Flavorful Beer

New from Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis) is 9th Street Market Pilsner Beer with Natural Flavors. Available in Pomegranate & Raspberry, Lime Cactus, and Blood Orange Grapefruit, this is the first time a major brewer in the U.S. has introduced fruit-flavored beer.

Flavored beer is often seen outside the U.S., particularly throughout Europe. This product most definitely should appeal to those consumers who do not like the taste of beer but would prefer not to drink malternatives. This also may be a move on Anheuser-Busch's part to expand their beer market.

Open Wide

New from Sunshine Biscuits (Elmhurst, Ill.) are Cheez-It Gripz Mighty Tiny Baked Snack Crackers, housed in Rip n' Tip Packs. These packs allow the consumer to open the pack and pour the crackers directly into the mouth. They are able to do that because the crackers themselves are very small, and in an easily pourable format.

This product is designed as an on-the-go snack or as a lunch accompaniment. Plus, the idea of pouring food into the mouth most certainly will grab the attention of younger consumers. It is important to note that this is the first time any cracker has been presented in such a small format. Gripz also are available in a Chips Ahoy variety.

Atkins Out, South Beach In

Kraft Foods (Northfield, Ill.), in an attempt to cash in on the latest (possibly late) diet craze in the U.S., has introduced an entirely new brand of ready meals under the South Beach Diet brand. The line includes frozen dinners, wrap kits, frozen pizza, cereal and cereal bars, all made in accordance with the South Beach Diet guidelines, which focus on choosing the “right” carbs (whole grains, fruits, vegetables), the “right” fats (olive and canola), and lean sources of protein.

Additionally, all are said to be an excellent source of whole grain, following the new food pyramid guidelines introduced earlier this year.

Sweet Packaging

Domino Foods (Yonkers, N.Y.) has repackaged its Premium Pure Cane Granulated Sugar, available now in a 4-lb. plastic tub. Interestingly, the new tub design very much resembles the type of packaging associated with coffee. It has two built-in easy grip handles for simple portability, as well as grooves on the top of the lid to simplify taking off the cap.

A similar packaging concept was launched in Spain by Daddy Azúcar (Madrid, Spain) last December. This particular container is good for humid climates, as well as areas where pests are a problem. It is also refillable and, unlike traditional sugar containers, there is no need to transfer sugar into a separate container.

Portion-controlled Pringles

Following last summer's roll-out of Kraft's line of 100 Calorie Packs, Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati) is launching Pringles 100 Calorie Packs. The single-serve packs contain the exact same language as Kraft, which is somewhat unusual. Nonetheless, this product allows consumers to easily see the nutritional content and automatically know that one pack equals 100 calories, contributing to the idea of balance in one's diet.

One pack also contains 6g of fat and no cholesterol or trans fat. What is interesting about this product is that, on the surface, it appears to be simply a re-packaging and re-branding of the single-serve Pringles chips traditionally sold in six-packs with an oversleeve. However, this product is branded differently and is sold in a multi-pack box.


Not really ice cream, but just as good! Marks & Spencer's Lolly Choc treats in the U.K. look like mini ice creams but actually are solid chocolate on a stick. Displayed on the checkout for a last-minute temptation, the lollipops are available in a raspberry variety, made with smooth white chocolate and a layered raspberry mousse filling; and Mochaccino, coffee truffle made with real ground coffee and a coffee truffle mousse center.

The practice of lighting up in restaurants or public places ended years ago in some areas, and it is becoming harder to find a place to enjoy a smoke anywhere. However, German company MeierKurt has created the first tobacco-flavored candy, allowing consumers to enjoy the taste of tobacco in any non-smoking place. Aimed at adults, these candies are nicotine- and sugar-free, contain vitamin C and are low in calories. They are available in two varieties: Original, with a slightly bitter taste, and Sweet--which, as the name suggests, are a touch sweeter.

In the past year, concern has heightened in Brazil regarding the population's health--weight, in particular. Recent studies have shown the country is experiencing an obesity epidemic: over 40% of Brazilians are overweight (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2004). Perhaps to help combat the problem, Hellmann's has introduced a cholesterol-free mayonnaise reduced in fat and claiming to be equally delicious.

Dairy products designed to lower blood pressure are being introduced in Spain this month under license from Finnish functional dairy firm Valio. This product launch will expose the blood pressure-lowering Evolus active complex to much larger markets than before, helping to raise consumer awareness of blood pressure-lowering foods. Valio launched its Evolus blood pressure-lowering drink on the Finnish domestic market in 2000, and the beverage is marketed under the Kaiku Vita brand in Spain. The blood pressure-lowering mechanism of Evolus products is based on bioactive peptides and a beneficial mineral composition, and it has been developed to help as part of a varied diet. These fermented milk-based drinks are sold in packs of six 65ml plastic bottles, and the bottles carry the health message “Lowers blood pressure.”