New Product Launches Have Us Wondering...Um...Why?

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The more things change, the more we find ourselves scratching our heads at the stuff the powers-that-be in the corporate food world come up with.

Pop Culture Vita Food Products, Inc. is the number one brand of refrigerated seafood products, sales-wise, as well as an industry leader in the smoked fish category. Don't ask us how this translates into their new soda-pop flavored dessert toppings and barbecue sauces, though. We just report this stuff.

The company's Vita Specialty Foods arm has just introduced Dr. Pepper, A&W, 7Up and Crush-branded syrups, marinades and such for those of us who just can't get enough high fructose corn syrup in our diets the old-fashioned way. Offerings include Orange Crush Orange and Vanilla Cream Dessert Topper, A&W Rich 'n Hearty BBQ Sauce and 7Up Refreshing Citrus Marinade.

No, we haven't tried 'em yet. You go first.

Smell Your Way Svelte: Have you heard of Sensa? These little granules--called "tastants"-- claim to help dieters lose weight by intensifying the sensory experience of eating. As explained by creator Dr. Alan Hirsch on the company's website, "Sensa works with your sense of smell to curb your hunger without affecting the taste of your food. This induces something called 'sensory-specific satiety.' It makes your brain perceive that you've eaten more than you have and, thus, you eat less and lose weight."

Just sprinkle on the patent-pending concoction of maltodextrin, silica, tricalcium phosphate and natural and artificial flavors, and then watch the pounds melt away. Theoretically.

We're thinking someone used a similar brain-disruption process to influence the "Birthers." We have to admit, though, that the numerous smiling pics of happy users on the website and the 25 years of research Dr. Hirsch put into Sensa (beginning with his work as the founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago) have piqued our curiosity about this unusual new product.

Hmm. Research. What a novel idea.

Single Size Me: Anyone who takes offense at the outsized portions of unhealthy food in the American diet needs only look into the local grocery's freezer case for proof that plenty of companies are doing something about it. And we're not always on board with their efforts--100-calorie packs were one thing, designed for lunch boxes and desk drawers, single-portioned for an afternoon pick-me-up that wouldn't spoil your dinner, but itty bitty offerings from the likes of Edwards, Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs only make us feel more guilty about eating ice cream in the first place.

Three bites into an Edwards single-serve hot turtle brownie sundae...it was gone. And we'd been looking forward to it all day.

Similarly, B&J's and Häagen-Dazs teensy weensy 3-4 oz. ounce cups just made us sad. All this time, we thought the pint was a perfect serving size. Now we just feel piggy.

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