Bel Brands USA, Elk Grove Village, Ill., is the American subsidiary of Fromageries Bel, a worldwide marketer and manufacturer of branded cheeses with headquarters in Paris, France. The company recently introduced Kaukauna Extremely Creamy cheese spreads, which are so smooth and creamy they can serve as a dip, too. Egg yolks are in the formula, and contribute to the consistency and texture, as well as the rich mouthfeel. The range offers six varieties: 3 Cheese Italian, Chipotle, Horseradish, Italian Pesto, Mozzarella Garlic and Vermont White Cheddar. Sold in attractive 10.5-oz recloseable cups, a 2-tb serving contains 90 to 100 calories and 8g to 9g fat, depending on variety.

New MolliCoolz Shakers offer an easy way to satisfy cravings for a deliciously thick and creamy milkshake at home. No need for a blender, or even an ice cream scoop. The Shakers come in four flavors-Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Cookies n’ Cream-and are packaged in single-serve containers.

MolliCoolz uses patented technology to produce small beads of cryogenically frozen ice cream that are free flowing at normal ice cream temperatures. Consumers simply add milk, replace the container’s cover and shake. The MolliCoolz Shakers beads are specially formulated to soften and mix with milk. Consumers can enhance the milkshake experience by shaking the beads with a beverage other than milk. Add orange juice to a Vanilla Shaker for an orange cream sensation. Mix cold coffee with a Vanilla Shaker for a creamy mocha blended treat. Make an instant fruit smoothie by combining orange juice with a Strawberry Shaker. For chocolate lovers, add chocolate milk to a Chocolate Shaker for a rich, double-chocolate experience. By adding brownie chunks, candy bar bits, fruit or nuts, consumers add texture and more flavors.

“Shakers bring an element of fun to the milkshake experience,” says Bryan Freeman, president of MolliCoolz, Stockton, Calif. “It’s a great treat to enjoy anytime and Shakers are so easy to make. Plus, they are delicious and perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle.”

Part of a healthier new-age lifestyle includes a drink that’s centuries old. Family-owned Mountainside Farms, South Hackensack, N.J., introduces Evolve brand kefir in Plain, Strawberry and Peach varieties.

Offering 11 live and active cultures including two probiotic strains, Evolve kefir aids digestion and helps the body maintain healthy immunity functions, according to the company. Evolve is high in calcium, a good source of low-fat protein and, unlike traditional kefir, is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, offering 5g of soluble fiber per serving.

“The biggest challenge involved with kefir is educating the consumer on the product’s benefits,” says Cyrus Schwartz, president. “Along with all the health benefits of traditional kefir, Evolve offers a smooth and creamy taste that modern palates will love.”

Literally meaning “feel good” in Turkish, kefir is one of the oldest-known therapies for helping the body maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and providing minerals and amino acids that heal the body and maintain vital functions. 

“The taste of traditional kefir is very different from what the American palate is used to, so reinventing the flavor was of primary importance,” says Schwartz. “In addition, clinical studies have shown that a consumer can begin to experience the health benefits of Evolve kefir after drinking about one cup per day for two weeks.”

Evolve retails in 32-oz containers at approximately $3.79.

Bifidus regularis, the proprietary probiotic strain from The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., is now being used in a dairy-based fermented drink. The company has extended its popular Activia brand with the new drinks, making the same promise as the original cup yogurts: Helps naturally regulate your digestive system. The probiotic claims to do this by helping reduce long intestinal transit time. The drinks, which are sold in packs of four 5.75-oz bottles, come in four flavors: Mixed Berry, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla.  

Dairy Foods now offers Dairy Product Innovations (www.dairyfoods.com/dpi), an e-newsletter focused on new dairy products and new products and services from dairy industry suppliers. Subscribers receive Dairy Product Innovations monthly with the occasional special installation or themed issue focusing on specific niches like artisan cheese or organic and natural foods. To subscribe, visit www.dairyfoods.com.

Noteworthy Introductions

Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s introduces private label Fondue Brie to the refrigerated dairy case. The 17.5-oz cheese comes overwrapped in a bakeable wooden box. Directions instruct to bake the unwrapped cheese in the box for 10 minutes at 400°F. Afterwards, score the rind, pulling it back for a self-containing fondue dipping ensemble.

