Food & Beverage Perspectives
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F&B Product Launches, News

<p>This week is full of new product and ingredient launches&#0151;from chocolate leather and chocolate no-nut butter to almond-cashew milk and cranberry powders. Several companies also have news regarding their partnerships, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and more.</p>

This week is full of new product and ingredient launches—from chocolate leather and chocolate no-nut butter to almond-cashew milk and cranberry powders. Several companies also have news regarding their partnerships, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and more.

New Products & Ingredients

Almond Breeze introduced Almondmilk Cashewmilk Blend, a non-dairy alternative that combines the goodness of almonds with the creaminess of cashews. It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin E. It’s available in four varieties: Unsweetened Vanilla, Unsweetened Original, Vanilla and Original.

Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals introduced organic cranberry juice powders to both the beverage and dietary supplement markets. 

“Unlike other natural cranberry juice powders that are spray-dried, Fruit d'Or has developed water-soluble organic cranberry powders from cranberry juice concentrate using a special drying process called infrared," Stephen Lukawski, director of global sales and business development, Fruit d'Or Nutraceuticals, explained.

This drying process involves low temperatures that limit the degradation of the integrity of the cranberry juice concentrate and has many advantages over spray-, freeze- and drum-drying technology. Lukawski said: “Most cranberry juice powders are hydroscopic as they are sticky and clump together making it difficult to work with. Our organic cranberry juice powders have a better taste profile, richer color, and more attractive flowability and dispersion that makes it much easier for supplement and beverage manufacturers to use. Even better, our organic cranberry juice powders deliver a guaranteed potency of natural proanthocyanidin content."

As with all other cranberry ingredients that Fruit d'Or produces, the new cranberry juice powder is tested for DNA and adulteration as the basis for ensuring safety and efficacy for consumers. 

Sneaky Chef launched Sneaky Chef Chocolate No-Nut Butter. Bringing together the classic flavors of chocolate and peanut butter in a uniquely Sneaky way, the new Chocolate No-Nut Butter offers all the indulgent flavor, but without a trace of nuts. It’s made from yellow peas, a variety of garden peas that are sweet, naturally nutty tasting and packed with plant-based nutrients.  No-Nut Butter is all-natural, soy- and gluten-free, and contains no high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors or flavors.

“Our new Sneaky Chef Chocolate No-Nut Butter has all the rich-fudgy taste of other chocolate spreads, but with up to 50-percent less sugar", said Missy Chase Lapine, President of Sneaky Chef.  “It tastes like old fashioned brownie batter licked straight off the mixer."

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) introduced SUPERB™, a functional ingredient containing protein and fiber. Made from soybeans, SUPERB provides food manufacturers with an effective way to enhance water-binding, improve the texture of meat products and meat substitutes, and boost protein and fiber content.

 In addition, ADM is evaluating options for offering pea-protein isolates and concentrates in response to growing demand for versatile, functional proteins that can be easily incorporated into a wide range of products, from energy bars to beverages.

Chocolate Leather, an innovative twist on the traditional dried fruit leather bar, is 45- to 50-percent lower in sugar then traditional fruit-leather bars and lower in fat and calories than most chocolates.   It’s made with non-GMO ingredients, and is sans soy and dairy. The new chocolate leather contains pure chocolate, cocoa nibs and brown rice crisps. The 0.5-oz. serving size chocolate leather snack has just 50 calories and 1.5 g of fat.

According to Mordy Dicker of Kayco, “We’ve developed a proprietary manufacturing method to create our new chocolate leather, which is a great snack for both kids and adults. We are bringing to market a new offering in conscientious snacking, one that staves off hunger, tastes delicious and satisfies a craving. Chocolate leather is a little like fruit leather: flat, chewy and flavorful. We are also proud to use more than 30 percent fair-trade certified ingredients."

Ready Pac Foods Inc. launched a new brand—elevAte ™, which will consist of single-serve salads that are non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, ready-to-eat superfood salad blends. The line features eight superfood salad recipes: Blu-Rugula, Go-Go-Gogi, Kale Caesar, Organic Power Grains, Organic Nutty Cranberry, Organic Spinach Pow, Organic Southwest and Organic Sunny Caesar.

The elevAte packaging also takes an innovative approach in the fresh-foods category. Its full-sleeve packaging, a first for any Ready Pac Foods product, tells a unique story for each flavor combination – prompting and encouraging consumers to remove the sleeve to see what's inside. The superfood salad ingredients are clearly identified on the sleeve and visible in the package.

