Aldi Inc., Batavia, Ill., introduces two gourmet pasteurized process cheese spreads under the company’s private label brand Grandessa Signature. Sold in 8-ounce tubs, the dips are unique in that they include a meat ingredient other than bacon or salami, the most common meat ingredients combined with cheese. Prosciutto Parmesan is based on blended Monterey jack cheese enhanced with natural parmesan cheese flavor. The spread contains generous amounts of diced prosciutto ham. To heat things up, there’s Chorizo Jalapeño, which is also based on Monterey jack cheese. The spicy chorizo crumbles are made from both beef and pork, and are blended with diced jalapeño peppers. A two-tablespoon serving of either variety contains 80 calories and 6 grams of fat.

Strauss Family Creamery, San Francisco, introduces organic soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt mixes for foodservice customers. Each batch is shipped refrigerated and requires no additional mixing or ingredients. Simply pour into the machine and serve.

“Requests for an organic soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt keep coming in,” says Albert Straus, farmer and founder. The soft-serve ice cream mix is available in chocolate and vanilla, while the soft-serve nonfat yogurt mix comes in original tart, chocolate and vanilla.

“The original tart is a very popular flavor on its own,” says Mary Randolph and Alexis Beckman, owners of Culture, an organic frozen yogurt shop in Palo Alto, Calif. “We also use it as a base to create our own unique flavors like tangerine and pumpkin.”

Today’s on-the-go consumer wants it all - great taste, sound nutrition and lower calories. Delivering on all counts is Simplywell, a new pudding from Kozy Shack, Hicksville, N.Y., which provides high-quality nutrition without sacrificing taste, and contains 25% fewer calories than the company’s regular puddings.

Each individual 4-ounce serving contains 3 grams of prebiotic fiber to help promote and maintain digestive health. The portion-controlled, 100-calorie serving size is also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E, and bone-building calcium and vitamin D. As with all Kozy Shack puddings, Simplywell is gluten free. Made with low-fat milk and no preservatives, simplywell comes in five varieties: Dark Chocolate, French Vanilla, Green Tea Chai, Lemon Ginger and Pear Mangosteen. Suggested retail price for a four-pack is $3.59.

Hormel Health Labs, Savannah, Ga., introduces Healthy Shot High Protein beverages for healthcare patients. The result of two years of formulating and marketing development efforts, the 2.5-ounce single-dose shot comes in two protein levels: “high” (12 grams and 110 calories) and “double” (24 grams and 10 calories). Both varieties are based on three hydrolyzed protein sources: collagen, whey protein isolate and casein. They also contain added amino acids for a complete essential and non-essential amino acid profile. Shelf-stable, lactose-free and vitamin-fortified, this clear beverage comes in two fruit flavors: Peach and Tropical (cherry, orange and pineapple). The double-protein variety does not contain any added sugar. The basis for the Healthy Shot High Protein is to offer healthcare patients with a poor appetite a nutritious beverage that does not induce satiety, like many of the creamy nutritional beverages in the marketplace. For programs that do not require portion control, there’s also a multi-dose 20-ounce bottle.

Dairy Foods now offers Dairy Product Innovations (, 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

Noteworthy introductions

HP Hood LLC, Lynnfield, Mass., adds three extended shelf life (ESL) single-serve milks - 1% Chocolate Lowfat Milk, 1% Strawberry Lowfat Milk and 1% Lowfat Milk - to its product line. The new 12-ounce milks are perfect for on-the-go consumers. And, with a 90-day shelf life, they provide operators with the option of fewer orders and deliveries. The new ESL products begin shipping in May. Cases are available 12 to a pack.

Probiotics, a hot food trend for 2009, joins forces with the latest flavor craze in the launch of Yoplait’s new Yo-Plus Blueberry Acai yogurt from General Mills Inc., Minneapolis. All Yo-Plus varieties contain 3 grams of natural dietary fiber per 4-ounce serving.


Japan’s Morinaga Milk Industry reintroduces its innovative Pancake & Vanilla Ice Cream frozen novelty. Made with Morinaga’s pancake mix, the treat comes with a packet of pancake syrup. According to the manufacturer, depending on the level of defrosting, the consumer can enjoy different textures, from hard and crunchy to soft and tender.

