Being Green

PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., looks to attract Dr. Pepper drinkers with its extension of the SoBe line. Mr. Green is SoBe's first venture into the carbonated beverage arena and will retail in standard shapes and sizes, including 20-oz. and two-liter varieties. The soda blends several flavors and adds ginseng for an extra lift.

The cola wars were in full swing before the announcement of this product and only have intensified since, with Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Blue and Dr. Pepper Fusion slated for the summer.

Head of the Glass

Coca-Cola, Atlanta, opted for a rather unusual flavor in boosting its Fruitopia line. Retailing in supermarkets across Quebec in 473-ml bottles, Guava Passion Pleasure is the latest variety of Fruitopia Real Fruit Beverages.

Even more noticeable about this product is its packaging, as The Minute Maid Company Canada Inc. has opted to return to a hot-fill formulation in glass. Minute Maid says consumer research indicated an overwhelming preference for Fruitopia in the glass format. In addition, the company says the glass format “enables Minute Maid to produce a product with a higher juice content and no added artificial colors or flavors.”

Different Dip

New to gourmet stores across the country is Roasted Pineapple & Habenero Dip from Robert Rothschild Berry Farm Inc., Urbana, Ohio. Serving as a sweet, hot topping for chicken, pork or seafood, this product offers a unique combination of hot pepper and fruit flavors.

Blending roasted pineapple, onions, mangos and habanero peppers, Roasted Pineapple & Habenero Dip sells for $8.95 in a 10.5-oz. glass jar. Expect more flavorful and unusual sauce and dip combinations, as tastes among American consumers become more diverse and adventuresome.

Kick It!

B&G Foods, Roseland, N.J., has joined the ethnic flavor bandwagon, while also gaining a celebrity for its stable. Famous chef Emeril Lagasse has lent his name and expertise to B&G's Emeril's Original line.

Kick It Up! is a line of pepper sauces, available in red or green, that promises to add spice to any food item. While the green variety boasts jalapenos, the red hot pepper sauce has a blend of cayenne peppers. Specially created by Emeril, this line looks to add a flavorful boost to meals and is currently available in Ontario.

Reviving Water

While the cola giants battle over their end of the beverage aisle, it is also getting crowded at the water's edge. Setting itself apart from the crowd is Glaceau's Vitamin Water. Energy Brands Inc., Whitestone, N.Y., is behind this nutrient-enhanced water, and the line features such varieties as Revive (a fruit punch flavor with vitamin B and potassium), Multi V (citrus frost with vitamins A, C and E, plus calcium) and Stress B (lemon lime with vitamin B and St. John's wort extract).

Waters have evolved extensively over the years, morphing from sparkling water, to flavored water to various colors and functions. This latter trend obviously has taken hold, as evidenced by Vitamin Water's success—and by the fact that Coca-Cola's Dasani and PepsiCo's Aquafina are adding nutrients to their respective lines. Ingredients

Vapor distilled/deionized water, crystalline fructose, natural flavor, citric acid, electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and potassium), grape skin extract (for color), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), gum arabic, gotu kola extract, niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), ester gum, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamin (B12).

Serving size: 8 fl. oz. (240 ml), servings per container: 2.5, calories: 50; total fat 0: sodium: 0, potassium: 30 mg, total carbohydrates: 13g, sugar: 12g, protein: 0. Additional nutrients (per bottle): gotu kola: 25 mg, American ginseng: 25 mg

Sidebar: Global Trends

The role of energy. Spurred by the phenomenal growth in energy beverages, food companies are experimenting with energy-giving ingredients in other types of products, notably confectionery. In Australia, Cadbury introduced the Viking chocolate bar with guarana, positioned as “the chocolate bar with horns.” In Italy, Dietorelle Energy sugar-free gum candies were launched by Socalbe. These are formulated with guarana and ginseng, and are claimed to have a revitalizing effect.

Meanwhile, in energy beverages, product positioning and formulation is becoming ever more diverse. In Spain, Hero introduced High Effort beverages in three varieties, each targeting a different stage of physical activity: Sprint Energy (before exercise), Endurance Energy (during), and Rehydration Plus (after exercise). All three are packaged in single-serve cartons with resealable spouts. The U.K. saw the launch of ANT Natural Stimulation, an energy drink from Intercontinental Brands that is formulated with red and black ants! Originating in China, the active ingredient is claimed to supply a direct source of energy to body cells, enhance the immune system, and improve sexual function—ambitious claims for an insect.

Perhaps the most bizarre piece of marketing prose can be seen on the latest launch from Red Bull, the Austrian producer of the eponymous stimulation drink. LunAqua is a still water that is bottled only 13 times a year, under a full moon, when (it is claimed) the moon reaches its full levels of energy. To complete the Red Bull theme, it is available in a variety with added caffeine.

—Used with permission of Food Engineering & Ingredients, Reed Business Information, April 2002; written by David Jago, editorial director, Global New Products Database.

Launching a New Product? If so, contact Lynn Dornblaser at Mintel/GNPD, 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610. Call 312-932-0600, fax 312-932-0474, or email Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.