Vegetables in a ChipNew from Healthy Delite (Lynbrook, N.Y.) is Crispy Delites 100% Natural Veggie Chips, made with 100% real vegetables, providing the equivalent of one pound of vegetables per bag. In fact, the Asian Cucumber variety simply lists Asian cucumber, canola oil and sea salt as its ingredients. According to the company, the product contains 70% less fat, about half the calories and 10 times the nutrition and health benefits of regular chips. They are also baked and not fried.
The chips are available in the following varieties: Asian Cucumber; Carrot; Celery; Red Onion; Taro; Pumpkin; and Sweet Potato. The most significant attribute is not so much that they are natural vegetable chips, but that the flavors are unique.
Perfect ProportionsJ.M. Smucker (Orrville, Ohio) has added Smucker's Sundae Singles to its line of ice cream toppings. Each pack contains four single-portion cups of hot fudge or caramel that can be used on ice cream, fruit, snacks or pretzels. Additionally, they can be heated in the microwave in 15 seconds and are perfect to take on the go, either to work or in a lunchbox.
This is a great example of a product concept outside of foodservice that focuses on portion control and convenience, as the company has had single-serve Smuckers preserves in restaurants for ages.
Bite-sized Ice Cream TreatsDreyer's Grand Ice Cream (Oakland, Calif.) recently extended its line of ice cream to include Dibs Bite Sized Ice Cream Snacks. Available in vanilla ice cream with drumstick cone coating and mint ice cream varieties, each container contains approximately 60 bite-sized ice cream pieces, perfect for snacking--a term not often associated with ice cream.
This product is also another great example of portion control, as a consumer can easily grab two or three as a treat, at 15 calories apiece. It also is available in a smaller version containing 26 pieces.
Going NutsNew from Kraft Foods (Northfield, Ill.) is Planters Go-Nuts Mixed Nuts, a container of six 1.5oz. packs of peanuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts. The product is said to contain just the right amount of nuts to help the heart (it is suggested that 1.5oz. of nuts per day may reduce the risk of coronary disease).
Yet again, Kraft embraces the concept of portioning, as well as a heart-healthy claim in this product, which is becoming increasingly popular in many food and drink categories. Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati) also has taken a stab at portioning with its line of 100 Calorie Packs, almost identical to Kraft's line of 100 Calorie Packs.
Energy BeansJelly Belly Candy (Fairfield, Calif.) has introduced Sports Beans Energizing Jelly Beans--jelly beans with 120mg of electrolytes per serving, as well as vitamins C and E. The beans are formulated to energize and prevent dehydration, positioned toward competitive athletes and sports enthusiasts. The pack advises the consumer to “energize with one package before activity” and “use additional beans as needed during activity to sustain energy level.”
While this is not the first time an energy claim has been seen in the confectionery category (e.g., mints, gum, strips, chews), it is certainly the first in the jelly bean format. The beans are actually quite a bit larger than the standard Jelly Belly size, setting them apart from the company's original varieties. They are available in Lemon Lime and Orange flavors.
GlobalTrendsMost people need an energy boost at times, but not all consumers enjoy the taste of typical energy drinks, as these can be too sweet. Now, manufacturers are starting to incorporate energy-enhancing ingredients into products outside the beverage category, for example, in an ice lolly in the U.K. There, Rivermill Foods has introduced Vitalice, said to be “the kick on a stick.” These energy-boosting frozen novelties for adults contain ingredients similar to energy drinks, though with less sugar and calories. The orange-flavored Energy Kick variety contains ginseng, guarana and taurine, and the multi-fruit-flavored Vitamin Kick variety has 10 vitamins.
In Portugal, Danone added a tea range to its Bio Activia line of probiotic yogurts and yogurt drinks. Tea as an ingredient in the yogurt sub-category is fairly unusual, and past examples have been mostly with green tea (e.g., Danone's Bio Herbal with Green Tea and Lime in Spain), due to its renowned health properties. However, another type of tea is emerging in popularity and now has been found in a yogurt drink. Red tea, presumed in this case to be rooibos (red bush) tea, has no caffeine and is low in tannin. Therefore, it can be enjoyed all day long without any unpleasant side effects. Danone's Bio Activia Red Tea and Raspberry yogurt drink is said to contribute to a healthy life and daily well-being, as well as claiming to regulate intestinal function to “work as clockwork.” The range also includes Tea & Lychee and Tea & Red Apple varieties.
Health continues to take a front seat in most food and drink categories. However, the trend is making a most interesting move away from fortification with vitamins, minerals and functional ingredients offering pharmaceutical-grade advantages, and into more natural forms of nutrition to help prevent problems before they occur. This has been displayed perfectly with Fruit 2 Day, a new, all-natural fruit juice range from health-oriented German company Schwartauer Werke. Promising the daily recommended amount of fruit in a 200ml bottle, the range contains three blended varieties in eye-catching packs: orange & strawberry; peach & mango; and pineapple & banana.