Frito-Lay trims the fat


Snack manufacturer Frito-Lay is chomping down on fat in a big way, investing $225 million to expand its line of low-fat and no-fat items, such as Rold Gold Fat-Free Pretzels, Ruffles Reduced-Fat Potato Chips and Baked Tostitos tortilla chips. The investment will mean three new plants and additional snack production lines at 15 Frito-Lay plants.

Frito-Lay, a division of Pepsico Inc., is betting that aging baby boomers obsessed with cutting out fat will increasingly be demanding low-fat and nonfat snacks. Americans consume about one-fourth of their daily calories in snacks -- 87 pounds per capita per year in 1993.

The low-and-no-fat category accounted for 10 percent (nearly $500 million) of Frito-Lay retail sales in 1994; the company expects that by 1998, the category will represent a third of its snack business.

Besides the chips, Frito-Lay is also marketing a line of tasty nonfat salsas and dips.

Bite a bat bar

Cute little candy bunnies and chicks, move over. The bats are here.

That's right, bats. The American Bat Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the wild creatures that are the country's best bug-zappers, is offering Bat Bite candy bars, molded in the shape of "the cute and adorable American big brown bat." Profits from the sale of the chocolates will support programs at the National Bat Center in Rockville.

Bat Bites come in milk or white chocolate with peanut butter ears and a dark chocolate nose, or in plain milk chocolate and plain dark chocolate. Multicolor Bat Bites are $27 for a box of eight 2-ounce bars; plain Bat Bites are $25 for eight 2-ounce bars. These and other bat-related items are available from the National Bat Center's retail store, 5721 Randolph Road, Rockville, Md. 20852. For information or orders, call (301) 984-BATS.

Cake correction

A recipe for Cranberry Orange Streusel Cake in last Sunday's Tidbits column failed to list 1/2 cup brown sugar in the ingredients listed for the cake. Its use was listed correctly in the second step of the instructions.

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