This month's rundown of the latest novel launches from the food industry looks at two new lemon-inspired variants in the confectionery market, with chocolate and mint producers looking to generate interest with unique flavors. In other news, an olive oil producer is extolling the virtues of harvesting by moonlight, while a dried soup manufacturer is focusing on the health-conscious consumer.
Starting in the UK, Thorntons has launched a new limited edition flavor of Thorntons Chocolate Block to "celebrate 100 years" of the Thorntons brand. The new Cloudy Lemonade variety, claimed to be inspired by the traditional soft drink, is described as white chocolate that contains popping candy and lemon oil. While the ingredients are not especially novel, the product is an interesting example of repositioning a traditional flavor for a new category, as well as providing nostalgia appeal that ties into the company's centenary commemorations.
Meanwhile, Peppersmith is another UK confectionery manufacturer focusing on the possibilities of lemon, with the release of a new Sicilian Lemon & Fine English Peppermint flavor of its sugar-free Peppersmith Fresh Mints. As well as being sugar free, the mints are said to be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. This additive-free positioning and the use of elaborate flavors such as Sicilian Lemon seem to be a way of exploring mints' premium potential, thus opening the door for other more sophisticated flavors in the category.
Moving to olive oil, the Brazilian producer Victor Guedes is introducing its new Gallo Colheita Ao Luar Extra Virgin Olive Oil to its domestic market. The name means "moonlight harvest" and, according to the producer, the olives are picked at night when temperatures are lower, something it claims helps to preserve the oil's aroma and quality. Aside from the unusual new angle on olive harvesting, the concept allows the producer to experiment with bold, modern graphics, something which should help the product stand out on shelves in a category dominated by traditional packaging.
Back in the UK, Premier Foods is looking to reinvent dried soup as a healthier option, through the launch of its High Veg a Soup Instant Soup line. The line touts a high vegetable content, with the Country Vegetable variety said to contain 50% vegetables, and the Roast Vegetable and Mediterranean Tomato & Vegetable varieties promoting a vegetable content of 70%. Dried foods such as instant soup, as well as frozen foods, have often suffered unfavorable comparisons with fresh produce, and it may take inventive positioning such as this to reverse these perceptions.
Meanwhile, in the yogurt category a Czech company is looking to expand on the health properties of yogurt with a new launch containing hemp seed. The new Olma Florian Active Cultura Probiotica Yogurt comes in Plain, Strawberry and Cranberry, Tropical, and Aronia and Blueberry varieties, as well as the novel Apricot and Hemp Seed variant. Hemp seed has found favor in recent years as a health-enhancing ingredient, and this launch is a further example of the ways in which it is branching out.
Moving to the US, and to cakes and pastries, a pie-making kit is a novel idea on offer from Cambridge Foods. Elizabeth Jean's Homemade Pies Made Easy contains fresh pre-sliced apples, two rolled pie crusts, real butter, a spice pack, a nine inch pie tin and a pop-up pie timer, and consumers are advised to simply follow the instructions and bake until the timer pops up at the crucial moment. Kits such as this could appeal not only to time-starved consumers, but also to people that may be skill-challenged but still aspire to cooking from scratch. It also takes the meal assembly concept into the relatively new and untested area that is the dessert market.
Finally, in Japan new limited edition flavors of Calbee Potato Chips have been launched by Calbee. Cheese & Wasabi and Japanese Apricot & Mayonnaise are the new varieties, and represent an unusual twist on traditional Japanese flavors; both are innovative blends as far as the chip category is concerned.