Mintel's Global New Products Database has seen many new food product introductions from around the world in September.

Caramac biscuits
Biscuits with caramel continue to be a favored combination, both by manufacturers and consumers.  Nestle is using the blend to revive two of its brands in the UK - BreakAway biscuit and Caramac caramel chocolate tablet.  The new BreakAway Caramac wholemeal digestive biscuits have a 25% caramel flavor coating.

Whiskey & absinthe FABs
Vodka forms the main base for FABs (Flavored Alcoholic Beverages), especially in the UK.  However, other spirits are slowly entering the market to liven up competition.  We are referring to whiskey and absinthe. On test in Spain, and expected to be launched in the UK is J&B Twist, a Jim Beam whiskey based premium packaged spirit with 5.6% ABV.  The absinthe based line has been launched in the UK by Sebor Absinth.  The product is called Wilde Mule and is a 5.4% ABV blend of absinthe, ginger and lime.  We have also witnessed the launch of FABs in larger, sharing bottle sizes. This trend continues.  New in the UK are 700 ml bottle sizes for WKD Original Vodka Blue and WKD Original Vodka Iron Brew from Beverage Brands.

Becel in Canada
Unilever Canada has brought the Brecel Pro-Activ brand from Europe to Canada.  This is the cholesterol-reducing margarine that is the same as the US brand Take Control.   Becel Pro-Active is widely sold in Europe.

Floral milk & carrot cheese
Asian markets appear to be more experimental when it comes to "unusual" ingredients in food.  We have come across basil and orange drink mixes, a milk with carrot, and ice cream with gorgonzola and camembert cheese.  Now new in China is a UHT drinking milk scented with rose.  It has been launched by Yili Industrial Group.  While in South Korea, we report on carrot cheese slices from Seoul Milk.  They are formulated with carrot juice and are rich in calcium, vitamin D3 and carotene.  In the UK and French dairy sector, convenience is the order of the day.  In France, Danone has launched its Danao milk drink in bottles that can be kept out of the fridge for up to six hours.  In the UK, Allied Frozen Foods has introduced under the Jeffrey's brand, frozen sticks of double cream said to be the equivalent of one tablespoon.

Yogurt drink blends
Two interesting yogurt drinks are reported this month.  In China, Vitalon Food Enterprises has launched under the Snowdew brand, a canned yogurt mineral drink with calcium lactate and other minerals.  In Germany, where functional foods continue to be popular, Brohler Mineral und Heilbrunnen has introduced Snack-Joghurt.  It is a mineral water and yogurt drink with probiotic fibres.

Ovaltine stretched to ice cream
The Ovaltine brand from Novartis Nutrition is best known as a malted drink mix, but has been extended in the past to include functional beverage mixes (Ovaltine Smart), energy drink mixes (Ovaltine Power), biscuits and cereals.  Kowloon Dairy has now extended the brand in Hong Kong with two new lines - a liquid malted milk and an ice cream.  Both products are flagged "nutritional", are enriched with multivitamins and minerals, and contain the traditional blend of barley and malt extract.  The ice creams come in a box of four single-serve pots.

Wellness...the next buzzword
"Wellness" seems to be the next "in" word in fast moving consumer goods. We have had Fa Wellness System toiletries, Bismark Wellness Health Drink, and even Wellness dog treats.  It supposedly indicates health, vitality and general well-being.  Now, new in Germany from Nestle are Wellness lemon flavored, stick ice lollies free from sugar or fat and suitable for diabetics.

Sweetcorn & surprise ice cream
On a more bizarre level (to the Western world), new in Singapore from U-Love are sweetcorn flavored stick ice creams.  It just goes to show the versatility of some vegetables!  In the UK, an element of surprise may be given to ice cream.  Haagen-Dazs is reportedly planning to release its ice creams in plain white, unmarked tubs so the consumer is unaware of what flavor they are purchasing.

