Thursday, February 14, 2013

Inclusions in Action—10 Innovative Uses of Inclusions in New Dairy Foods

Photo Source: SunRidge Farms

Wednesday’s Daily Dose of Dairy featured a unique cheddar cheese that contained an abundance of large flakes of rich dark chocolate. If you missed it, you can read about it HERE.

This product sparked some interesting dialogue with a number of subscribers, all of them asking how it is possible to get chocolate flakes in cheddar cheese. Honestly, I don’t know the answer, but it does confirm that anything is possible. Of course, it’s one thing to write or talk about innovative inclusion ideas. It’s another to actually see inclusions in action, such as the cheddar with chocolate.

Here are nine other new dairy foods that feature innovative inclusions.

Private-label retailer Trader Joe’s now offers an ice cream novelty that thinks it’s cheesecake. The product combines blueberry variegate with cheesecake-flavored ice cream. What looks like a wedge of pie comes on a stick, with the sides resembling a graham cracker crust. 

The company is on a role. (And by the way, that cheddar chocolate is from Aldi, Trader Joe’s parent company.) Trader Joe’s also shows us a new way to consume the superfood kale. With Greek yogurt as a base, the company gives some zing to traditional spinach dip by including kale. The product is described as containing 50% less fat and calories than traditional spinach dip, which is usually made with a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise. 

Speaking of Greek yogurt, Chobani continues to shake up the segment with a number of new products that make use of innovative inclusion combinations. “Our goal at Chobani is to continue building upon the limitless possibilities of Greek yogurt, and create innovative products specifically designed for usage occasions,” says John Heath, vice president of new ventures and innovation. “Using consumer insights, we look across the pleasure spectrum--flavors, textures, taste combinations and packaging formats--to bring new excitement and enjoyment to our deliciously simple, authentic yogurt.”

New Chobani Bite is an indulgent yet guilt free snack. These convenient, 3.5-ounce cups of blended Greek nonfat and low-fat yogurt come in four crave-worthy flavors: Fig with Orange Zest, Caramel with Pineapple, Coffee with Dark Chocolate Chips and Raspberry with Dark Chocolate Chips.

There’s also new Chobani Flip, where the consumer just flips the lid to add bold, delicious inclusions to Greek yogurt. These easy-to-grab, 5.3-ounce cups are available in six flavor pairings: Vanilla Golden Crunch (vanilla nonfat yogurt with cornflakes, honey oats and pecans), Key Lime Crumble (key lime low-fat yogurt with graham crumble and white chocolate), Strawberry Sunrise (strawberry nonfat yogurt with honey oats), Honey Beenana (honey low-fat yogurt with banana), Almond Coco Loco (coconut low-fat yogurt with dark chocolate and sliced toasted almonds) and Raspberry Choco Fix (vanilla chocolate chip low-fat yogurt with raspberries). For more information, visit HERE.

16 Handles is an innovative frozen yogurt and dessert brand that encourages guests to “Flaunt Their Flavor.” The 30-unit chain with stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida, recently introduced Mocha Java Chip. This proprietary new addition pairs a delicious dark chocolate taste with fresh, micro-ground coffee beans for an authentically refreshing pick me up. The flavor is available as a frozen yogurt treat and is also being featured in 16 Handles’ new Hot Chocolate Affogato, a frozen hot chocolate beverage that pairs premium Fro-Yo with Ghirardelli hot chocolate. For more information, visit HERE.

Sartori Cheese launched Chai BellaVitano at the Winter Fancy Food Show. It is the newest Sartori Reserve cheese and has been in development for quite some time. Sartori’s Artisan Master Cheesemaker, Mike Matucheski, explains, “It takes a lot of experimenting with different flavors and different combinations to find the perfect blend to marry with our BellaVitano Gold.  We found that the savory notes of the chai tea rub makes for an exotic pairing with the sweet, creamy and fruity flavors of BellaVitano.” 

“Chai is now becoming a regular menu item at coffee shops throughout the U.S. and is showing up in lattes, smoothies and even milkshakes,” says Chad Vincent, chief marketing officer. “The spices in chai, such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg tend to give people a sense of well-being and also have an abundance of health benefits. We wanted to deliver a new way of thinking when it comes to chai, and that was by hand rubbing our BellaVitano cheese with chai ingredients.”
For more information, visit HERE.

From AbroadLong Clawson Dairy, a large U.K. cheese producer, has spiced up its cheddar offerings with three new flavors: Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce. The cheeses also come in a variety of packages—snacking portions, slices, deli blocks, and wedges--to meet different use occasions. For more information, visit HERE.

New Zealand’s Mammoth Supply Co., a business of Fonterra Brands, recently introduced Mammoth brand yogurts. The products are designed with a man’s appetite in mind. It’s not so much the characterizing fruits that make these yogurts unique, it’s the 5% to 6.5% (varies by flavor) inclusion of a seeds and grains blend comprised of: buckwheat, chia seeds, linseed, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Some varieties also contain 0.5% pearl barley. Yogurt flavors are: Apple & Blueberry, Apple Pie with Cinnamon, Apricot & Manuka Honey, Berry Black Forest and Lemon & Passionfruit.
For more information, visit HERE.

Dutch cheese specialist Vandersterre Groep International B.V., now makes Landana Wasabi. This product combines mild Landana cheese with spicy wasabi and lightly sweet fine bits of seaweed.
For more information, visit HERE.

Get InnovativeLooking for some creative ideas for your next big ice cream hit? Plan to attend IDFA’s popular Ice Cream Technology Conference, March 12 to 13 in St. Petersburg, Fla. 
For more information, visit HERE.

I will actually kick off the two-day meeting with my presentation entitled: The Next Scoop: An Analysis of Consumer and Marketplace Trends for Tomorrow’s Big Hit. (You can get a sneak peak at some of the ice cream trends I will address by reading my Nov. 16, 2012 blog HERE.)

IDFA has added several new sessions to this year’s meeting, including the two-part “Chocolate Academy” and the “Mystery Basket” challenge. In the two-part Chocolate Academy, attendees will learn the fundamentals of chocolate and chocolate compounds with a focus on formulation and applications that inspire best practices and troubleshooting for ice cream and novelties. These sessions include a tasting of top food trends as they come to life in ice cream.

The Ice Cream Flavor Mystery Basket session will borrow a concept from the popular Food Network cooking show “Chopped.” Attendees will work in teams using the mystery baskets’ secret ingredients that represent the latest culinary trends identified by three flavor supplier creators.

“The ice cream technologists who attend this conference are some of the most creative, innovative people in the food industry, so we work hard to keep the conference program fresh and cutting edge,” says Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs and host of the Ice Cream Technology Conference.

Hope to see you there!

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