BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Green Bay, Wis., home to this year’s Super Bowl champions - Green Bay Packers - extends its successful Unwrap & Roll line with the Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Prosciutto & Basil Roll. A sheet of fresh mozzarella (acidified by vinegar) is hand rolled with imported prosciutto and fresh basil leaves. The result is a convenient, unique appetizer that the host simply slices and serves. This distinctive cheese has a 60-day shelf life and comes in 8- and 16-ounce rolls. On the sidelines, BelGioioso constructed a 400-pound goalpost to support the Packers in their championship bid. It was displayed at Central Markets in Fort Worth, Texas, near the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where the Packers won Super Bowl XLV.
Private-label discount chain Aldi Inc., Batavia, Ill., introduces Friendly Farms Probiotic Low Fat Smoothie in strawberry and vanilla flavors. Sold in packs of four 7-fluid-ounce recloseable plastic bottles, the beverages are made with traditional yogurt cultures (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) and Lactobacillus acidophilus. The company has not shied away from ingredients that others have started to remove from product formulations, such as high-fructose corn syrup and FD&C Red Dye #40, which are both in the strawberry variety.
Just in time for the “big game,” Aldi rolled out a line of frozen dairy-based dips that one simply heats and serves. Resembling a hockey puck (3-inch diameter, but about 2-inches high and weighing 7 ounces), the dips are ready after three minutes in the microwave. Varieties are: Creamy Spinach & Artichoke, Spicy Buffalo Style Chicken and Zesty Queso. The dips are manufactured by Les Plats du Chef Inc., Quebec, Canada. The artichoke variety is also available through Aldi’s sister store Trader Joe’s of Monrovia, Calif.
In January, Milford, Conn.-based Iskream Inc., introduced the first low-fat, no-sugar-added ice cream made with an all-natural, zero-calorie, stevia-based sweetener. Sold in pints and initially available throughout the Northeast, Iskream comes in three varieties: Berry Good, Chocolate Brownie and Vanilla. A half-cup serving contains 100 to 170 calories, 3 to 6 grams fat and 17 to 25 grams carbohydrate, depending on variety.
“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we announce the launch of the Iskream brand,” says the company’s co-founder, Sandra Lee. Susan Patrick, the other co-founder, adds “We use the finest Madagascar vanilla, Dutch cocoa and whole berries. Honestly, if Iskream didn’t taste great, we couldn’t stand behind it.”
This month, Springfield Creamery Inc., Eugene, Ore., is launching the country’s first fruit-on-top organic cottage cheese. Nancy’s Organic Lowfat Cottage Cheese Fruit-on-Top comes in peach, pear and strawberry flavors. Like all of Nancy’s dairy and soy products, this new single-serve (8 ounces) product contains probiotic cultures. The 100% real, organic fruit is lightly sweetened with organic agave and is packaged separate from the cottage cheese in a unique top cup that allows customers to personalize their eating experience.
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To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Lifeway Foods Inc., Morton Grove, Ill, developed a birthday cake-flavored kefir beverage. Anniversary packaging and a nationwide promotional tour will culminate with company representatives ringing the NASDAQ bell on May 16 in New York City.
Mt Sterling Co-op Creamery, Mount Sterling, Wis., now offers Raw Goat Milk Mild Cheddar Cheese Slices. Sold in 8-ounce zip-packs, the cheese is aged a minimum of 60 days.
Yogurt has one of the strongest healthful halos in the dairy category, making it a natural choice for extension into drinks, sauces and salad dressings - all segments that have benefitted from the addition of yogurt to product formulations. Now the butter category is welcoming yogurt to its ranks. From Germany’s Meggle AG comes Yogurt Butter, a healthier alternative to traditional butter, as it contains 20% less fat.
Margarita pizzas and caprese salads may have originated in Italy, but the classic combination of mozzarella, tomato and basil is a favorite around the world. In Brazil, which boasts the largest concentration of Italians outside of Italy, Polenghi introduces Molho Sabor Marguerita Sauce, a refrigerated, pourable sauce based on mozzarella cheese and dried tomato and basil paste. It is portioned for two in a stand-up pouch for easy opening and pouring.
Contributed by Krista Faron, director of innovation and insights, Mintel Research Consultancy, Global New Products Database (GNPD). For more information call 312-932-0400 or visit www.gnpd.com.
Focus on milk
Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to man, making it a great beverage all by itself. Milk also serves as a base for fortified and flavored drinks, ranging from refreshing lattes to nutritionally packed sports drinks.
An innovative example of the latter comes from Athletes HoneyMilk LLC, Austin, Texas, a subsidiary of Select Milk Producers, Artesia, N.M., a co-op of 77 family-owned farms located in West Texas and New Mexico. The product starts with fresh milk that goes through a patented cold-filtration process to remove the lactose and concentrate the proteins. This takes place at the company’s Dexter, Texas-based processing facility, and is followed by mixing with honey and other ingredients. The high-protein nutritional drink blend is shipped by tanker trucks to Jasper Products, Joplin, Mo., for aseptic filling into 11.5-ounce plastic bottles.
The original honey-flavored product debuted about two years ago in an aseptic box. Honey not only sweetens the milk and provides an appealing flavor profile, but is also said to boost athletic performance and endurance while reducing muscle fatigue. Along with whey and casein to build lean muscle, and minerals and vitamins to balance the body’s cellular and structural systems, Athletes HoneyMilk sports the tagline: Rebuild. Refuel. Recover.
Last June, three new varieties (vanilla, light chocolate and light coffee) joined honey when the shelf-stable bottled product debuted. Most recently, light strawberry banana was added to the line. The regular varieties contain 26 grams of protein and 240 calories. The light versions rely on acesulfame potassium to reduce the calorie content to 150; they provide 20 grams of dairy protein. The company is working on stevia-based light versions and hopes to have them in the market before the end of the year.
Shamrock Farms, Phoenix, introduces the Calcium Plus milk line, which provides 100% more calcium per 8-ounce serving than regular milk. The product launch coincides with the National Milk Mustache got milk? Campaign encouraging families to “Pour One More.” The new program has pledged to give away one million servings of milk across the country to help raise awareness of the importance of milk. Phoenix was one of the main stops in this national tour with a visit to the Phoenix Zoo on Jan. 17, where Shamrock Farms sampled the Calcium Plus milk line.
Shamrock Farms’ Calcium Plus milk line comes in many varieties, including whole, 2% reduced-fat and fat-free white milk; 1% low-fat chocolate milk; and 2% reduced-fat and fat-free lactose-free milk. All varieties come in the 96-ounce Smart Fit Bottle, designed by ergonomic experts to be easy to carry, pour and store. Shamrock Farms’ Calcium Plus milk is available regionally at all major retailers.
Target Corp., Minneapolis, introduces a private-label line of Archer Farms ready-to-drink lattes (above) packaged in 9.5-fluid-ounce glass bottles and sold in packs of four that can be mixed and matched. They start with a base of low-fat milk and are sweetened with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. This keeps calories down to 100 per serving and fat grams at 2.5. Varieties are: Cinnamon Crème, Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), Raspberry Dark Mocha and Vanilla Caramel.
Here’s a private-label innovation from overseas. Coop, an Italian supermarket chain, now offers Milk & Cocoa (below), which is chocolate milk designed to reinforce the concept of simplicity. Although it does include some mouthfeel enhancers (lecithin and carrageenan), this product contains only natural flavors and no added sugar or colors. For sweetness, it relies on agave nectar.