At the dawn of the new millennium, three small organic dairy farmers from west central Wisconsin pooled their milk together to bring quality organic dairy products from their farms to the consumer and food processor. This group organized as Organic Family LLC, which now does business as Next Generation Organic Dairy, Mondovi, Wis.

“People already love our cheeses because they taste so good, use only certified-organic raw milk and preserve all the wonderful enzymes that are normally destroyed by other manufacturing processes, but we always ask ourselves how we can make our product even better,” says Steve Pechacek, president.

The company’s way of getting better comes with its recently introduced line of gourmet, probiotic cheeses in six flavors: Caribbean Cheddar, Cheddar, Cilantro Roasted Garlic Cheddar, Colby, Garlic Parsley Cheddar and Parsley Cheddar.

Temecula, Calif.-based California Soft Serve Concepts introduces Arctic Zero, a fat-free, low-calorie frozen dessert containing a mere 136 calories per pint, which translates to 32 to 34 calories per half-cup serving, depending on variety. Arctic Zero is also packed with 20 grams of high-quality whey protein concentrate, delivering 4 to 5 grams of protein per serving.

“It’s time to make sure your metabolism is in high gear for summer,” says Arctic Zero co-founder Greg Holtman. “Working out is only part of the equation, it truly matters what is consumed.”

Garrett Blood, the other co-founder of Arctic Zero, adds, “Arctic Zero is in its own category. It’s not ice cream. It’s both good and good for you.”

Arctic Zero comes in four flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla with a hint of maple, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Strawberry Banana.

Wallaby Yogurt Co., Napa Valley, Calif., is rolling out Wallaby Down Under, an innovative approach to traditional fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. Wallaby Down Under yogurts are loaded with a generous amount of fruit - twice as much as other fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts - and topped with a creamy smooth, subtly sweet, plain yogurt.

“Our new Down Under yogurt takes fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt to a completely new, and healthier, level,” says Kathy Housman, national sales manager. “We decided to package our unique flavor combinations in clear cups to show off Down Under’s parfait-like layers of real fruit chunks and creamy organic yogurt. The yogurt on top has Wallaby’s signature smooth style, while the fruit ‘down under’ is organic and only lightly sweetened.

“Since our inception, we’ve strived to revolutionize the yogurt category in the United States,” she adds. “Our Down Under style takes yogurt and turns it on its head. There’s nothing else like it in the U.S.”

Wallaby Down Under comes in 6-ounce cups in six low-fat, organic flavors - Berries & Cream, Mango Tangerine, Peach Passion, Pink Grapefruit and Strawberries & Cream, as well as a non-fruit variety, Dark Chocolate - the first dark chocolate yogurt sold commercially in the States.

It’s iced tea with a Southern accent. Rutter’s Dairy, York, Pa., adds Southern Brew Sweet Tea to its line of refrigerated iced teas. The newest flavor - Rutter’s 13th iced-tea variety, is available in regular and diet gallon-sized containers. Rutter’s Southern Brew Sweet Tea is available at all Rutter’s Farm Stores in the Pennsylvania counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster and York, as well as many other retail outlets in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Refrigerated dairy dessert giant Kozy Shack, Hicksville, N.Y., is introducing a Latin-themed product line called Kozy Shack la Tradicional. The line includes Arroz con Leche y Canela (cinnamon rice pudding) and Natilla (creamy vanilla pudding), mainstream Kozy Shack offerings that have been tweaked and repositioned to appeal to the Hispanic consumer. The company also offers a variety of flans, a traditional Hispanic caramelized baked dairy dessert, and has started repackaging some of them under the new la Tradicional sub-brand. This ready-to-eat dessert rollout is supported by radio and online ads, as well as events and sampling in retail venues. The desserts come in four-packs of 4-ounce cups, as well as single 7.5-ounce cups.

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

Next Proteins, Carlsbad, Calif., now offers Protein Water, an on-the-go alternative to sugary sodas and enhanced drinks that can leave one unsatisfied.

“Protein Water combines water with whey protein isolate, dietary fiber and amazing natural flavors to help reach peak performance during workouts, minimize hunger and manage weight loss,” says David Jenkins, founder and CEO. “There are many choices in the marketplace, but with our insistence on in-depth product development and extensive research, we feel that Protein Water, with its 60 ‘good-for-you calories’ (per 16-ounce bottle), is the best choice.” 

