Unlike Western nations, where men are more likely to purchase chocolates and other heartfelt gifts for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, women conversely assume this role on the holiday in Japan. Japanese women not only buy chocolates for their significant others, but also for other male friends and family members. Chocolate manufacturer Morinaga is attempting to turn the tables on this Valentine’s Day tradition with the launch of Dars Reversed Milk Chocolate. The marketers of Dars communicate this trend reversal message in the chocolate’s pack design, which purposely displays its writing and labels backwards. When male consumers see this standard red box on store shelves, the manufacturer’s hope is that its reversed writing will encourage these men to purchase the chocolate for the women in their lives. Along with its mirror-image print, Dars’ pack design is also labeled with a blue ribbon that reads “Thanks to you”--an appropriate phrase for Valentine’s Day.   

In the Philippines, manufacturer Glorious Industrial and Development introduced a Hi-Calcium 7 in 1 Soluble Coffee under its Glorious Blend brand. Glorious Blend Hi-Calcium 7 in 1 Soluble Coffee is positioned as a holistic beverage that should be taken to treat ailments ranging from poor blood circulation and earaches to asthma and digestion problems. The soluble coffee contains a wide array of ingredients that include coffee, sweet leaf, non-dairy creamer, mangosteen, Malunggay, coral calcium and gotu kola. Its Malunggay component is certainly unique, as the ingredient delivers multiple health benefits and is rarely found in the formulations of most food and drink products. Historically, leaves of the Malunggay tree were consumed in Asian countries for their high supply of nutrients. Malunggay is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B and E, and various minerals. Glorious Blend Hi-Calcium 7 in 1 Soluble Coffee is free from calories, carbohydrates and sugar, and has a glycemic index of zero.

Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group; 351 W. Hubbard, 8th Floor; Chicago, IL 60610; call: 312-932-0600; fax: 312-932-0474; or e-mail mhollihan@mintel.com.