Efforts to enliven the taste and dietary value of bread are the headline feature of this month's rundown of the latest novel product launches from the food industry, with a number of manufacturers unveiling unusual fruit-based loaves. Meanwhile, with the Easter season approaching, producers are turning to dynamic packs in an attempt to capture some of the lucrative gifting market.
Starting in Brazil, Acai and Banana has been introduced as a flavor pairing within the Nutrella Vitta Sliced Bread range from Bimbo. The new launch forms part of a line of four varieties from the manufacturer that has been developed since 2009, and which is described as being wholegrain and high in fiber while free of artificial preservatives and trans fats. The addition of acai and banana should give this launch a distinctive flavor profile, in addition to its purported nutritional advantages.
Meanwhile in Russia, aloe vera is the unusual ingredient of choice for a new bread launch in the country. The addition of aloe in Khlebnyi Dom Angliyskiy Zavtrak Sliced Bread with Aloe Vera is said to enhance the product's fiber content, with 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fiber being contained in every 100g of the bread, which is also described as rich in vitamins and minerals. Aloe has long been used as an ingredient for health drinks, but its emergence in the bakery category is something of a first.
Another company adding a fruity touch to its bread products is the Estonian manufacturer AS Leibur. Leibur Leiburi Christmas Bread is a whole loaf that comes with lingonberries, apples, and raisins. As with the acai bread in Brazil, this product shows the extent to which berries are being seen as a "must-have" ingredient across a wide range of product categories.
Moving to cooking sauces, the fruit theme is continued by a new range from producer Haus Rabenhorst, available on the German market. Rabenhorst Juice for Cooking is a product which can be used both as a cooking sauce and as a drink, with the drink being designed to accompany the meal in which the ingredient has also been used as the cooking sauce. Varieties for Spicy Dishes, Meat Dishes, and Asian Dishes are all available, with the latter described as an exotic blend of mango and pineapple. Through its marketing, the product is suggesting that it is capable of emulating wine, both as a sophisticated drinking option and an indispensable culinary ingredient, when used in two ways for one meal.
Meanwhile, in the confectionery gifting sector, creative developments have emerged that make use of sound through packaging for added value. Firstly, in Germany, the Aachener Printen- und Schokoladenfabrik Henry Lambertz has launched the Lambertz Gingerbread Filled Carousel Shaped Music Box. The pack is capable of playing music and the metal tin also rotates as music is played for added entertainment value.
Over in the Netherlands, a "talking" gift card is also breaking new ground by being the first to combine the "talking" element with a gift of chocolate. The launch from Chocolagendijk comes in a slim board box and is available in varieties called Thank You, Big Kisses, and Happy Birthday that generate various audio effects when the pack is opened, from a recorded message to the sound of applause. It includes 135g of chocolate. Both this and the Lambertz launch demonstrate the potential of interactive packaging to enable products to engage with consumers in a multi-sensory way, beyond the limitations of conventional packaging types.
Finally, consumers in the US can now purchase CocoXan Chocolates with Benefits. The line comprises Coco Brain, said to improve brain function, Coco Well to enhance immunity and promote good health, Coco Heart for cardiac health, Coco PMS which is claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and Coco Preggers, which claims to help reduce the risk of birth defects. The relatively recent phenomenon of positioning chocolate as a functional product that can boost health and wellbeing is one that runs against most conventional nutritional guidance, where high levels of fat and sugar are generally considered to be negative for overall health levels.