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April 8, 2003

The Global New Product Database

Functionality and health marketing messages are growing ever more prominent in NPD within the drinks industry, from water to wine. Mintel's Global New Product database once more tracks all the latest developments in product launches and innovation in the last month for just-drinks readers.

Functionality and health marketing messages are growing ever more prominent in NPD within the drinks industry, from water to wine. Mintel’s Global New Product database once more tracks all the latest developments in product launches and innovation in the last month for just-drinks readers

This month’s Global New Product Database has picked up on the latest launch in a line of recent “protest drinks” this time in the form of the brand Muslim Up in France. The new soft drink range reportedly provides an alternative to major US brands such as Coca-Cola, while apparently encouraging better understanding of the muslim religion. The range comprises cola, lemon, lime and orange drinks. They are packaged in 1.5 litre bottles and 330ml and 500ml cans with the slogan “refreshment has meaning”. A share of the profits is said to go towards fighting injustices.

New in the water category, with an expected launch for Summer 2003, is the pure, still, Rockhead mineral water from Buxton, packaged in a low profile hipflask that clips onto clothing. It will be available in a number of on-trade bars, and will also be exclusively available in Selfridges stores in London and Manchester from 8 May 2003.

Further developments in the water category include a range of still and sparkling waters endorsed by celebrity chef, Antony Worrall Thompson and developed in conjunction with Llanllyr Water Company in West Wales. The waters will be extracted from Antony Worrall Thompson’s own bore hole on the land. The water has virtually no nitrates and is also suitable for low sodium diets. They will be available in 750ml and 250ml glass bottles, and in 1 litre PET bottles from June.

Health and functionality have been the themes of the past few months and this dition of the GNPD is no exception. Apart from the water brands above there has been a growing number of fortified juice drinks coming to market, promising extra vitamins, minerals, and servings of fruit and vegetables. In the US Hain-Celestial Group, under the Hain Pure Foods label, is now launching two varieties of juice – vegetable and carrot – that are fortified with lutein for eye health. These products come nearly a year after the launch of a similarly fortified product in the form of Prune Juice + from Sunsweet Growers.

More than ever before, we are also seeing yoghurt drinks entering the market, many with a functional or health message attached. New under the Parmalat brand is Iogurto Liquido Plus 8 Vitaminas + Ferro, a sugar-added yoghurt drink said to contain eight different vitamins and iron.

Also in the liquid yoghurt category is the latest Mexican launch from Impulsora Nacional de Lácteos, which is named Yu-Lin, a peach flavoured lactic drink. The company claims: “Its the drink that gives you flavour and energy.” The peach variety joins the existing range, which includes Gum, Mango, and Strawberry. In South Africa, new under the “Count on us” range is Woolworth’s original flavour yoghurt muesli drink. It is virtually fat-free and has been sweetened.

Milk is a static and somewhat saturated market. It has suffered from the shift away from home cooking/baking, from the popularity of “breakfast-on-the-go” items such as cereal bars, and from the continued success and demand of carbonates and juices. However, recent product launches have shown that there is scope for adding value and growth through NPD. New in Italy under the Parmalat brand is Latte Calcium Plus, a partially skimmed, ultra-filtered, calcium and vitamin E enriched UHT milk.

Finally, even the wine industry has jumped onto the health bandwagon. For those UK dieters wishing to indulge in wine, Reh Kendermann has extended its range of low calorie wines with red and rose varieties. Jointly branded with Weight Watchers UK, the product was initially launched last March, the product claims to contain two-thirds of the calories of standard wines.

Finally, choice in the instant coffee market is already abundant, with indulgent flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut and Irish cream. Now, a fruity flavour (something more commonly found in the herbal/fruit tea sector) is being added to the market, with the German launch of a melon-flavoured instant cappuccino coffee. It is a mainstream introduction from Nestlé using its Nescafé coffee brand.

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