Hitting the Shelves -- January 2008
Paired UpConsumers are constantly seeking and experimenting with new flavors, and Frito-Lay’s new Doritos Collisions tortilla chips allow consumers to experiment with up to three flavors in one bag. Consumers can try each flavor separately or collide the two flavored chips to create a third flavor. The chips feature flavors that often accompany each other in other foods, such as spicy hot wings with blue cheese dipping sauce or tacos with a chipotle ranch sauce.
The product reflects the emerging trends of flavor exploration and control of flavor intensity. Consumers can control the ratio of flavored chips when consuming them by the handful, such as consuming three spicy hot wing chips and one blue cheese chip in one bite. In addition, the portfolio of flavors offered—hot wings, blue cheese, taco and chipotle ranch—are contemporary flavors that are growing in popularity.
Eat a Cookie, Save the WorldHeaven Scent Foods gives each child the chance to save the world—literally. By giving itself the mission to create "the best cookies in the world and for the world," while also teaching children about becoming more ecologically responsible, the company allows children to play the role of superhero—if just in one small way.
Its Eco-Planet cookies are made from organic ingredients and packaged in a box that, like other aspects of the product, helps to convey its care for the natural world and the need for sustainability. The cookies are in four different forms: the sun, for solar energy; the earth, for earth-friendly; wind machines, for wind power or energy; and cars, illustrating green cars.
Keep in the Right KeyAttune Foods combines the health benefits of probiotics with the convenience of a snack bar with the launch of its Attune Yogurt & Granola Wellness Bars. The company claims the bars contain more than five times the live active cultures in yogurt, with three proprietary probiotic strains that are part of the digestive system’s natural flora. According to the Attune Foods website, the probiotics have proven stability, survivability, efficacy and safety. The company uses multiple probiotic strains because each may have slightly different characteristics and may play a different role in maintaining the balance of flora in the digestive system.
Every Attune Wellness Bar contains more than 10 billion probiotics and is also a source of prebiotics. The all-natural bars contain whole grains, nuts and dried fruit.
Veggies for OneGeneral Mills is expanding its Green Giant Just For One! Single Serve Vegetables line with the launch of Broccoli & Carrots in Italian Seasoning. This single-serve, microwaveable vegetable concept is not completely new. Late in the 1980s, several companies offered similar products; however, while the product concept may have been a little ahead of its time, it works really well right now!
It provides convenience—microwaveable and single-serve—and fits well for growing demographic groups and busy lifestyles. Baby Boomers, especially Empty Nesters who do not need to serve a whole family, will appreciate the single-serve concept. The product is low in fat and contains only 60 calories per serving.
The DHA WayConsumers have been hearing about the power of omega-3 in the daily fight for a healthy lifestyle. Now, around the world, parents are coming to understand that a particular type of omega-3 fatty acid—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—is critical to brain and nervous system development in children. Globally, in the last few years, hundreds of products have been launched with DHA, particularly in baby food and formula. Although initially found in Asia-Pacific, the DHA trend is growing significantly in both the U.S. and Europe.
As in other regions globally, the U.S. has a heavy concentration of DHA-enhanced products in the baby food and formula segments. However, in a departure from the global norm, the leading subcategory is spoonable yogurt. What has been driving this trend? Principally, it has been baby- and child-focused yogurts such as YoBaby by Stonyfield Farms and the new Yoplait Kids line of products. However, manufacturers are now moving beyond just kids and focusing on making adults “smarter” too. In September, Unilever launched the Breyers Smart line, which has an omega-3 and DHA formula to support a healthy heart and boost brain activity. By expanding the demographic focus for DHA, Breyers may have created a huge market for DHA-specific products in the U.S. and beyond.
GlobalTrendsThe concept of carbon footprinting is still relatively new; however, it is growing. As it spreads, consumers are becoming more aware of what goes into the products they buy and their source. At this point, ingredients are a primary consumer focus—where organics and all-natural play a strong role—but soon, consumers may also be asking about the manufacturing process and packaging. Manufacturers in Europe—both large and small—have started incorporating this concept throughout their manufacturing processes and are starting to see benefits.
At a time when the bottled water industry has been subject to criticism due to its overall impact on the environment and contributions to global warming, Icelandic Glacial introduces a line of carbon-neutral bottled waters said to be a first in the bottled water market. Being carbon neutral refers to neutral (meaning zero) total carbon release, brought about by balancing the amount of carbon released with the amount sequestered. Icelandic Glacial spring water is sourced exclusively from the Ölfus Spring in Southwest Iceland. The water is piped directly from the Ölfus Spring and packaged at the company’s facility in Thorlákshöfn, Iceland, where the company uses only geothermal and hydroelectric natural energy. This allows Icelandic Glacial’s initial carbon footprint to already be much lower than other conventional bottled water. The waters are packaged in 100% recyclable bottles. To reduce emissions, the company claims that it uses local energy providers, restricts flights and travel wherever possible, uses low-energy lighting throughout its manufacturing plants and other offices and recycles where possible. The remaining balance of CO2 emissions are then offset via such initiatives as reforestation, methane capture and wind energy projects around the world. In July 2007, Anheuser-Busch Inc. was named the master distributor for Icelandic Glacial super-premium natural spring water in the U.S.
Another example of the carbon footprinting trend would be PepsiCo’s repackaged Walkers Crisps in the U.K., the first product featuring the Carbon Trust's new carbon reduction label. The label highlights a company’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its products and states how much carbon was used making and processing the product.