Wegmans Bowing Super Pasta

This Labor Day weekend, Wegmans Food Markets will introduce Wegmans Super Pasta, which, according to the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer, looks and tastes like traditional noodles, but packs in more nutritional benefits “than perhaps any other brand on the market:”

Providing an entire serving of whole grains and added protein and fiber, as well as calcium, vitamin D, and ALA omega-3s, the pasta will be available in five varieties: spaghetti, thin spaghetti, penne rigate, spirals and elbows. The suggested retail price is $1.99 per package.

Noting that a more pasta products and sales come from the “healthy” segment, the Wegmans team set out to develop a truly super product. “We wanted a whole grain pasta that everyone in the family would like – including kids and others who haven’t liked the taste or texture of whole wheat pastas,” explained the grocer’s nutrition and product labeling manager, Jane Andrews. “We also thought it should have important nutrients that are often in short supply in many people’s diets, especially growing children’s. Many studies show that most of us can benefit from extra calcium, vitamin D and ALA omega-3s, so we added them.”

A key nutritional advantage of the new pasta is extra fiber, noted Andrews. “Super Pasta has fiber from whole grains, as well as some resistant starch, a kind of fiber that comes from corn,” she said. “Both types slow down the rate of digestion, so you feel fuller longer, and the rise in blood sugar is more gradual and sustained. That’s good for everybody, but especially for people with diabetes.”

The light-brown color of the pasta turns a lighter shade when cooked, and in both taste and appearance, it resembles traditional white pastas – a key element in winning over reluctant eaters of whole wheat products, according to Wegmans.

Additionally, according to Christine Coffey, product development and education specialist, who worked on the pasta project: “It holds its shape and texture nicely, even with a bit of overcooking. It’s what chefs call ‘forgiveness’ and it just helps things go a little more smoothly in the kitchen. We tried about a dozen different formulations before we reached this one.”

Super Pasta be on prominent display in stores, with sampling and culinary demos during the autumn, a write-up in the fall issue of Wegmans Menu magazine, and coupons to invite trial.

Family-owned Wegmans operates 76 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.