Mintel’s Global New Products Database has seen many exciting new food products worldwide during October.

Novelties in bakery
Novel flavors are found in bakery this month. Mandelbageriet has launched a co-branded Almondy cake based on the crunchy Dime chocolate bar from Kraft Jacobs Suchard. Also in Sweden, sweet digestive biscuits are getting a “healthier” positioning. New from G?teborgs Kex are baked digestive biscuits with olive oil. Finally, in the UK, caramel continues to be a popular ingredient in bakery (and other food sectors). It is now being used to add more variety to the Fingers chocolate coated biscuit brand from Cadbury – they have a layer of caramel on the top of the biscuit. In the US, Halloween treats are easy to make thanks to Betty Crocker Halloween Kits that come complete with decorating tools and cookie cutters. Count Chocula and Boo Berry Cookie Kit and Halloween Cupcake Kit look like a good way for kids and moms to get baking in time for those school parties. Kits retail for $5.99 each.

Alcoholic drink novelties
Most interesting alcoholic beverage launches this month relate to packaging developments. In the UK, the Strongbow cider brand from Bulmers is being made more convenient to drink. It will be packaged in a 660ml bottle with a neck attachment for slotting fingers into. In Germany, convenience comes in a format change. New from Schwarze & Schlichte are spirit drinks (Vodka & Lemon and Coffee Liqueur varieties) packaged in aerosol cans. They can be quickly sprayed into the mouth. This is not a completely new concept. We reported a similar launch last year in the UK called Zulu 24. Such products are unsurprisingly targeted at young drinks in nightclubs, for that quick alcohol fix. In the Netherlands, a FAB has been introduced by Sonnema with, as yet, an undecided final name. It is available in two varieties, Tropical Fever and Wild Berry, and the range is temporarily called i.d. The final choice of name will be decided by consumers after an internet poll. In the US, the slippery beer bottle will not defy your grip anymore. After extensive testing, Abita Brewery is to release its beer in a pasteurizable PET plastic bottle.

Other beverage news
The Red Bull Company, known for its successful energy drink brand, is venturing into the growing water market. It has introduced in Austria, LunAqua, a still water, bottled “under the glare of the full moon”, which is apparently when the water reaches its “highest bioenergetic power”. It is available in two varieties, including one enhanced with caffeine (equivalent to a can of cola). It is a fairly new development to see fortified “energy” waters, and we expect to see more like this in the future. In France, heavy multipacks of 6 x 1.5 litre bottles of Evian water from Danone now come with a removable barcode to avoid having to lift packs in and out of the trolley at the cash desk. In Japan, the Coca-Cola drink is getting inventive packaging. It is available in a 400ml bottle-shaped metal can. The package type is already used in Japan for beer. In Hong Kong, we report on a “crunchy water chestnut drink from YHS Foods under the Yeo’s brand.

White & tablet chocolate expansion
White chocolate is becoming more and more popular. Two existing brands have recently come out in white versions in the UK. For Easter 2002, the Creme Egg brand from Cadbury will be available in a white variety. Presumably for Christmas, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange brand also comes in a white chocolate, Snowball variety with an orange flavour. We are also seeing new brands in the tablet segment of chocolate confectionery in South Africa. They are the Crunchie honeycomb countline, and the Astros chocolate biscuit balls. Pieces of each product can now be found in a Cadbury Milk Chocolate tablet.

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Lollipop news
In Canada, crush soda lovers can now enjoy their favourite flavors in a lollipop form. Trebor Allan’s Crush Rainbow Pops are sold in a variety pack featuring grape, orange, and cream soda flavors.

Binaca mints
Binaca, the consummate date-saving breath freshening spray from Playtex Products has been extended into the mint candy sector in the US. Power Blasts Cool Peppermints are sugar free, and are found in round tins (typical to today’s breath mints).

Confectionery gum ideas
The robotic pet craze has hit Canada hard with a new introduction from Chupa Chups. Crazy Planet Gum-Filled Robo Dog is a mechanical dog that lights up and barks when a motion sensor located on its face is triggered. It is equipped with two AAA batteries and filled with strawberry-flavored gum for consumers to enjoy. Novel flavors are also found in the gum market. New in Switzerland under the Stimorol brand is a chewing gum with a bubblegum flavour! New in Malaysia from Lotte is a yogurt flavored bubblegum, targeted at children.

Own label botanical yogurt
Although herbal/botanical fortification is not completely new, it is interesting to see such a product from a retailer in the UK. Tesco has launched there a rhubarb & cranberry yogurt with added ginseng extract.

Starburst in yogurt aisles
Starburst, the leading chewy sugar confectionery brand from Mars is entering the yogurt market in the UK. Dairy company Eden Vale is manufacturing the new Starburst Splits range based on the sweets. They comprise dual compartment pots with fruit yogurt in one section, and fruit pur?e in the other.

Other dairy news
Also in dairy, we continue to see some rather unusual ingredients. New in Germany from Herzgut Landmolkerei Schwarza is a reformulated herb cheese with nettle. In South Korea, Namyang Dairy Products has launched what we believe to be a “pea” bean milk with added calcium and vitamin D3.

Confectionery ice cream still popular
Ice cream launches based on confectionery brands continue to be developed. In Australia, the Life Savers sugar confectionery brand has joined the bandwagon. The new ice lolly version is made up of five flavored stripes. A more interesting product has been introduced in South Africa, again by Nestl?. It comprises a Dairymaid branded King Cone ice cream cone with a mini Tex (chocolate countline brand) bar within the ice cream.

Pea snacks in Asia
It appears that peas can be quite adaptable in Asia. We have already mentioned a “pea” bean milk. Now we report on two pea savory snacks that resemble puffed corn snacks. In China we have Oishi branded Peasnack from Liwayway Food, also containing vitamin B2, zinc and phosphorus. And in Malaysia, a green pea snack has been launched by Miaow Miaow Food Products.

Other novel flavors also feature in savory snacks this month. Curry, the UKs most popular dish is only recently beginning to appear in the savory snack market. Past examples include McCoy’s Spice range from KP Foods including a Balti Curry variety. Now the Pringles brand (purveyors of some interesting flavours) from Procter & Gamble is available in a limited edition curry flavour. It is being launched in time for World Curry Week (21st – 27th October). New in Germany from Wurzener Nahrungsmittel is a corn savory snack with a peanut flavour (not commonly found in this category).

Soy away in the US!
Health-conscious people understand the contention of traditional peanut butter, it is full of protein but also loaded with fats. Using soybeans can lower the latter by about 30% and still provide the good stuff. New in the US from Dixie is Dixie Diner’s Club Beanut Butter. It is made from roasted soybeans, and is a good source of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. Soy also makes inroads with coffee. Original Well-Bean Coffee introduces Soy Coffees, which are made with a combination of soybeans and coffee beans that are ground and roasted together. Available in Original and Orignal with Inulin varieties, these coffees are claimed to have extra health benefits and can be found in health foods stores.

Convenient coffee….just add hot water
In Australia, Nestl? is making it mega convenient to make a cup of flavored coffee. It has launched, using its Nescaf? and Coffeemate brands, Blend 43 instant coffee with whitener. It comes in a kit that comprises a 150g glass jar (for the coffee), 3 x 15ml pots of flavored liquid coffee whitener (Hazelnut, French Vanilla and Irish Cream), and even a plastic drinking container.

McCain Cream Cake
In Canada, the McCain brand features on a new cream cake. It features orange sherbet and whipped cream between layers of cake. It is available frozen in supermarkets.