Hitting the Shelves - May 2007
Watch Your Mouth!For younger people, having a “smart mouth” is usually followed by a reprimand in some form by an adult. Now, adults and children alike are being encouraged to have a smart mouth, by using the Smart Mouth line of oral hygiene products, that is.
Created by Triumph Pharmaceuticals, the collection includes Sugarfree Mints sweetened with xylitol, a popular sugar alternative. These mints contain a novel zinc ion technology, in which zinc ions are released in the mouth for fresher breath. When used with other products in the line such as the gum and the mouthwash, bad breath can be eliminated and prevented 24 hours a day, the products claim. The mint-flavored mints are packaged in a plastic case containing 45 pieces.
For “Sum” Supercharged EnergyBusy lifestyles often lack a proper amount of rest, which can result in diminished energy levels. While most consumers rely on coffee or caffeine-induced energy drinks, a new alternative also claims to offer a quick energy boost. SumSeeds from Dakota Valley Products are dubbed as supercharged, premium-roasted sunflower seeds.
They are infused with the same ingredients as most energy drinks, including caffeine, taurine and lysine. The seeds are also an excellent source of protein, infused with vitamin E, zinc and iron. This fortification further contributes to the snack's energy-boosting properties. The seeds are claimed to deliver 11g of muscle-building protein and are certified kosher.
Comedic ConfectionAs if there is not enough humor surrounding specific cosmetic procedures, Bloomsberry has released its latest product—Bochox. This all-natural, premium dark chocolate bar mocks a popular packaged medication and comes complete with random directions and warnings to follow suit.
Claiming to be a confectioner-only remedy, the packaging warns that it should be kept out of reach of “chocoholics.” The directions instruct consumers to simply break off the desired “dosage” and consume; the user should then be quickly overcome by stress-relieving endorphins and no longer concerned in the slightest about wrinkles. Bochox joins a collection of products from the company that offer premium chocolate with the added benefit of humor.
Warm PeanutsPeanuts are an all-time American favorite. While some still enjoy the simple taste of roasted peanuts, the palates of others have graduated to bolder, more exotic flavors. The recent growth of Asian-inspired flavors within the snack industry has prompted manufacturers to become more experimental with the ingredients in their products.
Diamond Foods, for example, released its Emerald Oven Roasted Peanuts in a wasabi flavor, the company’s take on Asian-influenced products. The nuts claim to offer a Japanese flavor with wasabi heat baked directly into the nut. This unique roasting process leaves the nuts mess-free and creates an ideal alternative to
traditional salty snacks.
Nutra NotionsNutraceuticals, also known as functional foods, are products making a distinct, written health claim. They may be foods enhanced in some way to have a beneficial effect on the body in general, or on a particular function of the body, or they have been enhanced through the act of processing. For example, Pilgrim’s Pride recently launched its EatWellStayHealthy selection of chicken products, including fresh chicken and pre-cooked chicken, with options available for adults and children. These poultry products are nearly void of fat and meet the American Heart Association’s criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol. Consumption of this product may reduce the risk of heart disease.
As noted in the Mintel report “Functional Foods and Beverages 2006 U.S.,” the scientific and medical communities continue to release studies confirming the role of diet in the cause and prevention of disease. The government has made it easier than ever to place health claims on food and beverage labels, and health-consciousness among the general population is at an all-time high. While cereals and bakery items are the most prominent food items in this market, companies are starting to introduce a wider variety of options with functional ingredients. However, despite these products’ added value, consumers often treat functional products like conventional foods and beverages, with taste, price and convenience often weighing more heavily than nutritional value in purchasing decisions. So, the ability to master a healthy balance between taste and nutrition is vital to the prosperity of nutraceuticals.
GlobalTrendsThe popularity of instant noodles, coupled with increased interest in Asian cuisine throughout the world, has led to a vast array of available flavors. Instant noodles also offer consumers a quick and convenient meal, even more so when they are packaged in convenient tubs that require only hot water. This explains the success of instant noodle brands such as Pot Noodle from Unilever Bestfoods. Novel packaging and a convenient twist have further added to the appeal of the instant noodle market, with the U.K. launch of Noodle Wok from G Costa & Co. Released under the Blue Dragon brand, this range of instant noodles was first reported in 2005. The line has now been extended with new flavors, and the product is available in 67g reusable wok-shaped tubs with a plastic fork inside. The product can be microwaved or prepared by adding boiling water. The fact that the container can be reused and already comes with a fork will certainly allow more mobility and portability.
With the wide coverage of food-related epidemics in the media, the freshness of products has become a central issue. Owing to their fast-paced lives, many consumers do not have time to keep track of what is in their fridge or how long it has been there, so developing new ways to do this has emerged. In France, Monoprix released Superior Braised Ham Slices under the Monoprix Gourmet brand; it promises to clearly and easily show the freshness of the product. The pack of four slices of superior braised ham without rind has a Puce Fraîcheur Fresh-Check chip that shows if the product can be consumed; when its center turns black, the product is not suitable for eating. A Jambon Cuit Supérieur Issu de Porc Fermier (farm ham) is available with the same packaging.
Creating a soufflé is generally considered culinary prowess, but it can be complicated and daunting for someone not familiar with French cuisine. A few cheese soufflés have emerged on the market in the past, but most were either meant to be cooked in an oven or simply ready to prepare as a mix. One recent product in France could make life much easier. D.L.P. released Emmental Cheese Soufflé under the Leader Price brand; it is microwavable in 30 seconds. The product retails in a 230g pack containing two units. Preparing soufflé is not what it used to be with microwave ovens allowing for more convenience than ever.