Aerosol Cappuccino Foam; Weight Watchers Smoothies

White Plains, N.Y.-based The Dannon Company, the U.S. fresh dairy unit of Groupe Danone, introduces Activia®. The company says that Activia is the first and only probiotic yogurt that is clinically proven to help naturally regulate the digestive system in two weeks, when eaten daily as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Each 4-oz serving contains billions of beneficial cultures, including the exclusive Bifidus regularis™. Clinical studies have shown Activia to help reduce intestinal transit time by up to 40%, depending on levels consumed and the demographic profile.

Activia was first introduced in 1987 in France. It is already one of Groupe Danone's best-selling yogurt products globally, generating some 650 million Euros in 2004 sales in more than 20 countries, primarily in Europe and Asia. Globally, the brand achieved compounded annual sales growth of 24% between 2000 and 2004. Dannon's U.S. launch of Activia is by advertising, consumer promotions and in-store promotions.

Activia comes in six flavors: Blueberry, Mixed Berry, Peach, Prune, Strawberry and Vanilla. It is packaged in 4-oz cups and sold in multi-packs of four or eight cups.

"Great foam makes great coffee," says Jeffrey Wilkinson, inventor of FOAM!, the first aerosol cappuccino foam to be marketed in grocery stores. "Say goodbye to those $4 cappuccinos. Just top your coffee or espresso with our creamy foam, pop it in the microwave for twenty seconds and you've got a coffee drink that would make many coffee houses envious. It goes great on lattes, mochas and hot chocolate, too." Wilkinson also advises that if a microwave isn't available, his foam can be heated by simply folding it into a cup of hot coffee or served cold like whipped cream.

Coffeehouse Classics™ FOAM! is marketed by Simply Sublime Foods, Davis, Calif. It comes in a can similar to aerosol whipped cream and is merchandised in grocers' refrigerated case near the coffee creamers. FOAM! is made from nearly 100% fat-free milk and comes in unsweetened natural milk flavor, as well as vanilla and hazelnut flavors. Wilkinson says they struggled to limit the number of ingredients and to keep those ingredients as natural as possible. "We wanted a simple foam without a lot of additives in it," he says. "Just like the real thing.

"Our goal was to capture the same creamy, fluffy consistency that makes steamed milk foam so unique," he says. After more than three hundred trials, Wilkinson says he finally perfected his foam. "We wanted the fine bubble structure that you only find in the very best coffee houses. We just wouldn't quit until our FOAM! was as good."

Shake's Frozen Custard, Fayetteville, Ark., which has 46 locations in nine states, has launched a brand new line of Shake's Cakes. The cakes, which are the company's largest product rollout in its history, combine the company's signature frozen custard sandwiched between two layers of cake and topped with icing and premium toppings, such as chocolate curls, sprinkles and hot fudge.

Shake's currently offers three varieties of the new cakes, as well as made-to-order custom cakes. Each cake contains 12-14 servings. The Shake's Bopper Cake features frozen custard layered with chocolate cake, caramel and premium hot fudge, and topped off with roasted pecans, caramel and hot fudge. The Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake features chocolate custard layered with chocolate cake and premium hot fudge and topped off with chocolate curls. The Confetti Cake features vanilla frozen custard layered with white cake and creamy frosting covered with rainbow sprinkles.

Wells' Dairy Inc. , Le Mars, Iowa, maker of Blue Bunny® ice cream, novelties and fresh dairy yogurt, is partnering with Weight Watchers International Inc. , Woodbury, N.Y., to produce a new line of Weight Watchers®-branded yogurt and smoothies. This is the second partnership between the two companies. Wells' Dairy also produces the Weight Watchers line of ice cream novelties.

Weight Watchers yogurt, sold in 6-oz single-serve cups, comes in nine flavors: black cherry, blueberry, key lime pie, lemon cream pie, peach, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry banana and vanilla. Each serving contains only 100 calories and has only one Points® value, for Weight Watchers members who incorporate the Points® Weight-Loss System into their weight-loss plan.

Weight Watchers smoothies are made from a healthful mix of fruit and fat-free yogurt. The 7-oz smoothies come in four-packs and each bottle is only one Points® value. The smoothies come in four flavors: mixed berry, raspberry, strawberry and strawberry banana.

Roth Käse USA Ltd., Monroe, Wis., introduces Fontiago®. This unique cheese is a marriage of the best characteristics of Fontina (its mellow melting properties) and Asiago (its sharp, tangy flavor) to form the perfect culinary cheese.

BC-USA Inc., New Holland, Pa., takes its Alouette® Cuisine™ Crème Fraiche cooking and topping cream mainstream. Long a favorite of culinary aficionados, but not usually available in mainstream U.S. grocery stores, this rich and creamy cultured dairy product is described by the company as the secret ingredient to gourmet cuisine.

In Guatemala, Danoneintroduced Bebida L

Kraft Foodslaunched Philadelphia Mango and Chilli Cream Pourover, a cottage and cream cheese blend with a mango chili sauce. To serve, the consumer needs to only peel off the foil and tip upside down. The sauce, which is on the bottom of the container, covers the top of the cheese blend. It is also available in a Capsicum Chilly Philly variety.

Calpisin Japan recently introduced Ameal S 120 Fruits Mix, a sugarless, nonfat, certified-health product said to help those with hypertension. The drink contains 3.4mg of lacto-tripeptide, an active ingredient said to help lower blood pressure.

In China,Wandashan Dairyreleased Wandashan Hi-Milk Calcium Milk Powder for Middle Aged People and Elders. The product is enriched with calcium, vitamins and taurine.

In Switzerland,Molkerei Lanzintroduced Lanz Jogurt Yo Drink Caffè Macchiato, a coffee flavored yogurt drink in a pack that can be opened from both ends. One end has a screw top to drink like a yogurt drink, while the other has a classic yogurt foil to eat like traditional yogurt.

Contributed by Christy Brinnehl, analyst, 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