Datamonitor's new product tracking tool, the Worldwide Innovations Network (WIN) highlights the latest innovative food and drink products from around the world. Examining several markets, it is clear that the key trends of convenience, health and pleasure are driving product innovation.

Consumers want it all: the healthiest products that provide the maximum level of nutrition without compromising on taste, delivered in fuss-free convenient packaging and requiring the minimum amount of preparation time.

Rocio Pajuelo, Manager of WIN comments: "Consumers are seeking products that deliver on all counts without them having to think too much about what they are eating; they have passed that responsibility to the manufacturer. If a product does not deliver, the consumer will not think twice about switching to a supplier that will. The products highlighted on WIN illustrate manufacturer's attempts to combine health, indulgence and convenience in all products."

Soft Drinks

T&T Beverages has launched a drink in the UK called Santesse. Specifically aimed at women, the product comes in two variants, Aronia Berries and China Green, both of which are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Aronia Berries are a good source of folic acid, calcium and B vitamins, while China Green, a blend of peach juice and herbal green tea, contains vitamins A and E, iron and zinc.

Evian-Volvic has launched the "@ction" bottle of Evian mineral water in France following its UK debut. Especially portable thanks to its patented ring cap, the 750ml bottle is sold in a three-pack at around FF9.90.

Black Sheep Beverage Distributors has launched Hemp in South Africa. The energy drink is the first of its kind with added hempseed extract, although it contains no THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) or glucoronolactone (as found in Red Bull). The drink is presented in a 330ml can.

Hot Drinks

Kraft Canada has launched a coffee with 50%-reduced caffeine. Intended for heavy coffee drinkers, Maxwell House Half Caff is packaged in a 200g glass jar and has a suggested retail price of C$4.99.

Nestlé has launched an organic variety of Nescafé coffee in the UK. Nescafé Organic is presented in a recyclable cardboard tub.

Jacksons of Piccadilly is introducing a three-strong range of teas in the UK. The teas are called Refreshing (blue pack), Soothing (yellow pack) and Energising (orange pack) and are intended to help induce the consumer into those sensations. Packs of 20 sachets will retail at a recommended price of £1.39.

Beer & Cider

Gluek Brewing is to launch Hard E in the US, the world's first hard energy beer. The hard energy malt beverage contains ginseng extract, vitamins A, B & C and has a citrus taste.

Grupo Modelo has introduced cans for its Corona Extra Mexican beer. The 355ml can features a wide mouth to accommodate the traditional slice of lime.

United States Beverage has introduced Hooper's Hooch Red Brew Cooler. The berry-flavoured drink joins the existing lemon and orange varieties on the US market.

Spirits

The Reformed Spirits Company has launched a range of vodkas from Iceland in the UK. Pölstar will initially be available in plain and cucumber variants, although lemon, cranberry and pipar (pepper) varieties are planned.

In Japan, Mercian has launched a gin & tonic pre-mix flavoured with valerian root. Said to calm the nerves and aid sleep, the sparkling pre-mixed spirit contains 6% alcohol and retails at around ¥220.

Allied Domecq has introduced a spicy cinnamon liqueur in the US called Lava. Intended to be consumed in 'shots', the spirit is targeted at young men.

Dairy

Müller Dairy (UK) has launched a three-strong range of "gently proactive" probiotic yoghurts called Vitality. The low-fat pineapple, apricot and raspberry yoghurts targeted at female consumers are sold in 175g pots for around £0.45 and mark the manufacturer's first foray into functional food.

The Ploner milk and cheese sales company of Austria has launched an "aphrodisiac" drinking yoghurt made with pomegranate, damiana and ginseng root. Venusbecher, said to heighten desire and stamina, is presented in a 250g pot with a recommended retail price of between öS11.90 and öS14.90.

Rumblers Bio is a new yoghurt & cereal breakfast kit from Ennis Foods which joins the company's Rumblers range of cereal & milk combinations. The raspberry and hazelnut varieties both include a spoon and are aimed at the 'deskfast' for office workers who have breakfast at work.

Baby

New from Farley (UK) is the Simplifeed System, an easy-to-use range of baby milk kits in first-stage, second-stage and follow-on variants. Each pack comprises eight 75g sachets of powdered milk and a mixing container for convenience, simplicity and hygiene. The range replaced Farley's powdered milk tins in August 2000.
Nestlé France has added Nestlé Babicao with cocoa and Nestlé Babimiel with honey to its baby breakfast cereal range. The low-sugar cereals are fortified with seven vitamins and especially shaped for babies. The products are presented in 250g cardboard boxes retailing at a recommended price of FF11.40.

