Purple People
First Juice, known for its organic fruit and vegetable juice beverages, is adding an unusually tinted vegetable to its line of drinks designed specifically for young, developing taste buds.

Purple carrots will grace two launches from the company: blueberry+purple carrot and peach+purple carrot, which join apple+carrot and banana+carrot First Juice flavors. Purple carrots are known for their anthocyanin content, powerful antioxidants that can rid the body of harmful free radicals and fight disease.

The line, per the company, attempts to “help parents steer their children toward colorful fruits and veggies, while putting the brakes on sugar and sweet taste.” The thinking is to influence children’s taste preferences and hopefully impact them for lifelong healthy eating.

Water: The Next Generation
Bottled water continues to see an enormous amount of attention, as developers strive to improve the perception of an already nutrition-friendly product. The latest effort comes courtesy of Next Generation Waters.

After two years of development, the company has introduced a signature line of functional waters, comprising four flavors, with each featuring different supplements. Kick Water promises to provide a physical and mental boost with a citrus flavor, but no calories or “jitters associated with typical energy drinks.” Chill Water contains lavender pear and aims to provide stress relief without drowsiness. Strawberry-flavored Thin Water is infused with appetite suppressants and promises to promote healthy cholesterol and serotonin levels, while Hot Water has water blended with “natural herbal aphrodisiacs to boost sex life,” plus the flavor of tropical dragonfruit.

Breakfast Wars Heat Up
Dunkin’ Donuts is further positioning itself beyond its morning coffee and baked goods lines. Following the success of its rollout of breakfast sandwiches and lunchtime offerings, the chain has added a Waffle Breakfast Sandwich.

Available for a limited time, the new item features cherrywood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs and American cheese between a pair of maple-infused waffles and, according to the company, is the first breakfast sandwich featuring waffles from a national quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain.

Meanwhile, one of Dunkin’ Donuts’ chief competitors is looking to add a value menu. Reports indicate Starbucks will offer “several breakfast pairings” at what it calls “attractive prices.” Details have yet to be announced, but the notion sends a clear signal that the coffee giant is well aware of its loss of share to McDonald’s and other QSRs.

For daily industry news updates, see the homepage of www.PreparedFoods.comand www.NutraSolutions.com.
* Archer Daniels Midland Company and Igene Biotechnology Inc. formed a joint venture, Naturxan L.L.C., to produce natural-source astaxanthin.
* The World Tea Expo will be held May 2-4, 2009, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For information on attending or exhibiting, visit www.worldteaexpo.com.
* Lipid Nutrition hired Deb Anderson as a technical key account manager.
* Puratos and Fugeia established an alliance to develop novel breads with digestive health benefits.