Better Than One

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Splitz Toaster Pastries line is said to contain “two crazy good flavors in one, split down the middle.” The line is available in two varieties—Strawberry & Blueberry and Vanilla & Chocolate. The company has bolstered this line with substantial trade support. At retail, the products are featured with displays and discount support, creating excitement for their unique flavor profiles and encouraging consumers to try them.

With these new products, Kellogg is bringing fun and energy back to the established breakfast brand. Pop-Tarts have been a quick, tasty breakfast alternative for children and adults for many years. Introductions over the last few years have been relatively safe, focusing on new flavors or new characters on package. However, in the last few months, Kellogg has been more adventurous. Between this introduction and April’s Pop-Tarts Go-Tarts!, Kellogg is thinking outside the box.

Healthy, Tasty Snacking

Procter & Gamble has positioned its new line of reduced-fat potato crisps as the ultimate combination of smart snacking and gourmet flavor and taste. Pringles Smart Flavors Potato Crisps are available in Zesty Guacamole, Sour Cream & Onion, Original, Savory Cheddar, Tomato Mozzarella and Sweet Mesquite Barbecue flavors. The products contain 30% less fat than regular Pringles, and they are kosher certified and free of trans fat.

Through creative branding and packaging techniques, the company has elevated a traditional line extension into something much more interesting for the consumer.

See the Veggies

Functional foods are everywhere. Many manufacturers have fortified their products with functional ingredients to catch consumers’ attention, but General Mills has taken a different approach. The company’s Green Giant Healthy Vision Vegetable Mix calls out the natural antioxidants lutein and vitamin A, which are found in the carrots and zucchini included in the mix and are said to help support healthy eyesight.

The company also launched the Green Giant Immunity Boost Vegetable Mix with vegetables, reputed to be naturally rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C to help support a healthy immune system. This natural approach to functional foods may be an effective way to reach consumers and their wallets.

Taste of Chocolate

Target has tapped into the premium trend in an interesting way, launching a new dark chocolate single-origin tasting kit under its Choxie brand. By positioning the product as a tasting kit, the company leverages the gourmet associations consumers have with wine and cheese tasting. It also conjures the tasting menus offered in fine dining restaurants, where well-known chefs offer customers a set menu of numerous small portions that represent their best dishes. As such, the product targets the aspiring gourmet chocolate connoisseur who sees himself as having a sophisticated and discerning palate.

This positioning is enhanced by the inclusion of five different single-origin chocolates, each containing unblended cocoa from Venezuela, Ghana, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Peru. Single-origin is a term that started in the wine industry, moved into coffee and has now entered the chocolate market. Each different chocolate variety in the Choxie kit also has a high (but distinct) percentage of cocoa—again, appealing to consumers who want to understand the complexities of chocolate.

Bounty of Benefits

Globally, manufacturers are expanding their lines of products with functional benefits. This trend crosses category and country boundaries, with U.S. manufacturers featuring prominently into new functional product introductions. In the U.S., functional claims grew 33.7% from 2005 to 2006, and launches through August 2007 have already surpassed 2006 totals—perhaps reaching more than 1,000 launches by the end of the year.

Products focusing on digestive health led functional claims in 2006; however, in 2007, weight-control claims have assumed the top position after a decline in 2006. Globally, spoonable yogurt was the top category for functional food launches, while the category is second among U.S. functional launches.

For U.S. baby food manufacturers, look to global functional category launches for perspective. Baby food and formula are among the top 10 categories globally for functional new product launches, but in the U.S., neither category appeared in the top 15 functional food categories. One recent baby food introduction in the Netherlands provides an example of this and the gluten-free trend mentioned last month. Nestlé NAN 1 H.A. Hypoallergene Volledige Zuigelingenvoeding (Hypoallergenic Formulae for Infants) is an instant formula powder which claims the bifidogenic effect that naturally feeds the natural, healthy bacteria found in the bowel, LC-PUFA (long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) and Opti-Pro HA (DHA and ARA nucleotides). It claims to improve natural immunity and reduce the risk of allergies.


Promoted as a new way to help manage weight, sustainable foods that keep consumers full over a longer period have been introduced in Japan in different forms—from drinks to cookies. They are now reaching the West on a larger scale, with major manufacturers offering them as variations of their most widely known brands.

In Ireland, Kellogg has launched Special K Sustain, a breakfast cereal made with protein and fiber and designed to keep the consumer satisfied longer. This product is a medley of crunchy brown rice and whole-wheat flakes with a honey flavor. It has soy clusters and its own special balance of protein and fiber that claim to keep hunger at bay. The cereal is fortified with extra folic acid and is low in fat.

Continuing with the sustainable energy theme, the Innocent Superfoods Natural Slow-Release Energy Smoothie was launched in the U.S. in July. It retails in a 250ml bottle and is available with a blended Guavas, Mangoes and Goji Berries flavor. The product capitalizes on the natural benefits of the ingredients—high fiber from the guava and beta-carotene from the Goji berries—plus low GI for a slow-release energy advantage.

Another low-GI offering is in Australia. The Hopper Hip Hop Sultana and Honey Fruit and Cereal Bar contains 40% real fruit and less than 6% fat but with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, added sugar, trans fat or sulfur dioxide. The bars are said to be a tasty, nutritious snack and are a powerful energy source for healthy kids. This is the first product seen in its category to target children.

Gamma-tocopherol is an interesting emerging ingredient found primarily in skin care, vitamins and dietary supplements. Recently, manufacturers have begun to include this next-generation ingredient in functional foods and beverages that primarily focus on weight loss. However, Coca-Cola has taken a unique positioning approach with gamma-tocopherol by noting the overall beauty benefits of the product. Found in Japan, Minute Maid Beautia is a beauty support drink for women who want to be healthy—both internally and externally. It contains gamma-tocopherol (100mg), as well as skin-moisturizing hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Beautia offers the refreshing taste of acerola and lemon juices.