New Country Farms LLC, Anaheim, Calif., which is owned by farmer members of the National Farmers Organization, Ames, Iowa, adds Baby Swiss to its line of premium, natural Jack cheeses.

The Jacks were introduced in November 2004 and, according to the company, consumers have responded very well to them. The Portabella Garlic Jack has particularly caught the attention of cheese aficionados. "An assistant cheese buyer at a major distributor grated New Country Farms' Portabella Garlic Jack onto a pizza for a weekend party with friends and told us afterward, ‘It's the best cheese I've ever tasted; We loved it!'" says Steve Wise, g.m. "Every time our cheeses are sampled in stores, they fly out of the deli case. At Corti Brothers Market in Sacramento, 84 8-oz blocks sold on a recent Saturday during a demo. People who try it, like it.

"We will continue to expand our line with best-in-class new cheeses to satisfy the demand from retail buyers and consumers for delicious, high-quality natural cheeses," says Wise.

New Country Farms cheeses are produced by artisan cheesemakers. In California, the Jacks are handmade in a tradition of Danish excellence spanning four generations. The new Baby Swiss cheese is produced by a Wisconsin Master Cheese Maker. All of the cheeses are made with milk from cows not treated with rBST.

Pennsauken, N.J.-based J&J Snack Foods, manufacturers and owners of the No.1- selling brand of Italian ice-Luigi's® Real Italian Ice-is growing with Luigi's Frozen Custard. Targeted to the healthcare industry, the individually portioned frozen custard cups come in butterscotch flavor.

Different from its sister healthcare product-Luigi's Intermezzo™ Ice-which is geared toward in-patient feeding, and modified and liquid diets, the custard offers a higher amount of protein, is Kosher OU-D, and trans-fat and gluten free. The product was formulated to address the specific nutritional and caloric needs of long-term care and nursing home residents. Such a product is welcomed by institutions, as it is labor saving because it does not require the addition of powdered protein. This is a step many institutions take to ensure that patients receive adequate protein intake. Each 4-oz cup contains 200 calories, 9g of protein and 25% of the Daily Value for calcium. The product is made and shipped frozen, packed 48 cups per case and is meant to be served chilled.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Purity Dairies, a Dean Food Co. , introduces 0% Plus nonfat milk. The new skim milk delivers all the calcium and vitamins of whole milk plus healthy acidophilus and bifidum cultures. Purity first introduced sweet acidophilus milk in 1976, and has since sold more than 38 million gallons.

Healthy acidophilus and bifidum cultures are found naturally in the body's digestive tract. When consumed via a product such as 0% Plus, the body's natural microflora, which is often destroyed by processed foods and antibiotics, is replenished.

Purity has enlisted the help of Matt Lindahl and his "Milk Jug Band" to put a fresh face on 0% Plus. Lindahl captured third place in last summer's Nashville Star competition and the hearts of audiences across America. Most recognized for his red hat, overalls and washboard, Lindahl was said to have "put the fun and personality back into country music." Although Lindahl traded his red cap for a navy blue Purity cap designed especially for him, he still appears with his washboard in the multimedia ad campaign. In fact, Purity is returning to television for the first time in several years with three spots featuring Lindahl, his band and upbeat bluegrass music with the common theme of "great fresh taste."

Brain Twist Inc. , New York, and Cinnabon Inc. , Seattle, are brewing delightful new beverages appropriately named Cinnabon™ Premium Coffee Drinks. These superpremium lattes are a rich and creamy blend of coffee and fat-free milk infused with the decadent taste of the world famous Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. "The Cinnabon taste that consumers love, and our new on-the-go latte line, is a unique combination that promises to be, in a word, irresistible," says Larry Trachtenboit, Brain Twist CEO and founder.

Introduced during the first quarter of 2005, the Cinnabon line comes in two flavors: Cinnamon Vanilla Latte and Caramel Nut Latte. Brain Twist is working with grocers, mass retailers, drug stores and convenience stores to offer the Cinnabon lattes as individually packaged, shelf-stable 8-oz cans. As part of its new coffee line, Brain Twist is also launching Espresso & Cream (i-Java-branded), a double shot of espresso gently blended with milk and cream.

Noteworthy Introductions

Winona Foods Inc. , DePere, Wis., surpasses the ordinary with its Cheese Crafters™ blue cheese, which is cubed-sized portions of blue cheese packed in oil and accented with herbs and spices. The cheese is sold in 15-oz glass jars and is available for private label.

Nestlé® Push-Ups® no longer mean just sherbet, as they now are available in ice cream varieties. There are two different combos packs for kids to enjoy, both featuring a favorite cartoon dog-Scooby-Doo™. One nine-pack combo includes three each of cookies and cream, mint chip and chocolate ice cream. The other pack contains nine tubes of swirled low-fat chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Cartons flag the fact that the Push-Ups are made with real milk and are a good source of calcium.

INTERNATIONAL

In Austria, Sia Glass introduced Sorbet Kaktus Citron-cactus- and lime-flavored ice cream. This flavoring is quite unusual for ice cream products, particularly the inclusion of cactus. Additionally, the product is free from lactose and milk. Cactus flavoring can be seen most predominantly throughout Asia Pacific and Mexico, which also is important to note, seeing as this product was released in Europe.

Unique flavoring outside of the ice cream category was also observed in Hochland's Grilled Chicken Flavoured Cheese Slices, which rolled out in Russia. Flavoring in cheese is not at all uncommon, and is in fact, often seen. Hochland's particular flavoring, however, is quite different from the standard garlic, pepper and tomato flavor varieties that were common in 2004. The cheese slices are also available in ham, toast, mushroom, sandwich and cheeseburger flavors.

Here's a look at a very unique form of cheese. Launched in France, Bongrain introduces Le Tartare Bistro Cheese Bites. This is the first time for cheese to be sold in this particular format. The pack, which provides two plastic serving toothpicks, contains bite-sized cheese pieces, which actually look very similar to sushi, with savory toppings such as Greek flavorings, smoked salmon, dill, mint, chive, coriander, paprika and onion. The product is ideal to serve as an appetizer or to consume as a snack.

New from Danone in Poland is its Fantasia Wloskie Smaki, or in English, Duo Yogurts with Icing. The product is packaged in a dual compartment container with an Italian-flavored yogurt on one side and icing on the other. This allows the consumer to add as much or as little icing as they want. Flavors include stracciatella with strawberry icing and biscotto with orange icing.

Lastly, Wall's Ice Cream extends its Magnum brand in the United Kingdom to include the 5 Senses Limited Edition Variety Pack. The concept of this particular product is very unique, as the company has managed to bring an element of seduction into the mix. The packaging features various images of a woman's eyes, lips, fingers, etc. Available flavors include Vision (strawberry ice cream swirl in white chocolate), Sound (coconut ice cream with a chocolate swirl and cracking dark chocolate with caramelized sugar inclusions), Taste (vanilla ice cream, chocolate coating and a caramel ice cream core), Touch (hazelnut ice cream with hazelnut inclusions) and Aroma (vanilla ice cream, chocolate and coffee bean inclusions).