The votes are in for Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2016 Readers’ Choice Best New Retail Products contest. Congratulations to Prosperity Organic Foods, Inc., maker of MELT Organic, Boise, Idaho, for placing fourth with a total of 2,386 votes for its probiotic butter spread.

Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods and the creator of the Readers’ Choice Best New Retail Products contest, talked exclusively with Meg Carlson, president and CEO, to discuss more in-depth about the contest, the “winning” product and what’s in store for the future.


Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: First off, congratulations on being placing fourth in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ Top 5 Best New Retail Products contest. What does this recognition mean to you, your company, your products and your consumers?

Meg Carlson: Being selected as a Top 5 new retail product should help us accelerate bringing a truly innovative product to market, with an endorsement that is highly relevant to all of our retail customers and partners. Currently, retailers across the conventional, specialty and natural channels with nearly 4,000 stores have authorized new Probiotic MELT Organic Buttery Spread. With this feature, we expect to be able to secure distribution with more retailers this year.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Your new retail product—probiotic butter spread—was nominated by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ editor-in-chief Marina Mayer. What features does this new product hold that would allow it to even be nominated?

Carlson: MELT Organic, [what is said to be] North America’s first line of dairy-free butter substitutesmade with virgin coconut oil, teamed with Ganeden, the Mayfield Heights, Ohio, maker of patented probiotic GanedenBC30, to launch Probiotic MELTButtery Spread. Probiotic MELTButtery Spread is a luscious butter improvement that is truly good for you and your digestive health.

Made from the Perfect Blend of “good fats” like virgin coconut, hi-oleic sunflower and flaxseed oils, this innovative spread is blended with the highly stable probiotic GanedenBC30. Probiotic MELT supports digestive health and a healthy immune system when consumed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Even better, Probiotic MELT delivers active cultures more effectively than yogurt.

Backed by an understanding that probiotics are more effective when consumed with food, MELT elected to partner with Ganeden. With its creamy taste, new Probiotic MELT enhances the flavor of the foods you love while delivering probiotics safely and deliciously. Just two servings, or two tablespoons, per day spread liberally on your morning toast, muffin, bagel or waffles will support your digestive health, by delivering 1 billion colony forming units, which is the daily dose for this strain of probiotic.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: How did you go about accruing so many votes? What was your plan?

Carlson: MELT Organic has very passionate and loyal fans, so we engaged with them repeatedly and asked for their votes through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) and our e-newsletter. We kept them informed of the tally and reminded them to vote daily. And, of course, we joined in the voting as well and shared with all of our friends.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What goes into developing a new product?

Carlson: We begin with an assessment of consumer trends and potential market demand. We then define the product benefits and features and specify the expected deliverables for a “home run.” We work closely with our partner ingredient suppliers to leverage their expertise and knowledge. We assess concept and product with our target consumers to ensure we are on target. Our R&D team creates prototypes for evaluation and refinement before refining finished products in our production facility.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Any unique features to the product’s packaging?

Carlson: New Probiotic MELT Organic Buttery Spread utilizes the same innovative square package that we pioneered in the spreads category when we launched our flagship product, Rich & Creamy MELT Organic Buttery Spread, into test markets in 2010. MELT Organic packaging fits easily in your refrigerator’s door for easy access, and is tamper-evident, recyclable (#5), microwaveable and dishwasher safe. Square packaging reduces greenhouse emissions when compared to traditional round tubs because it requires less space on retail grocers’ shelves, in warehouses and on trucks.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What is on the horizon for your company?

Carlson: It is our promise that each MELT Organic product be based on the real deal when it comes to dietary fats. We have lived through the “school of hard knocks” and uncovered the benefits of certain plant-based fats in reversing personal health conditions and improving the lives of our families. Because of the almost deafening noise of misinformation about dietary fats, we work closely with experts in lipids (fats) chemistry who are generating the latest scientific research. We will continue to create and market luscious-tasting alternatives to traditional products through innovative uses of healthy fats.