Hundreds of food innovators and industry experts cast their votes for the world’s most innovative products at the recent IFT Food Expo 2005, with products such as General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal and Dreyer’s Dibs claiming the high honours.

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) assembled close to 100 of the world’s most innovative food and beverage products for experts to sample. Participants selected the products that they deemed as innovative with market staying power.

“Companies are always looking for new and innovative ways to capture the consumer market,” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of consulting services for Mintel’s GNPD. “The next great product is only as strong as its value to the overall marketplace. With flavour and health trends consistently evolving, it is imperative that companies develop products that stand out from the saturated market. Last year, Mintel ‘s GNPD tracked more than 81,000 new food product introductions globally, and there are many more in the works for this year.”

From the Health and Wellness category of innovative products, General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal (US) took top honours, followed closely by Omega 3 Orange and Peach Juice (Spain). Nestlé’s SKI brand had two strong contenders in the top five, both from Australia. SKI Raspberry Rush Smoothie Bars and SKI Smoothie Bars were placed third and fourth, respectively. Aquascents Water Bottles (US) completed the top five. According to experts, Fiber One was seen as a product that moved fibre products into a different category, with a great balance between taste and health.

In the Flavour category, Dreyer’s Dibs (US), an ice cream snack, took the top spot.  Wolfgang Puck’s Self-Heating Latte (US) was a close second, followed by Trader Joe’s Tuna in Red Panang Curry Sauce (US). Others in the top five included Lipton Morocco Infusion (Belgium) and Little Notions Snack Range (UK).  Experts who selected Dreyer’s praised its small servings (citing portion control) and unique packaging, as well as its overall uniqueness to the ice cream market.