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

Novel biscuit flavors
Novel flavors have appeared in the sweet biscuits category in this issue. Green tea, already popular in drinks in Asia, has been used in new Mic's branded cookies from Ming Chi Food in Singapore.  In the UK, Fox's new biscuits, Sprinkle Crinkle Crunch, feature a honeycomb biscuit base.  In the Netherlands, Mars countline brands (including M&M's and Twix) are being used in new biscuit snacks from Masterfoods.

Spanish beer gets fruitier & alcohol-free
Only in the last issue we reported on the growing popularity of lemon and other fruit flavored beers in mainland Europe.  This trend continues.  Damm has launched in Spain, Damm Lemon, said to be the first lemon flavored beer on the market.  The renowned Spanish San Miguel brand also has new developments.  It has been extended into the alcohol-free sector, with a 0% alcohol version.

Self-icing coffee drink!
We are familiar with self-heating coffee drinks such as Caldo Caldo from Chiari & Forti in Italy, and more recently Nestle's Nescafe branded Hote When You Want It line in the UK.  Now the trend is going in the opposite direction, with a new "self-icing" coffee drink in Italy.  It is called Freddo Freddo (translates as "Cold Cold") and has been introduced by Chiari & Forti alongside the Caldo Caldo product.  It uses the same technology as the self-heating drink, and is ready in 40 seconds after pressing the bottom of the plastic cup and shaking.

Confectionery with more
The use of functional ingredients in chocolate confectionery is still in its early stages.  To date, what activity we have seen has been from niche companies.  Now in Australia, Cadbury has launched Viking, a caramel and nougat milk chocolate bar with added guarana.

In sugar confectionery, an educational approach is being used by Beacon Sweets & Chocolates in South Africa.  It has launched Lick & Learn Traffic Lollies, fruit lollipops in plastic wrappers decorated with road signs and quizzes about road safety.

Perfetti in Italy has launched what it claims is the first chewing gum with micro-particles.  These are claimed to help remove plaque from teeth, and to provide a deep feeling of freshness and cleanliness.  Marketed under the name Daygum Microtech, the gum is sugar-free.

Functional & dual-branded ice cream
The ice cream market has not been a very active sector when it comes to functional launches, but we are slowly beginning to see more activity.  New in Italy from Centrale del Latte Brescia is a frozen yogurt ice cream with live lactic enzymes to improve the body's defenses and intestinal flora.

Also in the ice cream market, we report on a juice branded line.  Juver Alimentation of Spain, renowned for its fruit juices, has extended its Fruta Viva brand with the launch of multi-fruit flavored, stick ice creams with 60% juice.  They have been produced in cooperation with Helados Alcant.

Sauce & seasoning blends
Wine, cider and fruit flavors have all become established segments of the vinegar market.  Now perhaps beer will be added to the list.  New in France from Unilever Bestfoods under the established Amora brand is a beer vinegar said to be ideal for making dressings.  For added convenience when cooking, Unifoods (Unilever) has introduced in Australia under the Royco brand, Partners.  It comprises a box containing a sachet of sauce mix for meat, and another sachet of seasoning mix for accompanying side dishes.  A similar 2-in-1 product was also launched last year in the UK, by Unilever subsidiary Van der Bergh Foods, under the Colman's brand.

Savory snack news
For quick access to the product, Smith's Snackfood has launched in Australia, Twisties Cheese Shots, savory snacks in a bag which allows the product to be poured into the mouth.  Flavors in snacks are also becoming more sophisticated.  New in the Philippines from Stateline Snack Food are Potato Krunch snacks with a Cheesy Salad flavor!

Fat-free Coffee-Mate
"Fat-free" may not be as common a claim now as it was a few years ago, but opportunities clearly remain in certain sectors.  New in the UK from Nestle is a virtually fat free variety for the Coffee-Mate coffee creamer brand.

Seeds of Change Cereal
Mars' Seeds of Change organic brand is entering new sectors.  It is already used on pasta and sauce products and is now available on new breakfast cereals.

Not just for big mouths
Frito Lay's puffed up tortilla chip under the Doritos brand name now comes in a miniature size in the US.  Doritos Mini 3D's, available in Nacho Cheesier and Spice Ranch, are scaled down versions of the regular 3D and come packed in a shrink-wrapped contoured plastic tube.  The cap can double as a cup to hold the chips.

Picky pooches
For the dog with discerning tastes comes some fancy dog treats from Old Mother Hubbard, Chelmsford in the US.  Wellbar Dog Treats are available in Crunchy Peanuts and Honey, Yogurt Apples and Bananas, and Atlantic Whitefish and Sweet Potato flavors.  They also have added nutritional benefits and have fruit and grain ingredients.  The treats are available in pet stores.

Smart water?
Fifteen years ago it seemed that no one carried a bottle of water.  Somehow we all managed to get by or to the nearest water fountain before we collapsed from dehydration.  Now water is the miracle refreshment; a recent product introduction included super-oxygenated water and now Energy Brands introduces in the US, Glaceau Smartwatersport, a water pumped with nutrients.  It is available in three flavors, Cran Grapefruit, Peach, and Fruit Punch, and is designed for fitness enthusiasts.  Find it on the East Coast and select states.

Perk up
In the US, Procter & Gamble is testing the iced coffee idea again with a relaunch of Jakarta, a product they had in test market in California three years ago.  It carries a Folgers brand name and is a joint venture between the company and Morningstar (a division of Kellogg).

Hit the bottle
In the US, Breakfast in a Bottle is the first private label product for The Vitamin Outlet, a discount vitamin/nutrition chain of stores in Michigan. The Mocha Cappucino-flavored beverages are available with or without caffeine and contain a cluster of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  Other flavors are planned.  Retail price for the mix is $1.99.

Ethnic M&M?
M&M's are diversifying.  They got crispy a little while back, green is now the "sexy" candy, and to tap the Hispanic market, the company is launching a Dulce de Leche-flavored chocolate candy in the US.  They'll be right in the bag with the regular M&M's but will have a milky caramel flavor and swirl in the chocolate.  They will appear in five test markets, including Los Angeles and Miami, beginning in August.  M&M/Mars plans a $5 million Spanish-language advertising campaign to support the addition.

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