Dairy Farmers of America Inc., Springfield, Mo., rolls out Sport Shake® Max, a dairy-based energy drink with a 12-month ambient temperature shelflife. Unlike the original Sport Shake line of canned beverages, which still exists, new Sport Shake Max comes in 10.5-oz resealable glass bottles and is fortified with 23 vitamins and minerals. With the potassium that is inherent in skim milk (the main ingredient), Sport Shake Max contains a total of 24 vitamins and minerals. Shrink labels adorn the entire bottle and cap, providing a safety seal. The bilingual labels include an innovative "see through" panel for consumers to taste with their eyes. Sport Shake Max comes in four flavors: Banana Blast, Chocolate Rush, Strawberry Xtreme and Vanilla Blitz. One bottle contains 330 calories and 9g fat.

With Americans consuming more than $20.5 billion of ice cream and novelties each year, there's no question these flavorsome frozen foods are American icons. New Blue Bunny Carb Freedom™ frozen dairy desserts and novelties from Wells' Dairy Inc., Le Mars, Iowa, are great ways for carbohydrate-counters to enjoy America's favorite treat.

Carb Freedom frozen dairy desserts and novelties have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal and are available in an assortment of flavors including Double Strawberry (100 calories, 6g fat and 4g net carbs per half-cup serving), Mint Chip (110 calories, 8g fat and 2g net carbs), Vanilla Bean (100 calories, 6g fat and 2g net carbs), Butter Pecan (110 calories, 8g fat and 3g net carbs) and Chocolate Almond Fudge (120 calories, 8g fat and 3g net carbs). In frozen novelties, there's Almond Bar (160 calories, 13g fat and 2g net carbs per bar), Vanilla Bar (140 calories, 12g fat and 2g net carbs) and Fudge Bar (90 calories, 4g fat and 3g net carbs).

As women strive to manage an increasing number of work, family and social obligations, a sense of balance is an important yet elusive goal, especially in terms of nutrition. Thanks to Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc., women don't have to trade great taste for health and convenience. New Yoplait Nouriche Light provides women with just what they're looking for-a convenient yet healthy on-the-go option that delivers on taste and nutrition.

According to a third annual nationwide survey of more than 1,500 women ages 25-55 conducted by Yoplait Nouriche Light, although the overwhelming majority of women (90%) want more life balance, most (71%) feel they only "sometimes" achieve it. Many (79%) feel that eating breakfast would help start their day out right, but only 35% make time for it on a daily basis. To make matters worse, the majority of women (79%) feel they must sometimes compromise health for convenience when it comes to breakfast.

Just one bottle of new Yoplait Nouriche Light offers women the nourishment they want in the morning. It is a breakfast smoothie with one-third fewer calories than regular Nouriche and is an excellent source of calcium, protein and fiber. Available in four fresh and fruity flavors-peach, raspberry, strawberry and strawberry banana-Yoplait Nouriche Light contains 20 vitamins and minerals. Each 11-fl-oz serving provides 10g protein, 30% of the daily recommendation for calcium and 22% of the daily value of dietary fiber (6g).

Yoplait Nouriche Light can currently be found in the yogurt case of select grocery, club and convenience stores. The suggested retail price for a single-serve plastic bottle is $1.59.

Pierre's French Ice Cream Co., Cleveland, Ohio, rolls out Pierre's Slender® No Sugar Added Low Fat Ice Cream sandwiches. Sweetened with sucralose, each 4-oz sandwich contains only 2.5g fat. They are sold in six packs of either vanilla or chocolate and retail for $4.59-$4.99 throughout the state of Ohio. For single-serve sales, Pierre's offers 24-packs of individually wrapped sandwiches for impulse sales in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia through Wawa stores. Suggested retail price for a single sandwich is $1.19-$1.29.

Noteworthy Introductions

Morton Grove, Ill.-based Lifeway Foods Inc. has added two new flavors to its popular single-serve drinkable yogurt line geared towards Hispanics. La Fruta™ now comes in the very ethnic flavors of dulce de leche and horchata.

Heluva Good LLC, Sodus, N.Y., a division of Crowley Foods LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of HP Hood LLC, introduces a new flavor to its Limited Edition dairy-based dip line. Buttermilk Bacon Ranch hit grocers' refrigerated shelves in April throughout the Northeast.

INTERNATIONAL

The European probiotic drinks market is now worth an estimated £1.2 billion and is growing at 30% to 40% per year. These probiotic drinks usually come in four-packs of 100ml bottles, and are designed not as a refreshment beverage but almost as a "shot" of healthy ingredients. Because the market is so developed, it is not surprising to see some interesting entrants into the segment. For example, following its success in the cranberry juice market in Europe, Ocean Spray International is moving into the market for so-called "little bottles" of probiotic dairy drinks, with the U.K. and Irish launch of Ocean Spray Plus Probiotic Yogurt Drink. The product contains Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5, Bifidobacteria BB12 and fruit juice, and is said to combine the natural goodness of cranberries with bio cultures for a positive balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive system. Two varieties are available: Cranberry and Cranberry & Raspberry, the latter with 7% cranberry and 3% raspberry juice. Both are free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. A cluster pack of four 110ml bottles is priced at around £2.10.

Glico Dairy Products in Japan has introduced a new yogurt that meets the demands of consumers seeking something that is both healthy and indulgent. The company has introduced a probiotic yogurt with bifidobacterium. It is made with whole blueberries (a valuable source of antioxidative polyphenols) and five fruit juices (lemon, apple, raspberry, grapefruit and passion fruit). It is finished off with white rum. The yogurt comes packaged in 100g plastic pots, with the fruit-based sauce held in a separate cup attached to the bottom of the pot for the consumer to mix in as they wish. A strawberry variety is also available.

Most products for menopausal women comprise healthcare items such as vitamins and supplements, and the odd specialty or homeopathic skincare product. Food and drink products for this target audience seem to be few and far between. However, some European companies are starting to see the potential for developing such food and drink products. In the United Kingdom, for example, leading retail chemist, Boots has had such an insight, and is launching a range of preservative-free shakes and smoothies aimed at menopausal women. They are made with soy, which is rich in plant estrogens, and said to provide health benefits during menopause. It will be interesting to see whether these products are targeted overtly or subtly towards menopausal women.

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.