The company, which started work on the concepts earlier this year, said it has grouped together the prototypes under a new marketing platform designed to meet the growing consumer need for higher vegetable consumption. The range features Wild's flavor and seasoning ingredients, and demonstrates ways these can help deliver fruit and vegetable servings in non-traditional vegetable applications. Examples include a dried vegetable snack mix, a fruit and vegetable confectionery chew, and vegetable drinks and bars. Wild told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the products were the result of research by its NEXT team (New Emerging eXciting Trends), which identifies market trends and develops innovative ways for the company to help its customers deliver on those trends. "This is one of the opportunities we identified last year. It started off looking at ways to get children to eat more vegetables, but then we started looking at ways that would appeal to all consumer groups," said Jessica Jones-Dille, Wild industry trend manager, and part of the firm's NEXT team. Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked with a decreased risk of obesity and certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Since 1990 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended consuming at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily. However, consumer research has repeatedly revealed that Americans are below the recommended intake levels, which has prompted the food industry to find innovative ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their processed products. The solutions developed by Wild include an Asiago Vegetable Trail Mix, which is a dried vegetable snack mix with asiago and herb seasoning. "You don't get much of a flavor when tasting dried vegetables on their own. So the seasoning we have added is designe to bring flavor to the product and give that savory quality of the vegetable," said Jones-Dille. In addition, the company has developed a Pumpkin-Pineapple or Mango-Melon-Carrot Fruit & Veggie Chew, which contains fruit juices, natural flavors and natural colors, as well as Wild's Resolver technology designed to tackle off-notes. The Raspberry & Cream Veggie Drink is a 100 percent vegetable and fruit juice beverage with raspberry and cream flavors and natural colors, while the Purple Vegetable Punch is made with beet, carrot, apple, pear and white Grape juices, and contains natural muscat grape flavor. Another prototype developed by the company is a salad dressing, that claims to provide an additional quarter serving of vegetables to a salad. It is a tomato-based vinaigrette and contains Wild's roasted tomato flavor. The firm's Salad Bar contains a half serving of vegetables, as well as 50 percent vitamin C per bar. It is made with natural picante seasoning, and uses Wild's SaltTrim technology that allows it to also make a 'low sodium' claim. Wild said it has already seen good manufacturer response to the concepts, after the firm featured some of these at the IFT show earlier this year. It expects to see a "first influx" of sales in 2008.