Gratify Foods introduced new 2-oz. snack packs to its gluten-free portfolio, which will be available in convenience stores nationwide in early 2016. The convenient single-serve bags are available in three flavors: Sea Salt Pretzel Twists, Everything Pretzel Thins and Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crackers.

“Snacking is no longer an impulsive behavior or a guilty pleasure," said Kobi Afek, vice president of sales and marketing, Osem USA. “Snacking is how Americans eat today, and as more consumers look to incorporate gluten free foods into their diets, they want choices that fit their lifestyle."

Gratify also has a new look, with denim-inspired packaging hitting supermarket helves now.

Knouse Foods, a grower-owned fruit cooperative, launched a new line of Musselman’s Smoothie-Mix for operators seeking an easy way to offer more on-trend, better-for-you beverages. Strawberry Banana, Blueberry and Tropical flavors are available in packs of four 4-oz. cups, all shelf-stable with no preservatives.

Musselman’s Smoothie-Mix blends best with apple juice or yogurt, and it’s a heavy source of fruit, vitamins and calcium. For added superfood benefits, each flavor also includes kale and carrots.

News

KonaRed Corp., manufacturers of beverages and nutritional supplements from the Hawaiian CoffeeBerry® coffee fruit from Kona, Hawaii, announced a series of strategic corporate initiatives to propel the KonaRed® brand, to increase its visibility and build the business for long-term growth.

As a part of its launch of coffee bean sales, KonaRed recently joined the Kona Coffee Council, an organization of Hawaii farmers who grow, process and sell premium coffee. The Kona Coffee Council is a volunteer, non-profit community-based organization of coffee farmers, processors and others involved in the coffee industry. KonaRed’s participation on the Kona Coffee Council is expected to increase the company’s visibility in coffee markets and contribute to the growth of its new coffee sales channel.

Advertising initiatives over the summer and early fall include the Kauai Marathon, the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run and the Da Hui Paddleboard Race, North Shore Swim Series (four events), Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, Dukes Oceanfest, Arthritis Foundation 5k Walk, March of Dime 5K and the Hawaii Firefighter and Lifeguard Conference. These have brought exposure to new customers and enhanced KonaRed's lifestyle branding.

Additionally, KonaRe® will now serve as the official wellness beverage sponsor for Water for the World Run events. These events bring people together in a fun, healthy way for the common mission of giving the gift of clean water to those without. Water for the World Run raises global awareness on the limited access of clean water throughout the world and ultimately inspires others to help in the charge of making clean water accessible worldwide.

Kerry Group plc, the global taste and nutrition company, acquired Wellmune® from Biothera Inc., a natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient that is clinically proven to help strengthen the immune system.

“At Kerry, cutting-edge science and technology informs everything we help shape and create. The addition of Wellmune to our portfolio offers Kerry tremendous growth opportunities globally," said Michael O’Neill, nutrition president, Kerry. “This natural immunity enhancer strengthens our nutrition and general wellness capabilities and complements our taste solutions for applications in food, beverages, and supplements."

Fabri-Kal Corp. held its ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening for its new manufacturing facility in Burley, Idaho, on Oct. 15, 2015; the facility broke ground March 30, 2015. The multiyear $50 million project is beginning operations in a new 100,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility. The new facility expands Fabri-Kal’s footprint in plastics thermoforming and will enable initiatives to add to the existing Greenware® product line using a renewable and compostable material made from plant-based fiber.   

The new manufacturing facility will employ approximately 50 people, with plans to add an additional 100 people in the next five years. The thermoforming operation will be ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001 and FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification). Above all, the new facility will further Fabri-Kal’s mission to be a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, with half of operations focused on expanding the brand’s footprint in plastics thermoforming, and the other half of operations focusing on new, innovative product solutions utilizing the new fiber material.

SPINS, an information and service provider for the natural and specialty products industry, and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements, announced an expanded long-term partnership to continue to collaboratively support the success of the natural products industry.

SPINS will support Natural Grocers’ initiatives to expand into new communities and empower more consumers to make well-informed health and nutrition choices. Natural Grocers, based in Lakewood, Colorado, currently operates 103 stores in 18 states, providing the communities it serves with fresh produce that is exclusively USDA Certified Organic, as well as other healthy and affordable organic and natural products.

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