Healthy HispanicsSeveral new beverages from major manufacturers are targeted specifically to the emerging Hispanic and Latino market. SoBe (Norwalk, Conn.) is presenting Fuerte, a mango and passionfruit beverage displayed with Spanish labeling containing the phrase “SoBe Tu Mismo,” translating to “SoBe Yourself.” The beverage also contains herbal extracts like yerba mate and guarana. It is the company's first beverage targeted to the market and is available in San Diego, Texas and South Florida.
Also being released is Clamato Energia, a non-carbonated, vegetable-based energy drink from Mott's North America (Stamford, Conn.). The tomato-based drink contains 30% juice along with ginseng, taurine, guarana and B vitamins. It retails nationally for $1.99 per 8-oz. can.
Drinkable YogurtsDannon (Allentown, Pa.) has extended its Light 'n Fit-brand of yogurt to include Light 'n Fit Smoothies, a four-SKU line of dairy-based drinks with active cultures. Essentially a yogurt drink (like the company's 2001 launch of Frusion), it comes in Strawberry Banana, Mixed Berry, Peach Passion Fruit, and Tropical flavors, and joins several other yogurt-based drinks trying to find a foothold in the market.
Pascual Dairy's (Miami) products, which are imported from Spain—yogurt drinks are popular in Europe—displayed shelf-stable yogurt smoothies under the YoSport Fruit Juice & Yogurt brand at the FMI Show this year and can be found in some supermarkets. Until now, with a few exceptions like Yoplait's (Reed City, Mich.) Nouriche or kid-targeted lines like Dannon's Danimals, yogurt drinks have been hard to find in mainstream supermarkets, and consumers have been more likely to find them in natural or health food stores.
EZ Does ItHeinz (Pittsburgh) makes a messy task easier with its newest launch, EZ Marinader. The “marinade in a bag” lets consumers drop the meats they want to marinade in a heavy-duty multi-laminate bag that already contains the proper amount of sauce to coat 2-3 pounds of meat.
The meat is ready to cook in 30 minutes and, when finished, consumers toss the bag in the trash. The 12-oz. bags are folded in three parts to sit easily on the shelf or in the pantry. Jack Daniel's Mesquite, Classico Italian Garlic & Herb, and Mr. Yoshida's Teriyaki varieties are available.
A Single Man's Best FriendSimilar to Buddig's Snack-Buds, other meat products also are going single-serve, namely hot dogs. Farmland Foods (Kansas City, Mo.) Beef Singles are packed in a perforated plastic pack, so consumers simply tear off a section to get a dog.
Ball Park Brands (Cincinnati) had a similar idea a few years ago, where each dog came in its own microwaveable pouch. Luncheon meat also is receiving a makeover from Hillshire Farm (Cincinnati); its Deli Select line now is packaged in reusable Glad Ware packages. The packaging was used as a promotional pack last year but has become standard.
Oscar Mayer (Madison, Wis.) has taken convenience a step further with the introduction of its Sub Sandwich Kit. The 21-oz., resealable pouch has five individual layers of sliced ham and roasted turkey breast. A total of five layers of luncheon meat are included in the product that retails in mass merchandisers for $3.50.
Meat on the GoLuncheon meat in single-serving pouches may sound a bit odd, but Canadian supermarkets recently have welcomed Maple Leaf Consumer Foods' (Mississauga, Ontario) Deli Express Sandwich Meat into deli sections. Available in two varieties, Pastrami and Smoked Ham, the luncheon meat is packed in four “fast and hot” single-serving containers that are microwaveable.
In the U.S., Carl Buddig (Homewood, Ill.) recently released a similar concept. However, the company positioned the pre-packed luncheon meat as simply a chilled snack under the Snack-Buds brand line. Meanwhile, Tyson Food's (Springdale, Ark.) newly launched Deli Style Chicken Breast Flavors may have the traditional packaging, but the flavors are what stand out—Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Honey Roasted Chicken Breast, Smoked Chicken Breast and Rotisserie Flavor Chicken Breast. The 5.5-oz. packages retail in supermarkets for $2.50.
Sidebar: GlobalTrendsAll things “sport”-themed remain popular in the world of human food and drink, as people want a sense of energy and vitality. This now has 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 extra energy for outdoor activities.
Humans also want their dogs to enjoy their food more, and Vitakraft's introduction of Sauce Appetit, also in the Netherlands, is designed to add extra flavor to dry dog food; the sauce comes in convenient pouches and in flavors such as salmon. The sauces market for pet food seems ripe for further development and could follow trends in sauces for people.
In Asia, food manufacturers use certain ingredients in applications that Western consumers consider somewhat unusual. For example, sticky rice, beans and even sweet potato are in ice cream—ingredients most Westerners would not associate with the frozen treat. Now, a cake from Agrotech has appeared in Singapore with butterhead lettuce. Choy Cake also is made with sponge cake, whipped cream, carrots and cherry tomatoes.
Wrigley seems to have opened the market for non-gum, breath-freshening dissolvable strips. Wrigley's Eclipse Flash/Extra Thin Ice strips in the U.K., Germany and the U.S. have spurred similar lines such as Fresh Flash from Küchle in Germany (sugar-free, peppermint, edible paper disks) and, more recently, Magic Mint strips in China from Dreamax Global Development. The Magic Mint line even comes in packaging similar to Wrigley's strips (a portable and discreet plastic case). The Listerine mouthwash brand has been active in this market since 2001 (with PocketPak in the U.S.), but it has taken the Wrigley line to expand the concept further. Listerine oral care strips also have entered new markets such as the U.K. and Australia.
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 aforementioned herbs.