Drinking in the U.K.

The U.K.'s already crowded (and highly competitive) premium packaged spirits sector has another contender. UDV's Archers peach schnapps brand has been extended with the launch of Archers Aqua. Mainly targeted at women, this new line featuring schnapps and fruit flavors is sold in 275ml bottles and has 5.9% ABV. In addition to the predictable Peach variety, three other flavors are available: Lime, Orange and Cranberry (the latter up against Bacardi Breezer's new cranberry variant).

Targeting the clubbers or party-goers, Bass has introduced a new soft pouch pack for its Red alcoholic energy drink. Designed to be lightweight, portable and disposable, the pack features a resealable cap.

Finally, could this be the next big thing in FABs? Buzz Pots, from Tubular Drinks, are single-shot vodka jelly "cocktails" in Lemon & Lime or Blackcurrant varieties, containing 15% alcohol by volume. Packaged in mini pots with a resealable lid, they are accompanied by a small plastic sword, which can be used to loosen the jelly before drinking.

A Different Kind Of Energy Drink

Most energy drinks are sparkling, ostensibly fruit flavored and contain ginseng, ginkgo, guarana and taurine. This one, a Nestle product from Malaysia, is a milk-based beverage promoted as an energy drink. Nestle, Glendale, Calif., imports its Milo Nutritional Energy drink in an 8-fl. oz. can. Previously, it had only been available in a dry mix format. Enriched with B vitamins, it retails in an 8-fl. oz. can in ethnic supermarkets.

Don't be surprised if more of these types of drinks are promoted as energy boosters. In fact, South Beach Beverage, Norwalk, Conn., has just introduced a product called Love Bus Brew, which looks a bit like Yoo-Hoo but promotes its energy properties. It also contains some herbs, as do all SoBe products.

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

For those on high-protein diets, or those looking for more soy in their diets, Crum Creek Mills, Springfield, Penn., has a Soy Protein Pasta in two varieties: penne and spaghetti. The company says these products contain 70% more protein than regular pastas and 20% less carbohydrates. They retail in 1lb. boxes for $2.99 in health food stores. This product has a double-whammy of food trends these days--the power of protein and the allure of soy.

As more consumers embrace high-protein diets to either lose weight or to feel more energetic, protein from every source imaginable appears on store shelves. Whether this diet craze will prove to be a fad or have staying power is yet to be seen. With soy, the jury is definitely in regarding the benefits of soy, not only related to heart disease and women's health issues, but also as a high-quality protein source.

Damn The Torpedos, Full Fat Ahead

So far this year, for every lowfat product introduction on the market, two or three full-fat products arrive on shelves. Increasingly, in those categories that focus on fun and indulgence, lowfat offerings drop even faster. That's why it's no real surprise to see more and more products like this ice cream from Good Humor-Breyers, Green Bay, WI.

Banana Fudge Chunk is a special-edition item that is new to the company's lineup. This all-natural offering contains fresh milk, real cream, pure sugar, fudge swirl, fudge pieces and bananas, states the company. A 0.5-gal. paperboard tub retails for $3 in supermarkets nationwide.

Cognac for Breakfast?

Gone are the days of plain old orange marmalade to spread on toast in the morning. Today, jams, jellies, conserves and the like all have very upscale versions that can go on bread or bagels, but these also are designed for many other uses. Sold in gourmet stores, the newest line comes from Mark & Stephen's, Los Angeles. The five varieties of marmalades and jams are Blood Orange Cognac Marmalade, Lemon Ginger Marmalade, Wild Blueberry Jam, Raspberry Pineapple Jam and Strawberry Mango Jam. They retail in 12-oz. glass jars for $6.49.

Yet Another Boomer Product

At first look, these extra-strong peppermints from Ragold, Chicago, don't quite seem to make a whole lot of sense. They feature Peanuts characters on them (Charlie Brown or Snoopy), which definitely have a kid appeal. However, they are the classic super-strong mints, which do not appeal to kids.

Looking more closely at the tins, it becomes clear just what the marketing angle is on these tins. The tins do not just show pictures of Snoopy or Charlie Brown. They show the two through the decades, showing them in different situations and how their looks have changed over the years. The marketing angle: nostalgic Baby Boomers.