Chicago, IL January 2002 -- Mintel's Global New Products Database has seen some interesting and notable new food product introductions this past month.

Novelty cake mixes

For added fun, two novel cake mixes can help liven up Christmas.  In Finland, Annas Pepparkakor has launched a festive mix that is used to "build" a gingerbread house.  In Germany, Dr Oetker has been inspired by a spaghetti meal.  New from the company is a Spaghetti Kuchen mix.  It requires the addition of eggs, strawberries and whipped cream.  Presumably with the use of a piping bag, the whipped cream needs to be spread on the top of the finished cake in thin, spaghetti-like strands.  A similar "spaghetti" line was reported in the Netherlands back in 2000.  It comprised an ice cream coated with vanilla cream that was rippled in spaghetti-like strands, topped with a strawberry & raspberry sauce (the bolognese sauce), and pieces of white chocolate (the Parmesan cheese).  It was launched by Prima Eis under the Boulevard brand.

Novel biscuit flavors & shapes

Savory biscuits in the Netherlands have been inspired by pasta sauces.  The Verkade branded, Shuttles range from United Biscuits is now available in a pesto variety, with garlic and herbs.  Within the Sweet Biscuits segment, we report on novel shapes and confectionery branding.  Again in the Netherlands, another established brand, Lu Pim's now includes heart-shaped biscuits.  The biscuits from Danone are called Chocohearts and comprise light and crispy, heart-shaped milk chocolate coated biscuits.  Finally in Singapore, the Fruit & Nut milk chocolate tablet from Cadbury has appeared in biscuit  format.  The new product comprises shortbread cookies with fruit and nut and covered in Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate.

Green ketchup but not from Heinz!

Heinz may have been the first, but others quickly follow.  Puttkammer & Walke has introduced a spicy, American green colored ketchup in Germany.

Alcoholic developments

Some unusual flavors can be found in the alcoholic beverages category this month.  In Germany, Feldschlossen has launched a shandy made with 50% beer and 50% blackcurrant flavored lemonade.  More unusual, new in Finland from Laitilan is Mocka Siideri, a 4.7% ABV, "mocha" flavored apple cider.  It is packaged in a glass bottle depicting a coffee bean!  In the US, following a joint venture between Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi comes Bacardi Silver,
single-serve beverage designed in response to the success of Smirnoff Ice. It will be manufactured by Anheuser-Busch, the company's first alcoholic, non-beer item.  Bacardi Silver will appear in 2002.

Chocolate & coffee blends

Within the Hot Beverages category, we report on some interesting chocolate and coffee introductions.  In Egypt, a Nescafe branded cappuccino mix from Nestle comes in a metal can that also encloses a small container of powdered chocolate, for sprinkling on top of the drink.  In the UK, a new Kenco instant cappuccino mix comes with Suchard chocolate topping.  Both are Kraft Foods brands.  Finally, white chocolate makes an appearance in the European hot beverages market.  New in the UK, under the Options brand from Novartis Consumer Health is Wicked White Choc.  It is a limited edition mix that has been launched for the Christmas period.

Cinnamon, fishy & decadent breakfast cereals

Cold breakfast cereals continue to become more innovative with novel flavor
additions, and new positionings to encourage snacking.  We recently
reported on a cinnamon flavor addition to the Kellogg's Frosties children's
brand in Germany.  The flavor now also appears for the brand in India.
More importantly, the original Kellogg's Cornflakes breakfast cereal has
also been extended with a cinnamon variety.  It has been launched in Spain
as a limited edition. 

A snacking and indulgent line called Chocolate Decadence has meanwhile been launched in the UK by retailer Marks & Spencer.  It seems very similar to Kellogg's World Temptations line introduced in the UK last year, and comprises crunchy cereal with white & dark chocolate curls, chocolate coated cornflakes, honeycomb and raisins.

Finally, Kellogg's is producing Keepers! brand cereal for the US market (it
has been sold in Canada for a few years).  It is only available in Wal-Mart
stores, and is the official cereal of the FLW fishing tour competition which is sponsored by Wal-Mart.  The cereal features fish-shaped marshmallows and toasted oat cereal.

