Earlier this year, Le Châtelain Brie was awarded one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a cheese: a gold medal from France’s biggest food competition, the Concours General Agricole. It was chosen from among 17,000 French food products. What makes this award especially remarkable is that it was crafted for the U.S. market using pasteurized milk.

FDA has imposed strict regulations requiring that imported raw milk cheeses must be aged for at least 60 days. Therefore brie, which needs only four to five weeks to ripen, must be made with pasteurized milk. Le Châtelain took great care to develop a cheese that embodies the very same luscious, complex taste of raw milk brie.

In all other respects, Brie Le Châtelain is a traditional cheese crafted according to exacting artisanal standards. It is made in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France using a traditional recipe passed down through generations of master cheesemakers. The milk comes from cows that roam free on grassy hillsides and are completely free of rBST.

Lifeway Foods Inc., Morton Grove, Ill., introduces the BioKefir line of probiotic 3.5-ounce shots. Sold in four-packs with just 60 calories each, the super-powered kefir drinks come in five flavors and contain ProBoost, the company’s exclusive new blend of live and active probiotic cultures that have been clinically proven to strengthen immune response and alleviate digestive troubles. ProBoost enhances Lifeway’s long-time 10-kefir culture probiotic combination with two new strains: Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM.

BioKefir for Immunity comes in pomegranate/blueberry and kiwi/passionfruit flavors. The drinks are packed with acerola, a fruit from the West Indies containing more than 1,600 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, and rich in other antioxidants including carotenoids and anthocyanins.

BioKefir for Heart Health comes in blackberry and black cherry flavors. They feature the power of grape concentrate as well as pomegranate, apple and green tea. The antioxidant blend contains resveratrol, a compound believed to help ward off carcinogens and provide cardiovascular support.

BioKefir for Digestion is available in vanilla flavor. It is designed to balance the digestive ecosystem by soothing upset stomachs, alleviating diarrhea and regulating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive ailments. Vanilla BioKefir is also an excellent source of fiber, increasing its digestive benefits. (Read more about Lifeway Foods in the August 2010 Dairy Foods.)

Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods adds three new flavors to its shelf-stable Snack Pack pudding line. Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Roll and Sugar Free Caramel Snack Pack puddings are portion-controlled snacks made with real nonfat milk.

“Research showed the majority of our consumers enjoyed Snack Pack pudding as part of their lunch or as an afternoon snack,” says Jamel Richardson, brand manager. “With the new Snack Pack flavors, such as Blueberry Muffin and Cinnamon Roll, we’re able to deliver a convenient, wholesome sweet treat appropriate for any time of day, including between breakfast and lunch and late night.”

YoCrunch Fruit Parfait is loaded with a thick visible layer of fruit, smooth and creamy vanilla low-fat yogurt, and a separate topping of granola that can be mixed in to ensure the perfect crunch in every bite. With just 120 calories per serving, it offers a healthier snack with fewer calories than any quick-service restaurants’ yogurt parfait offering, according to Breyers Yogurt Co., Boulder, Colo.

“We are thrilled to introduce another innovation in the yogurt category with the arrival of YoCrunch Fruit Parfait,” says Jim Nolan, CEO. “McDonald’s,  Panera Bread and others have popularized these healthy and great-tasting products and now the YoCrunch brand is making it possible for the consumer to enjoy this nutritious trend in the convenience of their home.”

YoCrunch Fruit Parfait comes in three classic fruit flavors: blueberry, peach and strawberry. The suggested retail price is $2.89 for each four-pack container.

Now consumers can get the healthy benefits of probiotics in refrigerated yogurt salad dressing from Litehouse Inc., Sandpoint, Idaho. Touted as containing kefir cultures, the new dressings come in three varieties: bleu cheese, Caesar and ranch. Starting with a base of yogurt, cultured buttermilk and kefir, the dressings contain half the calories and half the fat of regular salad dressing.

Dairy Foods 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

Trader Joe’s, Monrovia, Calif., gets creative in the cheese category with the introduction of Cheddar with Oat Granola, Apples and Raisins. It is sold in 7-ounce chunks.

