Branding Together

One does not normally think of suntan lotion and water together. However, Tanning Research Labs (Orlando, Fla.) has licensed its Hawaiian Tropic brand to All Star Beverages (Las Vegas) in the U.S. to appear on bottled water. The still water comes in kiwi strawberry, passion orange guava, kiwi lemon lime and pineapple grapefruit.

To help those busy tanning keep their svelte figures, the waters are sweetened with sucralose and are labeled as being free of calories, sugar and carbs (of course). A six-pack of the 16.9 fl. oz. bottles sells for about $3.50. No doubt the product is seasonal, and will exit the market once the sun does, reappearing next summer.

It's A Live!

The drinkable yogurt category continues to expand, as the push to deliver a nutritious meal begins to merge with the desire for convenience. White Wave's (Boulder, Colo.) Silk live! drinkable, cultured soy and fruit smoothie treads uncharted territories of nutrition, boasting six live and active cultures that aid healthy digestion, as well as 19 nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, folic acid, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, D and E.

The product also boasts a natural dietary fiber to improve the absorption of calcium and magnesium, while also stimulating the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, live! joins the growing pile of introductions touting omega fatty acids, promising 280mg of omega-3 per 10oz. serving.

Cookie Crumbles

Kraft (Glenview, Ill.) has been particularly crafty with its focus on health and wellness. New to the company is a broad line of its products sold in 100-calorie single-serve packs. In most cases, the products are the same as what Kraft currently offers (gummy snacks, Wheat Thins and Cheese Nips), but two notable exceptions are what it has done with Chips Ahoy! and Oreos. Instead of packaging enough of the usual versions of those cookies in 100-calorie packs, the company has elected to create a new type of cookie for each. Called Thin Crisps, they essentially are cracker-type forms of the sweet cookies. The Chips Ahoy! are flat, crisp, chocolate chip cookies with tiny chocolate chips. The Oreo Thin Crisps are the chocolate portion of an Oreo cookie in a smaller, thinner form.

Bran Extension

Manufacturers sometimes forget their own brand names can be ripe for extension into new categories. Some companies, however, do a good job at it. Kellogg (Battle Creek, Mich.) is one of the latter. In the U.S., the company has introduced a snack bar that carries the All-Bran name. Not surprisingly, they are one of the more high-fiber snack bars on the market, with 5g per serving.

Kellogg introduced this concept first in Mexico, with a product that is branded the same but formulated differently. The Mexican All-Bran snack bar is harder, drier and higher in fiber (6.5g per serving). That formulation is more in line with what is acceptable in the Latin American market. The bar sold in the U.S. is much more like a standard crisped-rice snack bar, but has that stronger nutritional profile than others on the market.

Although the snack bar has had no advertising as of yet, something along the lines of “This isn't your mother's All-Bran” should update the brand for today's consumer.

Everyone is Going Upscale

Product offerings and brands from somewhat unlikely sources are boasting a more upscale or gourmet positioning. In the U.S., the appearance of President's Choice (Sunfresh Foods, Seattle), for example, signaled a new type of private label product from mainstream retailers.

Now, in its Sam's Club stores, Wal-Mart (Bentonville, Ark.) has introduced a line of more upscale frozen meals, under the Sam's Choice brand.

Sam's Choice products have been around for quite a long time but none quite like this. One of the newest frozen entrées is Chicken Caprese, which contains pasta, cheese, chicken and a “seasoned tomato cream sauce.” It has quite an upscale appearance, and at 24oz. for $5.86, it is not entirely value-priced. The package says this low-fat, low-calorie entrée serves three. Do not be surprised to see this level of competition for good-tasting, uniquely formulated products from all parts of the retail market.


Kellogg's quest to add innovation to the cold breakfast cereal market is taking the shape of a luxury muesli mix. Available in Ireland, the product is a blend of oats, whole wheat flakes, dried fruit and hazelnuts suitable for vegetarians.

Single-serve, dual-compartment packages have proven to be a success in the yogurt category, especially among children who enjoy getting physically involved with their food. Now, this ever-popular concept has been developed into a Nestlé-branded snack yogurt. The Frùttolo fruit-flavored yogurt is combined with another children's favorite, Smarties chocolate drops. Frùttolo Yogurt & Smarties has been launched in a strawberry-flavored yogurt variant in Italy.

Also available in Hong Kong is Wrigley's Extra strawberry-flavored, sugar-free chewing gum with extra xylitol, packaged in a practical tub containing approximately 54 pellets. The tub features a hinged cap with push-button release clip. To open the container, the consumer presses the latch button at the side of the tub to dispense the product.

No species has developed a closer relationship with humanity than the dog (though cat-lovers may disagree!). Now available for man's best friend is an all-Italian specialty: tortellini pasta! Meat-O-Lini is a 400g can of poultry and herb tortellini with courgettes (zucchini). It is said to be a complete meal for adult dogs, and it also contains plenty of meat paté, fresh meat and fine vegetables. Manufactured by Animonda, it is available in Italy.

If bad kitty breath is a problem, then Chomp's Pit'r Pat breath freshener has a possible solution. Available in South Africa, Pit'r Pat is a treat for cats in fun fish shapes, made with green tea extract and chlorophyllin to freshen breath. It also contains liver for a flavor that cats presumably find irresistible.

Dog owners also should be happy to know their pet's breath can be refreshed with an oral care strip, similar in concept to those targeted to humans. Launched in Singapore by Ethical Products are Spotscent dissolvable oral care thins. They contain chlorophyll, considered a natural breath freshener. A similar product, Spotscent, already has been launched in the U.S.