Woofin' it up
Pooches like to travel in style, same as their owners, and now they can eat with the same convenience as them.  A meal kit for dogs in the US is available from OurPet's that includes a bottle of water, a pouch of dry dog food, and a container that does double duty as a water bowl, food bowl, and carrying case for the product.  The Pet Picnic can be purchased at pet stores and through the internet.

Confectionery brand muffins
To add innovation in the muffin market we have started to see products in the UK based on confectionery and biscuit brands. Past examples include Jaffa Cakes and Galaxy (from Mars).  The Yorkie and Rolo chocolate brands from Nestle now also join in.  New in the UK are Yorkie and Rolo muffins with chocolate cream centers.  Also of interest in the bakery sector in Indonesia are two novel flavored biscuits: tiramisu from Orang Tua; and eggnog from Nissin.

Cranberry goes white
Leading cranberry producer Ocean Spray is adding innovation to the booming cranberry juices market with its first white range.  The white berries are harvested before they turn red, and are said to give a smoother and milder flavor.  The range, which is available in three varieties, is on trial-run in the US, and is set to be launched in the UK and other European countries next year. Cactus again features in a new beverage.  New in Germany from Franken Brunnen is Limit Citrus Cactus Drink.

Energy drinks with ants
Ingredients used for energy drinks are becoming more adventurous.  Guarana and taurine seem to be so passe.  Now, new in the UK from Intercontinental Brands is a stimulation drink formulated with red and black Asian ants. They are referred to as a "herb" in China where they are said to be used as a tonic.  Over here they are  claimed to supply a direct source of energy to body cells, enhance the immune system and improve sexual function!  A new energy drink also hits the US market and is targeted specifically to Hispanic markets.  Produced in the Dominican Republic, Ciclon (which translates to Cyclone) Energy Drink is fortified with vitamins C, B2, B6, and B12.

Snacking & marshmallow cereals
Breakfast cereals continue to be positioned in snacking formats.  The Big Cereal Company is following the snack category even further with the launch of a variety bag.  It contains an assortment of cereals such as Caramel Waffles and Maple Minis.  In South Korea, Kellogg is adding a touch of fruit to its new Toucan Sam breakfast cereal.  It comprises ring shaped cereal with marshmallow in flavors such as lime and cherry.

More countline varieties
The Addition of new flavors to existing brands is a major market driver in chocolate confectionery.  It is therefore no surprise to see more varieties added to the Twix and KitKat brands in Australia.  Twix from Mars is now available in a Triple Choc variety.  The KitKat Chunky brand (Nestle) is now available in a white chocolate variety.

A sweet tasting world
In the US two new mint selections have appeared from non-food producing companies.  Origins Natural Resources releases Peace of Mind Mints ($3.50 for a 0.08 oz. tin) to accompany its same-named skincare and air care collection.  And a novel mint release from Victoria's Secret Stores, a well-known purveyor of lacy underthings for ladies, introduces its VickiMints, lip-shaped cinnamon-flavored breath mints.

Color, color everywhere
Following the splatterings of colored ketchup, ConAgra will introduce in the US, a tinted margarine under its Parkay brand. Blue and Pink will be on shelf in squeeze bottles this Fall.

Mexican burger kit & spaghetti pizza
The meals market becomes ever more adventurous.  New in Germany from Dr Oetker within the Ristorante range is a pizza topped with spaghetti.  In the UK, an ethnic touch is being given to burgers.  New from Kitchen Range Foods is Mexican Salsa, a meal kit for two comprising salsa flavored beef burgers, chilli flavored bread buns and sachets of hot salsa relish.

Not your usual pizza pie
In the US, renowned chef Wolfgang Puck introduces another pizza to his retail line.  But his one is a little different than most- it is fat- and preservative free and has no cheese.  The Santa Monica-based company's Grilled Vegetable Cheeseless Pizza retails in a 10.75 oz. box for $5.89 and features onions, eggplant, fennel, zucchini, and roasted red bell peppers.

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