Life on Mars
Mars Snackfood U.S. has added five items to its permanent lineup, including three chocolate treats that had previously been limited-edition offerings and “were brought back by consumer demand.”

Returning to store shelves will be M&M’s Coconut Chocolate Candies, M&M’s Wildly Cherry Chocolate Candies and Twix Java Chocolate Cookie Bars.

Joining these three will be the new 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bars and Milky Way Simply Caramel Bar. The former boasts 170 calories and, according to the company, is “a sensible snack featuring a whipped up chocolate truffle on a crisp layer enrobed in milk chocolate.” The latter promises “a total caramel experience,” with caramel surrounded by milk chocolate.

As for the returnees, Twix Java Chocolate Cookie Bars will launch in April 2010 and feature coffee-flavored caramel in a chocolate cookie, surrounded by chocolate. The coconut M&M’s will return to store shelves in December, when the cherry M&M’s likewise re-launch.

Something BrewingGodiva Chocolatier may be better known for its namesake sweet treats, but its latest offering suggests the company is expanding its focus, though targeting a narrower demographic.

Godiva Coffee is a line of specialty coffee that aims to transform the coffee-drinking ritual into a “rich, indulgent experience.” The line is available in regular coffee versions, but its four flavored varieties combine medium roast beans with the flavors of Godiva’s signature truffles. The company notes its “Chef Chocolatiers designed each flavor to ensure it remained true to its truffle inspiration while enhancing--but never masking”--the coffee.

The seven-item line includes ground, decaffeinated and whole bean varieties, as well as four truffle-inspired flavors: French Vanilla, Chocolate Truffle, Hazelnut Crème and Caramel, all of which are available ground.

Under the Sea
Ruby Tuesday has introduced a new menu with more than 27 offerings, including an expanded selection of quesadillas, entrée salads and lobster entrées, in addition to its trademark Ruby Minis, handcrafted burgers and ribs.

Describing the new menu as “a reflection of the changing preferences of Ruby Tuesday’s customers,” the company has added a variety of seafood entrées. Its New Orleans Seafood dish is one of the chains’ most popular items and is now joined on the menu with Salmon Florentine and Lobster Carbonara, as well as a steak-and-lobster entrée, using North Atlantic lobster tails.

Other menu additions center around the notion of a salad as the entrée, with Asian Salmon Spinach Salad, Santa Fe Chicken Salad, Avocado Shrimp Salad and the Southwestern Beef Salad joining Ruby Tuesday’s menu offerings.

The Natural
Foods and beverages offering beauty benefits have emerged as a standalone category. The potential of this market is yet to be fully realized, but its consumer base reaches across genders, age groups and continents.

Business Insights analysis has found by 2011, the beauty food and drinks market is expected to be worth an estimated $6.6 billion, with a strong growth rate of 4.8% predicted until 2016. The main appeal of these products is their role as natural anti-aging treatments, influencing the processes which cause wrinkles, a loss of skin tone and elasticity.

Business Insights’ report, “The Evolution of Beauty Ingredients in Food and Drinks: Innovation and Future Strategies for Success,” establishes that nutritional interventions can come in two basic formats: dietary supplements, and functional/fortified foods and beverages.

From the November 9, 2009,Prepared FoodsE-dition. For the rest of the article, please visit theE-dition archives at