Specialty Desserts Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., gets festive this spring with new Bunny Bars. Sold in packs of six, these vanilla and chocolate bunny-shaped stick ice cream novelties have hopped into retailers’ freezers across the country.

International

Unilever introduces Lätta with LGG, a probiotic spread debuting first in Germany and Sweden, followed by other countries where the Lätta brand is marketed, with the exception of Finland. LGG, the branded acronym for Lactobacillus GG, is marketed by Valio Ltd, Finland. The collaboration between the two companies adds a health dimension to the spreads category: strengthening natural defenses. Valio expects this new application to strengthen the position of LGG as the world’s number-one probiotic.

The Fairtrade movement, where farmers in developing countries are guaranteed fair wages and working conditions, has gained momentum in the past several years. Traditionally Fairtrade was associated with three key categories-coffee, tea and chocolate-but recently there has been activity in other segments including juice, sugar and cookies. With the exception of ice cream, Fairtrade has yet to penetrate dairy foods. That has changed with the introduction of a mango Fairtrade yogurt sold by French retailer Casino. Made with ingredients that are ethically sourced and bearing the Fairtrade seal, this yogurt stands apart for its dedication to ethical responsibility.


Contributed by Krista Faron, senior analyst, Mintel Custom Solutions,  Global New Products Database (GNPD). For more information call 312/932-0400, or visit www.gnpd.com.

Focus on Milk

Lafayette, Ind.-based Favored Dairy LLC, has launched a new milk range based on milk from cows fed a special vegetarian feed that results in milk naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. The milk can be traced to the original source because the Favored system monitors every step of the process from seed to feed rations. The cows also do not receive any growth hormones. This all-natural and kosher-certified product retails in half-gallon cartons and comes in four varieties: Whole Milk, Reduced Fat Milk, Low Fat Milk and Fat Free Milk.

Stremicks Heritage Foods, Santa Ana, Calif., now markets 8th Continent Complete, a vanilla-flavored soymilk fortified with calcium, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. These are the top-three nutrients that U.S. consumers are trying to incorporate into their diets, according a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, Rochester, N.Y, for the company. 

It’s been established that 25g of soy protein as part of a daily diet can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. One of the simplest ways to include soy in our daily diets is to use soymilk, according to Stremicks. Any recipe or dish that uses milk can be created using soymilk in order to get our daily soy.

The online survey was conducted in early October 2008 among 2,114 U.S. adults, of whom 505 are the parent of a child or children 18 years old and younger. Results indicate that while about two-thirds of U.S. adults (64%) want to improve either their own or someone else’s diet, only 7% of those are doing so by increasing soy intake. Further, more than half (55%) of respondents admit they are not knowledgeable about soy foods and beverages, and less than one in 10 (8%) say their doctors or healthcare providers have talked with them about the health benefits of soy products.  

In addition, one of the key findings is that, among those who are trying to improve their own or someone else’s diet, about half (52%) said they are trying to doing so by increasing their intake of a particular vitamin or nutrient. The top-three nutrients of interest are in 8th Continent Complete.

Throughout Europe flavored milks are often marketed as adult indulgences. That positioning has prompted tremendous flavor innovation as “luxury” flavored milks more closely resemble gourmet desserts than everyday refreshment drinks. In Austria, Schärdinger has launched a Dream range that distinguishes itself by its unique flavor pairings. The range includes White Chocolate & Orange, Strawberry & Pepper and Cherry & Coriander varieties. The pairing of sweet flavors with savory or spicy ones has been a hallmark of fine-dining restaurants, but it has only recently trickled down to mainstream foods and drinks. For consumers who may not be able to afford avant-garde restaurant dining, the Dreams range offers the chance to sample bold, unexpected flavor combinations. Flavor has always been the source of dairy innovation, but Schärdinger’s range suggests that processors can push the boundaries of experimentation.


This past holiday season, Target Corp., Minneapolis, gave milk drinkers a treat with private label Market Pantry Holiday Milk. This candy cane-flavored ultra-pasteurized milk retailed in a quart carton.  

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