Starting to 'Jel'

Horizon Organic, Boulder, Col., launched the first “vegetarian alternative to gelatin snacks”—Fruit Jels, said to contain 10% organic fruit juice and be preservative free. They must remain refrigerated and come in three “juicy” varieties—strawberry, orange and cherry.

The company also recently launched two organic butters and expanded its line of yogurt offerings. The company's distribution is making organics more accessible and price-competitive (the 4-ct. pack of Fruit Jels goes for $2.79, only slightly higher than Jell-O-brand cups) to regular consumers. Horizon Organic products are distributed in mainstream supermarkets nationally, as well as in health food-oriented stores.

A Lotta Latte

Unilever's, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Lipton brand is now providing more than a cup of soup and mug of orange pekoe. New under the brand name is Chai Latta Chai Tea Latte Mix. This “sweet and creamy tea latte treat” blends the idea of coffee and tea in one.

A blend of cinnamon and spices, it is available in vanilla, original, chocolate and hazelnut flavors and can be made with hot milk and enjoyed hot, or with ice. Coffee-esque flavors also have cropped up in teas, such as R.C. Bigelow's, Fairfield, Conn., line of vanilla-blended teas with varieties such as vanilla hazelnut and vanilla almond.

Holy Mackerel!

Fish-related products are swimming up all over the place. Two of the newest products include one real fish product and one that looks a little fishy. First is Confetti Fish Sticks from High Liner Foods, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Targeted to kids, these fish sticks are decorated with multi-colored “confetti” to appeal to the colorful food trends. The company states on the box that the confetti is “not sweet, just fun.”

The second product is from Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, Conn., and its line of Goldfish snack crackers. Goldfish Colors are the traditional cheddar crackers in a bold rainbow of colors, including maroon and purple. They retail for $1.79, the same price as the plain cheddar.

Baby, Baby

Advances in the baby food/healthcare market have been targeting functional aspects and health benefits. New from Abbott Labs, Abbott Park, Ill., is an apple-flavored, single-serve, 4-pack of Pedialyte Singles, a liquid oral electrolyte maintenance solution. It is packaged in a plastic squeeze bottle with a snap-cap.

In early 2002, Mead Johnson's, Evansville, Ind., Enfamil brand launched an enriched baby formula called Enfamil LIPIL, containing a blend of DHA and ARA nutrients, which are found in natural breast milk. Later in the year, a similar product was launched for premature babies. Most recently, the product was launched in Canada under the Enfamil A+ brand. In a clever concept for baby/toddler foods, Gerber, Fremont, Mich., introduced L'il Entrees, a line a foods served TV-tray style. They are packed in compartment, microwaveable trays with varieties such as Chicken Noodle Dinner, Mac and Cheese, and Pasta Wheel Pick-Ups.

Riding the Tube

Convenient, on-the-go packaging and products are new ways to appeal to consumers who demand more from their snack products. A number of chip products already are positioned as such, most notably from the Frito-Lay brands, but now cookies are the target.

In Mexico, Bimbo's, Azcapotzalco, Mexico, Marinela brand introduced Mini Colorucos, mini chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, in a 250g plastic contoured tube with a flip-top lid, so cookies can be poured out and still stay fresh if not eaten in one sitting. Soon to be released from Quaker Oats, Chicago, whose parent Pepsico also owns Frito-Lay, are Quaker Quick Bites, bite-sized cookies in chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and honey graham flavors.

Ingredients

Chocolate coating: sugar, vegetable oil, cocoa, texture, lactose, skimmed milk, milk whey, butyric fat, soy lecithin, dipotassium phosphate, BHT, corn syrup, soy lecithin, salt, sodium bicarbonate, artificial flavor, artificial colors, wheat flour, niacin, iron, zinc, thiamin, folic acid, sugar, chocolate drops, corn starch, corn syrup, leudant ingredients, baking powders, stearic sodium lactylate, artificial flavors, vitamins and minerals

Nutrition

Serving size about 70 cookies (40.3g), servings per package about 6, total fat 9.2g, saturated fat 6.4g, monounsaturated fat 1.8g, polyunsaturated fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 69.1mg, carbohydrate 27.7g, dietary fiber 1.5g, vitamin E 9%, vitamin B1 9%, vitamin B6 8%, folic acid 7%, vitamin B2 7%, vitamin A 6%, iodine 18%, iron 17%, vitamin C 13%, vitamin B12 10%, zinc 9%, niacinamide (vitamin B3) 8%

Sidebar: Global Trends

A cream for cooking is getting the split-pot treatment in a bid to position the product as extra fresh. New in Sweden from Skåne Mejerier is ViktVäktarna. It comprises a plain cream for cooking with a separate lid compartment holding the savory herb & garlic mix to be blended into the cream before use. It has been launched under the Weight Watchers label.

Tequila continues to attempt to make inroads in the flavored alcoholic beverages (FABs) market. The latest tequila flavored variety has been added to the Red Square Reloaded range in the U.K. from Halewood International. Containing 5.5% ABV, the product is made with a blend of vodka and tequila and also is infused with ginseng extracts. Another interesting spirit, aguardiente (a strong liqueur) also is attempting to make forays into the segment. It has been used in Brazil to create 5! Ice from New Age Bebidas e Alimentos for Müller Bebidas. The drink contains distilled alcohol and sugar cane aguardiente, and comes in passion fruit, lemon, tangerine, and lime flavors.

Despite a slow consumer acceptance of iced tea in the U.K., companies continue to attempt to lure them to the drink. The latest iced tea launch in the country is Indian Chai Tea from Spring Fine Foods. Described as a lightly sparkling drink made with a blend of fruit and tea, it comes in flavors such as banana, lemon, peach and grapefruit. Interestingly, the drinks are packaged in elegant, transparent glass bottles, as used for premium packaged spirit drinks.

The Stork vegetable fat brand from Unilever, renowned for its uses in cooking, is extending into a new area—chilled desserts. New in South Africa from Unifoods (Unilever) is Stork-branded Double-licious, a range of chilled liquid desserts that can be whipped to create a mousse. It also can be used to make a creamy sauce (once heated) or perform as a topping for cakes. Varieties are Creamy Vanilla and Creamy Chocolate.

Launching a New Product?

If so, contact Allison Enright at Mintel International Group, 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610. Call 312-932-0600, fax 312-932-0474 or e-mail aenright@mintel.com. Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.