Dairies, manufacturers of the Special Request Skim Plus line of enhanced fluid milk products, introduces two firsts for the U.S. dairy industry: Skim Plus Fiber and Skim Plus Omega-3 with CoQ10. Both start with 100% real cows milk and contain no added artificial hormones or antibiotics. Like the other products in the Skim Plus line, these contain 37% more protein and 34% more calcium than whole milk.

The fiber variety provides 2.5 grams of prebiotic fiber (chicory root) per 8-ounce serving. The other is enhanced with highly refined fish oil (source of Omega-3 fatty acids) and coenzyme Q10, or simply CoQ10, an ingredient that may help maintain healthy heart function, support energy production and provide nutritional support for cellular energy and cardiovascular health. One serving contains 55 milligrams of the Omega-3s docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus 5 milligrams of CoQ10. A half gallon of either carries a suggested retail price of $3.99. Distribution is throughout Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.


Athenos is taking its leading line of authentic Greek foods to the next level of taste and convenience with the introduction of Greek yogurt. “Adding a Greek yogurt to the Athenos family is an exciting next step for the brand,” says Marshall Hyzdu, brand manager, Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill. “When we asked our 85,000 Facebook fans if they would like to see a Greek yogurt product from Athenos, the positive response was overwhelming.”

In addition to plain, the new nonfat yogurts come in blueberry, honey, peach and strawberry varieties, and are packaged in dual compartment containers similar to Cottage Doubles. By keeping the fruit or honey separated, consumers can customize the flavor to suit their individual tastes, says the company. The fruit topping varieties have 100 calories and all of the flavor varieties contain 11 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce serving.

Kraft has not been in the yogurt business since it sold the Breyers brand in 2005, a divesture that industry analysts could not understand, as the yogurt category has been growing every year for the past three decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Will this debut in the highly competitive Greek yogurt category be a stepping stone for more cultured dairy innovations from Kraft?


The popularity of Greek yogurt inspired T. Marzetti Co., Columbus, Ohio, to develop Otria Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip. Otria combines the light and creamy texture of Greek yogurt with an array of herbs and spices to create a uniquely fresh taste. Plus with 60 calories per 2-tablespoon serving and five delicious varieties - Chipotle Cheese, Cucumber Dill Feta, Garden Herb Ranch, Salsa Cilantro and Spinach Artichoke - it is a dip option that is sure to satisfy any palette.


To make it easier to choose a wholesome snack, Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., now offers its popular String Cheese, Light String Cheese and Colby-Jack snacks in Fridge Packs. This easy-to-see, stand-up pack contains 18 individually wrapped cheese snacks for the home refrigerator. The new package keeps cheese snacks normally stored in a refrigerator drawer visible, organized and easily accessible. Initial distribution is in the Southeast, with packages having a suggested retail price of $6.99.


In addition to getting back into yogurt, Kraft is putting more marketing muscle behind its Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand with the introduction of Philadelphia Cooking Crème, a line of refrigerated reduced-fat, creamy and spoonable creams in four varieties: Italian Herb, Original, Savory Garlic and Santa Fe. Seasoned cooking creams have been popular for some time in Europe, and Kraft plans to make the Philadelphia version the first and the biggest brand in the United States.

The new product line will hit stores in early 2011 and be accompanied by one of the largest ad campaigns in company history, officials told Advertising Age (Oct. 26, 2010). “We’re thinking this is going to be one of the biggest launches that cheese and dairy has ever had,” stated Adam Butler, brand manager for Philadelphia.


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noteworthy introductions

New Holland, Pa.-based Alouette Cheese introduces Alouette Cheesecake. This all-natural, dessert-inspired, limited-edition spreadable cheese compliments graham crackers, vanilla cookies, bagels and fresh fruit. It can also be used in holiday baking to create sumptuous desserts.


