Appeal of probiotics and floral flavors

This month's roundup of innovative products from Datamonitor’s Productscan global database includes further proof of the increasing appeal of probiotics. These active cultures are being included in numerous products, including savory snacks, while a probiotic/prebiotic combination has made it into frozen yogurt. Robert's American Gourmet launched Smart Puffs with Probiotics in the U.S. Targeted toward kids and healthy snackers, Smart Puffs are claimed to be the first puffed snack food to contain probiotics. Another new food product that contains probiotics is Julie's Organic Lowfat Frozen Yogurt, from Oregon Ice Cream. Introduced to the U.S. market, this organic frozen yogurt contains prebiotic fiber as well as six active probiotic yogurt cultures, which are said to aid digestion and improve the immune system. This combination of pre- and probiotics appears to be a first for the category. Meanwhile, floral flavors appear to be on trend, highlighting a new direction for food flavorings. Molkerei Alois Muller has introduced a yogurt in Italy that comes in floral flavors. Tagged as containing only 0.1 percent fat, the Muller Frutta e Fiori Yogurt is presented in four flower flavors: Pineapple and Orange Flower, Apple and Elderflower, Pear and Lotus Flower, and Blackberry and Violet. Categories as diverse as bottled water and chocolate candy are showing increased interest in floral flavors, so Muller is on trend with this new flower-flavored yogurt line. The floral theme has also been taken up by Avenue Gourmet, which launched an Elderflower Vinegar in the U.S. as part of its new gourmet line of Nordisk-branded Scandinavia products. Flagged as containing flavors from the Nordic region, the elderflower flavor appears to be unique in the vinegar category. Other unique launches include Panda Super Pepe energy licorice by Oy Panda, Finland. Formulated with taurine, caffeine and guarana, this confection is aimed towards adults. While a handful of energizing licorice products have been launched in the past, this appears to be the first one that includes typical energy drink ingredients like taurine and guarana; and Franco's Cocktail Mixes launched the Jose Cuervo Margarita Salt with Juicer Lid in the U.S. and Canada. This uniquely shaped product is filled with salt and doubles up as a juicer, so that both juice and salt can be used for making margaritas. The sombrero shape of the container presents a fun-loving side to the product that could boost its consumer appeal.   Productscan