In Australia, Jalna Dairy Foods has introduced a 500g blueberry-flavored yogurt called Pro Heart, which claims to promote heart health. Along with blueberries, the yogurt contains vitamins A, C, E and folate, the cultures acidophilus, bifidus and casei, and long chain omega 3 fatty acids. All these ingredients are associated with heart health. The yogurt is also 98% fat free and claims to be a good calcium source. It isn't often that yogurt is associated with heart health, and it may be more rare to find this relationship flagged in the product name.
Rupp Cheese in Poland has introduced a new cheese product that has very kid-friendly packaging. The product is a cheese snack packaged in a small net containing five football (or soccer ball to Americans) shaped cheese snacks. While there is no claim to being marketed or formulated for children, the packaging is sure to catch the eye of any child in a grocery store.
New Zealand's Fonterra has launched a new fresh lime-flavored milk that claims to be "sustained energy in a bottle." Primo milk is 98.5% fat free and boosted with vitamins A and D and calcium. The milk also contains less than 5% added sugar and is a natural protein source. All of this adds up to give the claimed "sustained" boost, which provides lasting energy throughout the day, rather than a quick boost that other drinks claim to give. Additionally, Primo milk has been approved by the country's National Heart Foundation.
To address health concerns at an early age, there are an increasing number of functional food and drink products targeted specifically to pregnant and nursing women. Presumably this aims to improve the level of nutrients being received either directly through the mother's bloodstream, in the case of pregnancy, or through breast milk during feeding. For example, in Russia there's Agusha Agu-Mama. This yogurt drink is enriched with vitamins, taurine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is targeted to pregnant women.
Blood health continues to be the newest area of contention for functional dairy products, but while many are focused on reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, the Dr. Drink Yogurt for High Blood Sugar from Nipponluna in Japan has tried a new approach. It is a certified health product, formulated with corn-derived indigestible dextrin to slow down sugar absorption into the blood stream. The yogurt is clearly targeted at the more health conscious, with benefits and support by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare clearly demonstrated on the pack.
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 www.gnpd.com.