In the aisles

A winter’s brew
The Michelob Brewing Company’s latest seasonal offering, Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale, is available to warm consumers’ cockles this winter. The brew is aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. The beer provides a robust flavor with hints of vanilla, which company officials say make it a perfect complement to dishes such as clam or corn chowder, pork roast with apple sauce, triple-cream brie or camembert cheeses and crème brulee. Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale is available in six-packs through the end of January.     
For more information, visit www.michelob.com.


Easter sweets

Hershey’s has sweets for consumers’ Easter baskets with new selections of confections. On the chocolate side the offerings include a 6-ounce Reese’s Peanut Butter filled Egg, a Hershey’s Bliss milk chocolate Hollow Bunny and Bliss milk chocolate and milk chocolate with meltaway center eggs. Also available is a Twizzlers Assortment Egg filled with Rainbow Twists, Strawberry Mini-Bars, Twizzlers Twizted Strawberry Blast Pull-N-Peel and Twizzlers Twerps Tangy filled Chews.

Beyond the Easter basket, the Spring Treats Mega Mix offering includes a 45-piece assortment of fruit flavors featuring Twizzlers Strawberry Mini-Bars, Cherry Pull-N-Peel, Rain­bow Twists and Jolly Rancher jelly beans. Other new seasonal treats include the Kisses Brand milk chocolate pink and blue gift bags featuring spring-colored foils and “Happy Easter” plumes, a hollow milk chocolate Egg filled with candy coated milk chocolate Eggs and a Cadbury hollow milk chocolate Egg filled with Cadbury candy-coated mini-eggs.

For more information, visit www.hersheys.com.


Your cup of tea
A cup of hot tea has never been easier thanks to Day Young Enterprise Co., Ltd. of Dacun Township, Changhua County, Taiwan, which is marketing Happy Cup-Tea-Now, a line of novel 9-ounce paper cups with tea bags placed inside. Consumers simply add hot water to the cups, swirl for 10 seconds and enjoy. The tea bags are attached to the bottom of the cups.

Twenty varieties of tea are available in three lines: Regular tea; herbal and fruit teas; and Chinese style with medicinal benefits. Available varieties include: Black, green, oolong, lemon green, chamomile green, green tea with jasmine, toast-rice tea, rose & tree-peony, peach beauty, roselle, blueberry, strawberry, sweet orange, rose-lycium, lyceum-chamomile, ginseng-radix astragali, ketsume, szu-wu ginger and ginseng tea.

The cups are merchandised in 10-packs with plastic lids that retail for around $2.50. The cups can also be produced for private label, as well as for foodservice.

For more information, visit www.cup-tea-now.com.tw.


Water for kids

Evian Natural Spring Water debuts Evian Les Petits, a six-pack of premium natural spring water packaged for children. “Water is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for children,” says Jeff Caswell, vice president of marketing for Evian North America. “Evian Les Petits is a great solution for parents, especially for those with an on-the-go lifestyle, who always want to make sure their children are hydrated and replenished.”

Evian Les Petits are miniature bottles (330 ml) designed to fit into lunch boxes and to be easily held by kids. Each bottle utilizes Evian’s signature pink and blue colors with additional kid-friendly flair. The new artwork features graphics of trendy urban mothers with their children as well as images of playful and colorful sea creatures.

Evian Les Petits are available nationwide and have a suggested retail price of $5.49.

For more information, visit www.evian.com.


Chocolate shop-quality cocoa

Lehi Roller Mills, the Lehi, Utah-based maker of flour and gourmet brownie, pancake, muffin and cookie mixes, is producing a premium hot cocoa mix under license from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, the Durango, Colo., chocolate manufacturer and franchiser of namesake chocolate shops.

Available in Milk Chocolate and Chocolate Mint flavors, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Hot Cocoa Mix is packaged in boxes of eight 1.25-ounce single-serve packets, with a suggested retail of $4.99.

Founded in 1906, Lehi Roller Mills was the original supplier to Kentucky Fried Chicken of its secret breading, and still supplies the western U.S. The company’s mill was also the setting for the movie Footloose. 
For more information, visit www.lehirollermill.com.  


Flowery cocktails

Flowers have always livened up a room. Now thanks to The Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. they can liven up champagne, cocktails, cakes and other desserts. The Sydney, Australia-based company is marketing Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.

Under close supervision, contracted growers in tropical northern Australia hand pick the flowers, which are then deseeded, cleaned and packed into jars with simple sugar syrup entirely by hand at the company’s factory in the tiny village of Kurrajong. Because the flowers grow in several different shapes, they are placed in predetermined positions in the jar according to shape to ensure that none are squashed.

