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Instances of workers “brown bagging it” and bringing meals to work to save money has increased, as a result of the recession. In Asia, food and drink products with very specific positioning to workers is not uncommon. However, there has not been much activity in other regions in this area, which signals that, perhaps, this is a white-space opportunity for manufacturers of convenient foods (such as bars and ready meals). Perfect Plus of Japan has launched a product that suits this trend well, with its Desk Breakfast snack bar range. The bar contains added glucose and caffeine to help workers wake up in the morning; it is said to be crumble-proof, to make eating at one’s desk neater.

Satiety is increasingly gaining ground as a tool consumers can use to manage weight. In Ireland, Marks and Spencer has launched a Simply Fuller Longer range of prepared meals. The Simply Fuller Longer Chili Con Carne with Sweetcorn Mash meal contains tender minced beef in a rich tomato sauce with cannelloni and red kidney beans, and it is topped with sweetcorn mash, a sprinkling of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This results in a formulation that is high in protein, has balanced carbohydrates and contains 380 calories per package. The front of the package clearly displays a quick overview of the product’s nutritional information; it also features language describing how controlling calories and increasing satiety can help consumers to lose weight. The refrigerated product contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is said to be easy to prepare.

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