Chocolate galore

Christmas is a peak period for chocolate confectionery launches.  It is therefore not surprising  to find some interesting launches this month:

   Lindt & Sprungli has launched in Austria wintery cinnamon & coriander
   flavored chocolates
   Wiha has also launched cinnamon & coriander flavored chocolate bars in
   Germany, called Choceur
   The Dream white chocolate bar from Cadbury makes its debut in Europe
   In India we have come across chocolate flavored toffees from Hindustan
   Lever (Unilever) that are interestingly marketed using the Wall's and
   Max brands - better known in the ice cream sector
   In Belgium, Davinia has launched Chocochips, an assortment of thin
   chocolates that resemble potato chips
   In Australia, the Milkybar white chocolate brand from Nestle now coats
   new whole scorched almonds
   In Switzerland, Kraft Jacobs Suchard has added an Energy variety to its
   Milka milk chocolate brand, with a dextrose and caramel filling
   In the UK, Nestle is adding new varieties to a number of its brands
   including a white chocolate KitKat Chunky countline; a five finger
   KitKat; and miniature versions of its Rolo brand (called Little Rolos)

Color-free Tic Tac

In Canada, children can no longer substitute Tic Tac Mints from Ferrero for colorful gameboard pieces.  They are now free of artificial colors, and will all be white in color.  The colored packaging will determine the flavors.

Lollipop moves

Three interesting lollipops are reported this month.  In Colombia, Colombia has introduced Tipitin Dip Candy Pop.  It is a blackberry flavored lollipop with popping candy within it, and a separate maracuya flavored sugared powder dip.  It is one of the first times we have seen the use of popping candy within a lollipop.  Engergizing ingredients have also appeared in lollipops.  New in New Zealand from Vivesco are E-Pops said to be "energy drinks on sticks".  They contain guarana, taurine, caffeine and all seven B vitamins.  They are packaged like giant vitamin tablets and also feature lime green, glow-in-the-dark stickers to appeal to clubbers.  And for a festive touch, new in the UK from Chupa Chups are lollipops that can be hung from the Christmas tree.

Extra sour gum

Interesting flavors have an important role in confectionery.  In the gum segment, in South Africa, Zed Gum has introduced an "explosively sour" bubble gum, innovatively packaged in a miniature gable top carton.

More functional yogurts & ice cream

The yogurt market continues to be highly active when it comes to the use of functional ingredients.  Ever more inventive ingredients are set to appear. Recent launches include De Winkel branded, Feijoa Passionfruit yogurt in New Zealand from New Zealand Dairy Foods.  It contains green tea and lactobacillus acidophilus.  While in Spain, Central Lechera Asturiana has introduced a drinking yogurt with royal jelly, honey and L-acidophilus. More interestingly, new in the UK from Arthur D Little, a consulting company is a low fat ice cream formulated with omega-3 fish oils, said to be beneficial for the heart, brain, eyes, nervous system and joints.

Fried dessert

An interesting dessert speciality has appeared in Spain from frozen food company, La Cocinera (Nestle).  Called Leche Frita in spanish, the product comprises frozen milk dessert  with cinnamon, that needs to be fried.  A box contains four portions.

Sweet and savory snacks

Only last month we reported on a Goldbrush branded, chocolate flavored corn snack in the Philippines.  We have now spotted a similar product launched in Egypt.  New from Big One Products is Bigga branded chocolate corn snacks.  The blurring between sweet and savory continues.  New in Australia from Smith's Snackfood (PepsiCo) under the Twisties brand is a limited edition corn snack with a hot butter toffee flavor.  A more traditional flavor has been launched in Portugal from Matutano (PepsiCo).  It has added a cheeseburger flavor to its Cheetos range of snacks.

Snack & drink in one

The demand for convenient, on-the-go snacking continues to be highly popular.  It has encouraged snacking developments for breakfast cereals, spreads with dipping sticks, meal kits such as Lunchables from Kraft etc. The Nutella chocolate spread brand  from Ferrero has also been launched in a new snacking format.  New in France is Nutella Snack & Drink.  It is a three compartment plastic pot with one section holding the chocolate spread, another containing stick-shaped biscuits, and the holding a peach iced drink.

Kids need more energy

In the US, Hansen's Natural releases an energy bar designed specifically for kids.  Hansen's Natural Pro Kids Energy Bars are high in protein and low in sugar.  This follows a similar introduction by Lifestyle Evolution called NuGo, which had separate bars and sizes designed for kids and adults.  The Hansen product comes in a Chocolate Brownie flavor.

Established in 1972, Mintel incorporates Mintel consumer intelligence,
global new products database (www.gnpd.com), and Mintel consultancy.
Mintel is an independent company which operates offices in Chicago, London,
Frankfurt and Sydney.    For more information on Mintel, please visit our
website at www.mintel.com.