The flowers were discovered in 1998 by Lee Etherington and a group of friends at a dinner party when they dunked a crimson wildflower into a champagne flute and watched as the petals unfurled. Hibiscus has a flavor reminiscent of strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb. The processed flowers are heat stable, retaining firmness, shape and color when used with any cocktail or culinary method.

An 8.8-ounce jar of 11 flowers retails from $9.99 to $11.99. A foodservice 2.5-pound “party pack” jar of 50 flowers is also available. For more information, visit www.wildhibiscus.com or contact Chris Muir at 1-800-499-8490 or chris@wildhibiscus.com.


Breakfast with Jimmy
Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee has launched Jimmy Dean Breakfast EntréeS. Portioned to include one savory breakfast item and two accompanying side dishes, the line allows consumers to have a hot, hearty microwaveable breakfast in minutes.

The line includes sandwiches available in sausage and cheese on a croissant or ham and cheese on a croissant, as well as two egg dishes: scrambled eggs and cheese with either sausage or bacon. Each is accompanied with a side of warm diced apples and perfectly seasoned hash browns.

Individually wrapped and microwave ready within three minutes, each Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrée is arranged in a sectioned tray to keep the diverse flavors from mixing together for optimal enjoyment.

Merchandised in the frozen food section, the entrees have a suggested retail price of $2.99.

“With the introduction of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrée, we are excited to bring a delicious, balanced three-minute meal to the breakfast table while eliminating the hassle of preparation and the messy cleanup,” says Andy Callahan, vice president of breakfast and snacking for Sara Lee North American Retail.

Jimmy Dean has also added two additional items to its D-lights line of better-for-you products—D-lights Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowls and D-lights Turkey Sausage Croissant Sandwiches. D-lights products have one-third fewer calories and half the fat of competing products.
For more information, visit www.jimmydean.com


Cool lunch idea

Go Appetít Foods, a Houston-based company co-founded by two entrepreneurial single moms, has introduced Cool Soup, shelf-stable single-serve soups packed in a plastic hourglass bottle that are designed to drink chilled as a low-calorie meal or snack replacement.

Go Appetít Cool Soup is available in two varieties. Rich Vegetable Gazpacho contains cucumber, tomato paste, green bell pepper, onion, olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and garlic. Containing only 100 calories per 8-ounce serving, it is vegan, and gluten-, dairy-, soy-, peanut- and tree nut-free. Creamy Mango Spice is a refreshing, vitamin-packed soup containing mango, peaches, coconut cream, sweet potato, apple juice concentrate, mint and a hint of chili pepper. With 110 calories, it is sweet but not overly so, with a smooth texture that satisfies a sweet craving but does not ruin the daily calorie intake budget.

Both varieties are packed in 8-ounce bottles that retail for $2.99.

For more information, visit www.goappetit.com.


Creamier ice cream

les mars, iowa-based Wells’ Dairy enhanced the taste and texture of Weight Watch­ers ice cream sandwiches and cones.

To improve the overall taste of the Weight Watchers ice cream sandwiches, Wells’ Dairy developed a creamier vanilla ice cream and increased the chocolate taste in the wafer. Visual appeal was also enhanced by creating a swirl in the ice cream. Available in Round Vanilla and Round Chocolate, the ice cream sandwiches continue to be individually wrapped to offer more freshness.

The Weight Watchers ice cream cones, which include the GIANT Vanilla and GIANT Chocolate Fudge Sundae Cones, now have a foil wrap for increased freshness and to keep the topping intact.

The Weight Watchers GIANT Sundae Cones have a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a 4-pack.  The Weight Watchers Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a 6-pack.

For more information, visit www.weightwatchers.com/icecream.

91 years young
Cheerwine, the light and sparking cherry soft drink manufactured by the Salisbury, N.C.-based Carolina Beverage Corp., has a new look and feel to its 91 year-old brand. In addition to new branding and packaging, an extensive marketing campaign will support the aggressive distribution plan. The campaign began with launches in Atlanta and Modesto, Calif. By the end of the year the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast markets will be entered. Cheerwine’s new identity will be featured on all packaging, point-of-sale material, truck backs and bought media.

“Consumers who know and love Cheerwine have always connected the brand to simple and relaxing times, hanging out and eating Southern barbeque,” says Cliff Ritchie, president and CEO of Cheerwine. “The new branding communicates this feeling of relaxation and is designed to appeal to new customers without alienating those who have grown up to love the soft drink.”

The new branding efforts include print, outdoor and radio advertising as well as public relations and grassroots marketing campaigns, with a secondary motive of laying the groundwork with the intent of launching more extensive elements in 2009.  

For more information, visit www.cheerwine.com.

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