Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hot Topics-Supermarket Superstar

Have you seen the new show on Bravo?  Supermarket Superstar has 3 entrepreneurs vying for $100K in product development money to get their product on the shelves.  They present their dish to 3 judges with an overview, price point intentions and nutrition benefits.  Some of the initial health claims are a little shady. 

Contestants are then given 90 minutes to reformulate, working with chef mentors.  Consideration is given to price, taste, nutrition and shelf life. Mentors help reduce the food cost, ramp up the flavor, improve the nutrition and extend the shelf life. 

To make the dishes healthier, for example, sodium is cut and frozen entrees are baked in a convection oven rather than fried prior to freezing.  Just subbing soy sauce for table salt in a recipe cut the sodium by 5/6 (!) and added a slightly different flavor profile.  Veggies were added to a "complete meal" frozen dinner and portion size was decreased on another entree.  The good news?  These are all tips you can transfer to your test kitchen.

Final dishes are presented to a focus group for judging so there is "real people" input to the process.  The bad news?  I can't tell you who won because I fell asleep before the end of the show - probably more a commentary about me than the show.

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