Inventor Paul Wilhelm found his eureka moment with his savvy invention: the One Click Butter Cutter. With a simple squeeze, the Butter Cutter conveniently slices elegant pats of butter. It is easy to operate, which helps consumers use more butter. Check it out: www.oneclickbuttercutter.com

International

Throughout the world, dairy products are powerhouses of children’s nutrition, but they can take forms that are unusual to North American consumers. In Venezuela, Parmalat has launched one of these unusual, yet nutrition-rich dairy treats under its Len Petit line. The Apple & Oats Fresh Cheese combines dairy (queso fresco), fruit (apple jelly) and whole grains (oatmeal powder). In addition to containing vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, the cheese delivers kid-oriented brain health benefits in the form of “Plus Brain,” a proprietary blend of iron and omega-3 fatty acids that has been shown to be essential for development.

Siggi’s Cacao Milk from Maresi in Austria, now comes in a portable cup, with lid and straw package design. Although this kind of package is most commonly used in adult-oriented Asian ready-to-drink coffee-milk drinks and European smoothies, Siggi’s application is decidedly child-focused. In addition to its unique design, the chocolate milk is sold shelf-stable - an especially attractive benefit for on-the-go parents.  

Zijerveld & Veldhuyzen in The Netherlands has brought the concept of global sampling to cheeses. The company’s Pittoresque Voyage is a cheese range with flavors inspired by different countries. The line’s first variant comes from Japan and includes seaweed and sesame. A yet-to-be-released second variant is called Madagascar and will be made with vanilla, banana and red pepper.

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.

In early May, The Food Channel presented its Top 10 Dessert Trends for 2009, with No. 8 being novelties. Specifically, The Food Channel identified innovations such as the new slushy Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop from Wells’ Dairy, LeMars, Iowa, which comes in green apple, lemon and watermelon, and the company’s new Blue Bunny Bomb Pop Gel Blasts, which are filled with a smooth gel core.

Another very innovative new product line from Wells’ Dairy also happens to be a favorite of this editor. Based on frozen yogurt and granola, there are two flavors under the Aspen and Sedona sub-brands.

The Aspen bars are either strawberry low-fat frozen yogurt with a layer of strawberry fruit filling or raspberry low-fat frozen yogurt with a layer of raspberry fruit filling (super yummy!). Both are topped with crunchy granola crumbles covered in a vanilla yogurt coating. The bars, which weigh in at 2.4 ounces and provide 150 calories, are sold in boxes of eight.

The Sedona line includes Double Chocolate Sedona Frozen Yogurt Granola Sandwiches (creamy chocolate low-fat frozen yogurt with thick swirls of fudge sandwiched between two chewy honey oat granola wafers) and Double Strawberry Sedona Frozen Yogurt Granola Sandwiches (creamy strawberry low-fat frozen yogurt with thick swirls of strawberry fruit filling sandwiched between two chewy honey oat granola wafers). The Sedona line is sold in packs of six sandwiches.

Both the Aspen and Sedona lines are touted as being a good source fiber, as well as containing probiotics that “may help support immune and digestive health.”

Rice Creams Inc., Hawthorne, N.J., takes its mom-invented, patent-pending ice cream sandwich online, in addition to making it available to vendors and direct-to-consumers by way of the company’s custom pushcarts. Crafted of crispy rice and marshmallow wafers with ice cream in a variety of flavors, the Rice Creams combination has proven to be a “real winner” according to the company’s president Drew Christoffel.

“We test marketed last year in various outlets from New York to Georgia to Chicago and the response was better than we could have ever anticipated,” he says. “What we offer in terms of quality, taste and texture is unique in the segment. It’s a wholesome combination that’s hard to beat once we get it into consumer’s hands. It’s why we came up with our slogan: One taste and you’ll know why we made more than just one!”

Each Rice Creams premium ice cream sandwich weighs 4.75 ounces and come in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla varieties, with several other flavors currently in development, according to Christoffel.

Because life moves fast, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings Inc., Oakland, Calif., believes it is important to savor the sweet moments. The company is introducing Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums, the original Nestlé Drumstick cone reinvented in a smaller, more convenient snack size.

“Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums sundae cones are the perfect size to enjoy any time, and are just right when you and your family want to enjoy a delicious, creamy little snack,” said John Harrison, official taster for the Nestlé Drumstick brand.

Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums sundae cones come in a variety of flavors including Cookie Dough (140 calories), Chocolate Fudge Brownie (130 calories), Vanilla with Chocolatey Swirls (130 calories) and Chocolate with Chocolatey Swirls (140 calories). Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums sundae cones are packaged in boxes of 10 and are available at grocery stores and retail locations nationwide.

This summer, Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums is on a mission to encourage families to enjoy more sweet moments with each other.  A study by the University of Michigan found that parents spend an average of only 43 minutes each week talking with their children. The product wants to reverse the trend by encouraging consumers to take a “Lil’ Drum Break” every day.

According to Harrison, “Setting aside time for a Lil’ Drum Break is the perfect way to bond with your family and add a moment of sweetness to your everyday life.”

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