Asian Infusion

Asian cuisine has become a well-established flavor trend in the U.S., and consumers are looking to infuse this cuisine type into all meal settings, including snack time. This has been made possible with the launch of Fisher Fusions Asian Spice Snack Mix from John B. Sanfilippo & Son. This collection combines a unique blend of fresh nuts including peanuts, almonds and cashews with delicious Asian-inspired ingredients including rice crackers, wasabi peas, chili stix and corn nuggets. This culturally inspired snack safely melds flavor with texture for an exciting snacking experience. Other available variants in the line include: Sweet Harvest, Martini Mix, Country Honey, Trail Blazer, Cheddar Crunch and Tropical Twist.


Marinating Made EZ

The need for simple, fast meal solutions will remain a priority for consumers. Manufacturers are now being challenged to create products that can significantly cut consumer meal prep time, while still making flavorful meals. Heinz North America has stepped up to the plate with the launch of Jack Daniel’s EZ Marinader. It is, as its name suggests, a ready-to-use liquid solution for marinating meats with ease. The product is available in three varieties, including Honey Teriyaki, Mesquite and Slow Roasted Garlic & Herb. Each marinade is held in a 12oz flavor-sealed bag that is large enough to accommodate two to three pounds of poultry, meat or even up to four servings of vegetables. The bag has a convenient zipped closure that reduces the potential for spills, eliminating the need for additional bowls, foil or plastic wrap. To use the product, consumers need only to add the food to be seasoned in the bag, refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and then prepare for consumption.


Dan Active is Proactive!

Although we may not be aware of this, our body’s natural defenses are weakened each day by common occurrences such as inclement weather and stress. Dannon Dan Active Immunity Probiotic Dairy Drink has been clinically proven to help strengthen the body's defenses by way of a unique combination of beneficial live cultures.

Available in four flavors, Vanilla, Strawberry, Blueberry and Plain, the dairy drink is also a good source of calcium. Dan Active begins to work directly in the digestive tract, where about 70% of the immune system is located, through its exclusive L.casei Immunitas probiotic cultures. With 10 billion L.casei Immunitas cultures in each 3.3fl oz bottle, consumers of all ages are sure to receive the healthy benefits of probiotic cultures.


Convenient Cakes

To address the needs of on-the-go breakfast eaters, manufacturers are producing more convenient, timesaving options so that consumers do not have to forfeit breakfast. Hungry Jack Easy Packs from J.M. Smucker, for instance, present pancake and waffle mix in a convenient pouch format. Each pouch only needs the addition of water to make six pancakes, which are a good source of calcium. The pancake mix also contains six vitamins, plus iron. Easy Packs are easy to prepare and claim to make breakfast time “family time.” The pancakes can be prepared and cooked in less than five minutes.


Breaking Fast

According to Mintel research, the at-home breakfast foods market is estimated to reach $29.6 billion this year through food, drug and mass merchandiser channels, natural supermarkets, specialty food stores and in-store bakeries.

Health trends, including concern about rising childhood obesity and heart-healthy diets, have led to new and reformulated breakfast products. Consumers are seeking healthy alternatives to standard breakfast fare such as products that are positioned as being, for example, low in fat and sugar or with other health-related claims. Also growing in favor are natural and organic breakfast foods, from eggs to cereal, as noted in the recent launch of Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies cereal.

Breakfast on-the-go products are also essential because there is limited time to eat breakfast in today’s society. In order to increase the frequency of breakfast consumption, makers of breakfast foods have created time-savvy options, such as the Hungry Jack Easy Pack from the J.M. Smucker Company and Go-Tarts from Pop-Tarts.

According to Mintel Menu Insights, a resource that tracks national restaurant trends, there were 9,380 breakfast menu items on national menus in June 2006. Mintel anticipates that the at-home breakfast food market will grow to roughly $31.2 billion by 2011,* suggesting that this industry is displaying upward mobility.
*“Mintel Premiere-Breakfast Foods Report: The Market-US-October 2006”


If you suddenly see what looks like a flavored alcoholic beverage on the wine shelf in a supermarket in Portugal, it does not necessarily mean it is an “alcopop.” It could be the Bright Brothers’ Bright White wine (or, from the same range, Bright Rosé or Bright Red). It is packaged in a 250ml aluminum bottle with interesting environmental credits. Not only is it recyclable (something which is flagged quite prominently on the pack), but, as the back of the bottle reveals, it also helps preserve energy. It claims to chill 20% faster than a glass bottle. This means that less energy is spent in the fridge, providing a greater time convenience for the consumer on the move. The package design also clearly aims the product at younger consumers, the target group of alcopops, opening the consumption of wine to a wider audience.

Many people have fond memories of helping their mother or father bake at home, and Sugarfayre in the Netherlands has introduced a novel spin on the tradition. Kitch ‘N’ Kaper’s Edible Decorations is a set comprised of cookie mix, mini-muffin mix and decorations, including 12 edible sugar “paper” sheets and a tube of icing for drawing on the sheets. It allows kids to create their own colorful designs and drawings on the cookies and muffins, bringing an element of creativity to the kitchen and getting children involved in the baking process—without limiting it to licking the mixing spoon!

Last October, Kanebo Foods launched Fuwarinka in Japan, a soft candy range developed around the concept that, when consumed, garlic travels through the bloodstream to be extracted by the sweat glands. The difference is that the company replaced the often unpleasant garlic odor with a more socially acceptable option: geraniol, which has been shown to have a genial effect on the fragrance of sweat. Now, Kanebo has extended the range to gum, and what makes it more interesting is that this gum is targeted at men, a group that may not always be receptive to this type of product. The product claims to make their sweat smell more fragrant and pleasing. The gum is also formulated with energizing maca, to offer some more benefits beyond the fragrance, and to appeal to a wider range of consumers.