We recently sent a team member to the Food 2.0 conference, a daylong series of panels here in NYC that looked at the growing relationship between food and technology. With all that we learned, "growing" might be too gentle a word - the relationship between food and tech is booming!
More, more, more! According to Mintel’s GNPD (Global New Products Database) a staggering 156,125 new consumer products were introduced in 2005... one every 3.5 minutes. So we thought it was time to play a little catch-up. As ever, adding new benefits (via supplementary ingredients) to old favorites was a popular ploy. Herewith, our pick of some of the more offbeat and colorful of the new fortified products:
Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap
If It Quacks Like A Duck
...it may not be a duck. The fashion industry, for one (having fully embraced faux fur) is now trying to push pleather as the next big must-have (it was featured in recent collections from Gucci, Prada and Stella McCartney). But this trend is bigger than fashion. Lately, it seems even entire animals can go faux.
Something Warm To Curl Up With
I scream, you scream, we all scream for... something new. Here's our roundup of some of the coolest ice cream products for summer 2005.
This cryogenically frozen treat uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream into a unique nugget or "popcorn" shape. Each mini melt is dense and creamy, since (unlike many ice creams in tubs or cartons) no air is whipped into the product. Mini Melts are easier and less messy to consume than cones...you can just chug 'em from the cup or even eat them with your fingers (if you're fast!)
We've been scouting out the stockpiler chef for several years now. They're the folks who cook in bulk on either Saturday or Sunday, then refrigerate or freeze their meals so they have something quick and home-cooked for dinner any night of the week. It's a great idea, but it takes a lot of planning, shopping and organization.
Enter Let's Dish (www.letsdish.net).
While the rest of the world is taking advantage of the summer crop by mixing blueberries into muffin batters and cereal, some food scientists have found an alternate source for them... your meat.
The latest self-help cause among consumers is a bit fishy.
Call it the food mood movement. It's been brewing for years now, and reached its peak about a month ago when the headlines broke on yet another study proving omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) fight depression.
Now psychiatrists are prescribing fatty acids instead of Prozac to their patients.
To some, religion seems out of place in the Pledge of Allegiance. Others are trying to push it onto consumers' plates.
Consider this new crop of "Bible foods":
A company called House of David Foods is marketing a Bible Bar and Bible Granola. Both are said to have "nutritional and spiritual" value and include the seven foods of Deuteronomy - wheat, barley, raisins, honey, figs, olive oil and pomegranates. The products are sold in some 2500 stores nationwide, including religious shops and bookstores.
Can the color of your product make or break it?
It may seem preposterous until you consider purple ketchup and pink margarine.
Or Kool-Aid's Magic Twists, the drink mix that changes colors when prepared. Magic Twist's newest entry -- Switchin' Secret -- goes even further. It's an orange powder that turns into a secret color and flavor.