Vanilla joins chocolate Phase III. These ultra-filtered, real milk drinks from Attitude Drinks, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., are designed to maximize post-exercise recovery and build lean muscle.


international

There’s no doubt that children love string cheese, but U.S. cheesemakers are yet to find another kid-friendly format that delivers taste, convenience and fun so effectively. A Chinese dairy processor might have found that solution. Bright Dairy & Food recently introduced Cheese Lollipops - processed cheese circles mounted on disposable sticks. The product retails in a flexible stand-up pouch containing five 20-gram individually wrapped lollipops. For an extra nutrition boost, the foods are fortified with milk protein and calcium.


In the United States, the most indulgent dairy products are generally frozen, but in other parts of the world, chilled desserts are often as decadent - if not more so - than their frozen counterparts. Europe, in particular, is a hub for indulgent dairy in refrigerated forms. Retailers are among the most experimental in launching dessert yogurts with gourmet ingredients and premium positioning. Marks & Spencer, a U.K.-based retailer, recently introduced limited-edition Sicilian Lemon and Limoncello Cream. It uses a double cream base to feature two distinctly Italian ingredients. From Sicily comes lemon compote and from southern Italy comes limoncello, a lemon liqueur traditionally served as an after-dinner drink. Coupled with British milk, these Italian ingredients make for a truly global dairy treat.

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 Juices/Teas/Waters

Dairies are well equipped to produce many non-dairy beverages, including juices, teas and waters. For example, Hiland Dairy, Springfield, Mo., recently added Red Diamond Green Tea with Honey and Ginseng and Hiland Dairy Apple Juice to its beverage lineup. The tea is available in gallon and pint sizes, while the apple juice comes in half-gallon containers. Distribution is throughout the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.


Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, has a strong presence in the global beverage category, but its portfolio is almost entirely based around water. Dairy has not traditionally been an area of focus for the company, but with the launch of a new well-being range, a dairy ingredient takes center stage. Nesfluid, recently introduced in France, contains 50% whey and coconut water, plus other ingredients, including fruit juice, cocoa, green tea, vitamins and minerals.


Lori’s Earth Friendly Products LLC, Highland Park, N.J., distributes new Low-Sugar Strawberry Juice + Fibre, an aseptically packaged juice drink targeted to children suffering from constipation. The fiber source is gum arabic, also known as gum acacia, which is a soluble dietary fiber from the acacia tree. The low-calorie, low-sugar drink comes in a strawberry flavor and contains only 40 calories, while the other flavors from the mainstream line vary from 130 to 170 calories. All of the drinks deliver 10 grams of fiber per 8-ounce box.

Bethesda, Md.-based Honest Tea, maker of the nation’s top-selling organic bottled tea, reintroduces Honest Kombucha. Following a voluntary withdrawal of all brands of raw kombucha from store shelves in June, Honest Tea developed a proprietary process to brew Honest Kombucha that allows for the benefits of raw, unpasteurized kombucha, while ensuring lower, more stable alcohol levels.

“We have found a brewing process that still delivers the unique taste and benefits of kombucha, while maintaining the probiotic content,” says Seth Goldman, president.

Honest Kombucha is a lightly sparkling beverage brewed with organic Fair Trade Certified tea, raw culture and a touch of organic cane sugar for an effervescent blend of active enzymes, organic acids and polyphenols. Kombucha, a fermented tea with Chinese and Russian origins, was once referred to as the “elixir of life” due to its probiotic properties. It is believed to aid in digestion and support immunity. Kombucha is made by fermenting black or green tea and sugar with a culture of various bacteria and yeasts, resulting in organic acids such as gluconic acid and glucuronic acid, which are believed to support a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Honest Kombucha is available in five low-sugar varieties: Apple Jasmine, Berry Hibiscus, Lemon Ginger, Maqui Berry Grapefruit and Peach Mango. It has only 35 calories and 7 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. Due to the live and unpasteurized nature of the product, Honest Kombucha must be shipped and stored cold.

The company also recently debuted Heavenly Lemon Tulsi, a soothing herbal ready-to-drink blend. Tulsi, also know as “Holy Basil,” from India, includes aromatic lemon peel, lemon myrtle and lemongrass for a refreshingly unique blend.