Charitable Donations

In the continuing struggle to save the world with fabulous ice cream, Burlington, Vt.-based Ben & Jerry's launches One Sweet Whirled Ice Cream and Ice Cream Bars, a play on words from the Dave Matthews Band hit, One Sweet World, of a few years ago. A portion of proceeds will be donated to charities that help fight global warming.

A 1-pt. container sells for $3.49; the three-count bars are $3.79. The bar product is a chocolate-covered caramel coffee ice cream with marshmallow and caramel swirls; the box proudly promotes the band's logo and its charitable intentions.

There has been a surge in similarly positioned products lately, including a designer Kellogg's Special K cereal box featuring a Cynthia Rowley-designed pattern. It was sold for $10 per box, with proceeds going to fund breast cancer research. A specially designed beer from Matt Brewing called Fire Company Brew All-American Lager donated proceeds to September 11th charities.

Yogurt for Different Tastes

Many consumers are reluctant to purchase yogurt because of its overly tart or sweet taste. Now, two companies are manufacturing less-tart yogurts that should appeal to the masses. Kraft, Northfield, Ill., is putting forth Breyers Crème Savers Swirled Yogurt in three flavors: Orange & Crème, Raspberries & Crème, and Strawberries & Crème, with the same flavors and tastes of its Crème Savers brand of hard candies. (A line of soft candies is also being introduced with the brand.) The product is a lowfat yogurt and will be available in the Eastern United States.

Also new is Yoplait's Whips line of “light & fluffy” yogurts in six flavors, which are currently in test market.

Bigger is Better

Dole, Westlake Village, Calif., has beefed up its Fruit Bowls line with bigger sizes—individually packaged 7-oz. plastic bowls. Each sleeve-wrapped bowl comes with a 3.5-in. plastic fork included. The Sliced Peaches, Tropical Fruit, Pineapple Chunks, and Mandarin Oranges varieties retail for $0.99 each in supermarkets.

The multi-cup packs of 4-oz. bowls are still available but do not include the convenient utensil. Manufacturers are certainly making taking your food with you an easy option. Multiple tube packages (expect Hershey's Portable Pudding from ConAgra soon) on the way will make even a utensil unnecessary.

For Complaining Kids

For kids with picky palates, Sara Lee Bakery, Chicago, is launching IronKids Crustless! Bread—a regular loaf of bread with the crust sliced off. It will cost more ($2.69) than a regular loaf of IronKids bread with the crust on. Go figure. Otherwise, it has the same nutrition and fortification (high in calcium and fiber), as the regular bread.

This bread is sure to make a splash with kids and with parents, who will be happy to get rid of all the crumbs cutting off the crust leaves about the countertops. The manufacturer may be happy, too, as a family could buy two loaves of bread every week instead of just one.

Going Natural

Combining two powerful market forces, namely the burgeoning private label sector and consumer desire for organic products, Harris Teeter, a grocery chain in the Southeastern U.S., introduced Naturals. Included in the line are certified organic blue corn tortilla chips, organic juices in grape, white grape, apple, and berry blend varieties, jasmine rice, peanut butter, raisins, and applesauce.

The line creates a separate brand identity for Harris Teeter, Matthews, N.C., and is not positioned as a traditional generic private label. Instead, it appears to be an upscale alternative to non-organic brands, with similar price points. The Naturals line follows the private label organic trend, which was put into motion about a year ago in Canada, with the Sunfresh-produced line of President's Choice Organics. That expansive line now runs the gamut from beef products to baby food to popcorn.

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips: organic stone ground blue corn, *expeller pressed safflower or corn oil, sea salt, water, trace of lime; *grown and processed in accordance with the California Organics Foods Act of 1990

Serving size 1oz. (30g) or 15 chips, servings per container about 16, calories 140, calories from fat 45, total fat 5g, saturated fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 40mg, total carbohydrate 21g, dietary fiber 3g, sugars 0g, protein 3g, vitamin A 0%, vitamin C 0%, calcium 2%, iron 0%

Sidebar: Global Trends

Fortified beverages. European and Asian markets continue to see new health-oriented, fortified waters. In Austria, Vöslauer Heilquellen-Verwertung introduced Balance, a natural mineral water available in Rosé and Body varieties. The Rosé line contains pomegranate, hibiscus and red clover, and is claimed to refresh, stimulate and have aphrodisiac qualities. Body contains grapefruit, star fruit, lemongrass, passionflower and ginseng for a healthy mind and body.

A new product in France blurs the distinction between water and energy drink. Vittel Hydration & Energie, from Perrier-Vittel (Nestlé), is an orange-flavored, water-based “energy drink” enriched with calcium, B vitamins and carbohydrates.

In Japan, the perceived birthplace of healthy “near-water” beverages, House Foods has launched Fiber Water, a water fortified with fiber which claims to cleanse the body from the inside. Miu, a near-water drink from DyDo Drinco, contains 4% deep-sea water, rich in natural mineral nutrients. The product's label incorporates fine particles of natural mineral rocks that are supposed to generate negative ions, known to relax the mind.

On a more mundane note, bottled waters have seen some interesting flavor developments. The Perrier brand is innovating the French market with Fluo flavored and colored waters, in lemon-juniper and cherry-ginger varieties. New in Sweden is Vichy Nouveau branded water, from Pripps, flavored with cucumber and lemon.

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.