Just in time for summer sipping, Target Corp., Minneapolis, introduces a line of private-label, lightly sweetened, ready-to-drink flavored teas in 16.9-fluid-ounce plastic bottles. New Archer Farms Simply Balanced includes green tea-based Pomegranate Yumberry and black-tea based Blackberry Lemon and Peach. Ingredient statements indicate that the tea component is an instant powder and that the fruit flavors come from fruit juices/concentrates and natural flavor. Labels state that each bottle contains 24% juice, which is a source of natural sweetener. Additional sweetness comes from rebaudioside A, a stevia-derived high-intensity sweetener. Each bottle contains 60-70 calories, depending on variety.
At the 2011 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place in May, Epicurean Butter, Federal Heights, Colo., won
a Food & Beverage Product Innovations Award for its new Spreadable Roasted Garlic Herb Butter. This chef-created, versatile spread uses all-natural, premium ingredients blended with Grade AA butter. Spreadable at refrigerated temperatures, it also has a two-day ambient shelf life so that in-store bakeries can spread on bread loaves for take-and-bake garlic bread. The company markets an extensive line of compound butters in sweet and savory flavors such as Black Truffle, Chili Lime, Honey Pecan, Lemon Pepper and Porcini Sage.
Shatto Milk Co., Osborn, Mo., a small, 100-plus-year-old family-owned and operated dairy farm located just north of Kansas City began processing and bottling milk for sale under its own label in June 2003. This year, the company entered the cheese business. On May 7, the company hosted a grand opening for its new state-of-the-art farmstead cheesemaking facility that also includes a new retail store, additional cold storage space, offices and more. The first cheeses being produced are cheddar cheese curds in three varieties: Cajun’y, Dillicious and Squeaky. The company also started producing aged cheeses that will be made available later in the year.
Sixty-nine percent of Coffee-mate users polled in a survey conducted in January by LaLa USA, Dallas, think that liquid Coffee-mate coffee creamer is a dairy product that contains milk or cream from cows. “Our survey shows the confusion that exists among consumers who use artificial non-dairy coffee creamers,” says Randy Gier, chief marketing officer at LaLa. “In fact, before they were asked if they thought their Coffee-mate contains milk or cream from cows, they were asked unaided to list any ingredients they thought were in liquid Coffee-mate, and 44% said milk or cream.”
Based on the number of coffee drinkers who use liquid creamers, LaLa estimates that there are more than 20 million consumers in the United States who use Coffee-mate. “That means nearly 14 million people don’t realize they are putting a laboratory creation made mostly from water, sugar and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in their coffee, not something natural from a cow,” Gier says.
In response, LaLa recently introduced La Crème coffee creamers, the first 100% real dairy, lactose-free, naturally flavored creamers. Sold in 16-ounce plastic bottles, varieties are: Cinnamon Vanilla, French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Original.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever North America introduces eight new flavors of Breyers Blasts! Sold in 16-ounce and 1.5-quart containers, the new ice cream flavors are exploding with America’s best-loved candy and cookie brands, including Mrs. Fields (Mint Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough), Oreo (Cookies & Cream Chocolate and Cookies & Cream Mint), Chips Ahoy! Chocolate Chip Cookie, Whoppers and Waffle Cone with Hershey’s Chocolate Chips.
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Target adds Chai Tea to its Archer Farms ready-to-drink latte line. Packaged in 9.5-fluid-ounce glass bottles and sold in packs of four, Chai Tea starts with a base of tea and low-fat milk and is sweetened with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. A number of natural flavors are used to spice up this unique tea latte.
Alouette Cheese USA LLC, New Holland, Pa., adds Light Spinach & Artichoke to its all-natural spreadable cheese line. The company offers chef-inspired recipes and serving tips on its website.
