A New Market

Spice wraps have long been used in foodservice to add spice to marinating meats. Now Rector Foods', Brampton, Ontario, Insta Chef Spice Wraps are available to retail consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

A package of six, MSG-free sheets is being sold in Canada for C$4.29. The spice wraps are applied to the meat for at least one hour before cooking and then removed. It is a quick, convenient, and mess-free way to marinate meat and avoid possible bacterial contamination on hands and surfaces. It is available in four flavors: Steak Spice, Fajita, Lemon Herb, and Cajun.

Meal Kit Update

General Mills, Minneapolis, is expanding its Betty Crocker brand with additional varieties from familiar brands and the launch of more sub-brands to compete in today's meal kit market. In a market saturated with meal kits from Campbell Soup, Camden, N.J., with its Supper Bakes brand (new varieties are being added) and Unilever's Lipton Sizzle & Stir (which is faltering in the marketplace), Betty Crocker is modifying its familiar offerings.

For example, now available is Hamburger Helper Oven Favorites, a more upscale, family friendly line than the regular Hamburger Helper. One such variety available is Lasagna, which comes with no-boil pasta, sauce mix and grated Parmesan cheese as a topping. Other varieties include Meat Loaf & Mashed Potatoes, Italian Parmesan Bake and Homestyle Chicken & Biscuit Bake.

Also under the Betty Crocker umbrella is the new Complete Meals line, which The products are co-branded with Progresso canned meats and sauces, also manufactured by General Mills.

Taking the Cake

As the packaging states on Mrs. Smith's, Suwanee, Ga., Flip It Cakes, convenience is its key selling point. Serving two, this cake can be prepared in five minutes and is available in three varieties: Strawberry Delight, Apple Caramel, and Chocolate Caramel.

The frozen, 10-oz. cakes come in a microwaveable bowl where the cake appears on top and the topping is underneath. When flipped, the topping oozes over the sponge cake. The product is available for $1.74 in mass merchandise stores.

Also new in the baking category is Pillsbury Ready to Bake! Big Deluxe Classics. Launched in July, the large, pre-formed and refrigerated cookie dough bakes up a 43g cookie in such varieties as Premium Blend Chocolate Chip, White Chunk Macadamia Nut, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin. Packs of 36 are available in club stores for $5.56, and 12-ct. packages are in supermarkets for $2.99.

Adding A Little Zing

Previously only available to gourmet shoppers, flavored mayonnaise and sandwich spreads have had a small audience, but now the major market players are presenting varieties with market appeal. Hot 'n Spicy Miracle Whip contains cayenne pepper, dried tomatoes and spices.

French's, Wayne, N.J., GourMayo, a line of flavored light mayonnaise, is found in several varieties, like Chipotle Chili, Wasabi Horseradish and Sun Dried Tomato. All are available in plastic squeeze bottles that can be stored upside down for ease of use. These launches continue the trend of targeting adults with flavorings designed for that market; the first big launch of this type came from Heinz, Pittsburgh, Penn., early in 2002 with its line of Heinz Kick'rs flavored ketchup.

Orange Ap'peel

Several products are getting a boost of vitamin C this season. Well, perhaps not much in the way of vitamins, but the orange flavor or scent is being added in mass quantities to food and non-food products. The trend began in non-food products. The household cleaner aisle in the supermarket seemingly has every cleanser under the sun in an orange bottle.

Now the same can be seen on any food aisle. In Canada, for example, Nestlé Kit Kat Orange is available, labeled with the tagline of “Have an Orange Break!” Also from Nestlé in Canada is an orange variety of its Aero Chocolate Bar. In the U.S., some recently discovered items include Kraft Foods', Northfield, Ill., General Foods International Coffees Orange Cappuccino, said to have “enticing flavors of orange and spices.” This spring, orange crème-flavored marshmallow Peeps Eggs will launch from Just Born. Why the surge of orange? Research has found orange to be an energizing and stimulating scent that can even relieve stress.


Orange Cappuccino: sugar, nondairy creamer (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin), instant coffee, sodium citrate, less than 2 percent of natural and artificial flavors


Serving size 1 1/3 tbsp., servings about 18, calories 70, fat calories 20, total fat 2g, saturated fat 0.5g, sodium 100mg, total carbohydrate 11g, sugars 9g, protein less than 1g

Sidebar: GlobalTrends

On a healthy roll. In recent years, big players have entered the “healthier” fruit roll-ups segment of confectionery for children. For example, Kellogg, Battle Creek, Mich., launched its Winders line in the U.K. back in 2001, followed by Nestlé with Rowntree's Fruit Squoosh. Now in New Zealand, healthcare company Healtheries has entered the segment with the launch of Kidscare Real Fruit Waves. They are fortified with iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc; contain no added sugar; and are available in raspberry and blackberry flavors.

Attempting to shake up the small and undeveloped frozen soup segment in the U.K., Findus has introduced the Soup 'a' Meal range under its Feeling Great! sub-brand. Said to be packed with vegetables and perfect for cold autumn lunchtimes or as a light evening meal, the soups can be microwaved in the bowl in which they are packaged.

The Cheestrings stringy cheese stick brand from Golden Vale is venturing again into the U.K. kids meal kits sector. Back in 2000, Cheestrings appeared as a microwaveable DIY pizza kit. Now, it has appeared in the more traditional kit format, as Attack-a-Snack. The new line comes in three varieties: chicken with tortilla wrap; ham with tortilla wrap; and ham with crackers. Each kit also contains a single Cheestrings, Heinz tomato ketchup and a napkin.

The addition of new flavors (limited edition and otherwise) and the introduction of new formats to well-established brands have done much to innovate the chocolate confectionery market. Past successes have included chunky formats (notably KitKat Chunky), crunchier formats (Snickers Cruncher) and simply the addition of different flavors (KitKat Mint, Orange Crunchie). The most recent interesting extensions have been introduced in Asia. In Japan, the KitKat brand from Nestlé has appeared in a banana variety. In Singapore (and also the U.S.), Mars' Snickers brand is now available in an Almond variety.

Launching a New Product?

If so, contact Allison Enright at Mintel International Group, 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610.

Call 312-932-0600, fax 312-932-0474 or e-mail aenright@mintel.com. Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.