Bravo! Foods International Corp., West Palm Beach, Fla., is the first company to license the turnkey system to manufacture and market MoonPie® Milk. Rolling out this month under Bravo!'s Slammers™ brand, the company is promoting the two-flavored (banana and chocolate) line with the slogan: All the fun of MoonPie in a delicious 2% milk. Not only is it made with low-fat milk, the drinks are fortified with 10 essential vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent source of calcium and protein. To top that off, Bravo! is using aseptic technology to process and fill 16-oz plastic bottles and 11.2-oz octagonal cartons, rendering both forms shelf-stable for up to eight months.

What could be better than a piping hot potato with melted butter, sour cream or cheese? The Westby Cooperative Creamery, Westby, Wis., has an idea: New sour cream-based Tater Topper. Sold in 12-oz cartons, Tater Topper is loaded with big chunks of real onions and chives.

"Nineteenth-century Ireland may have been perfectly content with the simple spud, but today's consumers desire exciting new flavors, wholesome ingredients and convenience," says Tom Gronemus, general mgr. "In just a couple dollops, our premium Tater Topper can transform any plain potato into a gourmet dish."

Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based CoolBrands International Inc., is rolling out Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® Giant Cookies & Cream low-fat vanilla ice cream bars with a cookie crunch coating. Each 4-oz bar contains only 120 calories and 2g fat.

"Our larger portion Weight Watchers Smart Ones ice cream novelties have proven to be very popular with consumers," says David Stein, pres. and co-CEO. "For the health-conscious, including the millions of Americans participating in the Weight Watchers Weight Loss Program, Points® information is clearly printed on the label, and a great tasting, satisfying low-fat snack is inside." Each bar equates to two Weight Watchers Points. CoolBrands is the exclusive licensee for the Weight Watchers brand for frozen novelties in the United States.

The new bars are available nationally in six-packs in supermarkets, 12-pack cartons in club stores and individually wrapped for single sale in impulse and foodservice outlets, such as c-stores, vending machines, delicatessens, cafeterias and vending carts.

Tis' the season for family and friends, gifts, great food, and of course, sweet indulgences. Candy canes don't just hang on trees atCold Stone Creamery, Scottsdale, Ariz. At the beginning of November the company began selling candy cane ice cream. Cool, minty sweet candy flavor meets smooth, creamy superpremium ice cream, creating a festive celebration for the taste buds. Treats served at Cold Stone Creamery stores include: Santa's Reward™, which is candy cane ice cream with two servings of Oreos® and whipped topping, and Holiday Cheer™, which is candy cane ice cream with swirls of chocolate chips and fudge. The Creations take on the look of a candy cane wonderland, with festive colors like candy cane pink, snow white and warm cocoa brown.

International

Ocean Spray®is swelling the ranks of its yogurt portfolio with its first probiotic offerings and a new fat-free range in the United Kingdom. Manufactured by Highgrove, the new lines aim to make the most of health benefits associated with cranberries. The three probiotic Ocean Spray Plus newcomers contain natural plant extracts. All are low-fat and cranberry-based, with either blueberry and guarana claimed to boost energy, redcurrant and ginseng to ease stress, and pink grapefruit and green tea for a healthy heart. Each 170g pot has fewer than 165 calories. The fat-free newcomers come in four-packs featuring cranberry yogurt blended with blueberry, mango, melon or peach. Sweetened with sucralose, the 125g pots have fewer than 65 calories each. The Ocean Spray brand will get significant support next year including TV ads, with the yogurts getting specific direct mail, price promotions and cross-communication on all Ocean Spray juice packs.

Noteworthy Introductions

Boulder, Colo.-basedHorizon Organic Holding Corp., adds two flavors to its single-serve milk line. Orange Cream is a new permanent flavor, while Caramel is part of a new rotating flavor program.

As high cholesterol in the United States reaches near epidemic levels, Minute Maid, a brand ofThe Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, introduces Heart Wise, the first orange juice proven to help lower cholesterol. In a recent clinical study, participants significantly lowered their LDL cholesterol by drinking two 8-oz servings of Minute Maid Premium Heart Wise orange juice daily with meals for eight weeks. Benefits were demonstrated in men and women with normal to borderline high total cholesterol.

The new juice contains plant sterols, naturally sourced plant extracts that have been clinically proven to help lower total and LDL cholesterol by inhibiting absorption of cholesterol. A major risk factor for coronary heart disease is elevated LDL cholesterol. Plant sterols have been approved for use in various dairy products, with processed cheese the first dairy application available to U.S. consumers. (See Dairy Foods, November 2003, p.21)

Star Spangled Ice Cream Co., Washington D.C., has entered into a partnership with celebrated Second Amendment advocate, author, sportsman and rock star Ted Nugent. Nugent is endorsing the company's newest politically incorrect ice cream flavor: Gun Nut. For every quart of Gun Nut sold, the company will donate a dollar to the educational work of the Gun Owners Foundation Gun Safety Project.

Gun Nut, which is coconut ice cream with roasted almonds and chocolate chips, joins Star Spangled Ice Cream's four original flavors: I Hate the French Vanilla, Nutty Environmentalist, Iraqi Road and Smaller Govern-mint. Star Spangled donates 10% of the profits from the sale of its original flavors to charities supporting America's Armed Forces.