Competition in the UK biscuit market is hotting up for traditional biscuit players such as McVitie's and Fox's Biscuits. And, it is not just Mars, with its recent Bisc & range that is attempting to make in-roads into the market, writes market analyst Mintel in its recent round up of new products on the market. Another leading confectionery player, Nestlé is doing the same with its Milkybar white chocolate brand.
According to Mintel, Nestle has already tentatively stepped into this segment with the launch of biscuit and chocolate snacks such as Milkybar Munchies, but its recent launch is strictly a biscuit. The new product comprises round sandwich biscuits with a Milkybar flavoured filling, packaged in a roll-pack.
Moving on to 'freshening strips' Mintel writes that Wrigley seems to have opened up the market for non-gum, breath freshening dissolvable strips. Its Wrigley's Eclipse Flash/Extra Thin Ice strips in the UK, Germany and the US has spurred other similar lines such as Fresh Flash from Küchle in Germany (sugar-free, peppermint edible paper disks), and more recently Magic Mint strips in China from Dreamax Global Development. The Magic Mint line even comes in similar packaging to Wrigley's strips (portable and discreet plastic case). The Listerine mouthwash brand has been active in this market since 2001 (with PocketPak in the US), but it has taken the Wrigley line to expand the concept further. Listerine oral care strips have also recently entered new markets such as the UK and Australia.
Weird and wonderful coffee combinations continue to be launched onto the market with the already abundant instant coffee market boasting new fruity flavours, more commonly found in the herbal/fruit tea sector. Germany saw the launch of a melon flavoured instant cappuccino coffee - a mainstream introduction from Nestlé using its Nescafé coffee brand.
Novelty confectionery Novelty confectionery for children often features fun flavours and packs. Two recent UK launches, that warrant a mention here have even been inspired by packaging often found in haircare or deodorant markets.
Crazy Candy Foam from Felföldi Potpourri is a foaming, green apple flavour candy packaged in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser to release the foam (similar to that for foam hair styling mousse). While Brain Licker from Key Enterprises is a liquid sour candy packaged in a plastic bottle which resembles a roll-on deodorant pack. The roller ball does not seem to move, instead, the liquid candy is released around the edges of the ball once the bottle is squeezed.
Nutri-Grain goes mini In the UK, Kellogg has extended its successful Nutri-Grain bar brand with a new mini version, geared more towards children. The original Nutri-Grain bar had an adult positioning, further emphasised by recent line extensions including ginger and cappuccino flavoured varieties.
The new mini bars are described as "bite-size golden baked crusts" with a fruit filling, and are available in three varieties: apple, strawberry and blueberry. They come in 45g bags, sold in a multi-pack of six. Like Kellogg's other cereal bars these are fortified with calcium, and are said to be ideal in a child's lunchbox, for sharing or nibbling straight from the pack. Nutri-Grain Minis first appeared in North America during 2002.
Corn on the cob for making healthy popcorn A healthy and natural positioning is being given to popcorn with the South African introduction of Pop'n Corn from Sandstone. The product is simply a 100 per cent natural, organic and fat-free dry corn on the cob. It just needs to be placed in an enclosed paper bag and microwaved for a few minutes. Sweet & savoury peanut butter flavour Consumers now have a variety of choices beyond creamy and chunky forms of peanut butter. Now launching to natural product stores in the US is a brand called Peanut Better that encompasses two lines of peanut butter: sweet and savoury. Under the sweet side are peanut butter varieties flavoured as Deep Chocolate, Peanut Praline, Vanilla Cranberry, and Cinnamon Currant. The savoury line includes Spicy Southwestern, Rosemary Garlic, Thai Ginger & Red Pepper, and Onion Parsley. The company recommends the products for use in cooking, with hors d'oeuvres, onfruits and vegetables, on pasta, or as a topper to ice cream.