The variety and number of low-carbohydrate frozen dairy desserts in retailers' freezers are not only plentiful, but they are also selling quite well. The category is so popular that it has attracted non-ice cream marketers to enter the category.

For example, Keto Inc., Tipton Falls, N.J., maker of the world's largest line of low-carb foods did not want to miss out on the frozen dessert category so the company teamed up with Lakewood, N.J.-based Mister Cookie Face Inc., a leading manufacturer of ice cream novelty products, to manufacture and distribute Keto-branded low-carb superpremium ice cream products. The line includes Chocolate Coated Ice Cream Bars, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ice Cream Pops and Super Premium Ice Cream in pints.

According to Keto Chairman and CEO, Arne Bey, "By combining the strengths of Mister Cookie Face and Keto we created the very finest superpremium ice cream to meet the most demanding gourmet taste standards. Of utmost importance to the fast-growing low-carb community, we were able to achieve extraordinarily low net carbs of just 2-3g per serving and very low sugar alcohols, plus an added bonus of rich fiber content."

Labrada Nutrition Inc., Houston, markets CarbWatchers™ Premium Gourmet Ice Cream in five flavors: Butter Pecan, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Fudge Swirl, Dulce de Leche and Vanilla. With only 2-5g of net impact carbs per flavor, and no sugar added, the ice cream is ideal for the low-carb dieter.

The new ice cream is the latest addition to Labrada's growing line of low-carb CarbWatchers functional food products. "We are seeing the growth in the number of consumers who want to restrict the intake of carbs in their diets, and we hear their requests loud and clear," says Labrada President and CEO Lee Labrada.

Noteworthy Introductions

Indeed, low-carb lifestyles lend themselves to indulgence in the dairy case. Land O' Lakes Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., now offers Zero Carbs Ultra-pasteurized Whipped Heavy Cream sweetened with Splenda. A 2-tb serving contains 20 calories, 2g fat and 0g carbohydrates.

One bite of Mayfield Caramel Popcorn ice cream and your mind goes flooding back to times of county fairs with the air filled with the sweet scent of caramel popcorn. Mayfield Caramel Popcorn is made of popcorn-flavored ice cream swirled with sweet caramel and filled with dark chocolate chunks. "It really does have a nostalgic taste," says, Scottie Mayfield, president of Athens, Tenn.-based Mayfield Dairy Farms, a Dean Foods Co., Dallas. "Everyone who has tried this flavor says it tastes exactly like caramel popcorn. The chocolate chunks are just an extra treat that makes it even better."

rondelé Specialty Foods, Merrill, Wis., recently released two new cheese spread flavors: Lite Garden Vegetable and Blue Cheese. Fresh cut vegetables are one of Lite Garden Vegetable's secrets. It also has nearly 30% less grams of fat than its alternative Garden Vegetable. And, during taste-testing sessions, 83% of tasters reported they would look for the new Blue Cheese flavor in their supermarket. The new flavor pulls the rondelé trademark of "creamy" together with fresh blue cheese into a remarkable combination.

It's not just low-carb that's hot, in fact, some might say that "high protein" dieting is more of the buzz word these days in the dieting community. With that, LifeForce Labs LLC, Altamonte Springs, Fla., has recently introduced a new drink to satisfy the increasing demand for a product that tastes great and perfectly fits this evolving high-protein/ low-carb lifestyle. New Zoic® Protein Nutrition Drink is 99% fat free, offers 21g of protein, has only 2 net carbs per serving. Zoic comes in two flavors: Creamy French Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate.

"Many Americans today face health problems associated with the over-consumption of fats and sugars," says John Serieka, co-founder of LifeForce Labs. "Zoic is truly based on science and contains no unproven and potentially unhealthy herbal compounds. It is the perfect anytime snack replacement and meal complement for busy Americans-people can grab a can of Zoic on their way out the door and feel confident that they're going to enjoy a delicious drink while getting all the nutrition they need."

Zoic, meaning "of or pertaining to life," was developed to complement busy Americans normal dietary needs. Zoic contains milk protein concentrate, Supro® Brand Performance Soy Protein and is sweetened with Splenda®, a no-calorie sweetener that tastes like sugar because it is actually made from sugar. Each 11-oz can of Zoic is 99% lactose free and has zero cholesterol. Zoic is the first product of its kind certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) for meeting food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2. Each can features the AHA's widely recognized heart-check mark for heart-healthy foods. The product is sold at a suggested retail price of $6.99 for convenient 4-packs, and $1.99 for cold single cans.

In an effort to make its cheese dipping snacks more appealing to adults, Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., rolls out Cheese Dips! Dual-compartment containers contain Cheddar dip on one side and either tortilla chips or buttery pretzels in the other. Made with real Cheddar cheese, the dips do not require microwaving for dipping. The dips are smooth and ready-to-eat right out of the shelf-stable package. A single 3-oz package contains 310 calories and retails for about 99 cents.

International

Some dairy products introduced in other countries in the past month or so have been unique twists on packaging or formulation. For example, Unión de Pasteurizadores de Ju