New product development in the vegetables market is becoming increasingly oriented toward developing the healthy-eating appeal of vegetables. On the marketing side, companies are looking to use brand names conveying health and nutrition benefits, such as Quick ’n’ Healthy and Eat Smart. Other brands are aimed at promoting the natural nutrition qualities of vegetables, such as Iglo Natürlich. Natural goodness is often used in conjunction with healthy cooking methods, such as steam cooking. Another aspect of marketing is a number of processed vegetable products that use visual appeal and color in product marketing, such as Knorr’s “eat color” soups.  

Numerous soups with high vegetable content are positioned as high-fiber brands, and industry leaders, such as Bonduelle, are promoting the vitamin benefits of new lines. Other new products are fortified with additional vitamins, such as Knorr Vitamin Plus, while Del Monte and Campbell tout the high lycopene content of their tomato products.

Another area of development is striving to make it easier for consumers to obtain their recommended daily intake of vegetables, often marketed as providing a number of servings of vegetables. These include ready meals and side dishes with a high vegetable content and meal kits requiring the addition of fresh vegetables. Companies are especially active in developing drinks that provide servings of vegetables, often flavored with fruit juice. Recent introductions from Unilever, Coca-Cola and Campbell aim to provide consumers with vegetable servings in a convenient drink format.

Manufacturers of pasta, noodles and snacks are increasing the vegetable content of their products to help consumers eat more vegetables. Vegetable enrichment is especially rife in Japan, where consumers can now buy high-vegetable content pretzels, cereal bars and lactic acid drinks.

Vegetarian claims are growing fast, according to Mintel GNPD data, although they remain heavily oriented towards the U.K., the main market for processed vegetarian foods. New product development in vegetarian products is moving away from classic meat-free meal options, such as veggie burgers and sausages. Companies are looking to target growth areas in the market, expand choices and introduce more convenient, vegetarian-ready meals.

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. pf