May 2006 New Food Rollout

This month's lineup includes Sensations from Lays and Tostitos; a Fusion of flavors from Campbell's V-8 brand; double-cool products from Wrigley; smooth moves from Sara Lee; café chic from Coca-Cola; and an ap-Peel-ing new beverage aimed at young women.

By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

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Sales of wheat, whole-wheat and whole-grain breads, buns, bagels and English muffins have increased over the past year, but the majority of sales are still white bread, white buns, plain bagels and traditional English muffins, according to IRI. Dollar sales of wheat bread, buns, bagels and English muffins increased by 7.8 percent in the past year, while sales of white bread, buns, bagels and English muffins decreased by 1.9 percent. Of the pounds of packaged bread, buns, bagels and English muffins sold, 57 percent were white, 30 percent wheat and 13 percent other flavors or varieties.

Suggested retail price for Sara Lee breakfast breads is $2.99; Sara Lee English muffins $2.49; and Sara Lee Made with Whole Grain Plain Bagels $3.19.

Rollout: Coca-Cola Blak

Blak is always chic

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola North America introduces Coca-Cola Blak, an innovative, carbonated mid-calorie fusion beverage with only 45 calories per 8-oz. bottle. It contains Coca-Cola, natural flavors and coffee essence, a perfect pick-me-up.

"Coca-Cola Blak is a uniquely invigorating beverage that is full-bodied in flavor and as refreshing as you expect Coca-Cola to be," says Katie Bayne, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Brands. "There is no other beverage available today quite like it. Imagine the refreshing taste of an ice-cold Coca-Cola that finishes with a rich essence of coffee. Only Coca-Cola can deliver that distinct combination of flavors."

For its U.S. launch, Coca-Cola Blak has been specially formulated to appeal to American tastes and has a unique logo treatment and packaging as well. Designed to appeal to adult consumers looking for an indulgent and revitalizing alternative to other beverages, Coca-Cola Blak is packaged in a resealable version of Coca-Cola's signature 8-oz. glass contour bottle enveloped in sophisticated and stylish graphics.

Suggested retail price is $1.69.

Women will drink this Peel

Aimed toward a slightly more mature woman than its typical "twentysomething" audience, a woman more open to drinking something more upscale than coolers and malternatives, Anheuser-Busch Inc.'s The Peels Beverage Co., Baldwinsville, N.Y., launches Peels, a new colorful, bright alcoholic beverage (5 percent alcohol by volume), flavored with 100 percent fruit juice.

Peels is 100 percent natural and free of added preservatives and artificial flavors, and is available in four varieties: Blueberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Passion Fruit, Pear Lemon and Cranberry Peach flavors.

Whether women prefer to walk the "straight and narrow" or the "wild side," Peels is completely customizable to suit a range of personalities and taste preferences. It can be served straight up, over ice, mixed with other beverages or even frozen. In addition, garnishing a glass by rimming with fresh strawberry slices or dropping in a few blueberries is another great way to create a unique twist while enhancing the natural fruity flavors of Peels.

"Peels are truly an escape from ordinary beverages," says Stacey Berg, manager of The Peels Beverage Co. "They are not only 100 percent natural but are also fun because they can be tailored to suit any mood. Women across the country will go crazy for them."

Available in clear 10-oz. bottles featuring distinct labels and re-sealable caps, the suggested retail price for a four-pack is $4-6.

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