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    Ten Packaged Goods Trends to Watch in 2009

    From beauty foods to drinks that relax, Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics looks at what to expect in consumer packaged goods next year.

    NAPLES, N.Y. -- Beauty foods and drinks, detox products and concentrated liquid cleaners that cut costs and help the environment are just a few of the packaged goods products to watch for in 2009, according to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics. Below are 10 trends convenience store operators should watch out for:

    Nuts and Seeds

    Nuts are now hailed as nutritional powerhouses, which is why they are showing up in more new product launches, and will continue to do so according to Datamonitor. Snack bars, in fact, are increasingly going "naked" to showcase nut ingredients. Seeds too are getting their dues on the health front, including flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, the company reported.

    Don’t Energize, Relax

    Move over energy, and get ready for relaxation offerings. New products are going the relaxation route, such as Drank Relaxed Energy Beverage (USA) dubbed the "world’s first extreme relaxation beverage," which induces a natural calming and soothing effect when consumed. Also new are Purple Stuff Pro-Relaxation & Calming Elixir (USA), Nescafe Body Partner Relax Coffee, which is decaffeinated coffee infused with chamomile (Philippines) and Lotte Relax Gum Apple Tea Mint (Japan). The latter is a new functional chewing gum with theanine from green tea that delivers a relaxing effect, the report stated.

    Concentrated Cleaners

    Stratospheric oil prices during 2008 caused companies to re-examine how they do business. One realization firms made is that transporting water is expensive, and it is cheaper to have consumers add their own water when possible, Datamonitor reported. That’s the idea behind Arm & Hammer Essentials (USA), a new line of cleaning products including Glass Cleaner and Multi-Surface Cleaner. The new items are comprised of empty 32 fluid ounce trigger sprayer bottles sold with attached 1.2-ounce bottles of liquid concentrate to be mixed with water. Kilrock Aquo Refillable Trigger Cleaning Spray is a U.K. product that follows the same principle. Look for this trend to really blossom in 2009 as cost-cutting intensifies, according to the report.

    Beauty you can Eat and Drink

    The new way to look beautiful is with an emerging generation of specially formulated foods and drinks. Though the trend is very much in its infancy, it has attracted some attention from heavy-hitters in the food industry like Nestle and Masterfoods, according to the report. Nestle’s new Glowelle Beauty Drink Supplement Powder (USA) fights signs of aging from the inside out with skin-beautifying antioxidants. Masterfoods’ Dove Beautiful Milk Chocolate has skin nourishing ingredients such as vitamins C and E along with biotin, zinc and cocoa flavanols. And in the U.K., Beauty Spring Water touts its Praventin ingredient as rich in Lactoferrin to help reduce acne.

    Steam it Up

    What says both "fresh" and "tasty" to today’s consumer? Steam and steam cooking, according to Datamonitor. Buoyed by a new generation of microwave cook-in-bags that vent excess steam during the cooking process, the trend is picking up momentum with launches like Dole Easy Steamer Potatoes (USA), Birds Eye Steamfresh Specially Seasoned Rice (USA) and Bonduelle Vapeur Vegetables (France), according to the report.

    Detox Me

    New products hitting the market promise to "detoxify" in one way or another. Some food-based detox products use liver-friendly ingredients like dandelion root as active ingredients, but regardless of the science behind the trend, consumers are paying attention to celebrities making a name for detox diets, including Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey. Recent "detox" launches include Function Urban Detox Goji Berry Drink (USA), V Water Detox Vitamin Water (U.K.) and Biore Detoxify Daily Scrub (USA), the report stated.

    Stevia Sweetener

    It’s been called the "holy grail" of sweeteners—stevia is a natural sweetener from the South American stevia plant and has the potential to turn the sweetener world upside down. With zero calories, it has been used for years in South America and Japan, but has been banned in processed foods and beverages in the USA and much of Europe. However, this could change in 2009 as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is preparing to decide if stevia variant Rebaudioside A may be safely used in processed products, according to Datamonitor. If approval is granted, the new product floodgates could open quickly as both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are both ready to roll with new stevia-sweetened drinks, according to the report.

    It’s an "Eco" Friendly World

    Mentions of the word "eco" for new food and non-food packaged goods from around the world have nearly doubled in the last two years, according to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics. Nature Babycare Eco Sensitive Fragrance Free Awarded Wipes (Finland), Plush Eco Fabric Softener (Brazil) and Nvey Eco Organic Erase Corrective Makeup (Australia) are some products that are definitely "on trend," the report stated.

    Flower Power

    Floral flavors such as lavender, hibiscus and jasmine have long enjoyed success in non-foods, but are newer to the foods and drinks markets. Examples include OOBA Sparkling Refreshing Hibiscus Beverage (USA), which is said to have a high level of antioxidants, Simply Hibi Health Drink (UK) and Lavender-Jalapeno flavored Theo Caramel Collection Chocolates (USA). Subtle, non-fattening and aromatic, floral flavors look to surprise in 2009, according to Datamonitor.

    Brain Power

    Touting "good for your brain" ingredients including DHA omega-3s are recent entries such as Kellogg’s LiveBright Brain Health Bar (USA), IQ Plus Brain Drink (Austria and Germany) and Unilever’s Rama Idea! Margarine (Europe). Mentions of the word "brain" in new food and beverage products worldwide have nearly tripled in the 2007-2008 period vs. the 2005-2006 period, according to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics.

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