Friendly’s, a family-style dining chain headquartered in Wilbraham, Mass., celebrates its 75th anniversary by turning its famous holiday Jubilee Roll into a limited edition ice cream flavor. Vanilla ice cream is blended with chopped almonds and chocolate chips, combined with chocolate ice cream that is mixed with chocolate truffles and a fudge swirl, along with pink vanilla ice cream with red and green candies.


Baobab, also called “upside-down tree” or “monkey-bread tree,” is native to Africa and produces a fruit with exceptional nutrition. It is said to have six times the vitamin C of oranges and twice the calcium of cows milk. In Africa, baobab has been used for centuries to make curative foods and drinks. Recently, Woolworths introduced South Africans to a drinkable yogurt made with baobab extract.

Ireland’s Yoplait Mixed Seeds Rhubarb Probiotic Yogurt includes: sunflower seeds, which contain high levels of vitamins and essential fatty acids; pumpkin seeds, which are a source of iron, copper, zinc and many other minerals and proteins; and linseeds, which have high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are a rich source of insoluble fiber. The manufacturer claims this yogurt is a healthy way to help balance any diet and aid digestion gently and naturally.

The cartoon character Lotte is a lively female puppy that lives with her family in a small village by the sea and is regarded as a promising new discovery on the European cartoon film scene. Due to her great popularity, Lotte was the first choice as a testimonial to the new probiotic yogurt drink “Lotte actives.” The strawberry-flavored drink is filled in small polypropylene bottles holding 100 milliliters. Their shape and size are particularly tailored to the needs of the main target group: infants and children. An aluminum seal is used as a safe closure and decoration is made with sleeving. The two small bottles are connected using additional cardboard packaging.

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.


The ideal iced coffee is both strong and smooth - rich enough to stand up to ice, milk and maybe a sweetener, yet also somewhat thirst-quenching, without any jarring bitter tastes, reported The Wall Street Journal on August 11. Some 1.2 billion cups of iced coffee were served outside the home in the 12 months that ended in May, a 6% increase over the previous 12 months, according to NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y. market-research firm. Yet only 1% of all coffee consumed at home is iced. “We don’t have a clue,” how to make good iced coffee at home, says Harry Balzer, NPD’s chief industry analyst.

That does not mean we cannot buy it already made for at-home consumption.

Starbucks Coffee Doubleshot Energy + Coffee Drink is now available in a Cinna-mon Dulce variety. It is described as a mighty brew inspired by traditional Latino beverages. This premium product consists of a hint of coffee, vanilla, cinnamon and spice, and is supercharged with guarana, ginseng and B vitamins. The first ingredient is Starbucks coffee, while the second and third are reduced-fat milk and skim milk, respectively. The energy drink retails in a 15-fluid-ounce can.

Ready-to-drink coffee-milk beverages are popping up all over the world. Japan’s Fresco Dairy introduces Ajiwai Famima Café Cafe Mocha Bitter Sweet, a limited-edition dairy drink made with bittersweet coffee and sweet chocolate. The product is a private label beverage for a major convenience store chain.

Moringa Milk Industry introduces the Japanese to Caffe Latte Mt. Rainier in a limited-edition caramel latte variety. It is low-fat milk with a caramel and Arabica coffee infusion and is targeted at consumers in their 20s to 30s.

The Japanese love their coffee…and their ice cream, too. Asahi Soft Drinks introduces Wonda Ice Bar Espresso Flavored Milk. It blends the flavors of espresso with vanilla ice cream. This premium drink offers a sweet, mildly bitter taste and is made with cream from Hokkaido for a rich milky taste. The product is targeted at men.

In Belgium, Luxlait adds Shaker Latte Macchiato to its flavored milk line up. It retails in a 0.33 liter recyclable carton with a screw-top lid.

The Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy Group in China rolls out a fresh coffee-milk product that includes polydextrose as a source of dietary fiber. Mönmilk Latte Italian Coffee Flavoured Milk retails in a 243-milliliter carton.

Private label German retailer Aldi expands its flavored milk offerings in the Australian market to now include Farmdale Iced Coffee in 2-liter plastic bottles. This 98% fat-free product contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is said to be a good source of calcium and protein. Quite possibly Aldi, through either its namesake chain or its other brand - Trader Joe’s - will introduce this product to Americans.