The Gerber brand, which is owned by Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, introduces Smart Sips. Made with fat-free milk produced without the use of added growth hormones or antibiotics, Smart Sips beverages are loaded with vitamins, minerals and the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA). There’s no room for added sugar, preservatives or artificial flavors, according to the company. This all-new nutritious beverage comes in three flavors: plain, strawberry and vanilla. Packaged in single-serve 8.25-ounce aseptic prisma packs, each Smart Sips contains 140 calories, 5 grams of fat and 140 milligrams of ALA.
Valio USA, Parsippany, N.J., a subsidiary of Valio Ltd, Helsinki, Finland, introduces Real Goodness brand lactose-free milk to Northeast United States. The milk is made in Syracuse, N.Y., through a partnership with Byrne Dairy using an advanced, ultra-filtration technology that gently removes lactose.
“Our research found that lactose-free milk options in the United States were not meeting consumer needs,” says Valio USA Marketing Director Lawrence Morris. “Lactose-intolerant Americans told us that the current lactose-free products available to them either tasted watered down or too sweet. Many lactose-intolerant people simply gave up on dairy products altogether because competitive lactose-free milk didn’t taste like the real thing to them.”
Riitta Korpela, vice president of research, adds: “Lactose intolerance is a real condition with real consequences affecting between 30 and 60 million Americans. Valio is committed to being a center of excellence in dairy nutrition with a healthy portfolio of choices across all dairy categories. We are proud to introduce our milk to lactose intolerant individuals in the United States.”
In a taste test, eight out of 10 lactose-intolerant milk drinkers found that Real Goodness tastes just like real milk, according to the company. It also happens to have 38% more protein and 42% less sugar than the leading lactose-free brand.
Valio is offering a money-back guarantee to any consumer who tries the product. “We’re confident consumers will prefer the rich and creamy taste of Real Goodness to any other lactose-free milk available today,” says Chris Franco, CEO for Valio USA. “Our success lies in people trying and tasting the product for the first time. They’ll quickly realize that Real Goodness will remind them of the same delicious taste of milk they enjoyed before they became lactose intolerant.”
In a recent study for General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, nearly nine out of 10 women stated they were interested in 100-calorie foods that could help them tame afternoon cravings.
Results from the “Yoplait Delights Snacking Survey” are based on an online survey of 2,629 women from “Pssst,” General Mills’ consumer network. The survey was conducted in early April by Globalpark AG, an international company with U.S. offices in New York.
In response to this finding, the company introduces Yoplait Delights, a rich and creamy layered yogurt parfait with 100 calories per serving. Varieties are Chocolate Raspberry, Triple Berry Crème, Lemon Torte and Crème Caramel.
Key results from the survey include that 93% of women experience an afternoon slump and crave a snack; only one out of 10 are always happy with their current snacking options; and 83% of women admit they sometimes feel guilty when cravings take over and they reach for sweets.
Vio, a new “vibrancy” drink, from The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, is in test market at local groceries in New York City. Refreshing and wholesome, this effervescent drink combines taste and texture to pique palates and delivers a completely new beverage experience, according to Ray Crockett, director of communications for Coca-Cola North America.
He says that the beverage is not positioned as a dairy drink; however, it does contain a small amount of skim milk produced without the use of added growth hormones. The primary ingredients are sparkling water and cane sugar. Vio contains no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. In addition, it offers 15% of the Daily Value of calcium and vitamin C.
Vio comes in four fruity varieties: Citrus Burst, Peach Mango, Tropical Colada and Very Berry. The drink is packaged in eye-catching, recyclable 8-fluid-ounce aluminum bottles that, when chilled, contribute to a refreshing sensory experience, according to the company.
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NoteworthyNew Holland, Pa.-based BC-USA Inc. has eliminated all artificial flavors, colors and preservatives from its soft spreadable cheese line, making Alouette the only brand to offer 100% all-natural spreadable cheese. Varieties are Garlic & Herbs (now made with fresh garlic), Light Garlic & Herbs, Spinach Artichoke, Sundried Tomato & Basil, Savory Vegetable, Creamy Onion & Shallot, Peppercorn Parmesan, Light Cucumber Dill and Berries & Cream (seasonal).
