Riddle Me This . . .

Kraft Foods (Northfield, Ill.) recently launched its newest Limited Edition Kool-Aid Jammers variety--Sip 'n See Riddles Juice Drink. The drink, housed in a transparent container, contains riddles that can be read and solved by finishing the drink.

This product is genius, as it provides 100% vitamin C, as well as an element of fun and interaction for kids. It follows such product launches as Pringles Prints (Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati), which have jokes and fun facts printed on the actual chips, and Dove (Masterfoods USA, Hackettstown, N.J.) chocolates that have messages printed on the inside of labels.

Snapple on a Stick

Extending its popular Diet Snapple brand, CoolBrands (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) has released Diet Snapple on Ice flavored ice pops. The product is sugar- and fat-free, sweetened with Splenda, and contains only 15 calories per pop, making it a healthy treat for health-conscious consumers.

The ice pops are flavored Kiwi Strawberry, Orangeade and Pink Lemonade, similar to Diet Snapple beverage flavors. Similarly, CoolBrands has released ice cream pops under the Tropicana brand, a second example of juice turned frozen novelty.

Bacon in a Pouch

Following the launch of its shelf-stable Ready to Eat Fully Cooked Bacon, Hormel Foods (Austin, Minn.) logically has extended its bacon toppings line to include Hormel Premium Real Crumbled Bacon. Formulated with 100% real bacon, the product contains 30% less fat than pan-fried bacon. It is said to be ideal on salads, baked potatoes, pizzas and eggs.

The most unique attribute, however, is that the bacon is packaged in a re-sealable pouch, rather than in the usual, traditional plastic canister. It also is shelf-stable, just like the company's Ready to Eat Fully Cooked Bacon, which provides an additional means of convenience for the consumer, particularly if the product is being used as an alternative to pan-fried bacon.

Bold Almonds

Blue Diamond Growers (Sacramento, Calif.) has introduced a new line of almonds called Bold Almonds, featuring such flavors as Lime 'n Chili, Jalapeño Smokehouse, Wasabi & Soy Sauce, and Maui Onion & Garlic, four very different and very unique flavors for the nut segment.

Noticeably, each flavor combination has an ethnic flair, catering particularly to nut lovers looking for an exotic taste experience. Lime and chili flavors specifically are showing up in other snacks in the U.S., as Lay's (Plano, Texas) recently launched a lime variety of its potato chips. This increased exposure to Latin flavors by the general population most definitely could be attributed to the growing Hispanic population in the U.S.

Clustered Together

New from Pepperidge Farm (Norwalk, Conn.) is Whims Crunchy Clusters and Crispy Waves bite-sized cookies. Packaged in a unique canister, similar to what one might see in salty snacks, the cookies fit equally well in the kitchen cabinet or a car's cup holder. Interestingly enough, some of the packages sit upright, while others sit upside-down--fitting together perfectly when next to each other on store shelves.

Not only is the package eye-catching, but Pepperidge Farm is continuing to follow the “mini” trend, which is becoming increasingly more common in the cookie sector (think Nabisco's [Kraft, Northfield, Ill.] Oreo and Chip's Ahoy 100 Calorie Packs). The company also is staying true to its high-quality image, as the products do not sacrifice flavor (there are no low-fat or -calorie versions) but answer the “balance” need by being in smaller bits so that they can be more easily controlled. Available varieties include Chocolate Cashew, Chocolate Chocolate and White Chocolate Pecan.

Sidebar: GlobalTrends

The Nestle Ski brand of popular yogurts is being extended into a novel snack format in Australia. It is the first extension for the brand into the snack market. The new range of Nestle Ski snacks comprises Smoothie Balls, bite-sized crispy morsels with a malt cereal center, coated in a light milky layer, made with fruit and available in Raspberry Rush and Tropical Tango flavors. The company also has introduced Smoothie Poles, made from non-sticky fruity tubes, filled with a milky center and available in Raspberry Rush, Tropical Tango and Very Berry flavors.

An unusual packaging characterizes Patatas Babila, high-quality potatoes in a colorful cardboard box with a plastic handle in Portugal. The outer carton offers maximum hygiene and optimal preservation, as it isolates the potatoes from light and contamination. It is easy to transport and allows ease of storage. Also new from the same company is a range of potatoes with labels that are specific with regards to their particular culinary use. The range comprises: Patata Especial para Asar, for baking; Patata Especial para Freir, for frying; Patata Especial para Guisar, for stews; and Patata Especial para Guarnicion, for garnishing.

Bunge Alimentos, the Brazilian margarine market leader, has launched the Cyclus line of 100% vegetable protein Alimentos a Base de Soja (Soy Based Beverages). Like the margarine line that shares the same name, this ready-to-drink juice product is available in functional Saude (Health), Equilíbrio (Balance), and Crescimiento (Growth) varieties that provide various nutritional benefits vital to physical well being at various stages of development.

Responding to the growing number of people who have chosen or been forced by allergies to exclude nightshades from their diet, Soma in the U.K. has released a range of Nomato products free from alkaloids. Alkaloids are naturally occurring compounds found in plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers and eggplant that can impact nerve-muscle and digestive functions in highly sensitive individuals. All the products in the range are organic, suitable for vegetarian and vegans, and free from gluten, dairy and genetic modification. They include ketchup, pasta sauce, baked beans, soup and vegetarian chili beans.