Sweet pumpkin is an unusual flavor in beverages, especially tea or coffee mixes, but it has been included in several Asian products. The new Amore Pacific Sweet Pumpkin Latte (launched in South Korea) stands out, because it is also made with green tea powder and is positioned as a latte, as consumers can mix it with milk instead of water. It is more common to see beverages flavored with pumpkin listed as “pumpkin spice,” especially in North America, where pumpkin is often mixed with cinnamon and ginger to create a spicier drink. However, in Asia, sweet pumpkins, known as the Hokkaido pumpkin or kabocha, have a very sweet taste compared to other pumpkins or squashes. Green tea is also perceived as a healthy ingredient, so this product may appeal to health-conscious consumers.
Chocolate is increasingly marketed on a functional health platform. Many companies are not only highlighting the natural antioxidant benefits of chocolate--particularly darker and high-cocoa varieties--but also fortifying chocolate with extra ingredients from vitamins, minerals and superfruits (e.g., goji berries) to give health, beauty and even mood-enhancing properties. Recent launches have included New Tree Tranquility chocolates with soothing lavender; Look brand beauty-oriented chocolates from Fujiya, formulated with fruit such as goji berries; and CocoaVia milk chocolate raisins from MasterFoods, to reduce bad cholesterol. The latest mood-enhancing range to be launched is Chocolate Therapy from fine Danish chocolatier Anthon Berg, available in a Focus variety, which is formulated with schisandra berries. An emerging ingredient, the schisandra berry has not really been seen in chocolate confectionery. Traditionally, the berry, native to Asia, has been used in herbal medicines as a cure for certain ailments, including insomnia. This is why it is aimed at consumers who are “puzzling with something difficult and need a moment of clarity.” Its positioning is somewhat specialized, appealing to consumers who want a more personalized chocolate product that goes beyond gourmet flavors. It also offers “therapy” via supplement-style positioning. The premium aspect of the product is further strengthened by the infusion of guava flavor, as well as its high 72% cocoa content. Other varieties within this interesting Chocolate Therapy range are Wellness, formulated with green tea and ginger, and Drive, made with yerba maté.
Hitting the Shelves: Global Trends -- May 2008
May 1, 2008