A new energizing powder sold in capsules and designed to be sucked through a straw rather than consumed as a drink or a shot is among the innovations to feature in this month's roundup of the latest food industry launches. In other news, cake mixes have taken a decorative turn, and a rival to peanut butter has hit stores in the US.
Seeking to make a mark in the lucrative energy products market, Blue Elph Energy Powder Capsules have been launched by Ro Designment. Newly available in Germany, boxes of the supplement contain blister pack capsules and straws, which the consumer uses to pierce the blister pack and suck up the energy powder contained in each capsule. L-phenylalanine, caffeine, guarana, maca root, and passion flower are among the active ingredients in the product, which is claimed to be the world's first energy shot in a powder form. When the powder is sucked up through the straw and onto the tongue, it is said to provide a tingling sensation and an instant hit of energy. The success of diverse energy product formats is an indication that consumers of such products are open to new concepts, particularly those that allow energy to be taken on board quickly. It will be interesting to see whether this counts in Blue Elph's favor.
Moving to Italy, an innovative Easter gifting idea has been launched in the country by Molino Spadoni. The company has introduced a kit that contains not only chocolate eggs but also a set of decorative accessories that can be used to wrap the eggs in an individual way. Each box of the Specialita del Trentino Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Decoration Kit contains two chocolate eggs, a blank greetings card, a base, wrapping paper, a satin ribbon, and string. This launch could be well-timed to coincide with a revival in interest in traditional craft pastimes, as continuing economic uncertainty pushes consumers toward simpler and less expensive forms of recreation. It also ties in to the growing influence of individualism in driving consumer buying behavior.
Meanwhile, another example of the increasing importance of offering aesthetic appeal through packaging can be seen in the UK, where Mummy's Yummies has launched its new Mummy's Yummies Cupcake Mix line in novel decorative glass jars. The range of cupcake mixes available is Lemon Crunch, Tutti Frutti, Britannia Brownie, Ginger Bread, and Easter Egg. The contents of cake mix packs is rarely on display on shelf, but by focusing on the ingredients this line helps to convey a sense of trust, quality, and authenticity.
Moving next to sweet spreads, Trader Joe's has begun distributing Speculoos Cookie Butter to consumers in the US. The cookie butter is "a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits," and according to package text can be served with pancakes, waffles, or ice cream, or else used as a dip for pretzels or celery. Availability of Speculoos spread has previously been largely restricted to the few European markets from which the product originates, but given the size of the peanut butter market in the US, there could potentially be a large, untapped market for alternatives that manufacturers may seek to exploit.
Meanwhile, in China Xianbali Yidancui is a range of cooked and flavored vacuum-packed egg white products. Manufactured by Xianbali Group, the unusual line consists of Five-Spice Flavor, Mala Flavor, and BBQ Flavor varieties and is said to have a shelf life of nine months. Ready-to-use egg products - such as liquid egg in cartons and sprays and ready-to-eat hardboiled eggs - are becoming increasingly prevalent on retail shelves, as manufacturers respond to increased demand for convenience-oriented products.
In Brazil, in the ice cream category Gbarbosa has recently released a new line of private label Gbarbosa Ice Cream, which includes an unusual variety made of native Brazilian fruits alongside other more conventional offerings. In addition to Neapolitan, Chocolate, and Chocolate Flakes flavors, consumers can purchase a variety featuring Hogplum and Soursop (known in Brazil as caja and graviola). According to Product Launch Analytics data, fruit such as hogplum and sousop have been relatively poorly represented within mainstream ice cream launches in Brazil, which is perhaps surprising considering their popularity in the country, particularly as the basis of fresh fruit drinks.
Finally, back in Germany Gartenfrisch Jung has launched Gourmetdressing Winter Salad Dressing, which comes in the unusual flavor of Almond and Poppyseed. Almond and poppyseed are both popular in the country, particularly in baked goods such as bread and pastries, but it will be interesting to see whether that popularity can be replicated in the salad dressings category.