In a time when people need a little humor in their lives, Liebeskummerpillen, a company from Austria, has introduced a range of funny chocolate and sugar confectionery, packaged as medication. Love-Sickness Chocolate, as well as other varieties, such as Stage Fright, Morning Grumps and Football Fever, are sweets recommended for a number of problems. Each box also has a humorous advice leaflet with questionnaires and suggestions for feeling better. Many people reach for sweets when they are down, and this product plays to that idea.

In all consumer-packaged goods, manufacturers are feeling pressure to reduce their effect on the environment and emphasize healthier living. Coca-Cola launched a new line of bottled water in Japan called I LOHAS, and it is claimed to be the lightest 12g PET bottle. It cuts down on packaging material by as much as 40% and reduces CO2 emissions by 3,000 tons per year. The bottle is not filled with liquid nitrogen, so after opening, the bottle remains almost dent-proof and fairly resilient. On top of developing an eco-friendly bottle, Coca-Cola has also positioned the water with the name LOHAS, an acronym for the group Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This plays to the current global health and fitness trend.

Perfekt Nutrition from the U.K. recently introduced cereals that claim to provide the ideal balance of carbohydrates and protein. Its Nut Free Organic Granola contains essential fatty acids and a low-glycemic index to give people a steady release of energy throughout the day. The ingredients are of the highest organic grade, nourishing the body with precious iron, magnesium and B vitamins. The granola also contains cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which is high in vitamin E and omega-3, -6 and -9. It is sweetened with agave syrup for a low-calorie content. The granola is available in numerous varieties: Nut Free Organic Granola with Pink Apple; Naturally Gluten-Free Organic Granola with Quinoa, Nuts & Seeds; and Organic Granola Nuts & Seeds. The product is suitable for people with food allergies, by claiming to be “Nut Free.” The cereal also is unique, because it claims the formulation helps healthy hair, skin and nails--something different for a cereal to state.

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