Low-carb citrus drinks, premium novelties and milk in a box.

Omaha-based Roberts Dairy LLC, a Quality Chekd® dairy, introduces a line of fat-free yogurts with Splenda®. Each serving is just 70 calories and has 8g of protein and 30% of the recommended daily calcium. Made with real fruit, varieties include black cherry, blueberry, cherry vanilla, mixed berry, peach, raspberry, strawberry and strawberry banana. Suggested retail price is 49 to 55 cents per 6-oz cup. The product is distributed throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and parts of Colorado, Illinois and South Dakota.

HP Hood LLC, Chelsea, Mass., is determined to satisfy carbohydrate counters' juice cravings with its line of Carb Countdown™ Juice Beverages. These refreshing, satisfying Atkins®-approved juice beverages contain at least 75% fewer carbohydrates and calories and 90% less sugar than regular juices. Varieties include lemonade, orange, orange pineapple, pineapple orange banana and ruby red grapefruit.

The Eskimo Pie® ice cream bar was the first ice cream novelty, invented more than 80 years ago, and has been a staple of the segment ever since. CoolBrands International Inc., Ontario, Canada, is bringing new excitement to the category by being the first to produce many great American classic flavor varieties in a premium extruded form. These are also the first extruded dry coats in the category. The new line includes the Eskimo Pie Premium King Size Strawberry Shortcake Bar, Premium King Size Toasted Almond Bar, Premium King Size Chocolate

Just in time for New Year resolutions, the Slim-Fast Food Co., West Palm Beach, Fla., rolls out the Slim·Fast® Optima™ Diet, which is designed around the latest thinking in weight-loss called Calorie Science™. The diet, and the foods designed for it, provides consumers with a precise balance of protein, heart-healthy fats and complex carbohydrates to help lower calorie intake, while still keeping consumers satisfied. The Optima line includes shelf-stable smoothies sold in plastic bottles. Made with nonfat dry milk and whey, varieties are mixed berry, peach, strawberry and tropical orange. Each 11.5-oz bottle is adorned with full-body shrink labels with eye-appealing graphics.

Noteworthy Introductions

Holidays and football parties have become quite flavorful with exciting dip offerings. Limited edition Heluva® Good Green Chili Pepper Dip is the most recent entry in Hood's Heluva Good feature flavor dip program. And, G&G Foods, Santa Rosa, Calif., introduces a club-store, 30-oz container

5-Pepper Parmesan Dip sold under the Meza® brand.

Adventurous consumers can double-up on savory cheese taste sensations with new Sar-gento® Duo Packs Deli Style Sliced Cheeses. There are three duo packs: Provolone and

Mild Cheddar, Medium Cheddar and Colby-Jack and Swiss and Baby Swiss. Packaged in 6-oz press-to-close resealable bags, the new line is available nationwide for an approximate retail price of $2.99 to $3.49.


The concept of functional dairy products continues to expand in countries outside the United States. For example, Emmi has introduced throughout Europe a cholesterol-reducing cheese. Called MiniCol, this cheese alternative is said to help reduce cholesterol due to the plant sterols in the formulation. Varieties are Cheddar Style Cheese Alternative, Swiss Style Cheese Alternative and Grated Cheese Alternative.

Plant sterols also appear in Danacol drinkable yogurt from Danone in the United Kingdom. Positioned as a cholesterol-busting yogurt drink, Danacol comes in Original and Strawberry flavors.

To the U.S. consumer, yogurt is not usually considered something upscale. However, we see an increasing number and variety of products in Europe that have a distinctly upscale positioning. U.K. retailer Asda has its Extra Special line of products including Timperley Rhubarb & Vanilla yogurt. It is clearly labeled as being made with a specific type of rhubarb, and that rhubarb is listed as the first ingredient. Surprisingly, whipping cream is listed as the second ingredient, clearly confirming the upscale nature of this full-fat yogurt.

Fairly common in Asia are drinks or drink mixes that claim to boost brain power or alertness. In the Philippines, AB Food & Beverage introduces Ovaltine Power chocolate flavored-milk drink. The company says that this product contains "mind activators" for better mental and physical performance. The ingredient statement only says that it contains "Ovaltine power powder." The drink comes in a 125ml pouch.

Move over wine-in-a-box, because now milk is available on tap. This very unique package recently debuted from Inex and is available throughout Europe. New Milk Fountain Milk is essentially milk-in-a-box. The 5-liter box of UHT milk has a tap on the side for easy dispensing. Package graphics clearly convey what is inside the box, as the box looks like a black-and-white cow.

Contributed by Lynn Dornblaser, dir., Global New Products Database (GNPD) Consulting Services, a division of Mintel International, a global research company. For more information call 312/932-0400, or visit http://www.gnpd.com.