Nestlé Alete (Germany) has launched Beba Sensitive, a low-allergen baby food suitable from birth onwards. Intended for sensitive babies, the virtually lactose-free food is said to relieve bloating and digestive problems. It also provides all the important nutrients required by a growing baby and is sold in a 500g box.

Confectionery

Food Brokers has launched Chupa Chups Shocking Pops in the UK. Aimed at boys, the strawberry-flavour lollipop has a spring-loaded base which hides one of four plastic toys: a lizard, a cobra, a blood-sucking insect or a bloody eyeball.

Taste of Nature has introduced Muddy Bears, fruit-flavoured gummies covered in milk chocolate. The candies are shaped like bears and come in an 88g bag.

General Mills has launched Betty Crocker Fruity Peel-Outs in a Mickey Mouse variety. The chewy fruit snacks come in a roll featuring Mickey Mouse shapes that can be peeled from the strip.

Snacks

Frito-Lay Thailand and Vanusnant Lampoon Snack are to launch a fat-free pork rind snack. The product, called Tawan, will initially be tested in Bangkok.

Golden Valley has launched Act II corn on the cob-flavour popcorn suitable for the microwave. A 106g plastic sachet retails at Rp11,000.

Hanami Tohato has launched Snack Jack snack in Malaysia. The 140g crispy green pea snack retails at MYR 6.90. The exotic product should appeal to adult consumers.

Pasta & Rice

Bestfoods has introduced King Pot Noodle in the UK. The instant noodle snack is 100g larger than the regular Pot Noodle at 400g and comes in chicken & mushroom and beef & tomato variants.

Lustucru has launched Riz Long-Grain Cuisson Express, described as the fastest-cooking rice on the French market. Ready in five minutes, the rice is sold in a 1kg pack at around FF18, while a four-pack of 125g boiling bags is available at FF11.

Plasmon (Italy) has launched specially selected small rice for babies from five months. Bebi Riso, described as rich in vitamins and calcium but free of gluten, milk protein and preservatives, is sold in a 300g box.

Sauces

New in Thomy's (Germany) range of mayonnaise dressings is Sandwich Creme, the first mayonnaise especially for use in sandwiches. Presented in a squeezable 250ml bottle (RRP: DM2.49), the mayonnaise is said to complement the flavor of other sandwich fillings while preventing excessive dryness.
Four organic dips have been launched in the UK by Simply Organic. The cream cheese & chive, creamy curry, creamy chickpea & pesto and hot tomato salsa dips are presented in 130g packs and retail at between £1.20 and £1.55.

Fancy Fare Distributors have launched Spirited Mustards in the US by. With an indulgent product positioning, the condiment sauces come in raspberry wine and honey wine varieties.

New from Sacla UK is a range of premium pasta sauces comprising sun-dried tomato & garlic, tomato & mascarpone, olive & tomato, spicy pepper & tomato and mushroom & marsala wine variants. Each sauce is presented in a 190g jar with a retail price of £1.69.)

Frozen

Vlasic Foods has launched new Potato Topped frozen pies into the Swanson range in Canada. The 340g chicken and beef pies each contain vegetables and have a mashed potato topping which browns in the microwave thanks to innovative packaging.

New from Agricola Italiana Alimentare is Chicken Pizza, an innovative product consisting of cheese & tomato on a chicken base. Aimed at young consumers, the novel "pizza" can be heated in three minutes from frozen.

St Michael has extended its ice creams range with the addition of an Australian Chardonnay Sorbet in the UK. The 500ml tub is a white wine sorbet created by Marks & Spencer in conjunction with the chief winemaker at Lindemans Winery. The other variant in the range is an Australian Cabernet Shivaz Sorbet. Both variants retail at £3.49.
Chilled

Steinburger Landwurst is a new 'functional' sausage formulated with alpine wild garlic (also known as 'bear paw' garlic). Said to offer antioxidant and antibacterial effects while helping to maintain healthy blood pressure, the innovative sausage has been tested and recommended by a TV chef.

Piazza Pizza has launched Personal Deep Dish Pizzas. The chilled pizzas come in three varieties, cheese, pepperoni and pepperoni & sausage, and microwave in less than two minutes.

Notes to Editors

The Worldwide Innovations Network (WIN) is an on-line new product tracking tool from independent market analysis experts Datamonitor. WIN provides fingertip access to information regarding product launches in food and drinks markets in over fifty countries. Access WIN at http://win.datamonitor.com.

Datamonitor (www.datamonitor.com) are able to provide tailored features on the latest innovative food and drink launches from around the world. Further details are available from Yasmeen Khan in the Datamonitor Consumer Markets Press Office in London on ++ 44 020 7 675 7487 or ykhan@datamonitor.com

**Launching a new product? Call or email Rocio Pajuelo to have it featured on WIN. Phone: ++44 207 675 7230. Email: rpajuelo@datamonitor.com