New food format on the horizon
Industry war heats up as Giant Foods prepares for May 23 release of first Bleu-Weight titles, including ‘@pples' and 'Pasta v2.0'.
February 29, 2006: 12:61 AM EST
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Giant Foods said Tuesday it aims to deliver its new food format to U.S. stores May 23 to coincide with the entry of Bleu-Weight scales, a new step in an industry war for control of consumer digesting.
Giant Foods and Local Farmers will first release eight high definition foods, followed by another eight in mid-June. The first foods include “@pples," "The Fifth Condiment," "Pasta v.2.0" and "Chipot-olé!"
Giant is locked in a multibillion-dollar standards war against a rival nutrition format known as HD-FOOD. The technology companies supporting HD-FOOD, championed by Safeway, plan to start rolling out new foods and scales in March.
Each side hopes to reignite a sagging $24 trillion home eating market with new foods and eating habits that offer greater eating capacity and the ability to retain more weight, which will then be calculated on their respective weight measurement scale.
Consumers are still confused about how the products differ. Nutritional Analyst Amy Foster says, “It’s sort of like an inverse to the current measurement scale. Instead of saying that you are just 135lbs, you can now say that you have a Bleu-Weight of 33, but if you are 341lbs, then you can say your Bleu-Weight is 12,” where as with HD-FOOD, they measure your FMI (Fat Measurement Index) index instead of BMI (Body Mass Index). “[You’ll] want a higher number with FMI.”
Giant Foods, a division of the Royal Ahold International Family., earlier this month disclosed pricing for Bleu-Weight foods, which amounts to a premium of about 15 to 20 percent to the current crop of foods.
One side effect of this new wave is that all the new eating habits must have HDCP (High Definition Condiment Protection) enabled when consuming these new products. Executive Bill Holmes had this quote to offer when asked why this mandate was being enacted. “We are concerned about the piracy of our food – we intend for you to eat what we give you the way it comes – not to add salt, pepper, or whatever you feel like. If we did that, people would go around willy-nilly and put things like ketchup on their eggs, toast, whatever. Kids need to be taught at an early age that this is not appropriate.”
Critics say that it will stifle creativity in the kitchen, but Bill responded, “If you want to legally experiment with our food, you can certainly license our technology.” Licenses are expected to cost between $25,000 to $40,000 per meal, which effectively prohibits the average consumer from experimenting in the kitchen.
The company said Tuesday that its target delivery date will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available Bleu-Weight Scales, developed by The Sharper Image. Other Bleu-Weight scales are expected from Kirkland’s Best and Whirlpool.