Industry Trends

Just try it. The Red Bull Company, known for its successful energy drink brand, is venturing into the growing water market. In Austria, Red Bull's LunAqua is a still water, bottled "under the glare of the full moon," apparently when the water reaches its "highest bioenergetic power." Available in two varieties, including one enhanced with caffeine (equivalent to a can of cola), the product is a fairly new development to see fortified "energy" waters, and expect more like this in the future.

Ingredients used for regular energy drinks are becoming more adventurous. Guarana and tau-rine seem passé. Nnew in the U.K. from Intercontinental Brands is a stimulation drink formulated with red and black Asian ants referred to as an "herb" in China where they are said to be used as a tonic. The ants, it is claimed, supply a direct source of energy to body cells, enhance the immune system and improve sexual function. Also of interest in the beverages category is a drink made with water chestnuts. Launched in Hong Kong by YHS Foods under the Yeo's brand, it is described as a "crunchy water chestnut drink."

Two interesting yogurt drinks are reported in this issue. In China, Vitalon Food Enterprises has launched under the Snowdew brand, a canned yogurt mineral drink with calcium lactate and other minerals. In Germany, where functional foods continue to be popular, Brohler Mineral und Heilbrunnen has introduced Snack-Joghurt. This mineral water and yogurt drink has probiotic fibers. In the dairy category, carrot cheese slices in South Korea from Seoul Milk are formulated with carrot juice and are rich in calcium, vitamin D3 and carotene.

Launching a New Product? If so, contact Lynn Dornblaser at New Product News, 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610. Call 312-932-0600, fax 312-932-0474 or e-mail ldornbla@mintel-iis.com. Information in this column is taken from the Global New Product Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.

Where's Betty?

The latest product from General Mills, Minneapolis, doesn't have the classic red spoon, the Big G logo or even the picture of Betty Crocker. The new Bake Shop Classics line comes with Triple Chocolate Brownies and Classic Carrot Cake mixes.

What's news is that these are sold in club stores, not mainstream supermarkets. Each box of brownie mix makes three batches. The 65.2-oz. box retails for $6.89.

The package graphics make the products appear far more upscale than the usual Betty Crocker offerings more in line with products consumers can choose from at gourmet stores rather than in supermarkets. This smart marketing move gets General Mills' products in front of a wider audience and may serve the company better than the Country Inn Specialties line did for Kellogg (that upscale cereal line from Kellogg did not mention it was from Battle Creek).

Ingredients
Sugar, enriched flour bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), semisweet chocolate chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat, soy lecithin, vanillin - an arti-ficial flavoring), cocoa processed with alkali, milk chocolate chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, whole milk, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanilla and salt), sweetened condensed skim milk (condensed milk, sugar), partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, water, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, modified corn starch, buttermilk, salt, butter (sweet cream), dicalcium phosphate, whey, gellan gum, artifi-cial flavor, mono and diglycerides, dextrose, sodium citrate, baking soda, fractionated coconut oil, natural flavor, color added; freshness preserved by potassium sorbate; contains wheat and milk ingredients

Nutrition
Serving size 1/48 pkg. (39g), servings per container 48 (16 per pouch), calories 159, calories from fat 30, total fat 3g*, saturated fat 1.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 110mg, potassium 120mg, total carbohydrate 30g, dietary fiber 1g, sugars 22g, protein 2g, vitamin A 0%, calcium 2%, iron 6%, thiamin 2%, riboflavin 2%, niacin 2%, folic acid 2%; not a significant source of vitamin C; *amount as packaged

Sipping Size

Soup is not often regarded as convenient, but Campbell Soup now launches its Soup to Sip line, single-serve soups presented in plastic cans. Blended Vegetable Medley, Tomato, Creamy Chicken, and Creamy Broccoli retail in 10.75-oz. cans for $1.49 each and are also available in a four-pack.

The shrink-wrapped, contoured plastic cans contain the uncondensed soup, are sealed by a metal pull tab and are capped by a plastic sipping lid. Remove the inner tab, microwave and drink just like your A.M. coffee. This concept joins a growing number of products de-signed, it seems, just for car cup holders. This soup would certainly fit there, but you have to wonder if that's a smart thing to do (sipping Creamy Chicken soup in stop-and-go traffic?). Don't be surprised to see this product in convenience stores.

