The consumer might kick off the day with a bowl of green tea cereal. Nissin Cisco's Green Tea Cereal is currently available in Japan and this rice-based cereal contains green tea powder, green tea extract, and gyokuro tea and provides one-third of the requirement of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and niacin.
"Green tea is known for its antioxidant health benefits, and is widely drunk both hot and cold around the world. Although we do see green tea appearing in some other forms, it is not often that we see it in a breakfast cereal," said David Jago, director of Mintel's GNPD.
Toothpastes are undergoing a flavour revolution as Mintel highlights a pack of toothpaste from Margaret Josefine in Japan that offers no fewer than 31 different flavours - a different flavoured toothpaste for every day of the month that include café au lait, Indian curry or pumpkin pudding flavours.
"On a more serious note, this is a bold step in a market dominated by mint flavours and the range of flavour options fits perfectly with the increasing demand for personal, customised solutions. It is also available as a seven-flavour pack for one week, and the little 25g tubes are portable, to encourage people to try all the flavour options in or out of the home," added Jago.
Moving onto mid-morning snacks Mintel highlights Procter & Gamble's Pringle Prints recently launched in the US, which have jokes and trivia questions printed directly on the crisps themselves.
"We foresee this could lead the way to a broad new range of products with information or messages printed on them," commented the Mintel director.
Recent innovation in canned fish market sees the new Tuna Tempters Lunch Box line launched in Australia by John West. The pack contains five cans of tuna with the days of the week printed on the outer sleeve.
Flavours used in the tuna product include oven-dried tomatoes & basil, and lemon & cracked pepper although options are limited with only two flavours in the week pack.
For a weekend alternative, consumers can enjoy banana-flavoured mayonnaise as a 'different kind' of salad accompaniment. New from Daesang Food in South Korea, Chungjungwon mayonnaise for kids is packaged in a bottle with a cap shaped like a duck's head and beak.
Fun colours and flavours will generally appeal to children anywhere in the world but are not often seen as a selling point by their parents, who may have concerns about food additives. This product seems to be an attractive proposition to both groups. From the parental point of view, it is free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, and at the same time fortified with several important ingredients for children's nutrition.
The bottled water market is currently enjoying strong growth in European and US markets. Mintel highlights a new product in the US, Nutri/System, that sells a new generation of water bottle over the Internet. Aquascents Bottles come with three different plastic caps, each of which is impregnated with FDA-approved aromas. Just add water to the bottle, screw on the cap of choice, and depending on which cap you choose, you will think that the water is flavoured with lemon, peach, or berry.
"While we have known about the aroma-impregnated technology, this is the first time we have seen it in action. The caps keep their aroma for up to 30 days, and can also go into the dishwasher. The company has taken this route because, as they say, 'since our sense of smell is so closely linked to our sense of taste, these caps can actually help keep you satisfied'," said Jago.
Beauty foods, or cosmeceuticals, have all had their start in Asia - usually Japan - and have almost always been beverages, snacks, or yoghurts. Now, beauty foods are extended to instant soups with Nissin Food Products' Biken Kenshoku new collagen soup, once again first seen in Japan. The company claims this soup contains 1000mg of collagen per serving, and is aimed at beauty and health-conscious consumers in their 20s to 40s.
Realistically, it is unlikely that this particular product would extend out of Asia into Europe or the Americas. However, it is instructive to see how the cosmeceutical trend continues to grow and develop in Asia, as we are beginning to see beauty beverages in the West, commented Jago.