Here are some of the new food product introductions registered by Mintel’s Global New Products Database this past month around the world.
New formats for Kellogg‘s Frosties
Breakfast cereal companies are not only diversifying into “on-the-go” snacking formats. They also continue to launch new shapes and formats within breakfast cereals to maintain interest and perhaps encourage home consumption. The latest new format is an extension of the Kellogg’s Frosties brand (sugar frosted corn flakes). The brand has already appeared in a number of new flavours (e.g. chocolate, cinnamon, honey and toffee) and some new shapes (e.g. chocolate clusters in Germany). It has now changed format again with the French and Belgian introduction of pillow-shaped cereals (made with oats, rice and wheat) filled with chocolate and topped with a “tiger stripe” design (Tony the Tiger is the brand’s cartoon character emblem).
Beer & vodka blends continue
An interesting and continuing development in the beer market is the emergence of “spirit beers”. These are basically beers blended with a touch of spirit such as whisky, vodka or even tequila. This is a trend that has mainly taken place in Europe, and has been predominantly developed by niche companies. However, the trend has moved to Australia, and has been taken up by mainstream company Carlton & United Breweries. The product is called Cold Shot and is a 6% ABV beer and vodka blended drink, described as being made with the refreshing taste of Carlton Cold and the smooth finish of imported, triple-distilled vodka. The product has been developed following research highlighting that consumers no longer have one drink of choice, tending to switch from beer, wine and spirits, and pre-mixed spirits.
Opium energy drink
Although no longer available on the market, it is still worth commenting on the Australian development of a controversial new energy drink labelled as “energy with opium”. The new product had been introduced by Naughty Boy and comprises a citrus flavoured energy drink with crushed poppy seeds. Unsurprisingly, the product has been banned by Australian authorities pending investigations to determine if it contains any illegal drugs.
Red Bull coffee drink
The Red Bull energy drink has been a success story in Europe, but its origins lie in Asia where it was introduced in Thailand in the late 1970s. It is now available throughout most of Asia where it is made by TC Pharmaceuticals. Recently, the brand has been developed in an interesting way in the Philippines. New is Red Bull branded Baroko, a canned ready-to-drink coffee drink made with a concentrated blend and added milk. The coffee element maintains the brands energy giving positioning. The product is expected to fair well in Asia, where ready-to-drink milky cold coffee is an established market.
Demand for green tea in the UK seems to have calmed down. Perhaps it is therefore time for another variety to take centre stage. White tea, a rare tea made only from the first spring shoots and with the highest antioxidant content of any tea, could be its super premium replacement. New white tea varieties have recently been introduced by speciality tea companies such as Dragonfly Teas and Clipper Tea. Furthermore, the variety has also made appearances in toiletry products which could help increase consumer awareness of the variety.
Coffee & green tea sweets
Coffee flavoured sweets are being given an even more adult positioning in Belgium through the use of packaging. New from retailer Delhaize le Lion are artisan hard coffee sweets, available in a glass jar together with metal cap, as commonly found in the instant coffee market.
In Asia where antioxidant green tea is used to flavour and enhance the taste of many a food product (from sweet biscuits to ice cream and prepared meals), we report on new marshmallows with a jelly-like green tea filling. They have been introduced in the Philippines by Sam’s Garden Foodstuffs and highlight the versatility of green tea.
Herbal chewing gum
Popular cooking herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano are making an unusual appearance in the chewing gum market. New in Italy, from Boiron, are Homeodent Clorofilla sugar-free chewing gum pellets formulated with these herbs.
Chupa Chups lights up
Holders for Chupa Chups lollipops are becoming more inventive and practical. Past novelty but practical examples have included Kit Pop inspired by the Swiss army knife (with fold-out ruler, magnifying glass etc). The latest is Light Pop in Italy which is a working torch together swivel head, on-off and flashing switches.
Sport sticks for dogs
All things “sport”-themed remain popular in the world of human food & drink, giving a sense of energy and vitality. This has now been expanded into pet food. For example, new in the Netherlands from Vitakraft are Beef-Stick Sport for dogs, comprising beef stick snacks with lamb, vitamins and L-carnitine. They are said to give dogs energy for outdoor activities.
In Asia, certain ingredients have somewhat unusual applications (to Western consumers). For example, in ice cream we have seen the use of sticky rice, beans and even sweet potato – ingredients most Westerners would not associate with ice cream. Now, a cake has appeared in Singapore from Agrotech with butterhead lettuce. Called Choy Cake, it is also made with sponge cake, whipped cream, carrots and cherry tomatoes.
Colour changing Apple sauce
Mott’s North America is jazzing up the appeal of apple sauce with the launch of Mott’s Magic Mix-Ins Apple Sauce. It comprises individual pots of apple sauce with packets of coloured crystals that change the sauce’s colour. Packets of Green Apple, Mystery Fruit, and Watermelon are included in an 18-cup carton.
Weight control lozenge
Nutraceutics is launching ZoCal, an appetite-suppressing lozenge as a form of weight control. The product contains Benzactin AC (benzocaine) to dull taste perception. Benzocaine is the same ingredient usually used to treat mouth sores and tooth pain.
Sweet & sour ice cream
In Canada, kids can experience the best of both worlds with the latest release from Nestlé. Orange and Blue Raspberry Fruit Shivers are ice pops that have both a sweet and sour taste. They are made with real fruit juice.