Revamped old favorites top of Mintel's new product list

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Mintel

Innovative or alternative versions of old favorites, such as peanut
butter, ketchup and ice cream, were found to be the most popular
items in a Mintel product tasting session, the market researcher
revealed last week.

Some 150 new products were sampled by over 1000 food and beverage experts at the IFT food expo in Chicago last month. The tasting session focused on three specific food trends: free-from foods, emerging flavors and foods for improved brain function. According to Mintel, the products that received the highest ratings in the free-from category were reworks of traditional American favorites - without the ingredients that need to be avoided by consumers suffering from food allergies or intolerances. The top three products in this category were: Breyer's lactose-free, all-natural vanilla ice cream; Wal-Mart's Great Value Peanut Free Smooth Soy Butter, which as well as being peanut free, has no trans fats and is free from cholesterol and gluten; and the UK's Soma's Nomato, a tomato-free ketchup made from ingredients including carrots, concentrated apple and beetroot juices. "We are increasingly seeing everyday foods modified appropriately for a wide variety of allergy sufferers,"​ said Lynn Dornblaser, senior consultant for Mintel Custom Solutions. "Free-from foods are often seen as better for you and in the future these products will undoubtedly benefit from general health and wellness trends. We could even see them become part of the cultural fabric, in the same way that vegetarianism has done in Europe." ​In the emerging flavors category, Mintel said "the power of superfoods was clear". ​The most popular products in this section was the new energy drink from Anheuser Busch - 180 Red with goji berry - aimed at on-the-go adults. In second place was Bissinger's Naturas Chocolate Covered Black Sesame Crunch. And in third place was Bolthouse Bom Dia Antioxident Rich Juice in an acai berry and mangotees flavor. "Superfoods are products inherently rich in a variety of healthful ingredients, such as antioxidants, that can improve health or ward off disease. Because of this, we have seen a huge increase in the number and the kinds of products containing superfoods, such as acai and goji berries,"​ said Dornblaser. Unsurprisingly, two of the top three products in the brain foods category contained Omega-3, which is said to help brain development. Yoplait Kids low-fat yogurts with Omega-3 DHA in first place and Tropicana Essentials' Orange juice with Omega-3 in third were launched in the US and Canada respectively. In second place was Lucozade Energy's Sparkling Apple Flavour drink from the UK, which is designed to sharpen mental performance and provide an energy boost with the assistance of glucose. "We have seen rapid growth in products that highlight their ability to improve brain function in the past year or so,"​ said Dornblaser. "While many of the products focus on babies and children, there is clearly an unexploited market for these products targeting older adults and working executives who need short term energy boosts for the brain,"​ she added.

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