INTRINSIC BENEFITS KEY TO NEW PRODUCTS

CHICAGO - Products with an inherent goodness will play a greater role in the global food and beverage industries, said Lynn Dornblaser, director of custom solutions for research firm Mintel International Group here.Such products boast such natural ingredients as grains, fruits and vegetables, Dornblaser said during a recent presentation on global food and beverage trends.Kellogg's Morningstar frozen

CHICAGO - Products with an inherent goodness will play a greater role in the global food and beverage industries, said Lynn Dornblaser, director of custom solutions for research firm Mintel International Group here.

Such products boast such natural ingredients as grains, fruits and vegetables, Dornblaser said during a recent presentation on global food and beverage trends.

Kellogg's Morningstar frozen veggie bites is an example of what's to come, Dornblaser said.

"This product stands out because it takes the Morningstar brand away from being a [solely] vegetarian product to being a product line that happens to be made from vegetables," she said.

Several new products fit in with this trend. Among them are Hershey's new Extra Dark line with a "Natural Source of Flavanol Antioxidants" seal; and the upcoming Healthy Choice All-Purpose White Flour with Whole Grains. It's made with ultragrain, a milder, sweeter whole wheat that is said to be similar in taste and texture to refined white flour.

Products with added benefits also will figure big in the food industry over the next five to 10 years, Dornblaser said. Examples of this trend include Propel Calcium, said to be the first enhanced water that is a good source of calcium.

She also pointed to growth of products designed to help people look and feel good, new ingredients/health claims like added omega-3 fatty acids, and low-glycemic index foods.

Convenience also is manifesting itself, with foods that lend themselves to extreme portability and one-handed eating. An array of new products at the recent Food Marketing Institute show, where Dornblaser delivered her comments, catered to these trends. Among them: Kellogg's Go-Tarts, a denser version of Pop-Tarts that makes them more portable; and Country Time on-the-go drink mix.

Simple packaging, such as Kraft's new Snack n' Seal resealable package that debuted last year on Nabisco's chewy Chips Ahoy!, will also make its mark on the industry. At the FMI show, Kraft introduced a second brand, Fig Newtons, that uses the Snack n' Seal technology.