A Potato Rainbow

With all the colorful foods popping up all over the marketplace, this is a pleasant change. From Ian's Natural Foods comes Harvest Fries, potato wedges that come in three colors—the colors from the type of potato used, not from food coloring and dyes. The product uses Yukon Gold, Viking Purple, and Sweet Potatoes to get the purple, orange, and tan colors. A 16-oz. plastic bag retails for $3.75 in health food stores.

In other colorings, Heinz has its Funky Fries line under the Ore Ida brand, which includes cinnamon-flavored and blue-colored fry varieties. Parkay Fun Squeeze is pink and blue, and Mozza Whips are new mozzarella cheese strips colored orange, red, and blue from Hennings Wisconsin Cheese. To think that string cheese and crinkle-cut used to be enough!


Hot sauces are, well, hot—with much new product competition in this area. They stand out more due to positioning or packaging, because once you get to one level of spice, the nuances do not make much of a difference.

Featured here is J.T. Pappy's Flamin' Gator Sauce, a medium-spice BBQ 'n' Marinade 'n' Dippin' Sauce, whose label features an alligator in a baseball cap grill-side with steam pouring out of his nostrils. It is just plain fun (and tasty). Another highlight is a fruit-infused hot sauce from Nature Isle, called Sumptuous Mango Infused Hot Sauce. It is designed for use on meats and fish. The incorporation of fruit into a hot sauce definitely sets it apart, especially for consumers looking for something a little different.

Going Organic

Mu is the newest certified organic milk to hit the marketplace. Mu promises that every step of the production process is certified, from the cows to the distribution, and that it uses absolutely no fertilizers, pesticides or antibiotics. Manufactured and sold in Canada in all the usual grade varieties (skim, 1%, chocolate 1%, and 3.25%), it joins a number of other certified organic milks seen this year, both in the U.S. and Canada.

Parmalat presented Organic Whole Milk, and Organic Valley has a product distributed in the Northeast. At the pace of such launches, a mass market organic milk from the likes of Deans or Kemps would not be surprising. Of course, the organic dairy craze has not been limited strictly to milk. Soymilk, pudding and yogurt all are sharing some time in the spotlight in 2002.

Pizza & Corn Dogs, Together at Last

The start of barbecue and finger foods season brings the introduction of Pizza-Flavored Corn Dogs under the Foster Farms brand. The chicken franks have shots of cheese running through them, and the corn batter has a tomato flavoring. Plus, it is all on a stick that can be microwaved and ready to eat in 60 seconds. It sounds so bad, it has to be good.

A 14-ct. box retails frozen in mass merchandise stores for $4.97. The company also launched a chili cheese flavored product under the Go-Stix brand. Other finger food ideas are popping up under private labels. Target now carries Burger Bites, beef wrapped in dough, under its Market Pantry brand, and Kroger is carrying Mini-Cheeseburgers, which are microwaveable and retail in a 12-ct. box. All these are just right for school kids on summer break.

Java Bars

Starbucks Coffee Frappucino Java Fudge Blended Coffee Bars are the newest cool treat for adults this summer. Melding the best of summer and the best of coffee, the company is presenting these bars to supermarkets and mass merchandise stores. Flagged as being low in fat (2g per 2.5-fl. oz. bar), the product tastes like coffee and milk blended with fudge.

The retail price is $3.29 for a 4-ct. box. This introduction complements the company's other coffee presentations available at the retail level. DoubleShot Espresso & Cream Coffee Drink, a short can of super-strong coffee, recently launched in supermarkets. The chain also presented a line of coffee-infused ice creams this season.

Skim milk, milk, sugar, brewed Starbucks coffee, maltodextrin, corn syrup, cream, cocoa processed with alkali, caramel color, natural stabilizers (guar gum, carob bean gum, carrageenan), dextrose

Serving size 1 bar (83g), servings per container 4, calories 130, calories from fat 25, total fat 2g, saturated fat 1g, cholesterol 10mg, sodium 70mg, total carbohydrate 23g, dietary fiber 3g, sugars 20g, protein 4g, vitamin A 4%, vitamin C 0%, calcium 10%, iron 0%

Sidebar: Global Trends

To speed up serving time, Australian pubs in Sydney and Melbourne are pouring patrons pre-mixed Bundaberg rum & cola on draft. It is believed to be the first spirit on tap anywhere in the world. Another alcoholic line attempting to innovate the spirits & liqueurs market is Advoscotch from VDB Spirits. Launched in the U.K., it is made with a blend of Scotch and advocaat (an egg-based liqueur with a somewhat old-fashioned image). Beer continues to make in-roads in the Flavored Alcoholic Beverages (FABs) market. Now, Carlsberg joins the new segment with the Swedish launch of Cube, a bottled, beer-based, mixed drink with a sour lemon flavor. It is said to be ideal served with ice cubes and a slice of lemon.

A recent development in the champagne segment has been the emergence of single-serve bottles with straws for easy drinking. Now the straw is no longer required. New in the U.K. from Veuve Clicquot is a 4-pack of 200ml single-serve bottles which also come with “Clicqs”—a new device which snaps onto the tops of the bottles and enables the champagne to be consumed directly from the bottle without the need of a straw.

Vodka is the favored spirit for premium packaged spirits, but gin also is attempting to gain a share in the market. New in the U.K. from Guinness UDV is Gordon's Edge, available in lemon and lime flavors. It features the well-established Gordon's gin brand but is not targeted at traditional “gin & tonic” consumers. Instead, its aim is to entice younger people to drink gin. The launch is being supported with a hefty £5 million ($7.7 million) budget. A touch of flavor also is being given to another traditional drinks brand, Cointreau. The line is being extended in Italy with the launch of Cointreau C, featuring a lime & citrus flavor, and also targeting younger consumers.

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 ldornbla@mintel-iis.com. Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.