The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., extends the Activia brand to four new styles of yogurt under the sub-brand of Selects. New Activia Selects offers consumers authentic yogurt recipes with the benefits of the company’s unique probiotic culture Bifidus Regularis (Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010), which has been clinically shown to help naturally regulate the digestive system when consumed daily for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Activia Selects French is whole milk yogurt that comes in two forms. There is a blended European-style with a smooth and silky texture. Flavors are blackberry and raspberry, cherry, mango and pineapple. There’s also a version with large and fresh chunks of fruit on the bottom. Flavors are mixed berry and strawberry. Activia Selects Greek is thick and creamy blended nonfat Greek yogurt that is high in protein. Flavors are blueberry, pomegranate and berries, strawberry and vanilla. And last, there’s Activia Selects Parfait, which is a blend of creamy low-fat Activia yogurt, fruit pieces and crunchy granola on top. Flavors are mixed berry, peach, strawberry and vanilla. All Selects come in 6-ounce cups and have a suggested retail price of $1.29.

The Coffee-mate brand from Nestlé USA, Glendale, Calif., which is associated with nondairy coffee creamer in powder and liquid form, can now be found on refrigerated dairy creamers named Natural Bliss. Sold in 16-ounce bottles topped with a convenient recloseable pour spout, Natural Bliss is described as being made with only four simple ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and natural flavor. Available in three varieties - caramel, sweet cream and vanilla - the creamer was created to offer dairy lovers the option to add flavor to their coffee, naturally, according to the company. But its use does not stop with java. The company is further promoting Natural Bliss as a cooking and dessert cream through culinary efforts by Claire Robinson, host of “5 Ingredient Fix,” a Food Network series featuring recipes made with five ingredients or fewer. Natural Bliss counts as one.

“Coffee-mate has been the coffee creamer brand of choice for generations, and millions of people around the world can choose from more than 20 flavors to personalize their cup of coffee,” says Vilma Livas, marketing manager. “Now with Natural Bliss we’re giving people who whiten their coffee with dairy an opportunity to experience the delicious flavor that Coffee‐mate is known for in a brand new, all-natural way.”

Germantown, Wis.-based Gehl Foods Inc., brings new opportunities to the alternative beverage (ambient) aisle with the introduction of Main St. Café Protein Smoothies. Sold in 11-ounce plastic bottles, the shelf-stable smoothies come in mixed berry, peach and strawberry flavors. They are the only shelf-stable bottled smoothies in the market made with yogurt; however, the sterilization process does inactivate the cultures.

“We’re packaging today’s popular dairy trends to fit consumers’ busy lives,” says John Slawny, vice president-sales and marketing.  “Main St. Café captures the existing growth in niche protein products and foodservice smoothies, and brings them together in a fresh, simple way for the broader beverage market.” 

Gehl Foods begins with real yogurt made fresh on site, providing an excellent source of both natural milk protein and calcium. Each smoothie has 10 grams of dairy protein and 30% of the daily value for calcium. Most important for Gehl Foods, however, is maintaining the beverage’s fresh, creamy taste throughout distribution. Through a unique aseptic process, the company rapidly raises the smoothies to food-safe temperatures before cooling and packaging them in a sterile environment, eliminating the microorganisms that cause ordinary dairy foods to spoil. This enables the drinks to be shipped and sold unrefrigerated - without compromising their fresh dairy taste.

The Kalona SuperNatural brand was launched in 2010, but its origins began five years earlier as the brainchild of owner Bill Evans. In 2005, Evans started Kalona, Iowa-based Kalona Organics, distributing Farmer’s All Natural Creamery dairy products and Cultural Revolution yogurt. In 2010, these brands were consolidated under the new family brand name Kalona SuperNatural. Recently the company added organic sour cream and organic cottage cheese to the brand. The latter comes in two varieties: regular (full fat) and reduced fat. Both cottage cheeses are cream-on-top formulations, which add to their natural richness that is also based on being non-homogenized and void of stabilizers and emulsifiers. The lack of such additives provides for an ultra-clean mouthfeel. The sour cream, too, has a simple ingredient legend: organic milk and cream and cultures.


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noteworthy introductions

KB Treats LLC, Elmwood Park, N.J., expands its Q-Bees frozen novelty line with Brown-ees. The product combines two beloved desserts - premium vanilla ice cream and a rich, chocolate brownie - into one.

G Series Fit Recover 03 is the latest invention from Gatorade, a brand of PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y. This 120-calorie protein restorative smoothie (11 ounces) contains 12 grams of protein from hydrolyzed whey protein, 14 grams of carbohydrates and an array of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. It is also enhanced with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has been shown to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.