Ingredients
Blended Vegetable: chicken stock, carrots, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), water, potatoes, roasted red peppers, green peas, celery, contains less than 2% of the following ingredients: onions, cream, concen-trated crushed tomatoes, sugar, modified food starch, butter, salt, potatoes, mono and diglycerides, wheat flour, dried whey, dehydrated potatoes, vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, canola and/or soybean), soy protein isolate, onion powder, ascorbic acid (added to help retain color), dehydrated garlic, spice, dehydrated pars-ley, flavoring

Nutrition
Serving size 1 container, calories 110, calories from fat 15, total fat 1.5g, saturated fat 1g, cholesterol 5mg, sodium 870mg, total carbohydrates 22g, dietary fiber 4g, sugars 10g, protein 3g, vitamin A 170%, vi-tamin C 60%, calcium 4%, iron 4%

Additional Info
Convenient
Microwaveable

Aw, Nuts!

For consumers presumably looking for an alternative to popcorn as a hot, quick snack, Nabisco Canada is selling peanuts that go in the microwave. Planters Microwave Roasting Peanuts are in 85g bags, similar to popcorn bags. They go straight into the microwave for two minutes (microwave one minute, shake and flip, and microwave one more). The in-shell peanuts are then ready to shell and eat. Well, almost.

The company says the product should be opened, and the nuts allowed to cool before eating, as they will not be crunchy. In fact, package instructions say to let the nuts cool 8-10 minutes before eating. The nuts are sup-posed to have a freshly roasted taste after being micro-waved. Two bags are sold per box.

Ingredients
Raw in-shell peanuts

Nutrition
Per 30g without shells, energy 174cal, protein 7.7g, fat 12g, carbohydrates 9.7g, sodium 1mg, potassium 230mg

Additional Info
Microwaveable
Novel

If You Can't Beat Them . . .

Ocean Spray, Middlebury, Mass., has gone to great lengths in the last year or so to offer cranberry products seemingly for the person who doesn't like the overly tart taste of the tiny red fruit. For instance, White Cranberry Juice (plain and blended with other juices) has a less-strong taste than traditional cranberry juices.

Now comes flavored Craisins. Sold in Orange and Cherry flavors, the Craisins are much sweeter and less strong tasting than their original counterparts. It does, however, make this a much more versatile product, as the package directions indicate. The company suggests the sweetened dried cranberries be used as is, mixed with other products to make a trail mix, sprinkled on ce-real, or used in baking. They are sold in a 6-oz. reseal-able plastic stand-up pouch for $1.69 in supermarkets nationwide.

Ingredients
Sugar, cranberries, citric acid, natural flavors, elderberry juice concentrate (color)

Nutrition
Serving size 1/3 cup (40g), servings per container about 4, calories 130, calories from fat 0, total fat 0g, sodium 0mg, total carbohydrate 33g, dietary fiber 2g, sugars 27g, protein 0g

Additional Info
No Additives/Preservatives
Low Fat

A Bit of Bliss

Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, Conn., continues to find ways to offer upscale cookies at supermarket prices. Its latest is called Dessert Bliss, named to conjure up images of indulgence and richness. The com-pany calls these cookies "the taste of dessert in a distinctive cookie."

The flavors back that up. Pralines & Creme, Cookies & Crème, and Chocolate Almond all sound like indul-gent desserts (cakes or ice cream) but instead are bite-size cookies. The cookies have a crispy cookie base with a creamy filling. They are definitely indulgent in price as well: a 4.7-oz. box, which contains 12 cookies, retails for $2.99.

Ingredients
Cookies & Creme: sugar, unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononi-trate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening (soybean and cottsoneed oils), white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk powder, whole milk powder, vanilla extract), cocoa processed with alkali (dutched), cornstarch, nonfat milk, butter, chocolate liquor, contains 2 percent or less of: whole eggs, dextrose, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (cream of tartar, baking soda), natural flavors, salt, soy lecithin, corn flour, high fructose corn syrup

Nutrition
Serving size 3 cookies (33g/1.2 oz.), servings per container 4, calories 170, calories from fat 70, total fat 8g, saturated fat 2.5g, cholesterol less than 5mg, sodium 60mg, total carbohydrate 22g, dietary fiber less than 1g, sugars 15g, protein 1g, vitamin A 0%, vitamin C 0%, calcium 0%, iron 6%.