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November 25, 2003

The Global New Product Database

Health drinks, beverages with "cosmeceutical" properties and milk-based products dominate the Mintel Global New Product Database this month, once again underlining how varied the drinks market has become. New additions include a product containing collagen and aloe vera to promote the growth of new body cells and another containing soy which claims to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Health drinks, beverages with “cosmeceutical” properties and milk-based products dominate the Mintel Global New Product Database this month, once again underlining how varied the drinks market has become. New additions include a product containing collagen and aloe vera to promote the growth of new body cells and another containing soy which claims to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

There was a time when soft drinks claiming health benefits may have contained the odd fruit and a few vitamins. In today’s vibrant and varied drinks market, such products would seem somewhat prosaic, alongside the health drinks and cosmeceutical beverages, containing exotic ingredients and making bold health claims.

This sector of the market has seen a significant amount of development in the last couple of years and a number of new launches are among this month’s additions to the Mintel Global New Product Database.

The Yagua product portfolio of functional and energetic drinks has seen the addition of a new variant with “cosmeceutical” properties. The company’s Beauty Juicer contains a blend of grapefruit, ginger and white cocoa and is enriched with collagen and aloe vera. This all-natural formulation is claimed to make the body younger from within, thus contributing to the revitalisation of skin, hair and nails. It also helps support the growth of new body cells and is a food for ‘the mind and mood’.

As supplemental needs can vary from consumer to consumer, Parmalat Food has unveiled in Canada, a supplement in a unique format. Its Nutraplus Nutritional Supplement is made with 2% Skimmed Milk and is infused with 24 vitamins and minerals. The packaging states that this product is purely delicious, especially when it’s ice cold.

Leading Brands, North America’s only fully integrated premium beverage company, has just announced the launch of its new beverage brand: Soy2O. Pronounced “soy-two-oh,” it is a unique blend of fruit flavoured water and natural soy isoflavones, which are the active ingredient in soy that are linked to many health benefits, including: lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, and preventing bone loss. Soy2O’s slogan is “clearly refreshing without the soy taste,” meaning it conveys the well-known benefits of soy without the unpleasant taste, appearance and odour of soy. Soy2O claims to be crisp and clear in appearance with absolutely no hint that the product contains a healthy 20mg of soy in every 12 oz. bottle. The new drink will launch in four flavours: Blueberry Grape, Peach Mango, Strawberry Guava and Lemon Green Tea.

The market for Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages exploded in Australia and the UK in the mid- to late-1990s, and has since seen rapid growth in just about every market where these types of beverages have appeared.

Typically, the market has been characterised by the launch of one or two pioneering brands, which have then been followed by a host of me-toos, later leading to some rationalisation as smaller, unsupported players drop out. Nevertheless, where they are available FABs represent a significant threat to more traditional types of alcoholic beverage, such as beer, and in fact have provided important opportunities for brewers keen to target young adult drinkers.

Recent days, however, have brought news of two withdrawals of flavoured alcoholic beverages. In the Netherlands, Grolsch has axed its Zinniz brand, a fusion product described as a cross between beer and a soft drink, in three fruit flavours – Crispy Lime, Orange Twist and Tropical Red. Targeted at 18-35 year olds, the product had 5% abv and was launched in May 2002 in an attempt to satisfy a demand for sweeter beer. But the company now feels that this demand no longer exists.

An interesting chilled stout line has been launched in Japan, using roasted malt and lactose from milk. As such, it is called, Latte Stout, adding further impetus to “latte” style drinks. The product has been introduced by Kirin Brewery and contains 4% ABV.

Meanwhile, the trend towards spicy flavours in foods such as peppery-flavoured Choco Crossies from Nestlé, Plamil organic cayenne chocolate tablet and Chilli Red ice cream from Purbeck Dairy Ice Cream, is also being seen in the dairy beverage sector. Leading German dairy group, Müller, has introduced Müllermilch Lava which is a limited edition milk drink made with low fat milk and has a chocolate, strawberry and chilli flavour.

In the UK, UDV is extending its Archers Schnapps brand into the wine market with the introduction of a new sparkling line. Archers Eden combines fruit schnapps and wine and comes in Berry Rosé and Citrus White variants. The 5% abv drink represents the second brand extension for the Archers branded range, after the introduction of the Archers Aqua flavoured alcoholic drink back in 2001.

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