Coconut water has emerged as the “it” beverage among Americans who seek out the latest in health and wellness foods and drinks. Not only have major multinationals invested in coconut water brands, but this ingredient is showing up in everything from makeup to iced tea. Now coconut is taking center stage in a new yogurt from Group Danone in the Netherlands. Coconut & Lime Yogurt includes coconut pieces and coconut milk, as well as real lime juice. Although it doesn’t actually include coconut water, it is reasonable to assume that a North American version of this product could highlight this trendy ingredient. Further, tropical flavors readily complement the flavor profile of coconut, which aligns with American’s growing interest in Latin and Asian cuisines.

Provenance has been a buzzword in the food industry for the past several years and momentum behind it continues to build. Connecting ingredients to a particular place of origin has become a mainstream marketing strategy, but in the dairy category, it is usually related to local milk production. In Sweden, Arla Foods shows that it is possible to make provenance have a more global reach. This dairy processor’s Touch of Africa range includes unique ingredients that are native to that continent. The Melon/Lemon/Baobab Drinking Yogurt features the fruit from the baobab tree, which is native to southern Africa and boasts exceptionally high vitamin C content. Another variant, Pomegranate/Hibiscus/Cardamom, includes flavors that are better-known to European consumers but are far from mainstream.

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

Focus on Coffee drinks

Back-to-school shopping lists for college coeds often include shelf-stable energy beverages that help with pulling late-nighters to study for a test, write a paper or simply have fun being at college. In recent years, coffee-milk beverages have emerged as a better-for-you option, compared to Red Bull and its many copy cats, and beverage manufacturers are showing consumers that this category has a lot of room for innovation. These innovations capitalize on the growing trend in iced coffee beverages, which according to the NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., account for about 20% of sales in coffeehouses and quick-serve restaurants, with more than 1.2 billion servings in 2010.

Just in time for the return to campus, Target Corp., Minneapolis, debuted Archer Farms Coffee Energy Drinks, which come in sleek 11-fluid-ounce cans and are sold individually for $1.99 at Target stores nationwide. The drinks start with a base of coffee and reduced-fat milk and the sweetener is sucralose. This keeps calories down to 100 per serving and fat grams at 1.5. Each can contains 65 milligrams of caffeine from the coffee and added caffeine. Labels indicate that the drink is also infused with vitamins (25% of the daily value for niacin, riboflavin and vitamins C, D and B6) and supplemented with calcium (10% of the daily value).

Target also adds Hazelnut Biscotti to its Archer Farms ready-to-drink latte line. Packaged in 9.5-fluid-ounce glass bottles and sold in packs of four, the drinks start with a base of low-fat milk and brewed coffee. Sweetness comes from a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium, which keeps calories at 100 per serving.

Woodway Beverage Partners LLC, Houston, Texas, teamed up with world-reknowned chef Wolfgang Puck to now offer a line of single-serve, ready-to-drink, signature coffee beverages that carry the tagline: Culinary Iced Coffee. Certified organic, the drinks come in four flavors: Café au Lait, Crème Caramel, Double Blend Mocha and Vanilla Fusion.

Seattle’s Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corp., Seattle, introduces a line of iced canned lattes made with the same premium coffee as the Seattle’s Best Coffee hand-crafted beverages. The line includes: Iced Latte, Iced Vanilla Latte and Iced Mocha Latte. A 9.5-ounce can retails for $1.49 or in a four-pack for $4.99.

The product line builds on the company’s 2010 marketing strategy of “Anywhere Great Coffee Is Needed,” “…by bringing a new kind of convenience to iced coffee, which is the fastest-growing segment in premium coffee,” says Michelle Gass, president of Seattle’s Best Coffee. “Through our test we confirmed that consumers are looking for a great-tasting iced coffee beverage in an on-the-go format and at only 130 calories per serving, it’s a product they can enjoy at breakfast and throughout the day.”

Italy-based illycaffé recognizes that not everyone has the time to sit and savor a cup of its freshly brewed illy espresso coffee, especially busy Americans. So the company teamed up with The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, to form the joint venture Ilko Coffee International, and now its beverages are portable and in the increasingly popular “chilled” format.

The illy issimo Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink line now comes in five varieties. The line debuted earlier this year with Caffè (a bold, full-bodied, espresso-style coffee drink with a touch of sweetness), Cappuccino (rich espresso blended with low-fat milk and cocoa) and Latte Macchiato (a smooth espresso-style coffee drink with a hint of milk and sugar). Most recently Caffè No Sugar (unsweetened   and without milk and only 15 calories) and Mochaccino (with cocoa, a hint of milk and sugar, and only 100 calories) joined the line. The latter is the first coffee made with the Domori brand of cocoa.

All illy issimo coffee drinks have a suggested retail price of $2.39 for a single can. Four packs are also available for about $6.99.