like my salsa a little thicker and find this one to be a tiny bit runny. Pour out some of the liquid and its perfect. Retails for $5.69 for 12 oz. Total score is 91.