Stocks and seasonings tend to be staple categories where innovation is limited. Massel Australia has, however, introduced very interesting onion cubes, said to add the flavor of onions to any dish, but without the painstaking chopping, peeling or frying. The onion tablets are said to be all-natural, trans fat-free and made without preservatives, not new claims in this category. Their positioning as a convenient way to add onion flavor to dishes, while saving time and money, is more original.

While peach is not among the most common flavors in carbonated soft drinks, Schweppes recently launched a peach drink made from four different types of peaches in France. Mentioning the exact type of peach used in such a drink is a way of presenting a product in a more transparent light, especially important in carbonated soft drinks, a category suffering from health concerns. Yellow peaches, white peaches, vineyard peaches and donut peaches were used in this new drink.

Added-calcium claims are not new in the confectionery market, with the trend found most often in chewing gum and, to a lesser degree, in the pastilles, gums, jellies and chews segments. The addition of calcium is mostly linked to dental health benefits (strengthening and protecting teeth) and, to a lesser degree, to aiding growth and development (e.g., of bones) — making the trend mostly active within the children's segment. The latest calcium-fortified children’s confectionery product to join the ranks is interesting, as it focuses not on standard calcium but on the addition of calcium ions — a concept not previously seen. The product, Trolli Actident from Mederer in Germany, comprises a bag of colorful, bear-shaped fruit jellies made with natural flavors and no artificial colors. Its positioning is a little contradictory. On the one hand, it is formulated with “calcium ions” to strengthen teeth, but on the other hand, it remains formulated with sugar and glucose syrup, not renowned for having teeth-friendly attributes. Despite the sugar content, the company emphasizes the product’s benefits through positive on-pack imagery (a tooth logo) and the use of a technical-looking graph. The graph shows that by eating 100g of the sweets per day (two thirds of the pack), consumers can expect the level of calcium in teeth to increase. These calcium ions work together with naturally occurring phosphate to build healthy, strong teeth.