Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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Page 40 of 167

September 2016 | | 41 I n some ways, it's easier than ever to get a new product off the ground, while in others, it's as hard as it's ever been. Social media, mobile devices and 24/7 online access have allowed upstarts with shoestring budgets to bypass traditional distribution channels and get their products and messages out directly to consumers. Word of mouth, amplified by Facebook, Twitter and other social media engines, can lift new products out of obscurity and into the spotlight, often compelling traditional retailers to put them on their shelves, lest they lose sales to competing channels. But even products inspired by the most innovative ideas and that follow the latest trends aren't guaranteed success. Case in point: Marzetti's Veggie Drizzle Finishing Sauces. Made especially for cooked vegetables, these sauces ranged from 20 to 45 calories per serving and contained no preservatives, artificial ingredients, MSG or high-fructose corn syrup. Available in four flavors, they seemed poised to be a hit with consumers, who are increasingly moving vegetables to center plate, boosting their con- sumption of plant-based foods while reducing their meat intake. Snacks, solutions and stories among the winners of this year's new product contest. The of Succe SS Introduction by Jim Dudlicek / Food product reviews by Joan Driggs, Jim Dudlicek, Randy Hofbauer and Katie Martin Ta ST e FOOD

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