Natural Foods Merchandiser

Food Bites

Americans Say No To Supersize
For the first time in more than a decade, the average annual U.S. consumption of French fries is falling. For the fiscal year ending June 30, Americans munched 1 percent less of their favorite finger food. According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the typical consumer will still eat 28 pounds of fries this year.

Charles Plummer, the USDA's potato specialist, told the Wall Street Journal that slowing expansion of the fast-food industry and market saturation were the primary factors. "[Consumption's] grown so much for so long it's getting to the point where [one has to ask] how much more can each person eat?" he said.

Increasing interest in healthy eating or a wellness lifestyle was not cited as a reason for the decreased junk food consumption.

Home Box Office, the cable television network that produces "The Sopranos," is making customers an offer they can't refuse: food.

The drama about a New Jersey mob family is in its fourth season, and HBO is capitalizing on its popularity. Warner Books, an HBO corporate cousin, will publish The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco. Bucco is the fictional owner of the Nuovo Vesuvio restaurant often featured in the series. Recipes will be paired with cooking tips from show characters, such as Tony Soprano's grilling tips.

HBO is also planning a line of specialty foods under the Bucco name. The first products—marinara sauce, pasta, salad dressings and frozen pizzas—will hit stores this fall.

Please Play With Your Food
The U.S. soyfoods market has experienced tremendous growth during the past 10 years, as processors and marketers met consumer demand for healthy, tasty and convenient food products. But SoyToy, an Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based company, is hoping to push the market for soyfoods even further.

SoyToy, a kitchen appliance, makes fresh soy milk from dry soybeans in about 25 minutes for pennies a serving. A natural for vegetarian chefs, the SoyToy allows cooks to retain the bean fiber, or okara, left after milking. Visit to find out more. The product is being positioned for sale at natural foods retail stores.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 10/p. 48

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