As functional benefits become increasingly important to consumers, manufacturers have been quick to work these claims into their products. Coffee has seen notable development in this area, as it already provides energy through caffeine and offers fertile ground for additional functional claims. Launch activity in functional coffee has expanded across all regions, with concentrated activity in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. For example, global coffee products with digestive health claims have more than doubled from 2008-2009, and there has been notable development in the functional cardiovascular, brain and nervous system, and beauty benefits claims. However, this activity is still a small portion of all coffee launches; the category remains ripe for further development, as consumers look for ways to boost their health through the coffee they consume daily. In Greece, Nestle has launched Nescafe Body Partner Focus, an instant coffee mix that provides brain and nervous system benefits. The product contains guarana and ginseng extracts to support its claim of providing long-lasting concentration. In Taiwan, Hey Song Biotech Biedermeier Direct Fire Café is an instant coffee made with patented brindall berry extract, patented chromium niacin, citrus extract, green coffee extract and xylo-oligosaccharides. The manufacturer claims these ingredients create a unique formulation that provides digestive health benefits and promotes a healthy metabolism.

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