Dannon expands its Activia line. Coach Farm launches a goats milk probiotic yogurt. Parmalat Canada rolls out Astro BioBest plant sterols yogurt.



Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc., says its cheesemakers discovered a process to combine Philadelphia Cream Cheese with shredded natural cheese. When heated, cream cheese melts faster than natural cheese, so “A Touch of Philly,” the brand’s tagline, allows for a faster, smoother, more even melt with less oiling off.

Adding just a touch of cream cheese does not add a significant amount of calories or fat, meaning Nutrition Facts remain the same as like varieties of the company’s traditional Kraft Natural Shredded Cheeses. This innovative concept comes in five varieties: Italian Five Cheese, Mexican Style Four Cheese, Mozzarella, Three Cheese and Triple Cheddar.

Hershey’s Ice Cream, Harrisburg, Pa., introduces Candy Bar Overload Cone. Each 6-ounce cone contains specially developed premium chocolate nougat ice cream swirled with caramel and loaded with chocolate-covered peanuts. The eye-catching, red foil packaging is designed with a perforated-edge sleeve that hugs the cone, making it convenient to open and to keep hands clean.

“It’s the ultimate novelty treat that combines popular candy bar flavors in one cone,” says Tom Holder, vice president of sales and marketing.

What’s new and “cowrageous” and currently only available through the largest supercenter chain in America? New CowRageous! All-Natural Snack Pudding comes in three varieties: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Manufactured by Kozy Shack Inc., Hicksville, N.Y., this nutrient-enriched, gluten-free refrigerated dairy-based pudding targeted to kids comes in six-packs of 4-ounce cups. A single serving is a good source of vitamins A and D, calcium and dietary fiber, with no artificial colors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup.

The Laughing Cow brand adds half-the-fat flavors to its popular cheese wedge product line. Bel Brands USA, Elk Grove Village, Ill., a subsidiary of Fromageries Bel, a family-owned cheesemaker headquartered in Paris, introduces Light Blue Cheese; Light Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil; and Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle. Sold in round boxes of eight 0.75-ounce wedges, a serving contains 35 calories.

The Three Happy Cows brand of drinkable yogurts from County Line Farms, Dallas, a new, small dairy with its own herd of grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, comes in four flavors: blueberry, mango, piña colada and strawberry. Sold in 8-ounce plastic bottles, each serving contains 200 calories.

“The recipe is simple,” says Don Seale, president. “We start with reduced-fat milk from our own cows, and add fruit, cane sugar and a cocktail of cultures.”

The product is distributed in select markets throughout Texas. Seale plans to expand outside the state in 2011, at the same time the company rolls out other new dairy products.

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noteworthy introductions

Launch Frozen Innovations Inc., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, “launches” Launch Omega frozen dessert bars based on whey protein concentrate (WPC) and canola oil. Each 2.75-ounce bar contains 9 grams of protein from the WPC and 540 milligrams from the canola oil, as well as 102 calories.

The simple theme is strong in product innovations. New Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressings from T. Marzetti Co., Columbus, Ohio, contain a minimal number of all-natural ingredients. For example, the blue cheese variety contains its namesake cheese, along with a base of buttermilk, mayonnaise and a few seasonings.

International

Many cultured products currently feature separate compartments with candy, granola or other sweet ingredients as toppings. That same concept now can be experienced with frozen products. Unilever’s Hertog brand in The Netherlands recently debuted Party Ice Cream with Popping Chocolate & Colored Sprinkles. This product includes a tub of regular vanilla ice cream, plus two individual packets of sundae toppings.

Dairy-based sports drinks - for before, during and after exercise - are more widely available in Europe than in the United States. For example, Norway’s Tine SA rolled out YT, a drinking yogurt positioned as a pre-fitness drink formulated to provide long-lasting energy throughout a workout. Tine developed the product with the Norwegian Olympic team.

Japan’s Chichiyasu Dairy Inc., introduces a yogurt designed for women’s health, specifically to prevent anemia. New Iron Yogurt with Folic Acid contains 200 micrograms of folic acid to aid in red blood cell formation, and 4 milligrams of iron, which is claimed to be equal to eating 50 prunes.

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 yogurt

Spoonable yogurt sales had yet another tremendous quarter in terms of retail sales volume growth during the third quarter of 2010 (up 8.1%), compared to quarterly year-ago levels, reports the International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C., in its Cultured Dairy Products Report. This is despite experiencing a 3.1% increase in its average retail sales price.

Much of this growth is due to consumers’ increased attention to wellness and yogurt’s healthful halo. It is also helpful that marketers continue to roll out flavorful new varieties and innovative better-for-you formulations.

For example, The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., expanded its Activia product line to include Activia Parfait Crunch. Made with the brand’s famous “Bifidus Regularis” probiotic culture, legally known as Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173-010, the new parfaits are a 6-ounce container of flavored low-fat yogurt topped with a dome of low-fat granola. All varieties contain 220 calories, 3 grams fat and 6 grams protein. The fruit flavors - mixed berry, peach and strawberry - provide 2 grams fiber, while the vanilla provides 1 gram fiber. Activia Parfait Crunch begins shipping this month.

Pine Plains, N.Y.-based Coach Farm is expanding its line of goat milk dairy products with the launch of a farmstead Goat’s Milk Probiotic Yogurt available in four all-natural flavors: honey, plain, strawberry and vanilla.

“Traditional Greek Yogurt is made from goat’s milk, and we thought with the increased popularity of premium yogurt over the last few years, there was no better time than the present to introduce a spoonable goat’s milk probiotic yogurt,” says Steven Margarites, president. “Our drinkable product, Yo-Goat, has been a popular product for many years among consumers who are lactose intolerant. We hope to see that popularity translated to our spoonable product as well.”

The line is produced in small batches using only the Grade A milk from Coach Farm’s own dairy goats. The four flavors are available nationallyto retailers in 6-ounce containers and the plain flavor is distributed nationally to restaurant and foodservice establishments in 3-pound  bulk containers.

Parmalat Canada, headquartered in Toronto, rolled out Astro BioBest Plant Sterols Yogourt to the Canadian marketplace. The yogurts are sold in 8-packs of 100-gram cups. Each 100-gram serving is enriched with 50% of the daily amount of plant sterols recommended to help lower cholesterol, according to Canadian regulations.

“Whether it’s preventing the onset or finding ways to lower it, managing cholesterol is no easy feat,” says Nash Lakha, president and CEO. “Our goal at Parmalat Canada is to be able to provide consumers with a simple, everyday food that’s easily incorporated into their diet with the added bonus of a functional ingredient that specifically lowers cholesterol, which is a significant factor in heart disease.

“Clinical studies on sterols, such as those used in our yogurt, have been conducted, proving that sterols significantly lower cholesterol levels,” says Lakha. “It’s exciting to have the ability to harness active ingredients found naturally in vegetables and fruits and incorporate them into other foods so that consumers can benefit in ways that weren’t possible before.”

Astro BioBest Plant Sterols Yogurt comes in four flavors: blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and vanilla.