Chocolate Breakfast

While dehydrated fruit was the flavor of the day for a number of new cereals in the past few years, the current trend appears to be moving toward something a little more indulgent.

Chocolate is finding its way into a number of breakfast cereals. Quaker Oats has added it to Life cereal to launch Life Chocolate Oat Crunch, described as “a chocolate cereal for adults that’s healthy too.” Its healthful properties might not stack up with other breakfast options, but it does feature two servings of whole grains, 3g of fiber and 10 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as 1g of “oat soluble fiber.” The company press release notes, “3g of soluble fiber from oats daily, as part of a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet can help remove cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Joining the guiltless chocolate cereal brigade is Special K Chocolatey Delight, although Kellogg prefers consumers to regard this as an evening snack option to help meet weight-management goals. Featuring lightly roasted rice cereal flakes with chocolate pieces, a serving and half-cup of fat-free milk contains 160 calories.

Snap, Crackle, Pop, et al.

Remember the old days, say way back five, six years ago, when consumers actually had to cut fruit and put it in the cereal? Where did they find the time?

In the years since, the time-starved consumer has benefited from manufacturers rediscovering the wonders of dehydration. General Mills was among the first to embrace the concept in cold cereals, when it launched Berry Burst Cheerios with “slices of real strawberries and bananas” back in 2003.

Now, one of Kellogg’s staple brands is joining the real dehydrated bandwagon with Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries, described by the company as “helping moms and kids find time to connect—to set aside some time in the morning…”

Big Zero

It often seems as if a beverage segment has not arrived until low-calorie versions of the products start to hit the market. This is not entirely different from other categories, but those seem to have more products tailor-made for dieters. Beverage makers tend to reformulate the calories out of established products.

So, it might be something of a shock to see an energy drink launched nationally with little to no recognition for the company launching the product. Such is the case with Bazza High-energy Tea, claimed to be the first zero-calorie, high-energy tea. The manufacturer, Cooper Tea, has other tea products in its portfolio, but Bazza is its first excursion into energy drinks.

Cooper Tea says the product is made with all-natural energy ingredients: Bazza Green Energy Tea features green tea infused with yerba maté and guarana, while Bazza Raspberry Energy Tea has green tea infused with crushed raspberry, hibiscus, yerba maté and guarana.

Heaven Scent

The “Got Milk?” campaign from the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) became almost ubiquitous over the years, as some of the world’s most famous actors, athletes and celebrities donned milk mustaches to grace billboards, radio spots, television commercials and magazine advertisements. However, these could tempt only one, maybe two, of the five senses. Now, the CMPB is targeting another, olfactory.

The CMPB aims to lead consumers by the nose, if a new effort in and around San Francisco is any indication. The “Got Milk”-branded bus shelters entice commuters with a chocolate chip cookie scent, attempting to reinforce the notion that milk is an essential complement to the treat.

The scent is the result of an olfactory scent-sampling technology, which “disseminates smell via scent-infused adhesives affixed to the inside of the bus shelters and undersides of benches.”

In the Drink

Data found in the “What America Drinks” report (based on a comprehensive study by Environ International Corporation, with data from more than 10,000 Americans ages four and older) reveal that beverages supply nearly a quarter (22%) of a consumer’s total calories, with soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and pre-sweetened teas topping the list.

According to the report, teenaged males consume an average of 32oz of sweetened beverages a day (equating to 387 calories or 13% of the total daily calories). Teenaged females drink a smaller quantity (22oz) per day, but this accounts for roughly the same percentage of total daily calories (12% or 267 calories), which translates into an additional 8,000 calories over the course of a month.

Teenaged males consume 12oz of milk per day, but teen girls fail to get a full serving of milk daily, drinking 7oz on average.

Could there be a correlation to obesity levels? A study in the Journal of Nutrition found Asian and Caucasian females between the ages of 9 and 14 who drank milk tended to have less body fat, while soft drink consumption was associated with heavier body weight.

Among adults, women between 19 and 40 drank 6oz of milk a day but nearly three times as much sweetened beverages—18oz (10% of daily calories).

The Beverage Marketing Corporation says every man, woman and child in the U.S. drinks 192gal of liquid a year, 3.7gal per week, 2L a day. Roughly 13% are alcoholic, with carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) leading the pack at 28%.



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