Global New Product Database - December 2002-12-13

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Extensions on food products, from alcoholic yoghurt to a potato-based milk alternative, feature strongly in this month's GNPD from Mintel. But it is the aphrodisiacs and beer can flirting aids which will no doubt catch the most attention. Read on for all this month's drinks releases.

Last month Mintel reported on a number of interesting dairy-based alcoholic moves. These included the launch of Xtra Mooood flavoured milk drinks in Israel from Tara Dairies with a 2% ABV content, and Super Milch in Germany comprising a 5.5% ABV vodka milk shake drink. Now, it seems yoghurt is joining in this development. New in Japan from Kinmasu Shuzo is Gurusshu Yogurt, a 4.5% ABV drink made with a blend of pure rice wine and yoghurt.

Meanwhile, potatoes form the base ingredient of a new non-dairy milk alternative beverage being introduced by Tayo Foods in Canada. These Fortified Potato Beverages are free of cholesterol, fat, and lactose and are fortified with vitamin A, D, and B6, among others. Marketed as easy-to-digest, they are available in Vanilla Slide, Original, and Chocolate Groove flavours and can be found in health food stores.

New from Galaxy Foods in the US is a pre-packaged, ready-to-serve Ultra Smoothie, which contains the company's Veggie Milk and Tropicana juices.

Veggie Milk is made from plant proteins and the product is said to provide one complete serving of soy protein and 1.5 servings of juice in an 8-oz serving. It contains 9 vitamins and minerals including 100% of the daily, recommended intake of vitamin C and 30% of the daily recommended value of calcium.  Ultra Smoothie will be available at health food stores and through foodservice outlets.

Butterfinger, the Nestlé-owned chocolate brand with a crispy, crunchy and peanut-buttery taste has now extended into a hot beverage format in the Philippines. The product comprises Frothé instant creamy coffee with the Butterfinger flavour. It comes in a box of six single serve sachets.

Despite a slow consumer uptake to iced tea in the UK, companies continue to attempt to lure them to the drink. The latest iced tea launch in the country is Indian Chai Tea from Spring Fine Foods. It is described as a lightly sparkling drink made with a blend of fruit and tea, and comes in flavours such as banana, lemon, peach and grapefruit. More interestingly, the drinks are packaged in elegant, transparent glass bottles, as used for premium packaged spirit drinks.

With regard to iced coffee, which performs well in continental Europe, our database highlights a new caramel, flavoured canned coffee "energy" drink in Austria. It has been introduced by coffee company J Hornig and is said to be ideal drunk at room temperature or chilled, or mixed with cocktails. It is packaged in a 250ml metal can with a ring pull opening.

Meanwhile, Fuze Beverage, Englewood, NJ, is introducing a product that is difficult to categorise. It is called Fuze Slenderize, a 10-calorie beverage described as an "effective diet drink" that offers a metabolic weight loss system that curbs appetite and inhibits cellular fat production. The product, however, does not appear to be completely positioned as a weight control product; it is being sold in convenience stores in the US with the rest of the beverages.

This month there are several water developments. In the US, TriWater has launched O2GO Distilled Drinking Water. Made with a "pinch" of peach flavour, the zero calorie product is supposed to supply the body with up to five times more oxygen.

Sadia a Brazilian company best known for its chilled and frozen foods, is entering the water market in an attempt at diversification. On its domestic market it has launched Acqua Sadia mineral water following a collaboration with Ouro Fino. It comes in a number of bottle shapes and sizes to suit all consumer requirements.

Tequila continues to attempt to make in-roads in the flavoured alcoholic beverages market. The latest Tequila flavoured variety has been added to the Red Square Reloaded range in the UK from Halewood International. It contains 5.5% ABV and is made with a blend of vodka, and Tequila, and is also infused with ginseng extracts.

Another interesting spirit, aguardiente (a strong liqueur) is also attempting to make forays into the segment. It has been used in Brazil to create 5! Ice from New Age Bebidas e Alimentos for Müller Bebidas. The drink contains distilled alcohol and sugar cane aguardiente, and comes in Passion fruit, Lemon, Tangerine and Lime flavours. Finally, in the UK Large Distilleries are adding a little style by launching Vodka O2, a slightly sparkling 37.5% ABV vodka infused with extracts of exoticherbal aphrodisiacs!

The theme of love doesn't stop there either. On the packaging front, Molson has introduced a twist to the US dating scene with its latest labelling. Now printed on Molson Canadian and Molson Canadian Light Beer bottles are "twin labels" designed to get young adults talking and flirting with each other.

Of course, the labels aren't always complimentary. Some bottles sport the phrases "you're not my type" and "I see dumb people" as a way to let admirers down gently. Each label doesn't just have a phrase, they also have an accompanying graphic. The "guess where my tattoo is" label is also graced with the picture of an ass.

Companies: Tropicana, Molson Coors

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