Norwegian Ice Cream Inc., Brandon, Fla., offers American consumers a unique frozen dessert experience with imported Valhalla Norwegian Ice Cream, as Norwegian ice cream does not taste like American brands, according to Rick Longstreth, pres. "We get letters from consumers each week thanking us for bringing something so unique to their stores. Although we have illustrated to the marketplace that imported ice cream can find a place in the frozen desserts category, it is still somewhat frustrating that buyers still see this brand like all others. Our message to all buyers is that Valhalla meets consumers' need for ‘something new and unique' and should not be held to the same standard of financial parameters in the business building process," says Longstreth. The line includes flavors such as Try's Choko Marzipan, Odin's Exciting Wildberry, Eli's Pear Belle Helene and Thor's Choc Choc, which is a milk chocolate product that is very popular in Norway and is very different than the stronger, dark chocolate ice creams in the United States. Currently Valhalla ice cream is distributed in Florida and the company plans to bring the brand to the Midwest, where there are many consumers with Scandinavian backgrounds.

A little less than a year after its highly successful launch of the Original Yogurt Smoothie line, St. Paul, Minn.-based Old Home Foods introduces Light Yogurt Smoothie. The new line offers busy, health-conscious consumers the same great-tasting snack alternative as the original smoothies, but with fewer calories. Each drink has less than 100 calories, is fat-free and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, D and calcium.

"During our 2003 launch, Old Home Original Yogurt Smoothies were the No. 1 market leader in volume share for Minneapolis/St. Paul," says Al Haeg, route sales supervisor. "We take great pride in continuing to offer our consumers great-tasting, innovative products that fit in with the way they live."

Old Home Light Yogurt Smoothies are packaged in 8-oz plastic bottles and come in five fruit flavors: Strawberry, strawberry-banana, raspberry, mixed berry and cherry. Radio spots promote the new product line and reinforce Old Home's tagline: "For the way you live.™" Other communication support includes FSIs, consumer coupons, in-store advertising, product sampling and event sponsorship.

Made with ultra-filtered milk protein concentrate, achievOne™ is a high-protein beverage packed with 19 essential vitamins and minerals. Distributed by SkylarHaley, Pleasanton, Calif., a 9.5-oz glass bottle of this beverage contains no fat, 120 calories, 20g protein and only 5g carbohydrate. Sweetened with sucralose and made with Colombian coffee, the company touts the fact that the drinks are lower in calories than other coffee beverages and superior tasting compared to other protein beverages. Shelf-stable achievOne comes in four flavors: Cappuccino, hazelnut crème, mocha java and vanilla nut.

Since 1979, Lee's Ice Cream LLC, Owings Mills, Md., has been making classic parlor ice cream with one goal in mind-to make the richest, creamiest, best-tasting ice cream available anywhere. This passion for quality continues in the company's new retail line of Lee's super-premium ice cream pints. Available in 14 flavors, and made using only the finest natural ingredients, Lee's plans to grow into a national superpremium brand.

Around the same time Lee's began making its classic parlor ice cream, Claudia's Kitchen, Stanfordville, N.Y., started making its nationally famous gourmet cookies, cakes and pies. Today, Lee's and Claudia's have come together to produce Fresh Baked Ice Cream. This series of Lee's pint flavors features the perfect marriage of superpremium ice cream and scrumptious chunks of freshly baked gourmet desserts.

Noteworthy Introductions

Nestle USA, Glendale, Calif., rolls out flavored dairy creamers under the Coffee-mate® brand. New Coffee-mate Half & Half combines the dairy taste of real cream with the gourmet flavors consumers are familiar with in non-dairy creamers into an easy-to-use and easy-to-pour bottle sold in the refrigerated dairy case. The only flavored dairy creamer in the market, Coffee-mate Half & Half comes in Original, Hazelnut and Vanilla varieties.

8th Continent L.L.C., Minneapolis, a joint venture between General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, and DuPont Nutrition & Health, Wilmington, Del., rolls out a lighter version of its soymilk beverage. "8th Continent Light soymilk is perfect for people who want it all-fewer carbs, fewer calories, great taste and the important health benefits of soymilk," says Liz Nordlie, marketing dir. with 8th Continent. "We want to make women's wellness journey an easy one." 8th Continent Light soymilk is available in the refrigerated section of mainstream grocery stores and supermarkets in its signature 64-oz recyclable, blue hourglass-shaped plastic bottle. It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors.

International

The low-fat, low-calorie impulse ice cream and frozen novelty segment (especially for non-sorbet lines) is somewhat small outside the United States, as ice cream is not normally viewed as a healthful product. Companies involved in this healthier segment are mainly diet brands such as Weight Watchers, and retailers which use their healthy sub-ranges. Now, Unilever's leading Magnum brand of impulse ice cream has appeared in a reduced-fat and reduced-calorie light version in Germany. It is available through Unilever subsidiary Langnese-Iglo and is said to contain 33% less fat and 30% fewer calories, with no compromise on taste.

Also of interest within the frozen novelty segment, again in Germany, is the use of ricotta cheese as an ingredient. The Italian cheese is already found in various take-home ice cream-based products, so it is interesting to now see its use for impulse ice creams-adding value through increased choice, and giving a premium touch. The new product has been introduced under the mainstream Mövenpick brand from Nestlé Schöller, within its "ice cream of the year" concept. It is a blend of ricotta cheese with peach ice cream and peach pieces. It is available in impulse cone and stick formats, and also as a take-home variety.

The U.K.'s number one yogurt brand, Müller, expands its hugely successful Corner range with Müller McVitie's Corners. Müller's partnership with McVitie's, part of UBUK, the U.K.'s leading biscuit manufacturer, builds upon previous successful partnerships and offers an exciting extension to the Corners range. The new line features UBUK's leading brands-McVitie's Milk Chocolate Digestives, Penguin and Jaffa Cakes.

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.