Food Columnists Name Freschetta Simply . . . Inspired Pizza Best New Supermarket Food of 2011, Give "Forks Down" to Six Others (Including Ben & Jerry's!)

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Nationally syndicated food columnists Bonnie Tandy Leblang and Carolyn Wyman have named Freschetta Simply ... Inspired Farmers Market Veggie Pizza the winner of their annual Golden Shopping Cart of the Year Award for best new food product introduced into U.S. supermarkets in 2011.

Nationally syndicated food columnists Bonnie Tandy Leblang and Carolyn Wyman have named Freschetta Simply ... Inspired Farmers Market Veggie Pizza the winner of their annual Golden Shopping Cart of the Year Award for best new food product introduced into U.S. supermarkets in 2011.

"Freschetta Simply ... Inspired brings frozen pizza up to upscale restaurant quality," said Carolyn Wyman, the junk-food-loving half of the duo behind the Supermarket Sampler food product reviewing team. Her writing partner, registered dietitian Bonnie Tandy Leblang, praised the pizza's "plethora of veggies" and environmentally friendly "soft" packaging. Both writers rhapsodized about the Farmers Market Veggie variety's "crisp, light and highly flavorful crust" and fresh-tasting, upscale toppings.

Freschetta Simply ... Inspired was one of 25 products praised or lambasted in the end-of-the-year edition of Supermarket Sampler, a Universal Uclick column co-written by Wyman and Leblang that helps newspaper readers around the country make smart food-purchasing decisions. The year-end rankings were based on more than 150 new foods the pair tried and wrote about this past year.

Leblang's runners-up for the Golden Shopping Cart Award included Wild Planet Foods Wild Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil ("ocean-friendly" and "with less mercury and more omega-3s than conventional brands"); Kashi Spicy Black Bean Enchilada ("nutritionally the supermarket freezer case doesn't offer much better"); and Stonyfield Organic After Dark Chocolate Nonfat Frozen Yogurt Bars ("heaven on a stick").

Wyman's favorites included Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry Mini Crisps (the iconic toaster pastries "miraculously transformed into a delicious diet snack"); Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce ("light enough for everyday eating and tasty enough that you'll want to eat it that often"); and Kozy Shack Bread Pudding ("no-work refrigerator dessert containing no more calories than a yogurt").

Double Forks Down designation was also given to what the pair jointly judged to be the six worse new food products of 2011, including Skinny Cow Cookies 'n Cream Truffle Bar ("anemic chemical-filled ice cream with a wisp of chocolate coating"); Dole Real Fruit Bites ("look like stones and tastes like sugar"); and Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack ("salty and soggy" proof that "comics should stick to comedy").
The full text of the special end-of-year edition of Supermarket Sampler with all 25 product recommendations and condemnations can be seen in the Atlanta Constitution, the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Deseret Morning News, among other newspapers, as well as online at http://www.uexpress.com/supermarketsampler the week of Dec. 25. To interview Carolyn Wyman and Bonnie Tandy Leblang about their column and 2011 food product trends, contact Alan McDermott at Universal Uclick at (816) 581-7333 or amcdermott@amuniversal.com.

About Universal Uclick
Universal Uclick is the largest independent syndicate in the world and a leading digital entertainment provider of humor, comic strips, political cartoons, and other content for print, web and mobile devices. Universal Uclick provides editorial development, licensing and other distribution services for iconic brands like Doonesbury, Dear Abby, and some of the most significant comics in history, including Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Garfield, Peanuts, Dilbert, For Better or For Worse, Cathy, and Ziggy as well as recent hits Lio, Cul de Sac and The Argyle Sweater. Effective June 1, 2011 Universal Uclick assumed management of syndication services for United Feature Syndicate which includes the properties Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, Marmaduke, Frank & Ernest, The Born Loser, Big Nate and Miss Manners, and the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) Package.

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Alan McDermott
Universal Uclick
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