Whatever happened to good old food? I was recently speaking to The International New Products Forum and was amazed at some of the products that may be coming soon to a supermarket near you. Here they are: Helmut Lotti's Voice Pearls claimed to stimulate and refresh the voice; BM+ (great name), a pribiotic buttermilk, yum!; KP Nutsters, crunchy corn coated peanuts in ready salted, cheese and onion or salt'n'vinegar flavours; Tre Valli Fiordueve Limoncelle, the most disgusting lemon flavoured yellow cream in an aerosol can; and so on and so forth. There was only one product, a DIY popcorn with a butter flavoured sauce, that had any enjoyment factor. One can imagine small focus groups sitting around saying, What shall we invent today?' Perhaps they do it when high on drugs or watching the Teletubbies. Is there such a public demand for the weird and not so wonderful? Apparently only about 10% of these products are successful and that's probably dependent on the amount of money put behind an advertising campaign. But how many will stand the test of time? Heinz beans are still on the shelves decades later because, essentially, there you had a good honest product. The amount of money wasted on developing, packaging and launching these products is criminal. I can now understand why supermarkets have rows and rows of packaged and processed goods and very little fresh produce. What a shame that more manufacturers can't put honest food like good old baked beans into their production! On the other hand, these products wouldn't hit the shelves if supermarkets were more selective and the customer were more discerning. I think it's time supermarket buyers took a day trip to New York and visited Balducci, Zabars and Dean & Deluca. They're what I call real food stores. {{NEWS }}