With government-mandated trans fat labeling to begin in January, several companies are releasing new versions of popular foods with reduced or zero trans fat content. Among the items are Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn from ConAgra Foods and Oreo cookies from Kraft Foods. The government regulations don't cover restaurants, but there is a push at some chains to reduce trans fat content in restaurant kitchens as well.
As of February 2006, Orville Redenbacher's and ACT II microwave popcorn brands will be free of trans fats, ConAgra Foods announced. "By the end of 2006 ConAgra Foods expects to eliminate or significantly reduce trans fat so that it will be at zero grams or minimized levels for the vast majority of our products," a ConAgra official said.
Bravo's documentary about the 2004 Pillsbury Bake-Off highlights amateur cooks using ready-made dough to create simple, easy-bake dishes. Competitors for the $1 million prize also can make use of other General Mills products in their recipes.
With studies indicating consumers have less time to shop for groceries, supermarkets are offering more convenience foods, such as take-home "meal solutions" and ready-to-go-meals from local restaurants. Food makers also are getting in on the act, with Banquet expanding its Crock Pot classics line and Menu Fresh offering ready-to-eat fajita kits.