“Fondue  is back,” says Debbie Seife, director of marketing at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swissrose International. “It’s a fun, social food that everyone enjoys. It fits right in with the current trends of American entertaining.”




“Fondue  is back,” says Debbie Seife, director of marketing at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swissrose International. “It’s a fun, social food that everyone enjoys. It fits right in with the current trends of American entertaining.”

In response to this consumer trend, Swissrose is making it more convenient for consumers to dip in and enjoy. Swissrose now offers a variety of imported cheese and chocolate fondues that are available in convenient and attractive mini display cases of 5-oz microwaveable cups. This makes merchandising a snap for retailers and guarantees year-round sales and lower handling costs, according to the company. “Swissrose has always offered traditional stove top and pot fondues, but our new mini cups are especially great because they’re so convenient,” says Seife. “It’s a mess-free, quick, easy alternative that you can just pop in the microwave for a fast gourmet snack.”




All Swissrose fondues are imported from Switzerland. Fondue consists of at least two varieties of cheeses that are melted with wine and a bit of flour. Each component of a traditional Swiss fondue plays an important role. Most recipes for “traditional” Swiss-style fondue are a combination of Gruyere and Emmenthaler. These two cheeses are combined because of their complimentary and intricate characteristics and flavors. The cheeses are most commonly melted in a dry white wine, which helps to keep the cheese from the direct heat as it melts, as well as adding flavor.

The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., is on a roll with new product introduction in 2007. One of the company’s recent debuts is Dannon All Natural, a line of blended-style low-fat yogurts that claim to be “100% natural.” Dannon All Natural contains “No Artificial Anything,” a tagline trademarked by the company. New Dannon All Natural come in four flavors-Blueberry, Cherry, Peach and Strawberry. It is sold in four-packs of 4-oz cups.

In efforts to keep health- and wellness-conscious consumers Kraft Singles consumers, Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc., rolls out an organic variety, as well as an option formulated just for kids. The latter, new Kraft Singles with Calci-3 is said to helps kids build strong bones, according to the company. Calci-3 is Kraft’s exclusive blend of three essential bone-building nutrients: calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D.



Chefs’ Repertoire Inc., Nashville, Tenn., markets a one-of-a-kind…another one of those “what took so long?” product lines. Savory Secret is a seven variety line of all-natural, non-dessert cheesecake appetizers. The company’s best-selling flavor is Gorgonzola & Pear. The other savory appetizers are Five Herb, Mushroom & Fontina, Roasted Red Pepper, Pine Nut & Feta, Smoked Salmon & Dill, Sundried Tomato & Basil and Roasted Garlic & Chive. Each 20-oz appetizer cheesecake serves eight to 10 people.

New convenient forms of familiar cheeses-that appears to be the trend these days. Norseland Inc., Stamford, Conn., is making its famous Jarlsberg cheese (regular and lite) available in pre-packed, separated, deli-thin slices. Marquez Brothers International Inc., San Jose, Calif., now sells its Mexican-style, Parmesan-like cheese-Cotija-in a convenient grated form. And Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., is letting consumers grate their own Parmesan with the company’s new Grate-It-Fresh cheese.


Noteworth Introductions

“If you want to enjoy a delicious iced coffee and not worry about calories, carbs and sugar, pop open Frappio Light Latte. It has only 60 calories, 4 net carbs and 4g of sugar (lactose) per serving,” says Irene Adams, marketing manager for Frappio Inc., Las Vegas. This line extension to original Frappio offers consumers the same functional benefits: jitter-free energy and appetite suppression for up to four hours plus stress reduction and increased mental acuity.


Tillamook County Creamery Assn., Tillamook, Ore., adds Garlic White Cheddar, Garlic Chili Pepper Cheddar and Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar to its extensive line of naturally aged cheeses produced with milk from cows not supplemented with artificial growth hormones. “Due to the Artisan cheese movement, timing seems right for the expansion of our Cheddar line because consumers are increasingly open to new cheeses with unique flavors, textures and ingredients,” says Kathy Holstad, marketing director. 


International

Of the many benefits that have been ascribed to soy, heart health is perhaps the most common. Although companies tend to not emblazon this health claim on packages, it is still prevalent. Thus soy can be a valuable ingredient to health-conscious consumers or the elderly. In China for example, Sanjiu Healthcare recently launched Sanjiu Soybean Milk Powder, which is targeted to middle-aged and elderly consumers. This product is rich in calcium, lecithin and protein to provide the user with a healthy balance of nutrients.
In France, Unilever launched its Fruit D’Or Equilibre, a low-fat margarine to be used for spreading and cooking. This product is derived from a combination of four different vegetable oils: sunflower, rapeseed, copra and palm oils. It is also enriched with vitamin E and other nutrients. The use of these ingredients is claimed to provide a better dietary balance for consumers. For an added benefit, the margarine is infused with a light hazelnut flavor, which can enhance the taste of several dishes and meals.



Danone in Austria has extended its line of Curd Cheese Yogurt Desserts to include a variety that has specially selected flavors intended for consumer to find appealing during the winter months. The Danone Topfen Crème Wintergenuss Winter introduction is a combination pack of vanilla and cherry with chocolate pieces.

Contributed by Felicia McClain, 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.