In the refrigerated desserts sector, Morinaga introduces Rare Cheesecake with Two Cheeses. This low-calorie, pudding-like dessert is made with Australian cream cheese, mascarpone cheese from Hokkaido and tofu without the characteristic bean flavor of soy. The product is aimed at women in their 20s to 30s. Also available in this range is a Pannacotta with Three Berries variety

When it comes to desserts, United Kingdom’s upscale retailer Tesco prides itself on premium refrigerated dairy desserts. Recently the supermarket giant introduced Finest Clotted Cream Toffee Apple Yogurt, which claims to be made in the West Country with the rich Cornish clotted cream, toffee sauce and Bramley apples from select British farms.

Focus on ice cream

As a food appearing to be recession-proof, ice cream introductions have been plentiful in recent months. Marketers have been quite busy rolling out products that appeal to current consumer trends, including health and wellness and natural indulgence.

This includes a return to simplicity, to foods closer to what Mother Nature may have intended. For example, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc., Oakland, Calif., is rolling out Häagen-Dazs Five. This line of all-natural ice cream is made with just five ingredients. All are made with milk, cream, sugar, eggs and one of the following ingredients to create these seven single-note flavors: brown sugar, coffee, ginger, milk chocolate, mint, passionfruit and vanilla bean.

Carefully crafted and containing absolutely no artificial additives, Häagen-Dazs Five is superpremium ice cream artistry at its finest. Each unadulterated flavor of, what is likely the world’s most indulgent and comforting food-ice cream-is focused on the simplicity and goodness of five simple, all-natural ingredients. Here’s the added wellness twist, new Five varieties contain one-third less fat than regular Häagen-Dazs flavors. The new line is also packaged in the brand’s down-sized pint of 14 ounces.

“At Häagen-Dazs, we have a passion for taste and are committed to using the finest, all-natural ingredients. The new Five ice cream line allows the hero ingredient in each flavor to sing,” says Ching-Yee Hu, Häagen-Dazs brand manager. “The Häagen-Dazs Five line is all about the essentials, and as a result, the pure essence of each ingredient comes alive.”

Aly Boyd, president of Cheesecake Aly, a Glen Rock, N.J.-based specialty baker, admits that the economy has affected her very upscale line of cheesecakes sold to chain stores throughout the Metro New York area. “I’d be very concerned about our business” Boyd says, “except for one thing, and that’s our new product, FreeseCake.”

Making up for lagging cheesecake sales is Boyd’s innovation that puts a new twist on an all-time favorite. Cheesecake Aly takes their baked cheesecake, re-blends it with all-natural dairy products and then whips and freezes it. FreeseCake is packaged and served just like ice cream. It costs less than normal cheesecake and reportedly, is raved about by anyone who tastes it. FreeseCake’s slogan “It’s Cheesecake…Only Cooler” is exactly what it is, scoopable frozen cheesecake. FreeseCake was sited as one of the best new products at New York City’s 2008 Fancy Food Show. It comes in three varieties: original New York Style Cheesecake, Belgian Chocolate and Chocolate Raspberry.

During tough times, alcohol sales tend to increase, too. For some, ice cream and booze make the perfect self-soothing combination. Silver Moon Desserts, Los Gatos, Calif., used the 2009 Fancy Food Winter Show in San Francisco to debut its high-end artisan liqueur-infused ice cream range, which includes seven varieties available to the foodservice channel, the first four are also available for retail distribution. The flavors are: Praline Irish Cream, Créme de Mint Chip, Coffee with Brownie Bits, Orange Creamsicle, Chocolate Cherries Jubilee, Fig ‘Capone and Bourbon Vanilla. There are also four varieties of liqueur-infused sorbet available for retail. The new products are Mango Mimosa, Strawberry Daiquiri, Mojito Mint and Pomegranate Martini.

Wells’ Dairy Inc., Le Mars, Iowa, has its own way of keeping spirits up. On the novelty side, the company is rolling out Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches. This treat is creamy white birthday cake-flavored ice cream with colorful confetti sprinkles and swirls of blue frosting layered between two vanilla wafers.

Wells’ Dairy is not shying away from peanuts this season, either. New Peanut Butter Cookie ice cream is made with peanut butter ice cream swirled with a peanut butter ribbon and peanut butter cookie pieces. For monster cookie fans, this will be a big hit. Blue Bunny Premium Monster Cookie ice cream is made with peanut butter ice cream swirled with a fudge ribbon and monster cookie pieces.