Functional confectionery and new beverages feature strongly in the latest new product introductions on Mintel's Global New Products Database. Among them the famous Red Bull brand has introduced Baroko, a canned ready-to-drink coffee drink made with a concentrated blend and added milk, to the Philippines market.
Mintel notes that while the Red Bull energy drink has been a success story in Europe, its origins lie in Asia where it was introduced in Thailand in the late 1970s. It is now available throughout most of Asia where it is made byTC Pharmaceuticals.
The coffee element of the new product maintains the brand's energy-giving positioning, according to the analysts, who say the product is expected to fare well in Asia, where ready-to-drink milky cold coffee is an established market.
Not quite so innovative, but also drawing on popularity in Asia, is the recent introduction of white tea to the UK market. White tea is a rare tea made only from the first spring shoots and with the highest antioxidant content of any tea, according to Mintel, hinting that it could shift to absorb some of the green tea sales.
Speciality tea companies such as Dragonfly Teas and Clipper Tea have both introduced white tea varieties. Furthermore, the variety has also made appearances in toiletry products which could help increase consumer awareness of the variety.
Seeking to tap some of the popularity in healthy or energy-giving beverages, confectionery makers are also looking to tea and coffee. Coffee flavoured sweets are being given a more adult positioning in Belgium through the use of packaging, reports Mintel. Retailer Delhaize le Lion has introduced artisan hard coffee sweets, available in a glass jar together with metal cap, as commonly found in the instant coffee market.
And in Asia, where antioxidant green tea is used to flavour and enhance thetaste of many a food product (from sweet biscuits to ice cream and prepared meals) marshmallows with a jelly-like green tea filling have been introduced by Sam's Garden Foodstuffs for the Philippines market. Green tea seems to be an ever more versatile ingredient.
Other innovative confectionery products this month include Italian firm Boiron's Homeodent Clorofilla sugar-free chewing gum pellets formulated with popular cooking herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.