Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Flavors Abound

With Christmas only days away, food and beverage consumer packaged goods companies are getting into the holiday spirit. With special seasonal flavors, Santa-clad packaging, and brightly colored red and green foods, one only has to look at the products lining store shelves to know that the Christmas season is upon us. Here are some of the new items you can expect to see (if you haven't already) at a supermarket near you.

Several weeks ago, Dunkin' Donuts unveiled a line of seasonal coffee flavors. If you're excited about waking up to a bold cup of Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla Nut, or Mocha Mint coffee every morning leading up Christmas, you're in luck! The at-home coffee brand is available in grocery stores for a limited time.

To make your morning even more merry and bright, try Kellogg's Rice Krispies with festive red and green crisped pieces of rice mixed in among the usual cream-colored cereal bits.

PopTarts is also celebrating the holiday season with a familiar flavor. Find limited edition Kellogg's Printed Fun Pop-Tarts Gingerbread toaster pastries at a store near you.

If all you want for Christmas is a sweet treat, look to red and green M&M's in all varieties – plain, peanut, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and almond, in addition to seasonal mint and cherry cordial flavors. Taking full advantage of this winter wonderland, Hershey's offers a range of seasonal taste sensations in flavors like Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle, Milk Chocolate with Cherry Cordial Crème, and Candy Cane. New this year, Peeps has also added Chocolate Covered Mint Flavored Marshmallow Trees to its line-up.

Oreo is celebrating this holly jolly season with Candy Cane Oreos. As a twist to this classic favorite, the chocolate sandwich cookie has added a peppermint crème with crunchy sprinkles to its icing middle. A perfect snack to leave for Santa!

'Tis the season for companies to dress up the packaging on year-round staples. Take the Nestlé Crunch bar, for example. This year, the candy company collaborated with Paul Frank to create holiday-themed designs featuring the characters Julius the Money and Worry Bear. The oversized bars, available exclusively at Target, come in gift envelopes that double as holiday cards.

Those in the mood for a healthy bite to eat this season can get a boost of calcium from Target's line of holiday yogurt. With flavors like sugar cookie, bread pudding, and eggnog, consumers can savor the most recognizable tastes of the season in yogurt form.

For me, I know the season has begun when Starbucks breaks out its red cups. Is there anything better than the Christmas Coffee Blend or a Peppermint Mocha in a red cup to say happy holidays?!

What about you? What new products have you seen this year? If you have a favorite holiday product that you can only find this time of year, please share! Leave a comment and tell me all about the seasonal flavors you love.

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