Although the majority of Americans feel that foods in supermarkets are safe, the percentage who feel this way has decreased over the last five years, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. The latest NPD Food Safety Monitor, which has tracked food safety concerns and eating intentions in the U.S. every other week since 2001, indicates that in 2007 and 2008, 63 percent agreed with the statement that foods sold in supermarkets are safe, versus 68 percent who agreed with the statement in 2004.

“I believe that consumers’ slipping confidence in the safety of supermarket food is less about food safety and more about supermarkets expanding foodservice operations and offering more prepared, ready-to-eat foods,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice president at NPD, which conducts extensive food industry research. “More food handling issues and concerns come into play when foods are prepared for you. Consumers are now extending the concerns they have about the safety of foods served at restaurants to supermarkets.”

According to the NPD Food Safety Monitor, the percentage of consumers who feel that foods served at restaurants are safe has remained, on average, between 48 and 49 percent since 2004. “Consumers are more concerned about the safety of food served in restaurants than food available from supermarkets, about a 15 percentage point difference,” says Balzer. “However, feelings about food safety in restaurants have remained relatively unchanged whereas the number of consumers who feel confident in the safety of foods in supermarkets is declining.”

In terms of food safety concerns, salmonella, E. coli, trans fatty acids, mercury in fish/seafood, Mad Cow disease, high fructose corn syrup, artificial growth hormones in milk, genetically modified foods, foot and mouth disease, and meat/milk from cloned animals rank among Americans’ top food safety concerns, according to the report.

Source: The NPD Group

Land O'Frost launches sub sandwich kit

Land O'Frost, a family-owned business and the third largest manufacturer of pre-packaged lunchmeats, today announced the launch of its first Sub Sandwich Kit, featuring consumer favorites Smoked Ham and Oven Roasted Turkey in the same package.

“The Land O'Frost Sub Sandwich Kit caters to busy moms who want convenience, value and consistent quality in everything they purchase for their families,” said Land O'Frost President David Van Eekeren. “All Sub Sandwich Kits are prepared with finest cuts of ham and turkey, which are slow-roasted to a tender perfection to deliver our signature great tasting lunchmeats.”

The Land O'Frost Sub Sandwich Kit differs from similar products on the market thanks to its special packaging design. Inside each Sub Sandwich Kit, the ham and turkey are packaged separately, ensuring the lunchmeat flavors don't overlap and promising maximum freshness after each use.

Source: Land O’Frost

Foster Farms ad campaign raises “plumping” awareness

Starting in April, Foster Farms will launch a new consumer awareness campaign to inform shoppers of the process of “plumping” chicken with saltwater. Injecting the carcasses with water raises the weight of the bird, but Foster is noting that the average serving of plumped chicken contains more sodium than a large order of French fries, or more than 25 percent of the daily recommended allowance.

“There’s nothing ‘natural’ about saltwater that consumers are unknowingly paying for at chicken prices,” said Ira Brill, director of marketing and advertising services for Foster Farms. “We believe consumers who purchase fresh chicken should get what they expect to pay for, particularly in these tough economic times. We feel it’s important to continue our 70-year commitment to producing premium, all natural, fresh poultry.”

The ad campaign will include television advertising, events, online and out-of-home components and will begin on April 13.

Source: Foster Farms

Jack In The Box joins in on mini-burger trend

Jack in the Box restaurants have introduced Mini Sirloin Burgers - beefy, high-quality hamburgers that are ideal for sharing with friends or as a satisfying meal for one. Jack’s new Mini Sirloin Burgers feature a trio of all-sirloin patties, which are seasoned while cooking, topped with American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup served on small, bakery-style buns reminiscent of Hawaiian sweet rolls.

“Mini burgers and sandwiches are increasing in popularity throughout the restaurant industry,” said Teka O'Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. “Our new Mini Sirloin Burgers match the premium quality and taste of similar items offered at casual-dining restaurants and trendy burger bars, but for a quick-serve restaurant price.”

Mini Sirloin Burgers are available now for the suggested price, excluding tax, of $3.89 at all participating Jack in the Box restaurants.

Source: Jack In The Box Inc.