Here are some of the new food product introductions registered by Mintel's Global New Products Database this past month around the world.

Funnel packaging system for oil

To make pouring easier, Van Dijk Food Products has introduced, in the Netherlands, a new cooking oil (Diamont Plus) available in a two-litre plastic container with a funnel system. The bottle features a standard screw cap, plus the additional funnel. The funnel needs to be attached to the screw neck of the bottle when pouring used oil back into the bottle. The oil is said to have a unique composition which means less fat is absorbed into food during cooking. It is also claimed to prevent the formation of grease and oil rings on pans or deep-fat fryers.

Vegemite biscuits

The Kraft-owned Vegemite yeast spread brand is attempting to expand its horizons. Recently introduced into Australia were Nabisco branded (also Kraft-owned) In a Biskit savoury snacks with a Vegemite flavour.

Pouched creamy milk drink

The pouch packaging trend continues unabated in both food and non-food markets, offering convenience and portability. Past interesting pouched products have appeared in all kinds of categories including sun care (e.g. Bilboba sun lotion in Italy in a flexible pouch with a spout) and even ice cream (e.g. Solero Smoover from Unilever). The latest such packaged introduction is a chilled creamy milk drink in Switzerland called Pocket Cream. It has a vanilla flavour and has been introduced by Nutrifrais. It is packaged in a 150g plastic pouch with a resealable screw cap.

Lighting lollipops

Interesting trends for confectionery lollipops have included numerous novelty toy holders from the likes of Chupa Chups, duo fruit and creamy flavours, lollipops with chewing gum centres, lollipops with dipping powders, etc. The latest is a true innovation. It comprises Pop Lights lollies which light up and flash when a button on the base of the stick is pressed. It is available in five shades (yellow, orange, red, green and blue) and will be introduced into Woolworths stores in the UK.

Energy chocolate continues

"Energy" positioned chocolate bars continue to be introduced from the mainstream players. Past examples include Cadbury's Boost Guarana, Milka Energy from Kraft Jacobs Suchard, and Ritter Sport Guarana Crunch from Alfred Ritter. Cadbury has now continued the trend with the South African introduction of the Tempo countline. It comprises a 57g shortcake biscuit bar with guarana and caramel, coated in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.

Soup in a Zooop!

Winter Gardens Quality Foods introduces a new, convenient line of refrigerated, ready-to-serve soups called Zooop! The line of gourmet soups is packaged in plastic Mason-style jars that are both microwaveable and resealable. Cream of Crab, Vegetable Beef with Noodles, Cream of Mushroom, Seafood Bisque, Ginger Squash, Minestrone, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Homestyle Chicken Noodle, and Cream of Chicken and Rice varieties are available.

Snacking vegetables

Bonduelle continues to add value to the vegetables and salads market by highlighting their healthy attributes and giving them a snacking positioning. The company's new Pleine Forme range in France comprises salad vegetables in pots with accompanying forks, available in three health-oriented varieties such as Vitalite (with sliced carrots and citrus fruits) said to be a source of vitamins A and E, Ligne (with celery and salmon), and Equilibre (with a cereal blend).

Boil-in-the-bag pasta

The "boil-in-the-bag" cooking process has done much to make cooking rice easier, and facilitate portion control. Now, years later, the concept has moved into the dry pasta market with a number of boil-in-the-bag children's pasta products. For example, earlier this year there was the Belgian launch of boil-in-the-bag Soubry Kids Pasta animal-shaped pasta enriched with vitamins, calcium, and iron. Now, Lustucru has done the same in France with single-serve La Bande a Lustucru boil-in-the-bag pasta for kids in assorted shape varieties such as bears, alphabets, and shells. The Lustucru line also claims to be a good source of calcium as the pasta is made with milk.

Muller juice drinks

German dairy company Muller is making more moves outside of its core yoghurt business. It already produces some smoothie-style and whey & fruit drinks, and has now extended further within the juices segment with its latest offering in the Netherlands. New is Juicer, a single-serve bottled fruit drink range formulated with a blend of fruit juice and milk protein/lactoserum (whey). It is further enriched with vitamins A, C and E, and is available in Tropical, Apple-Guava-Strawberry, and Orange-Mango varieties.

Lay's lemon crisps

Some interesting flavours with a local twist have been spotted in Asia for the Lay's snack brand from PepsiCo. These have included crispy rice and seaweed. Now, the brand receives a citrus touch with the Chinese introduction of a lemon-flavoured variety. Corn chips with lemon (a more traditional combination) have been reported in the past, but it is interesting to see the flavour used in potato snacks, perhaps indicating a move towards more delicate flavours.

Fanta starfruit & elderflower flavours

Flavours for the Fanta carbonate from Coca-Cola continue to become more exotic. Past additions to the original orange option have included lychee, raspberry, lime, pineapple and passionfruit. More recently, an elderflower & lemon variety has been added to the brand in countries such as Hungary, Israel and Denmark. In Hong Kong there is a Dancing Starfruit variety.

Lunchables for adults

Kraft Foods is currently testing Kraft Lunch Specials, a Lunchables-style for adults. An easily portable kit, the box comes with a handle built in and features servings of a variety of Kraft products already available: Its Pasta Anytime spaghetti with marinara sauce, SnackWell's-brand cookies, and Crystal Light lemonade. The entire meal packs contain 510 calories but only 8g of fat and retails for $2.99 in select markets in Wisconsin. Another adult-oriented product is also new from Kraft under its Jell-O brand. Jell-O Smoothie Snacks feature real fruit, have only 100 calories and 2.5g of fat. The chilled snack comes in a Strawberry Banana flavour.

Low-carb beer

A second low-carbohydrate beer will hit US shelves beginning in October in the form of Rock Green Light from Labatt USA. Styled after the company's Rolling Rock beer, the product will feature the same amount of carbohydrates as the other competitor in the market, Michelob Ultra, but has three fewer calories per serving. Labatt is planning a national launch of the product, which will feature the painted green glass bottle similar to the Rolling Rock product. With the launch, the company will be ending production of Rolling Rock Light, its former light beer offering, launched in 1982, which has only been available in four major markets nationally.