Mintel's Global New Products Database saw many new food product introductions worldwide during the month of November, including noodle meals with popping candy and colour-changing Doritos.

Blurring between sweet & savory biscuits

Shape, flavour and format continue to provide the focus for NPD in cookies. Interesting flavors this month relate to more exotic varieties, and the continued blurring between sweet & savory. New in South Korea from Lotte are pineapple cream filled sandwich biscuits. In China, Garren Biscuits has launched crackers with a strawberry & cream filling. And new in Brazil from Effem under the Raris brand are savory crackers with sweet flavours such as orange & carrot, and woodland fruits. Format developments tend to focus on making snacking easier. To this end, new in France from Cadbury are bite-size, mini versions of the Finger chocolate coated, finger biscuits. They are packaged in plastic pots with resealable lids. Fun shapes also help add interest to the market, and not just to entice children. New in Hungary from Wolf are vanilla flavored biscuits shaped as a tea cup and saucer.

Novel booze flavours

Interesting flavors for alcoholic beverages do much to add interest and maintain consumer brand loyalty. Cider is gearing up for the winter with some warming ingredients. New in the UK from Bulmers under the Scrumpy Jack brand is a Winter Warmer line with spices, best consumed warm once heated in a microwave! In Germany, some unusual flavors have been added to Kelterei Hohl's range of Bock "apple wines"/cider. These include cola and lemonade.

Within the FABs (Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages) market, most major   developments occur in the UK, where the market has its roots. This month, four launches warrant a mention here. Bass is celebrating England's World Cup 2002 qualification with the introduction of Soccer Ice in Blue, Red and Lemon varieties. Schnapps & sparkling water are being used in a new Shakers range from Halewood International (in fashionable flavours such as cranberry and blueberry). Another fruit flavour makes its entrance in FABs: loganberry Red Square, again from Halewood International. Finally, the Martini vermouth brand (from Bacardi-Martini) is making a FABs appearance. It is being extended into the market, with the launch of a range called Spirito. It comes in two varieties: Martini Rosso vermouth with vodka, peaches and sparkling water; and Martini Extra Dry vermouth with cranberries, vodka and sparkling water. They come in single serve 275ml bottles.

Within the Spirits & Liqueurs market, the Chivas Regal whisky gets an even more premium touch through sophisticated packaging. New in France is Chivas Regal in a special edition, star shaped box created by Thierry Mugler (better known for expensive fragrances).

Patriotic cocoa mix

Tying in with the patriotic theme of many new products on the market in the US, Nestlé Carnation has something a little different floating about in its Marshmallow Madness Hot Cocoa Mix. It contains red, white, and blue marshmallow letters spelling USA. The package also features a patriotic bunting-like label and is the official hot cocoa of the US Olympic Ski Team.

Cereal trends focus on snacking & flavours

There has been much NPD in the cold breakfast cereal market of late. Most has focused on promoting non-breakfast usage through "on-the-move" snacking formats; or giving extra indulgence through new flavours. These trends continue. Interesting launches this month include:

  • Weetabix Minibix on the Go (with chocolate) and Weetabix Crrrunch,
    low fat, mini Weetabix biscuits in the UK, packaged in 40g snack-style
    plastic bags
  • Weetabix Weetos chocolate rings in Belgium in novel 200g paperboard tube packaging with resealable plastic lid, and twist sections so that cartoon characters depicted can "swap costumes"
  • Kellogg's Frosties cereal, now in chocolate and caramel flavours in Germany (the caramel variety has already been spotted in other countries, but it is a first for the chocolate flavour)
  • Kellogg's Coco Pops chocolate puffed rice available in a limited edition caramel variety in the UK
  • A Cappuccino variety addition to the Cruesli cereal clusters brand from Quaker in the Netherlands

Dairy, desserts & ice cream news

In the UK, the banoffee pie dessert has inspired the launch of a new fromage frais from Arla Foods. It is merchandised using the Scooby-Doo cartoon character. Liquorice is the flavour used in a new children's dessert in Sweden from Procordia Food under the Ekstroms brand. It is also flavoured with  chocolate. Interesting flavours and ingredients are also appearing in ice cream. In Malaysia, Nestlé has introduced take-home ice cream in standard flavours such as chocolate and vanilla, and some unusual or exotic flavours such as jackfruit and yam. For extra bite and texture, ice cream often comes with ingredients such as cookies, nuts and even cookie dough. Now puff pastry can be added to this list. New in Switzerland from Nestlé under the Frisco brand is Capriccio ice cream made with vanilla, caramel and puff pastry strips.

Cup noodle meal with popping pieces

For added fun we have seen popping candy appear in confectionery and
dessert products. But it has been very surprising for us to find it in a cup noodle meal. New in the Philippines from Nestlé under the Maggi brand is Noodle Buddies. It is a dehydrated noodle meal with a sachet of powdered cheezy bacon flavour, and another "magic bag" sachet with popping candy. Unsurprisingly, it is targeted at children, and is merchandised using the Mickey and Friends cartoon characters. Other interesting meal launches this month include a dehydrated noodle meal in New Zealand from Fantastic Snacks which comes with a separate liquid flavouring sachet (rather than powdered).

Savoury snack novelties

Interesting flavors and shapes are appearing in savory snacks this month. New in Italy from Food Products International under the Popz brand is Timeout popcorn packaged in a bucket/tub that resembles a basketball hoop and can actually be used as one once empty. With regard to novel shapes, new in South Korea from Binggrae are crab shaped, spicy flavored corn snacks. For flavour, chocolate is being used in new corn snacks in the Philippines from Nugget Food under the Goldrush brand. While in Canada for a limited time, Hostess Frito-Lay has launched Color Changing Doritos that turn the normally pink interior of mouths to a raging blue color when consumed.

Soft drink with extra kick

Soft drinks are getting a spicier sensation. New in the UK from The Real F1 is G4ce, an apple flavored drink also containing a chilli derivative to leave a hot sensation in the throat.

Interactive lollipop & chunky chocolate

The sounds of clicking, licking, and whistling are no longer confined to noisy elementary lunchrooms throughout Canada. The Clicker Licker Pop from Regal Confection combines all these traits in one. It is a watermelon-flavored lollipop that is surrounded by a noisemaker at the top and features a whistle at the bottom. Parents might not agree, but it a great time-consumer for busy-bodied children.

Also of interest within the confectionery market, chunky chocolate formats continue to add impetus. The popular Dream white chocolate brand from Cadbury now also comes in this format in Australia. Furthermore, it is available in 300g paperboard gift tube containing 6 x 50g chunky bars.

Sipping size for soup

Soup is not often thought of in convenient terms, but Campbell Soup now launches in the US its Soup to Sip line. It comprises single-serve soups that retail in plastic cans. Blended Vegetable Medley, Tomato, Creamy Chicken, and Creamy Broccoli are available flavors retailing in the 10.75-oz. cans. The shrink-wrapped contoured plastic cans contain the uncondensed soup and are sealed by a metal pull tab, and are capped by a plastic sipping lid. You simply need to remove the inner tab, microwave and drink.

Coconut vinegar

An interesting vinegar can be found in the Philippines. New there under the Minola brand is a vinegar made with naturally fermented coconut water.

For more information on Mintel, please visit our website.