Matterhorn Group, Boise, Idaho, a licensee of the Crystal Light trademark from Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., introduces sugar-free Crystal Light frozen pops and frozen ice cups. The pops, which contain a mere 15 calories each, are sold in 10-count combo packs of either two or three flavors. The cups are sold in packs of four, with each 3-ounce cup containing 35 calories. Featured flavors are: cherry pomegranate, classic orange, fruit punch, lemonade, pink lemonade, raspberry ice, raspberry lemonade and wild strawberry.
The very successful Blue Bunny Personals single-serve frozen dessert line from Wells’ Dairy Inc., Le Mars, Iowa, has grown to include frozen yogurt. The all-natural treats come in 7-ounce recloseable containers in three varieties. Caramel Praline Crunch is butter pecan frozen yogurt with a salted caramel ribbon and praline pecan pieces. Double Raspberry is raspberry frozen yogurt swirled with a raspberry ribbon. White Chocolate Raspberry is white chocolate frozen yogurt swirled with a raspberry ribbon and dark chocolate chunks.
As consumers seek culinary inspiration, Kraft Foods has introduced more than 20 new foods and beverages during the first quarter of 2010 that boast trendy, restaurant-inspired flavors. “We are focused on the consumer from the moment we first dream up a new product to the time it hits store shelves,” says John Li, director, culinary center at Kraft. “We start with a deep dive into consumers’ eating habits and flavor preferences. It’s part art and part science, but ultimately, our goal is to create the best and most flavorful products possible.
“Many of our new items reflect consumers’ interests in bold flavors, especially those that are Italian-inspired or have a Mexican flair,” he adds. “We also are building on our health and wellness commitments and evolving to meet today’s consumer expectations in this area. When it comes to portion control, we know consumers want indulgence without overindulging. Gone are the days of thinking you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”
For example, the 100 calorie pack platform that Kraft pioneered now includes Kraft 100 Calorie Packs Cheese Bites. The single-serve “pasteurized prepared cheese snacks” are sold in bags containing five snack packs. Varieties are Cheddar; Cheddar & Monterey Jack; Mozzarella, Garlic & Herb; and Three Cheese Blend (mozzarella, Parmesan and white Cheddar). The snacks are promoted as a good source of calcium and protein. There also are new flavors under the Kraft Deli Deluxe cheese banner. Varieties are: 3 Cheese Garlic & Herb, Bacon Cheddar, and Jalapeño American.
Springfield, Mo.-based Hiland Dairy is growing its refrigerated yogurt line to include Health Wise Probiotic Yogurts. The yogurts are available in multi-packs of four 4-ounce cups and come in four flavors: pomegranate blueberry, pomegranate cherry, strawberry and vanilla.
Safflower Power Yogurt is the first U.S. conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enhanced dairy product that makes unique weight management claims, specific only to CLA. The product is targeted to females and males who want to live life in shape and being fit. By eating two 6-ounce servings of Safflower Power Yogurt, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, consumers can see improved body shape and tone in as little as eight to 12 weeks. Marketed by Old Home Foods, St. Paul, Minn., Safflower Power comes in eight flavors: banana-mango, black cherry, blueberry, marionberry, peach, pomegranate-blueberry, red raspberry and strawberry. The yogurts are free of gluten and high-fructose corn syrup, and contain as little as 160 calories per cup.
Noteworthy IntroductionsNo matter how you slice it, the two newest dessert-inspired flavors from Yoplait Light are sure to curb sweet cravings that can hit after lunch and dinner. A cup of either Yoplait Light Red Velvet Cake or Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy Blueberry Pie contains only 100 calories and no fat.
DCI Cheese Co., Richfield, Wis., introduces Salemville Amish Blue Cheese in 4-ounce packs. The beautifully veined, creamy and rich cheese with a deep, almost smoky flavor, claims to be produced with sustainable agricultural practices.
It’s hard to find an ingredient that has gotten worse attention than high-fructose corn syrup. Parents are clamoring for it to be removed from their kids’ diets, health enthusiasts are demanding that it be removed from their foods and drinks and natural eaters are insistent that it not appear in anything they buy. Manufacturers have been forced to adapt by incorporating other more natural sweeteners into products. In Australia, a new frozen yogurt relies on honey for both flavor and function. This frozen yogurt from Yotube Minis contains no artificial flavors or colors and is made with 100% organic fruit. Honey’s sweet, floral flavor complements the yogurt’s fruit base, while keeping the label clean and recognizable.
Also in Australia, Bravo Gelato’s Bambino Cones brand now includes an assortment of mini cones filled with gelato. Each package includes 30 cones in six flavors: chocolate, hazelnut, mango, mint, raspberry and vanilla. With more consumers eating at home, the mini cones bring the gelateria to the home kitchen…and offer something for everyone.
But just because consumers are eating more meals in their own kitchens doesn’t mean that they want to give up the quality and variety they’ve come to expect from restaurants. Products like Arla’s Mini Cheese Platter from Spain help them bridge the space between affordable at-home eating and restaurant indulgence. This assortment of five mini cheeses delivers a clear restaurant-quality experience. It contains blue cheese, mild white cheese, pepper cheese, chive cheese and cheese flavored with pineapple, almonds and cashews. It offers a fun, inexpensive alternative to dining out. Add a glass of wine, and the one-person wine and cheese tasting is complete.
Focus on MilkThe fluid milk category includes everything from single-serve flavored milk to gallons of the white stuff to coffee creamer. Most innovations come in the form of packaging, but this past year there have been a number of products with some unique positionings.
For example, Cedar Summit Farm, New Prague, Minn., has introduced Cedar Summit Farm Organic Grade A Whole Milk, which is pasteurized but not homogenized. The milk comes from grass-fed cows living in sunlight and fresh air, and described as enjoying a good life. Cartons invite consumers to “experience the way milk should taste.”
Sky Top Farms, Bronx, N.Y., has also launched unhomogenized Organic Whole Milk that comes from cows on an organic grass diet. Labels carry the slogan: “Happy cows make happy milk!”
Maine’s Own Organic Milk Co., MOOMilk for short, is a cooperative based in Portland, Maine, which was formed by 10 nearby dairy farmers who were former suppliers to HP Hood LLC, Lynnfield, Mass. The company recently rolled out a line of namesake fluid milk products. The company plans to keep distribution within the New England borders, as the product is all about connecting with the locals. Cartons proudly state that the milk is “Farm Fresh, Maine Produced, Maine Processed” and that 90% of the profits go to the farmers.
Darigold Inc., Seattle, introduces real coffee creamer in two decadent flavors: French Vanilla and Hazelnut. A new contoured bottle and easy-to-pour cap combined with bold graphics on a shrink-sleeve label provides point-of-purchase appeal. “The overall look of the shrink labels provide excellent shelf presence that we believe will lead to increased sales,” says Randy Eronimous, director of marketing.
HP Hood recently unveiled Hood Fat Free Half & Half, which offers all the rich and creamy taste of half & half without the fat, according to the company. “Hood is a trusted leader in the cream category. Our products are praised by professional and amateur chefs alike because they are high in quality, taste great and they perform well in recipes,” says Lynne Bohan, a spokesperson for the company. “And we know that consumers will enjoy Hood Fat Free Half & Half the same way they enjoy all Hood cream products.”
Presto Food & Beverage Inc., New York, has started importing Solmaya Orange Jubilee Flavored Milk Drink. Enriched with calcium and vitamins, the drink has its origins in the Caribbean, specifically the Dominican Republic. It retails in an 11-fluid-ounce can. Flavored milk in cans has historically not been successful in the States; however, the company hopes this drink appeals to the growing Hispanic population.