Recognizing the opportunity to provide pudding lovers a ready-to-eat, lower-sugar offering, Kozy Shack Inc., Hicksville, N.Y., has formulated Kozy Shack® By Request. This no-sugar-added pudding line, which comes in three flavors-chocolate, vanilla and tapioca-uses a proprietary blend of inulin, isomalt and sucralose, along with various stabilizers, to keep sugar content low. A 4-oz serving contains 13g carbohydrates, which is around 45% to 50% lower in carbohydrates than the traditional formulas. The new no-sugar-added line is sold in three configurations of multipacks of 4-oz cups at supermarkets, mass merchandisers, and club stores around the country.

Once again leading the industry through innovation, SouthWest Dairy, Tyler, Texas, is the first U.S. dairy to use Portola Packaging Inc.'s new snap cap. The cap is a one-step, tamper-evident closure that resembles the pull-ring fitment closures used on gable-top cartons. The new snap cap, though, fits on standard neck finished plastic jugs and does not require the use of special capping equipment. Half-gallon jugs of Dairy Pride 100% Pure Florida Premium Fresh Squeezed Not From Concentrate Orange Juice, regular and calcium-fortified, are the first fluid beverage packages from SouthWest Dairy to incorpo-rate the new cap. The jugs are adorned with sleeve labels and include opening instructions: Grab it. Pop it. Pull it.

Tarrytown, N.Y.-based The Dannon Co., enters the lower-carb category with the rollout of Light ‘n Fit Carb Control. This is the first nationally available, reduced-carbohydrate cultured dairy snack found in the yogurt section of supermarkets. Light ‘n Fit Carb Control come in four flavors-Peaches n' Cream, Raspberries n' Cream, Strawberries n' Cream and Vanilla Cream-with a single 4-oz serving containing 3g carbohydrates and 80% less sugar than regular low-fat yogurt. Light ‘n Fit Carb Control is made with yogurt cultures and is sweetened with sucralose.

"Dannon is always looking to develop products that meet consumer needs, especially in light of the increase in reduced-carbohydrate dieting," says James Cordero, senior brand mgr. "Our research showed that consumers are looking for a great-tasting, reduced carbohydrate product from Dannon and our new Light ‘n Fit Carb Control will exceed their expectations."

Light ‘n Fit Carb Control comes in four-packs and retails for about $2.49.

CAL-C® is a new calcium-rich beverage that combines skim milk and natural fruit juices. Marketed by NutriJoy Inc., Manhattan, Kan., NutriJoy was created and supported by the efforts of Mid-America Commercialization Corp., and Kansas State University through technology donations from The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati. CAL-C contains 50% more calcium than milk, a full day's supply of vitamin C and contains up to 40% less carbohydrates, sugar and calories than other juice drinks.

"We are striving to meet consumer demand by developing a product that provides healthful benefits, but is also a great tasting product that will fit in current diet plans," says David Yang, pres. and CEO of NutriJoy.

The company is emphasizing the drink's high calcium content and promoting the fact that studies have shown that individuals with higher calcium consumption have lower body weight. Not only does calcium play a critical role in reducing the risk of being overweight, but greater calcium intake also lowers body fat while maintaining lean muscle.

According to Yang, by drinking two to three servings of CAL-C as a regular part of your diet, you will get the recommended level of calcium to aid you in meeting your weight loss goals.

CAL-C comes in four flavors: Cranberry Raspberry, Orange Tangerine, Peach Mango and Strawberry Kiwi. Varying by flavor, CAL-C contains 5% to 7% skim milk.

Noteworthy Introductions

Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream, Green Bay, Wis., has added an ice cream sandwich to its line of Klondike® CarbSmart™ frozen novelties for use as part of a low-carb diet. The new vanilla ice cream sandwich offers rich-tasting vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolaty cookie wafers with 5g "net carbs" per serving. Available nationally, a package of six 2-oz sandwiches has a suggested retail price of $3.89.

San Antonio, Texas-based Promised Land Dairy, the home of all-natural Jersey cows milk, introduces its newest flavor, Marvelous Mocha. Made from 2% milk, chocolate and coffee, the new flavor is sold in traditional glass quart bottles. Promised Land Dairy milk is 20% higher in calcium and 10% to 20% higher in protein than other milks on the market, as it comes from only brown Jersey cows. Jersey cow milk also has more nonfat milk solids, which gives the company's milk a rich and creamy taste.

INTERNATIONAL

Recent media attention surrounding cholesterol created a new market for dairy products that work to reduce the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or "bad cholesterol" levels found in the body. Glanbia Dairies introduced an innovative product in the United Kingdom called Heartily Healthy cholesterol-reducing cheese alternative. Claimed to be "like a cigarette that cures lung cancer," as cheese products typically contain high levels of cholesterol, the company states that the Cheddar-style product is made using milk that has had the dairy fat replaced with wheat germ oil-an ingredient known to combat cholesterol. Similarly, St. Hubert Food introduced a vanilla-flavored yogurt in France that is enriched with vegetable stanol to "help reduce cholesterol levels, within context of a controlled diet."

Although the number of organic dairy products is declining in many European countries, activity levels are significantly increasing in Italy where producers such as Coop Italia and Esselunga launched a number of items. Notable introductions include Coop Italia's organic Parmesan cheese and banana yogurt items under the Bio-Logici label and Esselunga's organic fresh cheese spread that is claimed to be "ideal for crackers and on vegetables." Activity levels are also rising in other countries including Australia where Soyganic Foods introduced the Soygurt product line, which is described as being a delicious dairy- and sugar-free yogurt made with organic soy beans, natural fruit and live cultures.

To provide the perfect late night drink, Japan-based Otsuka Pharmaceutical developed Nemu, a new beverage made with milk taken during the late night hour-the very time when cows' melatonin levels are presumed to be the highest. Melatonin is often studied for its ability to regulate the body's internal clock, explaining the company's decision to develop the product based on research by Kuopio University, an educational institute in Finland that specializes in healthcare research. If a traditional hot drink is preferred, Woolworths introduced to South African markets a honey-flavored low-fat milk drink that can be warmed in the microwave.

Contributed by Gina Kuhn, research consultant, Global New Products Database (GNPD), a division of Mintel International, a global research company. For more information call 312/932-0400, or visit www.gnpd.com.