Smith Dairy Products Co., Orrville, Ohio, introduces Smith’s Chili con Queso Dip, a blend of real sour cream with Cheddar cheese, and jalapeño, garlic and onion flavorings.
“This zippy new introduction is great to eat with tortilla or potato chips,” says Penny Baker, director of marketing, “but our Chili con Queso Dip has such a savory flavor and smooth consistency that it can be used like a condiment, too.”
Friesland Foods in the Netherlands adds a superfruit combination to its Friesche Vlag Milk & Fruit drink. This new variety starts with a skim milk base and gets charged with passion fruit and açaí fruit juices.
With the rise in Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and organic claims, ingredient sourcing has become a top-of-mind issue for consumers. In Austria, Tirol Milch is leading the ingredient sourcing way with its Blueberry Buttermilk. The company claims that its milk comes from cows that feed on mountain herb pastures and hay. The addition of blueberry enhances this product’s natural position. This flavored milk is made with 12% blueberries, as well as blueberry puree and aronia juice.
Smoothies have been the source of tremendous product innovation around the world, but they are almost always confined to the beverage category. In Portugal, the Häagen-
Dazs brand now includes Ice Cream Smoothie - a blend of ice cream and fruit sorbet.
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.
New Product Review FocusIced coffee may be the summer of 2009’s hottest beverage. It has become so popular in the past year that it passed iced tea in sales as a breakfast drink at restaurants, according to the NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. And, as the dairy industry has learned from its largest customer - Starbucks Corp., Seattle - most coffee drinks include a dairy component, from skim milk to half-and-half to a dollop of whipped cream.
Many foodservice establishments rolled out iced coffee drinks this summer. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts, Canton, Mass., introduced Frozen Cappuccino.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ new Frozen Cappuccino combines a strong coffee experience in a smooth, thick frozen beverage. “This is Dunkin’ Donuts’ most intense frozen coffee drink yet,” says Frances Allen, brand marketing officer. Frozen Cappuccino has a suggested retail price of $3.19 for a 16-ounce beverage.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp., was in the midst of rolling out its McCafé coffee concept in the second quarter of this year, and decided to focus on iced coffee during the summer months.
Cold Stone Creamery, Scottsdale, Ariz., also joined the caffeine buzz with a new line of iced and blended coffee drinks that come in five varieties, with regular and light options for each. Varieties are: Sweet Cream Latte, Vanilla Crème Latte, Milk Caramel Latte, Rich Mocha Latte and Raspberry Truffle Mocha Latte. Each blended drink is finished with a creamy whipped topping and decorative sweets, from raspberry to caramel
The secret behind making these drinks unique to Cold Stone Creamery is the proprietary ice cream mix, not yet frozen, that’s added to each drink, according to the company. “We knew we wanted to offer coffee to our guests, yet we wanted to do it in our own unique way using some of the same secret ingredients that make our ice cream irresistible,” says Ray Karam, senior tastemaster.
Javo Beverage Co., Vista, Calif., and The Icee Co., Ontario, Calif., have come together to offer independent foodservice operators their own frozen coffee-dairy drink. Initial varieties are Caramel Latte and Mocha Latte, both sold under the Java Freeze brand.
For consumers who want to keep iced coffee at home readily available as a grab-and-go beverage, Pacific Natural Foods, Tualatin, Ore., now offers Simply Coffee in Latte, Vanilla Latte and Mocha varieties. The low-fat drinks are a creamy blend of Fair Trade Certified arabica coffee beans and milk. The drinks are lightly sweetened and contain 4 grams of protein and 15% of the Daily Value for calcium. Calories range between 110 and 130 per one-cup serving.
Coffee with cream can come direct from the freezer, too. Mayfield Dairy Farms, Athens, Tenn., owned by Dallas-based Dean Foods, has commercialized the winner of its 2008 National MooFest Homemade Ice Cream Contest. New Moo-ionaire’s Java is coffee-flavored ice cream with chocolate, caramel and hazelnut-filled chocolate truffles.
Judges awarded Oak Ridge, Tenn.-based Alex Minge, a novice ice cream creator who got his inspiration from watching the Food Network. “After I won the contest, Scottie Mayfield contacted me about producing the flavor with a few minor changes,” says Minge. “So we worked together to come up with the flavor that’s being produced today.”