In May, CoolBrands International Inc., headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with U.S. offices in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., reported that its test market of Yoplait Frozen Breakfast Bars in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area showed such early strong positive results that the company decided to accelerate its national rollout. Yoplait Frozen Breakfast Bars are a revolutionary new breakfast food combining all the goodness of yogurt, fruit and cereal in a form that is fun, easy and delicious. It's like eating ice cream for breakfast. Yet each bar is rich in calcium and 12 vitamins and minerals. The product line currently consists of three flavors of frozen yogurt covered with crunchy fortified cereal: Vanilla, Strawberry and Vanilla Orange Swirl. The bars have also been approved by USDA for inclusion in the Child Nutrition Program for all U.S. public schools.

"Yoplait Frozen Breakfast Bars solve the breakfast problem in a unique new way," says David Stein, pres. and co-CEO. "Consumers want breakfast to be fast, easy and great tasting and Yoplait Frozen Breakfast Bars provide all of these benefits, plus balanced nutrition. Our consumer research indicated very strongly that once consumers knew about this product they would try it. That is clearly happening in our test market, where the product is being distributed by our DSD (direct-store-delivery) subsidiary, Eskimo Pie Frozen Distribution."

Produced in Denmark and exported to the United States, Lurpak butter from Arla Foods Inc., Basking Ridge, N.J. now comes in three flavors: Chili & Lime, Crushed Garlic and Mediterranean Herbs. It also comes in slightly salted and unsalted sweet cream varieties. Lurpak's unique, premium blend has a taste many consumers describe as creamy, sweet, mellow or fresh. Lurpak is milder in taste with a less greasy appearance than traditional sweet cream butters. Lurpak butter has been judged best-tasting imported butter in America numerous times.

Going, going, gone-net carbs, that is! As the number of consumers who have tried, plan to try or are currently on a low-carb diet swells to an estimated 100 million, Good Humor-Breyers, Green Bay, Wis., introduces the first zero grams net carbs per serving ice cream and frozen novelties to its Breyers® CarbSmart™ line.

"We know that interest in a carbohydrate-controlled lifestyle is growing," says Dan Hammer, v.p. of marketing and development. "Our existing Carb

Smart products are doing a great job of meeting the needs of consumers following a carb-conscious lifestyle. What's missing are products that meet the specific needs of serious low-carb dieters, those who are strictly limiting their net carb consumption."

Not any more. New Breyers®‚ CarbSmart™ Ice Cream with zero grams net carbs comes in two flavors-Vanilla & Chocolate (vanilla ice cream with chocolate sorbet) and Neapolitan (vanilla ice cream with chocolate and strawberry sorbets).

On the novelty side, now there's CarbSmart Creamsicle‚ bars-also with zero grams net carbs per serving. The bars come in two flavors: Orange and Mixed Berry.

Cottage cheese is protein rich, a good source of calcium and can be enjoyed any time of the day. And now, HP Hood LLC, Chelsea, Mass., gives consumers even more ways to add it to their diet with five unique flavor combinations. Hood combines low-fat cottage cheese with Black Pepper & Herbs, Chive & Toasted Onion, Peaches, Pineapple & Cherry and Strawberries. Sold in 16-oz tubs, the savory flavors contain 80 calories per half-cup serving, while the fruit flavors contain either 100 or 120 calories per serving, depending on variety.

Noteworthy Introductions

Some people drink their coffee black, some with cream and some with ice. Now java lovers can enjoy their coffee with ice cream as Dairy Queen shops around the country roll out MooLatte™ frozen blended coffee drinks.

"It's no secret that coffee has become a designer industry," says Michael Keller, executive v.p. of marketing for International Dairy Queen Inc., Minneapolis. "But with a twist on coffee as unique as the signature curl on DQ soft-serve, we think the MooLatte is the best new frozen blended coffee beverage to hit the market."

New Shapesters® Cheddar snacking cheeses from Sorrento Lactalis Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., come in dinosaur (T-Rex and Triceratop), sea (fish and shark) and space (moon and star) shapes. They are sold in multi-packs of snack-size bags.

International

Health and wellness products continue to appear in a variety of forms in dairy product lines around the world. Two of the world's largest players have introduced new items in recent months. Danone in Belgium offers a fermented milk drink called Zen. Fermented milk drinks, often called lactic acid drinks or "little bottles" (because they usually come in 100ml containers) offer consumers a daily "shot" of good bacteria. The concept is quite popular in most parts of the world (but not in the United States). The newest Danone product also contains magnesium, which the company says contributes to muscular function. The real news about this product is the packaging. It comes in a four-pack, which is common, but the four-pack has the individual plastic "pots" all in a line rather than clustered together. Additionally, the pots are not shaped like little bottles, but rather are almost completely spherical in shape.

Also on the healthy side is a new yogurt in Japan from Morinaga Milk Industry. It combines the goodness of yogurt with that of green tea. The catechin component of green tea is clearly promoted on the package. Labels state that the yogurt contains 150mg of green tea catechin. We have seen green tea appear in a variety of products, but this is the first time the catechin content has been quite so prominently displayed, especially in yogurt.

Packaging has been making lots of news lately. Two examples focus on the convenience of single-serve, grab-and-go packaging. In Germany, Unilever's Langnese-Iglo division is offering Dextro Energy Power Ice, a smoothie ice cream. The product comes in a single-serve pouch with a twist-off cap. Also important to note is that although the product is frozen, it is soft in texture, like a smoothie, and can be squeezed right from the pouch into the mouth.

In Italy, Emmi (known most for its yogurt products) is now offering a single-serve espresso drink. The drinks are milk-based and contain espresso and other flavors, depending on variety. They come in individual lidded cups that go straight into the microwave for a hot beverage, or simply chilled for a cold one.

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 www.gnpd.com.