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January 17, 2007

Fizzy Fruit — Shades of Pop Rocks and Rice Krispies


Is this the new, new thing?

Food that does stuff in your mouth?

Bruce Horovitz, in yesterday's USA Today, wrote about this new product.

Long story short: It's real fruit — grapes, slices of apple and pineapple — carbonated in a secret process using the same very carbon dioxide as in soft drinks.

Available now at Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven stores in the Southeast and Southwest U.S., and coming to a store near you real soon now.

Here's the article.

    Fizzy Fruit hopes bubbles tickle kids' appetite for fruit

    Better-for-you snacking has come down to this: fresh fruit all but guaranteed to make kids belch.

    It's Fizzy Fruit — whole grapes or slices of apples or pineapples carbonated in a secret process with the same carbon dioxide that's in soft drinks but without added sugar.

    At a time of resolutions to eat better and calls for healthier snacks for kids, two powerhouses of food retailing, Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven, just began selling Fizzy Fruit in some stores in the Southeast and Southwest. Disney thinks enough of the product that it plans a March promotion for Fizzy Fruit cups tied to its upcoming film Meet the Robinsons.

    The fruit is raising eyebrows as one of the more unusual — if not provocative — food items in stores.

    Food scientist Steven Witherly predicts kids may like it so much that overall fruit consumption actually could rise. But Witherly, author of the upcoming book Why Humans Like Junk Food, warns, "The consumption of non-fizzed fruit may decrease."

    One nutritionist is concerned. "Will this get kids used to eating fruit in an unnatural form and deter them from eating it in a natural form?" asks Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. "It's sad that we've come to this state of affairs."

    But Fizzy Fruit executives think they've created a genre that will improve kids' diets and even change the way they view fruit.

    "If we could get kids eating Fizzy Fruit instead of candy, that would make a lot of parents happy," says Jeff Mason, president of Fizzy Fruit and former managing director of a Coca-Cola unit.

    Mason says Fizzy Fruit will be sold coast-to-coast by spring. It's already sold in dozens of school cafeterias as part of the lunches.

    "Kids love how it fizzes in their mouths," says Connie Larsen, principal at Sunrise Elementary School in Albany, Ore.

    But it isn't cheap. A 5-oz. pack at 7-Eleven is $2.49.

    Executives at 7-Eleven say it helps raise the bar on healthier food. "While some folks come in for Slurpees, others want healthier things for their kids," says John Vaughan, the fresh food merchandiser in Texas, where 220 stores carry Fizzy Fruit.

    Wal-Mart carries it in 1,200 stores in 15 states — at $1.88 a cup. "You can't eat this stuff without smiling," says spokeswoman Karen Burk. Wal-Mart is considering carrying it nationally.

    Country Fresh is the Fizzy Fruit licensee that supplies both chains.

    The toughest thing is getting consumers to comprehend what Fizzy Fruit is, says Alex Espalin, marketing chief at Fizzy Fruit and former innovation director at Coke.

    "Fizzy Fruit defines a new product experience for kids," he says. It's this generation's Pop Rocks, he says, in reference to the 1970s cult candy made with carbon dioxide that crackled when it hit the tongue.

    But Fizzy Fruit has one critical difference: It's real fruit, not candy.

January 17, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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Secret process? BAH! I discovered how to do this a few years ago. Here's the steps:

Required items: dry ice, fruit, cooler

1. Place dry ice in cooler.
2. Place fruit of your choice in cool, but NOT touching the dry ice.
3. Close the cooler and let it sit overnight.
4. Enjoy your carbonated fruit!

Explaination: the dry ice gives of carbon dioxide gas. Through the night, the fruit has almost nothing to be in contact to but that gas. It seeps through creating "carbonated" fruit!

Keep in mind: the fruit is like a soda... keep it in the air for too long and it will go flat. Notice how the "Fizzy Fruits" are kept in a can.

Posted by: The Revealer | Jan 17, 2007 11:18:04 AM

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