An exciting attribute of the ice cream category is its ability to take inspiration from other foods and beverages. Cookies, cakes and desserts are among the usual suspects. Waitrose, a leading U.K. retailer, saw an opportunity with condiments and now offers Mustard Savoury Ice Cream. This new product contains a combination of Pommery grain mustard and sugar. The package proudly proclaims that it is “both sweet and savory at the same time.” Less bizarre, but still savory oriented, variants in this range include Salted Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Rosemary.
In Australia, Old Fashioned Foods’ Hansells Real Yoghurt brand introduced Greek Style Yoghurt Mix. This shelf-stable product simply requires the addition of water. A 160-gram pack makes one liter of yogurt with nutritional benefits similar to chilled Greek yogurt. The product contains four active live cultures, including acidophilus and bifidus.
In South Africa, Hijke’s new spoonable yogurt is described as being the first refrigerated yogurt made according to Slow Food principles. The product contains only three ingredients (milk, fruit and yogurt cultures), and touts the fact that it contains no artificial growth hormones, stabilizers, thickeners or artificial colors and flavors.
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 Cultured Dairy
It should be no surprise that yogurt dominates the cultured dairy products category; but what some might find shocking is that sour cream processors have finally decided to dedicate R&D dollars to the business and are in the process of rolling out some sour cream innovations.
The most notable introductions come from Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., which is extending its Breakstone’s brand with dips and toppings. First is Breakstone’s Zesty Blends, a line of boldly flavored sour creams. Sold in 16-ounce containers, varieties are: Chipotle, Jalapeño and Roasted Garlic & Herb.
According to qualitative focus groups that Kraft conducted in October, 23 out of 24 consumers said they would purchase Zesty Blends. Further, the research showed that Zesty Blends will provide incremental volume to the sour cream category, rather than cannibalize sour cream sales.
Also from Kraft and sporting the Real Seal are new Breakstone’s Sour Cream Dips, which emphasize the fact that they are “real dairy – no oils.” Whereas usage suggestions for Zesty Blends range from being an ingredient to a topping, the new dips are all about being a chip accompaniment, as graphics suggest on the 16-ounce tub. Varieties are: Buffalo, French Onion, Ranch and Southwest Style.
Indeed, sour cream is “in” these days. Downey, Calif.-based Hermosa Farms - a family-owned and operated California dairy farm and one of the last dairies in Southern California to own its own cows and to process, package and distribute its own products - promotes its new line of European-style sour creams as being “simply dairy.”
“Rather than focusing on low fat, consumers are now looking for a short ingredients list, and the shorter the better,” says Joe Lunzer, Hermosa Farms’ general manager and maker of Lilly Sour Cream. Lilly is 100% all natural, and has only one ingredient: cultured milk. It contains no thickeners, gums or preservatives, as the company states on the front of containers. Made using a patent-pending European-style process, all Lilly Sour Creams contain more protein and calcium than the competition, and at the same time have less saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Lilly Sour Cream comes in three varieties: fat free, light and regular.
Dips are big business, as Canadian retailer Loblaw’s Inc., headquartered in Ontario, recognizes. The company continues to grow its President’s Choice brand of premium foods and beverages with the introduction of PC Spicy Tzatziki Yogurt Dip. With yogurt as its base, the dip includes fiery jalapeño peppers, crushed chili pepper and a hint of smoked paprika. The dip is said to be great with vegetables, sandwiches and pita bread, as well as smothered over grilled meats.
And even though almost all the yogurt sold in the United States is made from cow’s milk, other mammal milks are benefitting from the yogurt boom. For example, the Sierra Nevada Cheese Co., Willows, Calif., ventured into the cultured business with the introduction of Capretta Goat Yogurt. Made with no stabilizers, starches or fillers, the company says that their new yogurts have the consistency and flavor of Greek-style yogurt. The original plain yogurt comes in whole milk and nonfat varieties in 24-ounce value containers. Low-fat flavored (blueberry, plain, strawberry and vanilla) varieties come in single-serve 6-ounce cups.